American Old Time Song Lyrics: 35 The Broadway Swell And The Bowery Bum

Theater, Music-Hall, Nostalgic, Irish & Historic Old Songs, Volume 35

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Copyright, 1893, by Frank Harding.
Arranged by Noble McDonald.

BUM.-Oh, mister, will you please give me a nick-I want to eat.
Swell.-Oh, no, sir, by your looks and dress I think you are a beat.
BUM.- You are mistaken, my dear sir, I'm only broken down.
Swell.-While I'm in luck I'm never stuck; I've always got a crown.
Swell.-For I'm a Broadway swell.
BUM.-And I'm a Bowery bum;
I give up the booze;
On my feet I've no shoes.
And it's all on account of rum.
Swell.-But I always do the grand, with my nobby cane in hand;
Yes, I am the pet of the ladies, you bet, And by them I will stand.

Swell-Well, my good man, where did you come from? where were you
born? and what's your name?
BUM.-Where did I come from, where was I born, and what's my name! I'm
from New York; was born on Fifth Avenue; my name is Paul Etler.
Swell. - Paul Etler! why I know you well-at least, I knew you when I was
a little boy. My mine is Louis Markham.
BUM.-I knew you well; why didn't you notice me before?
Swell.-Because you wear a ragged jacket.
BUM.-Did you ever hear what Bobby Burns, the great Scotch poet, said
about the ragged jacket?
Swell.-No; what did he say? Let me hear.


Recitation by Bum.
Although I'm but a workingman, I live by honest labor;
I always do the best I can to assist a needy neighbor:
Content, in health, is all my wealth, with honesty to back it;
My motive's pure, although I'm poor, I respect a ragged jacket.

Let people say what ere they may, of broadcloth and who wears it,
It's not the coat that makes the man, but the deeds through life that bears it;
So always help a fellow man, if assistance, he should lack it;
Do him all the good you can, though he wears a ragged jacket.

All men were equally born at first, through this and every nation,
The rich among the poor would be, but for wealth and education;
And, when we're laid beneath the sod, with a hundred years to back it,
Who can tell which were the bones that wore the ragged jacket.

Swell-Well, here, my friend, may this cheer your lonely heart (gives
money), and may it never be said that a friend in good circumstances ever
went back on a friend in hard luck.

Bum.-Oh, thank you, sir; I'm much obliged; to-night my rent I'll pay.
Swell.-I think you're honest after all; we'll meet again some day.
Bum.-And should you die before that time, I'll offer you my love.
Swell.-A ragged jacket is permitted yonder up above.

Chorus (Bum and Swell sing together).
For he's a Broadway swell, and he's a Bowery bum;
He'll give up the booze; on his feet he's no shoes, and it's all on account of rum,
But he always does the grand, with his nobby cane in hand:
as, he is the pet of the ladies, you bet, And by them he will stand.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III