On my last post we have just met a few lions and this reminds me of some short poems.
While I am writing up some ambulance stories I thought you might be interested to read one of Stanley Holloway's monologues. These short poems were written circa 1930 - 1940 and were highly popular in their day, and in fact still well-known today.
I am writing all of them up on my other blog, Plato's Procrastinations, but as a taster here is one I like very much, The Lion and Albert, the first part of a trilogy, in which a little northern lad, Albert Ramsbottom, gets into a spot of bother with a lion. Oh dear!
My cousin Rodney and I used to recite this and many of Stanley's famous monologues, and I recited one recently to a 90 year old patient, causing him to remark I had made his day.
THE LION AND ALBERT
by Marriott Edgar (1932)
There's a famous seaside place called Blackpool,
That's noted for fresh air and fun,
And Mister and Missus Ramsbottom
Went there with young Albert, their son.
A grand little lad was young Albert,
All dressed in his best; quite a swell
With a stick with a 'orse's 'ead 'andle,
The finest that Woolworth's could sell.
They didn't think much to the Ocean:
The waves, they was fiddlin' and small,
There were no wrecks and nobody 'drownded',
'Fact nothing to laugh at at all.
So, seeking for further amusement,
They paid and went into the Zoo,
Where they'd Lions and Tigers and Camels,
And old ale and sandwiches too.
There were one great big Lion called Wallace;
His nose were all covered with scars -
He lay in a somnolent posture,
With the side of his face on the bars.
Now Albert had heard about Lions,
How they was ferocious and wild -
To see Wallace lying so peaceful,
Well, it didn't seem right to the child.
So straightway the brave little 'feller',
Not showing a morsel of fear,
Took his stick with his 'orse's 'ead 'andle
And pushed it in Wallace's ear.
You could see that the Lion didn't like it,
For giving a kind of a roll,
He pulled Albert inside the cage with 'im,
And swallowed the little lad 'ole.
Then Pa, who had seen the occurrence,
And didn't know what to do next,
Said, "Mother! Yon Lion's 'ate' Albert",
And Mother said, "Well, I am vexed!"
Then Mister and Missus Ramsbottom -
Quite rightly, when all said and done -
Complained to the Animal Keeper,
That the Lion had eaten their son.
The Keeper was quite nice about it;
He said, "What a nasty mishap.
Are you sure that it's your boy he's eaten ?"
Pa said, "Am I sure ? - There's his cap!"
The manager had to be sent for.
He came and he said, "What's to do ?"
Pa said, "Yon Lion's 'ate' Albert,
And 'im and 'is Sunday clothes, too."
Then Mother said, "Rights right, young 'feller';
I think it's a shame and a sin,
For a Lion to go and eat Albert,
And after we've paid to come in."
The manager wanted no trouble,
He took out his purse right away,
Saying, "How much to settle the matter ?"
And Pa said, "What d'yer usually pay ?"
But Mother had turned a bit awkward
When she thought where her Albert had gone.
She said, "No! someone's got to be summonsed."
So that was decided upon.
Then off they went to the Police Station,
In front of the Magistrate chap;
They told 'im what happened to Albert,
And proved it by showing his cap.
The Magistrate gave his opinion
That no one was really to blame
And he said that he hoped that the Ramsbottoms
Would have further sons to their name.
At that Mother got proper blazing,
"And thank you, sir, kindly," said she.
"What, waste all our lives raising children
To feed ruddy Lions, not me!"
I've found a utube of Stanley reciting this monologue but first he recites Sam, Pick Oop Tha' Musket. Sam Small is a soldier and another favourite character.
The sequel, The Return of Albert, is posted on my other blog, Plato's Procrastinations.
And I am pleased to say I have all the monologues indexed HERE . Just click on each title of interest and it will be there for you - enjoy. They are all fabulous. I used to be able to recite almost all of them.