My missis has opened a laundry,
Thro' which I've a sad tale to tell
She makes me do most of the washing
And most of the mangling as well
I'm up to my eyebrows in soap-suds,
We're doing a very good biz
The wife does the cuffs and the collars,
But my speciality is

Chorus: Shirts, shirts, all kinds of shirts
Shirts that are little and tall
Shirts of all patterns, both thin 'uns and fat 'uns
And shirts that are not shirts at all
Shirts patched with blouses and seats of old trousers
And shirts that were columbine's skirts
Sacks that have roughed it since Wellington snuffed it
Come swanking from men that they're shirts.

I've met manly shirts in the washing
That shrivel when water comes nigh
I once washed a seven-foot night-shirt
That shrank to an evening dress tie
I've seen a man's shirt start a-shrinking
Until he's been gasping for breath
It's shrunk from his knees to his wind-pipe
Then shrunk till it choked him to death.

Chorus: Shirts, shirts, all kinds of shirts
Shirts cheap at four pence an ounce
Shirts costing dollars, with tortoise -shell collars
And astrachan cuffs on the flounce
Shirts trimmed with fret-work, and moth holes and network
No wonder our feelings it hurts
When rags used by waiters for straining the 'taters'
Are sent to the laundry as shirts.

I've often washed shirts without uppers,
The sort that are bought by the peck
The shirt you pull on with a shoe-horn
Or else push your legs through the neck
I've washed shirts you'd have to wear backwards,
Designed like the old Union Jack
And shirts with the front put on sideways
And no early door round the back.

Chorus: Shirts, shirts, all kinds of shirts
Shirts with a horrible past
Shirts made for sailors by muscle-bound tailors
And shirts often nailed to the mast
Shirts that are bullet-proof, shirts with no sliding roof
Shirts you pass through a squirt
To give an example, I'm wearing a sample
Of bell-bottomed pants for a shirt.
Written and composed by C. W. Murphy & Dan Lipton - 1908
Performed by Morny Cash (1872-1938)
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