American Old Time Song Lyrics: 31 The City Waif
Theater, Music-Hall, Nostalgic, Irish & Historic Old Songs, Volume 31
THE CITY WAIF.
Sung by Miss Jennie Mill.
Alone, In the streets of London, my papers! I sell each day,
And notice each sight around me, though only a "waif and stray."
I ain't 'ad much eddication. it's wasted on such as me,
Except what the Ragged School gave me, or else the reformat'ry.
"Ere you are, sir! the Star, sir? a tanner! ain't got any change bank's struck-
What, keep it all? thankee kindly! I'll spit on it, jest for luck!
Eh, what cabby? mind yer horse? yus my eye but tins 'ere's all gay.
Oh! bother the Star And Ekker, 'ere's a tanner and no outlay!"
I'd never so mother nor father
To love me, like some I see,
And what does this big, cold world care
For a poor little chap like me.
Out of my bed in a doorway,
Bobbies all hunt me down,
And no home have I beneath the sky
But the streets of London town.
When country chaps sneak our "pitches," it ain't at all what we like,
And, you bet, us true-born cockneys soon give em a good "chii-ike."
Well, Johnson he was a bumkin, be opened cab-doors And sich.
And his 'ands was as a lady's, or fellers what's grand and rich.
Well, the chaps, they all sneered and chaffed him, says they he's a toff he is.
Till he cried, "if you're men, you'll hear me, and learn how I came to this!"
Then he told how he'd tramped to London, along with his poor, sick wife,
la search of some work to keep 'em, but it cost him his darling's life.
he told how she sank by the wayside,
One sigh! and her soul was gone,
But up in his arms he took her,
And carried her on and on,
Then, as he sobbed while he told us
How he came down, down, down,
All our eyes were dim with tears for him,
In the streets of London town.
Sal Brown she ain't rich nor and some, And cresses each day she cries,
And Lor'! she's an artist, she is, at dotting her old man's eyes;
And some say she ain't no better, ain't Sal, than she ought to be,
P'raps she ain't, p'raps she is, I don't care, though, she's been very good to me;
One night, in the depth of winter, my sister she lay jest hen,
Poor kid! she's a cripple, she is, And she was so faint and queer,
She lay in the snow quite 'elpless, and, oh! how my poor heart bled.
For I knew that my little sister was a-dying for want of bread.
Then up comes Sal Brown at that moment,
And rough as she is, says she,
"Take this money, here! run for food, boy,"
Then she took Kitty on her knee;
She saved the life of my sister,
And though people run her down.
She played an angel's part that night
In the streets of Loudon town.
One night, it was on midnight, I was minding a cabby's 'orse.
Outside of a big swell "caffy," in a street off of Charing Cross,
When a shaboyish sort or a feller, he comes up and says to me,
Describing a man and woman. "have yer seen sich a pair," says he.
Jest then a gent comes from the "caffy" with a lady all jools and lace.
And the shabby cove turns in a moment, and meets the pair face to face,
My father! my child! you villain! the shabby chap 'orsely cries,
"I've found you my child's betrayer," then straight at his throat he flies.
he snatched up the old cabby's 'orsewhip.
And the swell he turned white And blue,
As the shabby chap laid the lash on,
He 'owled as a kid might do;
he ruined a poor man's daughter,
Trampled her good name down.
And we said he deserved all he got
That night in the streets of London town.