It's a terrible thing for a man to awake
And discover himself a mistake, a mistake
My case it is such, for I solomnly state
That after forty, I feel I'm a victim to fate
The first thing I did was my parents to vex
They had hoped I might prove of the opposite sex
Had I been but a girl, 'twould have filled 'em with joy
But my luck was against me, I turned out a boy.

Chorus: 'Tis a terrible thing for a man to awake
And at once to discover himself a mistake.

I ought to have known things were wrong from the first
To have made up my mind for the worst, for the worst
But, strangely regardless all of I had done
I looked on this error as glorious fun
My brother's old clothes they compelled me to wear
Three sizes too small which made rude people stare
My best Sunday suit was a marvel to see
It wouldn't fit Bill, but they made it fit me.


My friends thought 'twas time that I settled in life
So I made up my mind to look out for a wife
I wooed a fair widow I met at a ball
And I lived to regret that I met her at all
She consented to trip to the altar once more
Notwithstanding the fact she'd been married before
Her husband, a sailor, she'd left in the lurch
Claimed his runaway spouse as we entered the church.


Said Father, one day, 'You must make up your mind
Some sort of genteel occupation to find.'
I thought he'd have died of vexation and rage
When I told him I wanted to go on the stage
I made my appearance as Hamlet the Dane
They said he was mad, I was more than insane
The house wasn't full, in the pit there were six
You'd have thought there were more when we counted the bricks.


Written, composed and performed by Albert Chevalier (1861-1923) - 1891
From monologues.co.uk Music Hall Lyrics Collection
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