Long ago an angel I knew,
If ever a one was seen;
She was a bonny sweet child of eight,
And I was just eighteen.
And every night she'd sit on my knee,
Her arms 'round my neck and say,
'I love you, I love you and when I grow big,
Now promise to marry your May!'

Chorus: Sweetheart May! when you grow up one day,
You may marry another and my love betray, but
I'll wait for you and then we shall see,
What you will do when I ask you to marry me.

I went, one day, to countries away,
To lands overseas to tread;
Trials and troubles of life I met,
As years lay on my head.
But every night I'd think of that child,
Her smile and her young love-sigh.
I longed just to see her grown up, sweet eighteen,
My May of the days gone by.


I came back again and I found her at last,
To a beautiful woman grown,
I asked to think of those old happy days,
But the mem'ry was mine alone;
I stood there before her, I sang the old song,
She could not recall it, I begged her to try.
She said, 'I forget you, besides we must part,
Tomorrow I'm going to be married, good-bye!'

Optional Finale: or go to final chorus:

Spoken... I found her the same 'Sweetheart May' I had pictured in my dreams in lands over the sea. I gave her my hand in the hope that she would greet me as of old but, I was forgotten! I said, 'May, don't you remember me? Can't you recall the time when you asked me to wait until you grew to be a woman that I might marry you? And don't you remember the little song I used to sing you? I sang her the song once again. But no! she only said, 'I cannot recall you, nor do I remember the song. Besides, we must part. Tomorrow I am to be married... Good-bye!'
'Married tomorrow! Oh, May! But there, God bless you, May, Good-bye!'


Written and composed by Leslie Stuart - 1891
Performed by Vesta Tilley (1864-1952)
From monologues.co.uk Music Hall Lyrics Collection
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