American Old Time Song Lyrics: 30 The Omniscient Ostrich

Theater, Music-Hall, Nostalgic, Irish & Historic Old Songs, Volume 30

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THE OMNISCIENT OSTRICH
Copyright, 1890, by T. B. Harms & Co.
Words by J. Cheever Goodwin. Music by Woolson Morse.

In an African desert once there dwelt
An ostrich wondrous wise,
Who carried his head so proudly high
It almost touched the skies.
He had lived so long and had seen so much,
He was vain as vain could be;
And this wonderful bird was frequently heard
To remark complacently:
"If you seek for information, or desire an explanation,
I'm a brimming fount of wisdom that responds to every call,
For assorted, gilt-edge knowledge, I can discount any college;
I'm a simple little ostrich, but I know it all."

Chorus.
Ha, ha, ha! how very silly; we must laugh tho' willy-nilly.
We must laugh tho' willy-nilly, we must laugh tho' willy-nilly.
If you seek for information, or require an explanation,
I'm a brimming fount of wisdom that responds to every call,
For assorted, gilt-edged knowledge, I can discount any college;
I'm a simple little ostrich, but I know it all.

Now this Imbecile fowl was frequently warned
Of hunters to beware,
But he turned up his nose at all advice
With a supercilious air.
Said he: "No bird with a brain like mine
From hunters needs to flee;
You seem to forget there never was yet
A bird as wise as me.
There is nothing you can teach me, bows and arrows cannot reach me;
They may lay their snares with cunning, but I'll never into them fall.
All in vain they seek to harm me, there is nothing can alarm me;
I'm a simple little ostrich, but I know it all." -Chorus.

Now this ostrich had an occasion soon
His wisdom to display,
For a couple of hunters gave him chase
In a highly hostile way.
"Observe, my friends" he merrily cried,
"How I'll fool these sons of Adam;
For I'll hide my head in the sand," he said,
"And they won't know where I am.
It's an easy operation to elude their observation;
in emergencies like this one on your brain, not legs, you call.
And. in spite of their endeavor, I will prove them far from clever;
I'm a simple little ostrich, but I know it all." -Chorus.

There was something wrong with his well-laid plan,
I must regret to say;
For they snaked him out of his hiding place
Without the least delay.
They plucked his long-tailed feathers out.
Till he was a sight to see;
And they clipped his wings with shears and things,
Though it hurt confoundedly;
Then they shipped him o'er the ocean, and to-day, if you've the notion
At a second-rate museum in this neighborhood to call,
You will see a sight pathetic, for with mien apologetic,
Stands the simple little ostrich, stuffed, who knew it all.-Chorus.

There's a moral tied to this ostrich's tale
That must he plain to all:
That a pride with too much enbonpoint

Precedes an awkward fall.
Tho' a Solomon's wisdom you possess,
Don't good advice deride;
For a head that grows abnormally large
Is a difficult one to hide.
So, unless you crave a stumble, you'll do wisely to be humble.
And the melancholy ending of the ostrich to recall;
For the man of highest wisdom of his merits always is dumb.
And the men who know but little always know it all.-Chorus.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III