When only a boy I was taught to believe
That my elders knew better than I,
They'd say to me, 'No, you mustn't do that.'
But somehow they'd never say why;
I'd sit and I'd argue it out to myself,
P'raps I'd ask for permission again,
To do what they told me I wasn't to do,
And 'twas thus they would answer me then,

Chorus: 'I shouldn't do it if I were you,
It's one of those things that you're sure to rue,
Never mind what other people do,
I shouldn't do it if I were you.'

I grew up a trustworthy, steady young man,
From guile and iniquity, free.
The sort of young man, nowadays, sad to say,
One does not very frequently see.
Of Bachelor life I grew suddenly tired,
I didn't know how to decide,
I asked the advice of an old married man
With a shake of his head he replied,


To parliament then my attention I turned,
I contrived to become an M.P.
I told the electors that I was the man,
The country was waiting to see.
I didn't know much about politics then,
For hours I would patiently wait,
Through long-winded speeches until I grew tired,
Then my views on the subject I'd state,


Each year seemed to make me grow steadier still,
To do good for my fellows I yearned.
I determined to go in the whole hog or none,
So a gallant teetotaler turned.
One night I'd arranged at a meeting to speak,
That same day I'd unluckily met,
A friend and with him, I had broken the pledge,
The templars, my speech won't forget.


Written and composed by Albert Chevalier & Alfred H. West
Performed by Albert Chevalier (1861-1923)
From monologues.co.uk Music Hall Lyrics Collection
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