There's a girl you're sure to meet
Nigh in every London street.
Though she's not the sort of girl we all admire,
For she'll dress in colours gay
In a rorty sort of way,
And she's known to all the neighbourhood as Ria.
She'll exclaim with modest grace,
'Garn away and fry yer face!'
And she don't forget to shout it rather loud.
And when she's with her bloke,
See her whack her blooming moke
Shouting, 'Gee up, Neddy, Wo! yer do me proud.'

Refrain: If you hear a lady screaming out, 'What cheer.'
That's Ria.
If she's got an ostrich feather down to here,
That's Ria.
She'll chike passers by,
And to drive she'll have a try.
If she spits in someone's eye,
That's Ria, that's Ria,
That's good old London Ria.

As a rule it's easter time,
When you see her in her prime.
With her fellow's hat stuck sideways on her head.
And a gorgeous paper wreath,
As she sits on Hampstead Heath
With both her hands chock full of fish and bread
If she's in a music hall
Every chorus she will bawl,
As she hangs across the rail up in the 'gords'.
Now the song is stale, perhaps;
Then you hear her call out 'Rats!'
As she lets fly at the artiste on the boards.

Refrain: If you hear a lady breathe a gentle 'cuss',
That's Ria.
Or you whiff the smell of onions on a bus,
That's Ria.
If a prisoner in the dock,
Poor old magistrate she'll shock,
If she calls him, 'Good old Cock.'
That's Ria, that's Ria,
That's good old London Ria.

After all she's not so bad,
For her life is rather sad,
But she keeps a merry face and won't give way.
Yet despite the 'Factory Act'
It is still a well known fact
That she has to work her fourteen hours a day.
And at that it's hard to live
Yet she's always first to give
If a pal is broke or sinking in the mire.
P'raps she isn't over-smart
But she's got a great big heart
And the world could do with more like good old Ria.

Refrain: If a knock comes rather late when someone's ill,
That's Ria.
'Ere, I've brought a little beef-tea round for Bill.'
That's Ria.
Then she'll cross the room tip-toes
Then she'll gently raise the clothes
If a tear steals down her nose,
That's Ria, that's Ria,
That's good old London Ria.

Written and composed by Alfred J. Morris & George Le Brunn
Performed by Peggy Pryde (1869-1943)
From Music Hall Lyrics Collection
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