Some people have money and others have brains
But lots would like to have a voice like Sister Mary Jane's
Your Patti and Albani in the rear must take a seat
For penitrating quality you'll find it hard to beat
Some say it's a soprano, but we're not quite sure of that
She's one top note, a beauty, like the shrieking of a cat
It's known to all the neighbours who reside around our way
And when they think Jane's going to sing, they to each other say,

Chorus: 'Sit back! Hold tight! Mary's going to sing
She's going to try again to crack her throat
It stops the birds a-singing and it sets the bells a-ringing
Sister Mary Jane's top note.'

She joined a class for singing but she never said a word
About her only top note, such a thing they never heard
She let it out one evening and the organist poor man
Went flying through the window and away like mad he ran
It twisted all the organ pipes and the boy who blew the wind
Got jammed into the bellows hole and left his boots behind
But Mary sat so saintly, for the poor girl didn't know
She cleared her throat to sing again but everyone said, 'Woe,'


She sang at the Aquarium and all the people fled
The manager went round and found that all the fish were dead
The band, nor the conductor, never since a word have spoke
They're all quite deaf, and out of work, with their tympanum broke
It don't hurt Sister Mary, for she likes it, it appears
But when we think she's going to 'chirp', we all stop up our ears
If a train is slow in starting, she will give a little cough
Bang goes Mary's top note and they all say, 'Now we're off.'


They stopped poor Mary singing, when the neighbours all could hear
So she took the train to Southend just to practise on the pier
She cleared her throat... then let it go with wondeful effect
The machines all dropped to pieces and the pleasure boats got wrecked
It tore the sails to ribbons and the sea-gulls couldn't quack
The tide went out and people say it's never coming back
When Mary goes to Southend now, the folk keep off the pier
The black coons only sing one song and this is what you hear,

Written and composed by F. Bowyer & Ivan Caryll - 1896
Performed by Louie Freear (1873-1939)
Performed by Peggy Pryde (1869-1943)
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