Have you ever tried to tell a tale or make a feeble joke,
And afterwards been very, very sorry that you spoke?
If you have , why then you possibly will sympathise with me,
And with the sentiment expressed, I' sure you will agree;
There are many, many people I should like to see supressed,
The point of any funny tale they never, never guessed.
They pooh pooh your little efforts in a tantalising way,
And when you think they're going to laugh, they turn to you and say,

Chorus: No, not a bit of good, not a little bit of good,
Your mirth provoking faculties are small;
Why, you've actually confessed that you've done your level best,
And that's not a bit of good at all!

When at school I pondered o'er that most infernal rule of three,
Until my head was swimming and I couldn't really see,
An idea would strike me suddenly and thinking it first rate,
I'd pull myself together and transfer it to my slate.
Then imagining it was right, up to the master I would go,
That I was not a dunderheaded ass, I meant to show,
He would fling a little something, say an inkpot, at my head,
And when I could sit down again, he came to me and said,

Chorus: Oh, your heads a lump of wood , not a little bit of good,
Go at once and turn your face, sir, to the wall,
Oh, I really felt depressed, for I'd done my level best,
Which he said was not a bit of good at all!

I am certain I might some day make a fortune for myself,
And what is better still, perhaps, be worth no end of pelf,
Some encouragement is all I want, a pat upon the back,
It's what is known as nerve I sometimes fancy that I lack.
I remember once attempting to perform a simple trick,
As Shakespeare says, I screwed my courage where I thought 'twould stick,
An unsympathetic gimlet eye was fixed upon me, well,
I felt my courage oozing out and down my spirits fell.

Chorus: It was not a bit of good, not a little bit of good,
That gimlet optic held me in it's thrall,
I gave the trick a rest, for although I'd done my best,
That best was not a bit of good at all!

I was once siezed with a mania for a life upon the stage,
I thought within myself I might perhaps become the rage,
To this very strong opinion I, of course, did not give vent,
But as a modest super to the theatre I went.
I had but a single line to speak and oh! I did feel proud,
They told me to be natural and not to shout so loud,
I invited several friends to come and hear me speak that line,
And when that play was over to come home with me and dine,

Chorus: But the dinner did no good, it was not a bit of good,
I asked them why I didn't get a call,
'Tell the truth' I said, 'It's best.' then they one and all confessed,
It was not a little bit of good, at all!

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