American Old Time Song Lyrics: 61 A Farmer Never Can An Actor Be

Theater, Music-Hall, Nostalgic, Irish & Historic Old Songs, Volume 61

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A Farmer Never Can an Actor Be.
Copyright, 1897, by Smith Piano Co.
Words by Fred Cohn. Music by John A. Thomas.

John Reuben from the country thought he'd to the city go,
"I'm tired of the farm," said he, "I'm going to join a show,
A real live actor I will be, my fame It shall resound."
"Oh, what a fool." the neighbors said, "no bigger can be found."
So to an actor's boarding-house in the city Reuben went.
The show-folks guyed him all day long, he didn't mind a cent.
"I'm looking for a good soubrette with me to do a turn,"
They introduced him "Polly Jones," and from her he did learn:


"First, you stand up on your head like this,
 To the audience wave a little kiss,

Waltz upon your ear, 'way back to the rear.

Turn a summersault, but don't you miss.

Then you do the hoochi kutchi dance,

Make a bow or two at every chance.

Tell a funny gag, and dance the buck and rag,

That will be an act of which we can brag."

Then she told him she would like to dine,

Reuben says, "let's have a bottle of wine;"

Then she blew him and made him spend his tin,

'Till for the farm that jay did pine;

On the train, next day, Reuben did flee,

"The old farm right quick I'm going to see.

Home is good enough, but you bet she was hot stuff,"

A farmer never can an actor be.

A short time after he got home, there came the county fair,
And ev'ry farmer that could go, soon hurried to get there,
Now Reuben he was one of them, he brought the folks down, too.
And told them to enjoy themselves, while he'd the live stock view.
The gambling tent attracted him, he watched the wheel go 'round,
"That business Is an easy one, no better can be found."
"A gambler I would like to be, for that my heart does yearn;"
So he went up, spoke to the boss, and from him he did learn:

"First, you get a sucker on the string,
And to your room you him will bring,
And then when you play, things will come his way,
For a little while you let him win,
Then when you think he has won enough.
Just you start to make a good big bluff,
That's the way to win, to get all his tin,
For he'll weaken, and you get the stuff;
Now I'll show you how the trick Is done,
We'll start a little game, but just for fun."
Said Reuben, "don't you fret, I'll make a little bet,
If for my money I can get a run."
Soon the jay he held of aces three,
"I'll bet you all I've got if you'll agree;"
Then the gambler show'd a flush, & poor Reuben made a rush-
A farmer never can a gambler be.

Now, Reuben got disgusted, "I'll settle and stay here.
They can't do me when I'm at home, there ain't no con. men near,"
A farmer I will live and die, for that is good enough,
I'll raise my cows, and sell my wheat, though country life is tough."
Election time was coming near, excitement reigned supreme,
For Congress they put Reuben up, he felt as in a dream.
"Now there's the thing that I've longed for, I know not how to turn;
And then he met Senator Smith, and from him he did learn:

"First, you've got the crowd to organize,
in the papers you must advertise.
Then you hire a hall, give the crowd a ball,
Make them think on you there are no flies;
Spend your money free at ev'ry place.
For the gang the growler always chase.
Be up day and night, always keep in sight;
Then you'll have a show to win the race."
So poor Reuben hustled through the town,
You bet your life he done things good and brown;
His money it did flow, it was a holy show;
Why, even his watch he put in pawn.
Election day came, sunny, bright and free,
"This is the day on which I'll honored be."
That night. in a minute, Reuben found he wasn't in It;
A farmer can't a politician be.
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