A famous saying of John Bull's
Is, 'What I have I'll hold!'
That minds me of a sad mishap
That turned my life-blood cold;
I went to serenade my girl,
Her bulldog gripped me here;
I said, 'Let go, you beastly brute!'
He answered me, 'No fear!...

Chorus: 'What I have I'll hold, what I have I'll hold!
It's useless, sir to squirm or grin,
I've got you like we've got Pekin;
Possession is nine tenths of law, at least, so I've been told,
I'm like old John Bull, you know, what I have I'll hold!'

A friend invited me to dine,
His soup was, well, immense!
But when the venison was brought up
Excitement was intense.
Said he, 'Just sniff the flavour, sir!'
But pale and limp I rose,
Said, 'Touching venison, my dear friend,
I don't possess much nose... but...

Chorus: 'What I have I'll hold, what I have I'll hold!
I'll join that venison in a lay,
If that will hasten it away;
But till that dainty says 'Farewell!' my nose I must enfold,
I'm like White at Ladysmith, what I have I'll hold!'

Poor Toodles in a big hotel
Stayed once but 'twas burnt down;
He seized one garment, slipped it on,
And scuttled through the town.
A lady chased him, said, 'You're got
My biking bloomers there!"
He said, 'Although they fit too soon,
They're all I've got to wear... and...

Chorus: 'What I have I'll hold, what I have I'll hold!
To keep them up I've not a thing,
No braces, not a bit of string!
Go away at once, miss, now don't you be so bold,
I can keep 'em up all right, what I have I'll hold!'

Old Pomkins is a greedy man,
Last night a friend stood 'Sam',
And filled the selfish rascal up
With quarts and quarts of 'cham'.
His wife said, 'Don't stand there all night,
Just come to bed, you wreck!'
Said he, 'No fear I'm full of 'cham'
Right full up to my neck... and...

Chorus: 'What I have I'lI hold, what I have I'll hold!
If I lie down, without a doubt,
That good champagne will all fall out;
Standing up's the best way to retain it, so I'm told,
I'm like Kruger with the 'oof', what I have I'll hold!'

Written and composed by E.W. Rogers - 1900
Performed by George Robey (1869-1954)
From monologues.co.uk Music Hall Lyrics Collection
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