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Marriott Edgar

(1880 - 1951 / Kirkcudbright / Scotland)

Albert and the Lion


There's a famous seaside place called Blackpool,
That's noted for fresh air and fun,
And Mr and Mrs Ramsbottom
Went there with young Albert, their son.

A grand little lad was young Albert,
All dressed in his best; quite a swell
With a stick with an 'orse's 'ead 'andle,
The finest that Woolworth's could sell.

They didn't think much of the Ocean:
The waves, they were fiddlin' and small,
There was no wrecks and nobody drownded,
Fact, nothing to laugh at at all.

So, seeking for further amusement,
They paid and went into the Zoo,
Where they'd Lions and Tigers and Camels,
And old ale and sandwiches too.

There were one great big Lion called Wallace;
His nose were all covered with scars -
He lay in a somnolent posture,
With the side of his face on the bars.

Now Albert had heard about Lions,
How they was ferocious and wild -
To see Wallace lying so peaceful,
Well, it didn't seem right to the child.

So straightway the brave little feller,
Not showing a morsel of fear,
Took his stick with its 'orse's 'ead 'andle
And pushed it in Wallace's ear.

You could see that the Lion didn't like it,
For giving a kind of a roll,
He pulled Albert inside the cage with 'im,
And swallowed the little lad 'ole.

Then Pa, who had seen the occurrence,
And didn't know what to do next,
Said 'Mother! Yon Lion's 'et Albert',
And Mother said 'Well, I am vexed!'

Then Mr and Mrs Ramsbottom -
Quite rightly, when all's said and done -
Complained to the Animal Keeper,
That the Lion had eaten their son.

The keeper was quite nice about it;
He said 'What a nasty mishap.
Are you sure that it's your boy he's eaten?'
Pa said "Am I sure? There's his cap!'

The manager had to be sent for.
He came and he said 'What's to do?'
Pa said 'Yon Lion's 'et Albert,
'And 'im in his Sunday clothes, too.'

Then Mother said, 'Right's right, young feller;
I think it's a shame and a sin,
For a lion to go and eat Albert,
And after we've paid to come in.'

The manager wanted no trouble,
He took out his purse right away,
Saying 'How much to settle the matter?'
And Pa said "What do you usually pay?'

But Mother had turned a bit awkward
When she thought where her Albert had gone.
She said 'No! someone's got to be summonsed' -
So that was decided upon.

Then off they went to the P'lice Station,
In front of the Magistrate chap;
They told 'im what happened to Albert,
And proved it by showing his cap.

The Magistrate gave his opinion
That no one was really to blame
And he said that he hoped the Ramsbottoms
Would have further sons to their name.

At that Mother got proper blazing,
'And thank you, sir, kindly,' said she.
'What waste all our lives raising children
To feed ruddy Lions? Not me!'

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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Read poems about / on: mother, son, animal, fun, ocean, children, child, fear, tiger, thanks, hope

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Comments about this poem (Albert and the Lion by Marriott Edgar )

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  • Rookie Sharon Goodsall (3/10/2013 10:43:00 AM)

    Oh how I love this poem, my dad (Pop) used to recite it to us when we were kids. He bought it live to us (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Tom Crocker (11/19/2009 5:46:00 PM)

    Hi Simon, the lines you're referring to come from a seperate Marriott edgar poem: 'Alberts Return' also available on Poemhunter! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie John Vale (11/30/2007 6:05:00 PM)

    Here's the rest, as requested:

    You've 'eard 'ow young Albert Ramsbottom,
    In the Zoo up at Blackpool one year
    With a stick with an 'orse's 'ead 'andle
    Gave a lion a poke in the ear?

    The name of the lion was Wallace,
    The poke in the ear made 'im wild;
    And before you could say 'Bob's your Uncle, '
    'E'd up and 'e'd swallowed the child.

    'E were sorry the moment 'e'd done it;
    With children 'e'd always been chums,
    And besides, 'e'd no teeth in his noddle,
    And 'e couldn't chew Albert on t'gums.

    'E could feel the lad movin' inside 'im,
    As 'e lay on 'is bed of dried ferns,
    And it might 'ave been little lad's birthday-
    'E wished 'im such 'appy returns.

    But Albert kept kicking and fighting,
    Till Wallace arose, feeling bad.
    And felt it were time that 'e started
    To stage a comeback for the lad.

    So with 'is 'ead down in a corner,
    On 'is front paws 'e started to walk,
    And 'e coughed and 'e sneezed and 'e gargled,
    'Till Albert shot out like a cork.

    Old Wallace felt better direc'ly,
    And 'is figure once more became lean,
    But the only difference with Albert
    Was 'is face and 'is 'ands were quite clean.

    Meanwhile Mister and Missus Ramsbottom
    'Ad gone home to tea, feelin' blue;
    Ma says 'I feel down in the mouth like.'
    Pa says, 'Aye, I bet Albert does, too.'

    Said Ma 'It just goes for to show yer
    That the future is never revealed;
    If I'd thought we was goin' to lose 'im
    I'd 'ave not 'ad 'is boots soled and 'eeled

    'Let's look on the bright side, ' said Father;
    'What can't be 'elped must be endured;
    Every cloud 'as a silvery lining,
    And we did 'ave young Albert insured.'

    A knock on the door came that moment,
    As Father these kind words did speak.
    'Twas the man from t'Prudential - 'e'd called for
    Their tuppence per person per week.

    When Father saw 'oo 'ad been knockin',
    'E laughed, and 'e kept laughin' so
    That the young man said ''What's there to laugh at? '
    Pa said 'You'll laugh an' all when you know.'

    'Excuse 'im for laughing, ' said Mother,
    'But really, things 'appen so strange -
    Our Albert's been ate by a lion;
    You've got to pay us for a change.'

    Said the young feller from the Prudential,
    'Now, come, come, let's understand this-
    You don't mean to say that you've lost 'im? '
    Ma says 'Oh, no! we know where 'e is.'

    When the young man 'ad 'eard all the details,
    A purse from 'is pocket he drew,
    And 'e paid them, with int'rest and bonus,
    The sum of nine pounds, four and two.

    Pa 'ad scarce got 'is 'and on the money
    When a face at the window they see,
    And Mother says 'Eeh! look, it's Albert.'
    And Father says 'Aye, it would be.'

    Young Albert came in all excited,
    And started 'is story to give,
    And Pa says 'I'll never trust lions
    Again, not as long as I live.'

    The young man from the Prudential
    To pick up the money began,
    And Father says 'Eeh! just a moment,
    Don't be in a 'urry, young man.'

    Then giving young Albert a shilling,
    He said 'Pop off back to the Zoo.
    ''Ere's yer stick with the 'orse's 'ead 'andle-
    Go and see wot the Tigers can do! ' (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Simon Day (10/16/2007 2:10:00 PM)

    top stuff, but not the full version. was there something about Albert returning from the lion and the poem ending ' see what the tigers can do' Anybody out there any ideas? (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Irene Watts (2/27/2007 4:21:00 PM)

    brilliant! ! brought back my childhood(mailed it to my grandchildren) THANKS! ! !
    for keeping the past alive! ! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Donald Avery (3/27/2006 3:22:00 PM)

    Great to discover the lyrics to a poem recited to me many times by my grandfather in my youth. Related the story to a friend (both of us American blokes) who does theater and we spontaneously recited the entire poem with Blackpool accent to our wonderment. Turns out he used this piece to recite when asked to do a monologue for theater tryouts. I now want to pass it on to my grandchildren.

    cheers (Report) Reply

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