Some folks call me a laundress,
Soap-suds, Old Starch and Blue,
Because I'm a good templar,
And take in washing too;
They all may call me names like that,
Or anything they choose,
If they will only stop my wife,
From going on the 'booze'.

Spoken... But that is quite impossible I'm afraid, she has a good and indulgent husband and all he says to her is,

Chorus: Oh! Emma, whoa Emma,
Emma, this will never do!
Whoa! Emma, oh! Emma,
Emma, I'm ashamed of you.

One time she was quite temperate,
Just sip a glass of wine,
Whenever we had friends around,
At good old Christmas time;
But now she drinks just like a fish,
(In fact, more like a whale)
If you should ask her what she'll take,
She'll reply, 'A small drop in a pail.'

Spoken... I would let her swim in it at home but when she goes out in the streets and lies down in the road,


Each morning she is up at six,
And flys off to the pub,
Before she does a stroke of work,
Or gives the clothes a rub.
When she returns, of course, I'm up,
And all our children straight,
But she is always out again,
Before the clock strikes eight.

Spoken... To have another half-pint and when she returns, I, like a fond and affectionate husband say,


Our business it will go to smash,
If she don't turn me up,
I'll keep no home or laundry,
But drink the 'bitter cup'.
And go and sell the furniture,
While I've the privilege,
And with the coin I'll have a day,
Likewise, I'll break the pledge.

Spoken... I'll get gloriously inebriated myself and join the old lady and as we go along arm in arm, we can both sing,


Written, composed and performed by George Leybourne (1842-1884)
From monologues.co.uk Music Hall Lyrics Collection
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