American Old Time Song Lyrics: 19 Dorkins Night

Theater, Music-Hall, Nostalgic, Irish & Historic Old Songs, Volume 19

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Copyright, 1877. by John F. Perry & Co,

The theatre was full; it was Dorkins' night,
That is, Dorkins was going to appear
At night, in a favorite comedy part,
For he was comedian here.
Funny? why, he'd make you laugh 'till the tears
Ran down your face like rain,
And every time he came on the stage,
You'd try to stop laughing in vain.
A family? yes, he'd a family,
And he loved them as dear as his life.
And you'd scarcely find a happier lot
Than Dorkins' children and wife-
And you'd scarcely find a happier lot
Than Dorkins' children and wife.

There came one night, and I was in front,
And Dorkins was going to play
A character new to himself and the stage
Which he'd trod for many a day.
By eight the theatre was perfectly jammed;
All awaited a pleasant surprise.
For they knew they'd laugh 'till their sides would ache.
And they longed for the curtain to rise.
The play soon began; each neck was stretched forth,
And eagerly watched each eye
For Dorkins to make his first entrance, and then
To give him a cheerful hi! hi!-
For Dorkins to make his first entrance, and then
To give him a cheerful hi! hi!

At last he appeared amid loud applause.
But something was wrong you could see.
Why, Dorkins is playing quite badly to-night,
The people said sitting 'round me.
A hiss-yes, it was-I saw Dorkins start
As if stung by a serpent's fang,
And he'd cast a beseeching look all 'round,
While his head on his breast he would hang.
He's drunk! someone said, and I thought so myself,
For to me it was awful at times
To see how he'd struggle along with his part,
And continually stick in his lines.

The footlights at last he approached very slow.
And, "Ladies and gentlemen," said,
"If I cannot please you to-night,
The fault's not the heart but the head;
There's many a night I've made you all laugh
When so ill I could scarcely well stand;
And every effort was pain to me then,
Yes, if even I'd raise but my band;
You hissed me topflight, and stud that I'm drunk­(From his heart came a sob and a moan)
I'll tell you the reason-I know you' won't laugh­I've a little one dying at home­I'll tell you the reason-I know you won't laugh­I've a little one dying at home."
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III