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Lyr Req: Christmas in the Workhouse

DigiTrad:
CHRISTMAS EVE IN THE WORKHOUSE
WORKHOUSE BOY


Related threads:
Lyr Req: It's Christmas in the Workhouse (not (15)
(origins) Origins: Christmas Day in the Cookhouse (26)
Lyr Req: Christmas Day in the Workhouse (36)
Lyr Req: Christmas Day in the Workhouse (14)
Lyr Add: Workhouse Boy (29)
Lyr Req: Christmas in the Workhouse Canadian (3)


10 Dec 96 - 09:58 PM
ron.mcgeary@dailymail.co.uk 14 Dec 96 - 10:39 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 13 Sep 01 - 11:32 PM
Dave the Gnome 14 Sep 01 - 08:53 AM
weepiper 14 Sep 01 - 01:47 PM
The Walrus 14 Sep 01 - 05:16 PM
GUEST,Larly 01 Feb 07 - 09:45 AM
GUEST,larly 01 Feb 07 - 09:48 AM
The Borchester Echo 01 Feb 07 - 11:51 AM
GUEST 02 Feb 07 - 05:02 AM
GUEST, Larly 02 Feb 07 - 05:03 AM
Big Al Whittle 02 Feb 07 - 05:11 AM
GUEST,larly 02 Feb 07 - 06:36 AM
GUEST,?????????????????????? 02 Feb 07 - 06:38 AM
Waddon Pete 02 Feb 07 - 07:24 AM
GUEST 19 Mar 07 - 07:22 PM
EBarnacle 20 Mar 07 - 08:39 AM
GUEST 22 Sep 08 - 04:11 PM
banjoman 28 Sep 08 - 11:13 AM
GUEST 24 Dec 08 - 01:55 PM
GUEST 24 Dec 08 - 03:03 PM
GUEST,MERDDIN 01 Jan 09 - 12:27 PM
GUEST,Roy 26 Nov 09 - 05:03 PM
GUEST 24 Dec 09 - 03:38 PM
GUEST,the papercut girl 27 Dec 09 - 12:44 PM
GUEST,Mike 31 Jul 10 - 07:21 AM
Charley Noble 31 Jul 10 - 05:38 PM
Bob Hitchcock 01 Aug 10 - 05:30 PM
GUEST 06 Jan 11 - 09:41 PM
GUEST,Thylacine 03 Mar 11 - 09:12 AM
GUEST,chris lowe 05 Nov 11 - 06:57 AM
MGM·Lion 05 Nov 11 - 08:11 AM
Charley Noble 05 Nov 11 - 11:11 AM
GUEST,Chopolowski 14 Dec 12 - 01:33 AM
GUEST,Eliza 14 Dec 12 - 04:47 PM
GUEST,Eliza 14 Dec 12 - 04:52 PM
Tradsinger 14 Dec 12 - 06:42 PM
MGM·Lion 15 Dec 12 - 11:40 AM
GUEST,didymus34 26 Dec 13 - 07:27 PM
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Subject: Christmas in the Workhouse
From:
Date: 10 Dec 96 - 09:58 PM

Hi All, I am looking for the words to an old song or poem which begins with: "It was Christmas in the Workhouse"

I can't remember much of it I used to hear it in Scotland when I was younger (long time ago).It was rather bawdy, the only other line I can remember was

"We don't want your Xmas Pudding, You can shove it up your Arse "

Appreciate any help anyone can give on this one!

Scotty.


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Subject: RE: Christmas in the Workhouse
From: ron.mcgeary@dailymail.co.uk
Date: 14 Dec 96 - 10:39 PM

The line you quote is the LAST line.I'm afraid I can only remember the first verse but I'll try to look up the rest for you. It may also jog someone else's memory...

It was Christmas Day in the workhouse The Eunuchs were sitting in pairs; Watching the Vestal Virgins combing their pubic hairs. When a voice from down the chimney went echoing round the walls, saying: "What do you want for Christmas?" And the Eunuchs all answered "Balls!"

Will get back to you when I find the other verses.

Regards,

Ron Mac


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Subject: RE: Christmas in the Workhouse
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 13 Sep 01 - 11:32 PM

In case this thread gets found go to:

Christmas In the Workhouse
 
Christmas Day in the Workhouse
 
Christmas In the Workhouse
 


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Subject: RE: Christmas in the Workhouse
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 14 Sep 01 - 08:53 AM

Clean (but weird) verse

It was Christmas day in the workhouse
The snow was raining fast
A bare-footed kid with clogs on
Came slowly whizzing past
He turned a straight crooked corner
To see a dead donkey die
Pulled out his gun to stab it
And it punched him one in the eye

Amazing what you can remember isn't it!

Cheers

Davd the Gnome


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Subject: RE: Christmas in the Workhouse
From: weepiper
Date: 14 Sep 01 - 01:47 PM

My Nan used to sing a version of this to us when we were kids, only one verse I can remember though: It was Christmas day in the work house, the snow was raining fast, a barefoot girl with clogs on stood sitting on the grass. I think there was more but not like Dave the Gnome's version


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Subject: RE: Christmas in the Workhouse
From: The Walrus
Date: 14 Sep 01 - 05:16 PM

DavetG,

Was that the version with "the blind man saw it, the deaf man heard it and the dead man ran for the fire brigade"?

Walrus


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Subject: RE: Christmas in the Workhouse
From: GUEST,Larly
Date: 01 Feb 07 - 09:45 AM

It was christmas in the workhouse
the snow was raining fast
a bear footed man with clogs on
came slowly whizzing past
he turned around a straight crooked corner
to see a dead donkey die
he pulled out his gun to stab him
the donkey spit in his eye
next day he went to the pictures
he had a front seat at the back
he fell from the floor to the gallery
and broke a front bone in his back
a lady gave hin an orange
he ate it and gave it her back
it was xmas in the workhouse
the snow was raining fast


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Subject: RE: Christmas in the Workhouse
From: GUEST,larly
Date: 01 Feb 07 - 09:48 AM

there yall that is the complete unedited lyrics and yes they are rare but i have been learning that song since i was three lol
congrats
larly


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Subject: RE: Christmas in the Workhouse
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 01 Feb 07 - 11:51 AM

Ah, now I realise what Leon Rosselson based Remembrance Day At The Cenotaph on:

I speak for the silent slaughtered
The ones who rot inder the grass
And we don't want your two minutes' silence
You can stick it up your arse


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Subject: RE: Christmas in the Workhouse
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Feb 07 - 05:02 AM

so did you like my version gys my grandfather taughht it to me when i was three feedback plz guys


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Subject: RE: Christmas in the Workhouse
From: GUEST, Larly
Date: 02 Feb 07 - 05:03 AM

the above was written by me, Larly


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Subject: RE: Christmas in the Workhouse
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 02 Feb 07 - 05:11 AM

Has anyone got the Barrie Roberts one - it was Christmas Day in the hospital, and the Queen comes round - oh I won't spoilit for you . Some one must have it. Steve Parkes - you must know it!


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Subject: RE: Christmas in the Workhouse
From: GUEST,larly
Date: 02 Feb 07 - 06:36 AM

please tell me steve im very intrigued:)


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Subject: RE: Christmas in the Workhouse
From: GUEST,??????????????????????
Date: 02 Feb 07 - 06:38 AM

btw who is a massive fan of the king?!?


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Subject: RE: Christmas in the Workhouse
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 02 Feb 07 - 07:24 AM

Then of course there is always...

It was Christmas Day in the Workhouse
The walls were whitewashed pink,
We didn't like the Christmas gruel so we tipped it down the sink!

The cook's name it was Molly - at cooking she was no good,
So on Christmas Day we all played skittles
With her Christmas Pud!

Best wishes,

Peter


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Christmas in the Workhouse
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Mar 07 - 07:22 PM

It was Christmas Day in the hospital
And the whitewashed walls were hung
???
The Queen herself had come.

???
Boils upon me toe.

The Queen looked very worried
"Oh dear" she said "oh dear"
They must have spread all down your leg
Since my sister came last year.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Christmas in the Workhouse
From: EBarnacle
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 08:39 AM

Sounds like a cousin of Sean McGowan's It was Christmas in the Drunk tank.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Christmas in the Workhouse
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Sep 08 - 04:11 PM

It was Christmas Day in the workhouse
The one day of the year
The paupers hearts were happy
Their bellies full of beer
Then in strode the Workhouse Master
Within those stony walls
He cried: 'A Merry Christmas'
The paupers anwered 'Balls'
This enraged the Workhouse Master
Who swore by all his gods
You'll have no Christmas pudding
You load of rotten sods
Then up stood one old pauper
His face as bold as brass
'We don't want your Christmas pudding
You can stuff it up your arse'.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Christmas in the Workhouse
From: banjoman
Date: 28 Sep 08 - 11:13 AM

Her's the version I knew:
It was Christmas Day in the cookhouse
The walls were grim & bare
The sergeant cook was serving duff
To all the gunners there

Up stepped one smart young gunner
The bravest of them all
He hit the sergeant with the duff
Said we don't want this F*** ing stuff
Cos beer is best
Beer is strong
Puts some muscle on your old ding dong
Beer builds boony babies
And beer has stood the test
What was it Adam said to Eve
Beer is best


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Christmas in the Workhouse
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 01:55 PM

christmas day in the workhouse
the rain was snowing fast
a bare footed man with clogs on
stood sitting in the grass
went to the pictures tomorrow
bought a front seat at the back
bought a plain cake with currents in
ate it then took it them back
:)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Christmas in the Workhouse
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 03:03 PM

It's funny my Dad and I were just reciting the version he was taught and passed on to my brother and me 30 years ago.

Twas Christmas In the workhouse
The pudding was piping hot
It was for the old age pensioners
The greedy F***in lot.
In strolled the workhouse master
who surveyed the grimy walls,
turned to the old age pensioners and
bellowed Merry Xmas one and all.
One sprightly old age pensioner
with balls as bold as brass
shouted we don't want your xmas pudding
Stick it up your Arse


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Christmas in the Workhouse
From: GUEST,MERDDIN
Date: 01 Jan 09 - 12:27 PM

The (sanitised) version my father used to recite was:

'Twas Christmas day in the workhouse,
and the walls were whitewashed black
along came father christmas
with his sack upon his back.
Up spake one bold rascal
with a voice as bold as brass
I don't want your christmas pudding...........
stick it on the next man's plate.

I have to say it actually scans better than what MAY have been the original version


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Christmas in the Workhouse
From: GUEST,Roy
Date: 26 Nov 09 - 05:03 PM

My nan used to say funny sayings that her dad used to say, this one typed by larly is exactly what she used to say

It was christmas in the workhouse
the snow was raining fast
a bear footed man with clogs on
came slowly whizzing past
he turned around a straight crooked corner
to see a dead donkey die
he pulled out his gun to stab him
the donkey spit in his eye
next day he went to the pictures
he had a front seat at the back
he fell from the floor to the gallery
and broke a front bone in his back
a lady gave hin an orange
he ate it and gave it her back
it was xmas in the workhouse
the snow was raining fast

she also used to say a saying about it was midnight on the ocean, not a streetcar was insight...... classic


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Christmas in the Workhouse
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Dec 09 - 03:38 PM

What I remember from my English childhood.
Twas Christmas Eve in the workhouse,
the happiest night of the year.
Men's hearts were full of gladness
and their bellies full of beer.
In walked the workhouse master,
strolling throught the halls.
To wish them a Merry Christmas when
one old bugger shouts BALLS.
This vexed the workhouse master
who swore by all the gods.
You shall have no Christmas pudding
you dirty rotten sods.
Up spake a man from Wigan,
his voice as bold as brass.
We don't want your Christmas pudding.
You can stick it up your arse.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Christmas in the Workhouse
From: GUEST,the papercut girl
Date: 27 Dec 09 - 12:44 PM

Twas Christmas Eve in the workhouse,
the snow was falling fast,
along came father Christmas and fell upon his,
Ask now questions tell no lies...


Thats all I can remember my father teaching me - althought he used to sing it to us often as Christmas.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Christmas in the Workhouse
From: GUEST,Mike
Date: 31 Jul 10 - 07:21 AM

It was Christmas day in the workhouse
The snow was raining fast
A bare-footed girl with clogs on
Sat laying on the grass
In came the Chief Head warder
You'll get no Christmas pud
You b***dy, hump-backed b****r
I never said you would
She ran out into the rain
But all in vain
They shoved down the s**thouse
And pulled the chain!


I suppose that my dad cleaned it up a little and over the years
the rest of the verses have been forgotten.


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Subject: Lyr Add: IN THE WORKHOUSE (George R. Sims)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 31 Jul 10 - 05:38 PM

The verses above are actually a parody of the original poem of the same name.

The author George Robert Sims was a highly respected crusading journalist of the time as well as a feted dramatist and he wrote this piece in 1881 to draw attention to the appalling conditions of the London slums and the poor law workhouses.

Christmas Day in the Workhouse

It is Christmas Day in the Workhouse,
And the cold bare walls are bright
With garlands of green and holly,
And the place is a pleasant sight:
For with clean-washed hands and faces,
In a long and hungry line
The paupers sit at the tables
For this is the hour they dine.
And the guardians and their ladies,
Although the wind is east,
Have come in their furs and wrappers,
To watch their charges feast;
To smile and be condescending,
Put pudding on pauper plates,
To be hosts at the workhouse banquet
They've paid for — with their rates.

Oh, the paupers are meek and lowly
With their "Thank'ee kindly, mum's"
So long as they fill their stomachs,
What matter it whence it comes?
But one of the old men mutters,
And pushes his plate aside:
"Great God!" he cries; "but it chokes me!
For this is the day she died."

The guardians gazed in horror,
The master's face went white;
"Did a pauper refuse the pudding?"
Could their ears believe aright?
Then the ladies clutched their husbands,
Thinking the man would die,
Struck by a bolt, or something,
By the outraged One on high.

But the pauper sat for a moment,
Then rose 'mid a silence grim,
For the others had ceased to chatter
And trembled in every limb.
He looked at the guardians' ladies,
Then, eyeing their lords, he said,
"I eat not the food of villains
Whose hands are foul and red:

"Whose victims cry for vengeance
From their dank, unhallowed graves."
"He's drunk!" said the workhouse master,
"Or else he's mad and raves."
"Not drunk or mad," cried the pauper,
"But only a hunted beast,
Who, torn by the hounds and mangled,
Declines the vulture's feast.

"Keep your hands off me, curse you!
Hear me right out to the end.
You come here to see how paupers
The season of Christmas spend.
You come here to watch us feeding,
As they watch the captured beast.
Hear why a penniless pauper
Spits on your paltry feast.

"Do you think I will take your bounty,
And let you smile and think
You're doing a noble action
With the parish's meat and drink?
Where's my wife, you traitors —
The poor old wife you slew?
Yes, by the God above us,
My Nance was killed by you!

"Last winter my wife lay dying,
Starved in a filthy den;
I had never been to the parish, —
I came to the parish then.
I swallowed my pride in coming,
For, ere the ruin came,
I held up my head as a trader,
And I bore a spotless name.

"I came to the parish, craving
Break for a starving wife,
Bread for the woman who'd loved me
Through fifty years of life;
And what do you think they told me,
Mocking my awful grief?
That 'the House' was open to us,
But they wouldn't give 'out relief.'

"I slunk to the filthy alley —
'Twas a cold, raw Christmas eve —
And the bakers' shops were open,
Tempting a man to thieve;
But I clenched my fists together,
Holding my head awry,
So I came to her empty-handed
And mournfully told her why.

"Then I told her 'the House' was open;
She had heard of the ways of that,
For her bloodless cheeks went crimson,
And up in her rags she sat,
Crying, 'Bide the Christmas here, John,
We've never had one apart;
I think I can bear the hunger, —
The other would break my heart.'

"All through that eve I watched her,
Holding her hand in mine,
Praying the Lord, and weeping,
Till my lips were salt as brine.
I asked her once if she hungered,
And as she answered 'No,'
The moon shone in at the window
Set in a wreath of snow.

"Then the room was bathed in glory,
And I saw in my darling's eyes
The far-away look of wonder
That comes when the spirit flies;
And her lips were parched and parted,
And her reason came and went,
For she raved of our home in Devon,
Where our happiest years were spent.

"And the accents long forgotten,
Came back to the tongue once more,
For she talked like the country lassie
I woo'd by the Devon shore.
Then she rose to her feet and trembled,
And fell on the rags and moaned,
And, 'Give me a crust — I'm famished —
For the love of God!' she groaned.

"I rushed from the room like a madman,
And flew to the workhouse gate,
Crying, 'Food for a dying woman!'
And the answer came, 'Too late.'
They drove me away with curses;
Then I fought with a dog in the street,
And tore from the mongrel's clutches
A crust he was trying to eat.

"Back, through the filthy by-lanes!
Back, through the trampled slush!
Up to the crazy garret,
Wrapped in an awful hush.
My heart sank down at the threshold,
And I paused with a sudden thrill,
For there in the silv'ry moonlight
My Nance lay, cold and still.

"Up to the blackened ceiling
The sunken eyes were cast —
I knew on those lips all bloodless
My name had been the last;
She'd called for her absent husband —
O God! had I but known! —
Had called in vain, and in anguish
Had died in that den — alone.

"Yes, there, in a land of plenty,
Lay a loving woman dead,
Cruelly starved and murdered
For a loaf of the parish bread.
At yonder gate, last Christmas,
I craved for a human life.
You, who would feast us paupers,
What of my murdered wife!

. . . . . . . .

"There, get ye gone to your dinners;
Don't mind me in the least;
Think of the happy paupers
Eating your Christmas feast;
And when you recount their blessings
In your smug parochial way,
Say what you did for me, too,
Only last Christmas Day."

I rather like the last verse. It still resonates.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Christmas in the Workhouse
From: Bob Hitchcock
Date: 01 Aug 10 - 05:30 PM

One version I heard was:-

It was Christmas Day in the workhouse,
The happiest day of the year,
Their cheeks were red and rosy,
Their bellies full of beer,
Then up stepped little Charlie,
His face as bold as brass,
Saying "We don't want your Christmas Duff, so shove it up your arse".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Christmas in the Workhouse
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 09:41 PM

My dad's version:

Twas Christmas Day in the workhouse
And behind those grim grey walls
The warder was taking the roll call
When somebody shouted out "Balls!"
"I'll give you balls, you bugger,
You mean ungrateful sod
You'll get no Christmas pudding
And you'll spend the day in quad!"
Up spoke the brave old pauper
His voice as bold as brass -
"Don't want no christmas pudding
You can shove it up your arse!"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Christmas in the Workhouse
From: GUEST,Thylacine
Date: 03 Mar 11 - 09:12 AM

It was Christmas day in the cookhouse,
The happiest day of the year.
Men's hearts were full of gladness
And theirs bellies full of beer,
When up stood Private Walters
His face as bold as brass
Saying, "D'you know what y'can do with ya Christmas puddin."
Y'can stick it up y'...
Tidings of comfort and joy,
comfort and joy,
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy.

It was Christmas in the harem,
All the eunuchs were standing round
With hundreds of beautiful women
Stretched out on the ground.
When in strode the big bold Sultan
And gazed round his marble halls
Saying "what would you like for Christmas boys?"
Andthe eunuchs answered
Tidings of comfort and joy,
comfort and joy,
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Christmas in the Workhouse
From: GUEST,chris lowe
Date: 05 Nov 11 - 06:57 AM

re worhouse with eunochs - It should read "It was Christmas Day in the harem ...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Christmas in the Workhouse
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 05 Nov 11 - 08:11 AM

I think George Sims' Victorian poem, as repro'd above by Charley Noble 31 Jul 10 5.38, a most moving work. I consider it a great shame that it has been so widely parodied and disgracefully travestied. I know all about the tradition of parody and humour & all that; but there are limits. Those posting early on this thread & knowing only those ~ one thing. But how anyone can go on posting these unfunny parodies of an accomplished [tho now admittedly perhaps a bit dated] work about such intolerable misfortune & grief is entirely beyond my comprehension. FOR SHAME!

So I'm a po-faced, killjoy, humourless prig ···

I'll live with it.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Christmas in the Workhouse
From: Charley Noble
Date: 05 Nov 11 - 11:11 AM

Michael-

I do "shameful" parodies as well but I agree that reading the original adds a lot to one's perspective.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Christmas in the Workhouse
From: GUEST,Chopolowski
Date: 14 Dec 12 - 01:33 AM

My father used to quote what I see now is a rather abridged version:

'Twas Christmas in the Workhouse,
The snow was falling fast.
We don't want your Christmas pud,
You can shove it up your fundamental orifice.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Christmas in the Workhouse
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 14 Dec 12 - 04:47 PM

There is a book called 'Prepare To Shed Them Now' which contains all George R Sims' dramatic monologues. There are some which I can hardly bear to read. One concerns a man who tries to drown his dog as he can't afford the new Dog Licence. But the dog survives, and later saves his master who falls into the canal. Another is about a starving, homeless boy and his sister, who promises he will see angels when he dies. He wakes up in a hospital bed and thinks the nurses are the heavenly host. I expect more sophisticated folk will laugh at these things, but I find them almost unbearably moving. I also like Victorian art which depicts sad scenes that tell a story. I'm a sucker for pathos!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Christmas in the Workhouse
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 14 Dec 12 - 04:52 PM

Forgot to add, it's edited by Arthur Calder-Marshall.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Christmas in the Workhouse
From: Tradsinger
Date: 14 Dec 12 - 06:42 PM

It was Christmas Day in the harem
And a shout rang through the halls
"What do you want for Christmas?"
And the eunuchs ........


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Christmas in the Workhouse
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 15 Dec 12 - 11:40 AM

Right, Eliza. "Sophistication" can be a very two-edged attribute. A bit of empathy can lick it into a cocked hat any time, for my money.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Christmas in the Workhouse
From: GUEST,didymus34
Date: 26 Dec 13 - 07:27 PM

It was Christmas in the Poorhouse
The day of all the year
The paupers hearts were merry
For their guts were full of beer

(Master enters with Happy Christmas to you all -
paupers make rude response)

Then up spoke one bold pauper
With a heart as bold as brass
You can take this Christmas dinner
And (rhymes with ... throw it on the grass)


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