W.P. Dempsey

Now to every working bloke, who has never done a stroke,
A little mug's advice I'd like to give;
If from trouble you'd be free, take the griffin straight from me,
A lazy, loafing life no longer live.
Though you'll find it rather rough, for the first time in your puff,
To do a little graft to earn your grub.
Be attentive to your biz; never mind what job it is,
For instance, if you're barman at a pub...

Chorus: Work boys, work and be contended,
Mop up sufficient booze to float a yacht,
For a man you may rely, will be sloppy bye-and-bye,
If he keeps his nose inside a pewter pot.

Now you don't require a job, to obtain the merry bob,
As frequently I fancy it's been shown;
Many Artful Codgers thrive and by hook or crook survive
To obtain a decent living on their own.
In the light-fingered trade there's a fortune to be made,
Provided you are smart as well as quick,
And altho' it's not allowed, when you're mixed up in a crowd,
And you see any pockets there to pick,

Chorus: Work boys, work and be contented;
Altho' it ain't considered quite the cheese;
For a man, you may rely, will be honest bye-and-bye,
If he pinches every blooming thing he sees!

If our lovely laws you break and get captured on the make,
To somewhere known as 'Portland' you'll be sent.
And the moment you get there, you'll enjoy a change of air, (hair)
And nobody will bother you for rent.
You'll be clothed as well as fed and provided with a bed.
Altho' against society you've sinned
And to keep you nice and warm you'll have duties to perform,
For when your turn comes round to grind the wind,

Chorus: Chorus: Work boys, work and be contented;
Raise your little footsies with a will;
For a man, you may rely, will have bunions bye-and-bye,
If he only keeps a-moving on the Mill.

If your heart begins to quail, at the sight of work you pale,
The salvationists will take you, if you're straight;
They will dress you up in red, find you grub and also bed,
And instruct you how to hand around the plate.
You must work with a will when they're teaching you the drill
And shout, 'Come on to glory, brothers, come!'
Perhaps they'll put you in the band, just to give a helping hand,
And if they should put you on to play the drum (twiggy voo),

Chorus: Work boys, work and be contented;
Be careful that you always tell the truth;
For a man, you may rely, will go to glory bye-and-bye,
If he is told what he is told by General Booth.

Written and composed by A.E. Ellis & Will Mayne - 1894
Performed by W.P. Dempsey
Performed by Edwin Barwick (1857-1928)
Performed by Charles E. Stevens (1854-1910)
From Music Hall Lyrics Collection
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