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The Bab Ballads


W.S. Gilbert

[Edited for the web by Bob Blair, 1998]


Captain Reece
Of all the ships upon the blue,
No ship contained a better crew
The Rival Curates
List while the poet trolls
Of Mr. Clayton Hooper,
Only A Dancing Girl
Only a dancing girl,
With an unromantic style,
General John
The bravest names for fire and flames
And all that mortal durst,
To A Little Maid - By A Policeman
Come with me, little maid,
Nay, shrink not, thus afraid --
John And Freddy
John courted lovely Mary Ann,
So likewise did his brother, Freddy.
Sir Guy The Crusader
Sir Guy was a doughty crusader,
A muscular knight,
Haunted? Ay, in a social way
By a body of ghosts in dread array;
The Bishop And The `Busman
It was a Bishop bold,
And London was his see,
The Troubadour
A Troubadour he played
Without a castle wall,
Ferdinando And Elvira; Or, The Gentle Pieman
At a pleasant evening party I had taken down to supper
One whom I will call Elvira, and we talked of love and Tupper,
Lorenzo De Lardy
Dalilah de Dardy adored
The very correctest of cards,
Oh, that my soul its gods could see
As years ago they seemed to me
Babette's Love
Babette she was a fisher gal,
With jupon striped and cap in crimps.
To My Bride
Oh! little maid! -- (I do not know your name
Or who you are, so, as a safe precaution
The Folly Of Brown - By A General Agent
I knew a boor -- a clownish card
(His only friends were pigs and cows and
Sir Macklin
Of all the youths I ever saw
None were so wicked, vain, or silly,
The Yarn Of The "Nancy Bell"
'Twas on the shores that round our coast
From Deal to Ramsgate span,
The Bishop Of Rum-Ti-Foo
From east and south the holy clan
Of Bishops gathered to a man;
The Precocious Baby. A Very True Tale
An elderly person -- a prophet by trade --
With his quips and tips
To Phoebe
"Gentle, modest little flower,
Sweet epitome of May,
Baines Carew, Gentleman
Of all the good attorneys who
Have placed their names upon the roll,
Thomas Winterbottom Hance
In all the towns and cities fair
On Merry England's broad expanse,
The Reverend Micah Sowls
The Reverend ,
He shouts and yells and howls,
A Discontented Sugar Broker
A Gentleman of City fame
Now claims your kind attention;
The Pantomime "Super" To His Mask
Vast empty shell!
Impertinent, preposterous abortion!
The Force Of Argument
Lord B. was a nobleman bold
Who came of illustrious stocks,
The Ghost, The Gallant, The Gael, And The Goblin
O'er unreclaimed suburban clays
Some years ago were hobblin'
The Phantom Curate. A Fable
A Bishop once -- I will not name his see --
Annoyed his clergy in the mode conventional;
The Sensation Captain
No nobler captain ever trod
Than Captain Parklebury Todd,
Tempora Mutantur
Letters, letters, letters, letters!
Some that please and some that bore,
At A Pantomime.
An Actor sits in doubtful gloom,
His stock-in-trade unfurled,
King Borria Bungalee Boo
King Borria Bungalee Boo
Was a man-eating African swell;
The Periwinkle Girl
I've often thought that headstrong youths
Of decent education,
Thomson Green And Harriet Hale
Oh list to this incredible tale
Of Thomson Green and Harriet Hale;
Bob Polter
Bob Polter was a navvy, and
His hands were coarse, and dirty too,
The Story Of Prince Agib
Strike the concertina's melancholy string!
Blow the spirit-stirring harp like anything!
Ellen M'Jones Aberdeen
MacPhairson Clonglocketty Angus McClan
Was the son of an elderly labouring man;
Peter The Wag
Policeman Peter forth I drag
From his obscure retreat:
Ben Allah Achmet
I once did know a Turkish man
Whom I upon a two-pair-back met,
Joe Golightly
A tar, but poorly prized,
Long, shambling, and unsightly,
To The Terrestrial Globe.
Roll on, thou ball, roll on!
Through pathless realms of Space
Gentle Alice Brown
It was a robber's daughter, and her name was Alice Brown,
Her father was the terror of a small Italian town;

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