I'm a one-eyed, wooden-legged, all night watchman - my name's Bill
Folks think I'm too old to die, but I'm four-ale and hearty still
When they're doing up the roadway - just to earn a merry bob
I go round to see the gaffer, if he's mad I get the job
I don't use a blooming pickaxe, and as I'm a wide young chap
Spades are things I never handle - only when I play at nap
When the navvies knock off day work, you can safely bet your shirt
I'm on duty all night long to see that no one sneaks the dirt.

Chorus: In the dark but out of danger, from my little hut
I keep a sharp lookout, tho' my eyes are always shut
All among the drainpipes, without a drop of Scotch
Oh, how I wish I could pawn my midnight watch.

With my old moth-eaten lantern I was searching inch by inch
When a ruffian three feet old I spotted one night on the pinch
Scaffold poles inside his pocket he was shoving like a shot
And, Great Heavens, on his shoulder our steamroller he had got
I soon grabbed him by the gizzard, he tried hard my strength to test
But I gently breathed upon him, and he had to give me best
Then across my knee I placed him - kicks and screams I didn't mind
I picked up a plank, and wallop! on his pants, my name I Signed


Round my old coke fire I meet with men and mugs of various types
Coppers come to warm their bunions - ladies come to light their pipes
When I've not been there to listen I have h­eard a dumb man say
'Bill, the watchman's always stoney, but his heart's as soft as clay
Once a poor flat-footed female came and said, 'Don't think me rude
For a fortnight all but fifteen days I've had more grub then food.'
But when I saw she was starving, though she fairly ramped and raved
With a brick-and -mortar sandwich on the spot her life I saved.

Performed by Harry Bedford (1873-1939)
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