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Tuesday 9 June 2009


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.

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.


  1. Oh, how fabulous!!! And to be able to hear these in Holloway's wonderful intonations as well!!!! I'm so glad you posted about this I am sure that your reader's will not want to miss these!!!! They are fantastic! I laughed so hard over this one!!! Poor Albert!!! Great post, Eddie! ~Janine

  2. This little gem took me right back in time. Thanks for posting this Eddie. Great fun from days long ago. Stanley Holloway was a one-off unique entertainer!
    Coming from Lancashire myself, ( just across the bay from Blackpool) I love to hear this old accent my parents and aunts and uncles spoke.

    Love Granny

  3. Hi Granny,
    Glad you liked it. So, my friend, you come from near Blackpool. Well that explains our close chemistry!! I was born in Widnes, near Liverpool, and I am going to post Runcorn Ferry soon on Plato's Procrastinations. Love ~ Eddie

  4. I agree with Janine, great post.

  5. Great post. I used to hear that when I was young.

  6. I feel a great affinity with Stanley Holloway since I am also a performance poet. At least once a month I go to local clubs and organisations to recite my poetry. In fact I like acting as much as writing. And I usually get a free lunch. I'm thinking of making a disk so that I can sell it to anyone who's interested.

  7. nice to see you again....
    I'm off to check out the lions.

    best wishes

  8. haha poor little albert...and just like that, no crying and drama! With todays media filled with reality shows, computer generated movies and pop stars, THIS is so simply clever.Thanks for sharing! 'enjoyed it.

  9. Made me laugh out loud at work with patients looking on...

    Thanks for this, you made my day, too.

  10. PS.PS. 'hope you can drop by my blog, I have a little surprise for you! ^-^

  11. That's wonderful! I've never heard of him before. I guess his reputation didn't reach The States, or perhaps he didn't translate well for the masses. I loved it, though.

  12. Loved that!

    PS I am hearing Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No 2...Do you hear it?

    :) Have a good summer, Eddie!

  13. Great post. I love this poem and to hear it from the author himself is even better.

    Thanks for commenting and following my blog. I've signed up for yours too:-)

  14. Eddie.....Here I am again....jumping from one of your blogs back over to the other. Is that your daughter singing?.... Those are BEAUTIFUL!!!!
    I want to hear more....

  15. Whilst reading the other comments, I've just been taken off what I was going to say - typical, my brain is mushed already and I'm not even 40 yet! Saw that you come from Widnes? I come from Atherton/Leigh/Astley area. Do you know it?

    Love and best wishes,
    CJ xx

  16. Hi Eddie...I just watched "Fawlty Towers Communications Problems Part I"....I laughed.
    I'll be back.

  17. Wonderful post! enJOY your day Eddie!

  18. I love The Lion and Albert - wonderful!


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