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ClassicsOnline Home » LEHMANN: Daisy Chain (The) / Bird Songs / Four Cautionary Tales (English Song, Vol. 8)
Although the British composer Liza Lehmann had begun her career as a singer – she appeared in concerts and recitals, performing in oratorio and in various London concert series as well as overseas – damage to her vocal cords forced her to concentrate on composition, in which she had had an interest since early childhood, and on accompaniment. This collection from her extensive song output includes poems from Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses, once familiar in every nursery, her delightful mock-serious settings of Hilaire Belloc’s Cautionary Tales and two Nonsense Songs from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Although the songs are short and light-hearted, they exhibit considerably more than just period charm. Liza Lehmann’s second son, Lesley, was the father of the conductor Steuart Bedford, who accompanies the songs here, as his grandmother once did, and of the composer David Bedford.
The Light Music Society
Liza Lehmann (1862-1918)
The Daisy Chain • Bird Songs • Four Cautionary Tales and a
Liza Lehmann was the eldest daughter of the painter Rudolf
Lehmann and his wife Amelia, daughter of the Edinburgh publisher and writer
Robert Chambers. Rudolf Lehmann, who later settled with his family in England,
was born in Hamburg and was himself the son of a German painter and his Italian
wife. Christened Elisabetha Nina Mary Frederica, Liza Lehmann was born in
London, to ensure British nationality if the child had been a boy, although the
Lehmanns were living at the time in Rome. Rudolf Lehmann was distinguished in
the artists’ colony there, his friends including Liszt, who always demanded
bacon and eggs when he visited the Lehmanns. On settling in London the family
continued to move in established social and artistic circles, with Rudolf
Lehmann enjoying a very considerable reputation as a portrait painter.
The four girls were educated at home by a series of
governesses and Liza Lehmann was encouraged in particular in her obvious
musical interests by her mother, herself a gifted if diffident amateur musician
but her daughter’s honest critic and mentor. Liza Lehmann was able to benefit
as a singer from the help of Jenny Lind, whose classes she later attended. At the
same time she was able to reach a certain ability as a pianist through
sympathetic lessons with Alma Haas. She had lessons in singing with Alberto
Randegger and in composition with Raunkilde in Rome, followed by further study
of composition with Freudenberg in Wiesbaden and with Hamish MacCunn in London.
For some time she wintered with her mother in Italy, and with her family dined
on one occasion with Verdi, whose portrait her father was drawing. Other
notable musical personalities with whom she came into contact early in her life
included Clara Schumann, with whom she stayed for three weeks in Frankfurt,
studying Schumann’s songs. There she also met Brahms, by whose bluff and coarse
manners she was not impressed, particularly when he ate a whole tin of sardines
at breakfast and then drank the oil from the tin in one draught, as she
recounts in her colourful autobiography.
By this time Liza Lehmann had embarked on a career as a
singer, appearing in concerts and recitals, performing in oratorio and in various
London concert series. There was even an appearance at the Berlin Philharmonic,
in response to an invitation from Joseph Joachim. Meanwhile the family’s social
connections and her father’s work brought contact with leading painters,
including Lord Leighton, Millais and Alma-Tadema, and, among those who sat for
her father, Robert Browning. She enjoyed a successful and busy career as a
singer from her début in 1885 at the London Popular Concerts until her farewell
recital in 1894, before her marriage to the composer, artist and writer Herbert
Bedford, at the time earning a living in the City. Her sister Marianna married
Edward Heron-Allen, a man of wide interests, but known to musicians for his
book on violin-making. The third of the girls, Amelia, married the writer Barry
Pain, author of the Pooteresque Eliza stories, and Alma married Edward Goetz,
whose mother had some contemporary reputation as a composer.
Marriage for Liza Lehmann and the end of her career as a
singer, brought to a more definite conclusion by what seems to have been Bell’s
palsy, which had a permanent effect on her vocal cords, allowed her to return
to composition, in which she had had an interest since early childhood. She won
particular success with a series of song-cycles, of which In a Persian Garden,
written in 1896 and based on texts from Fitzgerald’s Omar Khayyam, proved
immensely popular. This followed the earlier The Daisy Chain of 1893, a set of
children’s poems, and there followed In memoriam in 1899, based on Tennyson,
and the Lewis Carroll and Hilaire Belloc nonsense and comic songs of 1908 and
1909. Her vocal music led to extended concert tours in which she served as
accompanist, including two very successful if exhausting tours of America. For
the stage she wrote a musical farce Sergeant Brue which won some success in
1904, and other stage works included a light opera The Vicar of Wakefield which
brought a quarrel with the librettist Lawrence Housman, who objected to cuts in
his extensive text and was actually evicted from the theatre at the first
performance. Her final attempt at opera was with Everyman, the morality play,
staged in London in 1915. In her later years she served as professor of singing
at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She was seriously affected by the
death in 1916 of the elder of her two sons, who contracted pneumonia during
military service. Her second son, Lesley, was the father of the conductor
Steuart Bedford, who accompanies the songs here, as his grandmother once did,
and of the composer David Bedford. She completed her memoirs, which give a
fascinating picture of the times in which she lived, late in 1918, shortly
before her death.
Of German parentage, born in London in 1786, Charles Edward
Horn was taught music by his father and by the famous castrato Rauzzini,
embarking on a career as a singer and composer. He is chiefly known as the
composer of Cherry Ripe, a song inserted into an opera in London in 1826 and
one that gave rise to accusations of plagiarism, finally settled in his favour
in court, because of alleged similarity to a song by Mozart’s English pupil
Attwood. Liza Lehmann’s arrangement of the song has remained among the most
popular of the 150 songs that she wrote.
The Daisy-Chain is a light-hearted cycle of songs, including
one with words by Alma-Tadema. The present songs from the collection start with
Fairies to which the setting of Stevenson’s Keepsake Mill offers a sterner,
masculine contrast. Alma-Tadema’s If no one ever marries me earned a parody
from a singer, a gentleman of some weight, as If no on ever carries me, a
suggestion that appealed to the composer’s sense of humour. Stars and The Swing
set texts from Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses, a collection of poems
once familiar in every nursery. Mustard and Cress is very much of its period,
aptly and unpretentiously set.
Bird Songs of 1906 were first performed by Blanche Marchesi,
settings of verses by A.S., conjecturally identified by Steuart Bedford as
Alice Sayers, the family nurse, who remained with the Bedfords after the
financial reverses experienced by Herbert Bedford through the Boer War. The
settings are admirably suited to their purpose, with a nice use of illustrative
detail in the accompaniment.
Magdalen at St Michael’s Gate, a setting of a poem by Henry Kingsley,
the adventurous younger brother of Charles Kingsley, was among those songs that
Liza Lehmann described as her publisher’s step-children, selling less well than
songs in a lighter vein, but much valued by her. The song was written for
Nellie Melba, who often sang it in her recitals, and makes some technical
demand on a singer. The composer’s eclectic choice of texts fell on Constance
Morgan’s Evensong that inspired a poignant song. It is here followed by
Longfellow’s Endymion, a substantial setting which seems originally to have
been intended for voice and orchestra. The moving setting of Shelley’s Music
when soft voices die is here followed by the very different To a little red
spider. Dusk in the Valley turns to George Meredith for its inspiration,
written in the last period of her life, while The Lily of a Day, a setting of a
poem by Ben Jonson, is a lament for the death of her son to whose memory it is
dedicated. Her version of Christina Rossetti’s When I am dead, my dearest was
written shortly before her death in 1918.
Liza Lehmann’s delightful mock-serious settings of a group
of Hilaire Belloc’s Cautionary Tales, with the dramatic fate of four of the
unfortunate subjects contrasted with the suaver moral of the odiously
successful Charles Augustus Fortescue, proved immensely popular. These were
first sung by Clara Butt and Kennerley Rumford at an Albert Hall concert. My
true friend hath my hat, a parody of Sir Philip Sidney’s My true friend hath my
heart and I have his by A. Stodart-Walker was included in a collection Parody
Pie, from which a version of Tosti’s popular Farewell had to be omitted, at the
demand of the latter’s publishers. Further evidence of the composer’s sense of
humour, of which her autobiography provides ample evidence, is heard in two of
her group of Nonsense Songs from Lewis Carroll.
Poem by Herrick; Music by C.E Horn
Arranged by Liza Lehmann
(from Useful Teaching Songs)
Cherry ripe, cherry ripe, ripe I cry!
Full and fair ones, come and buy!
If so be you ask me where
They do grow, I answer, there
Where my lover’s lips do smile,
There’s the land, or cherry isle.
There’s the land, or cherry isle,
There plantations fully show
All the year where cherries grow.
Full and fair ones, come and buy!
 –  From The Daisy Chain
Anon. from ‘Poems written for a Child’
At twilight in beautiful Summers,
When all the dew is shed,
And all the singers and hummers
Are safe at home in bed,
In many a nook of the meadows
Fairies may linger and lurk;
Look! under the long grass shadows,
Perhaps you may see them at work.
Perhaps you’ll see them swinging
On see-saw reeds in the dells;
Perhaps you’ll hear them ringing
The sweet little heather-bells;
Or setting the lilies steady,
Before they begin to grow;
Or getting the rosebuds ready,
Before it is time to blow.
Poem by Robert Louis Stevenson from
‘A Child’s Garden of Verses’
Here is the mill with the humming of thunder,
Here is the weir with the wonder of foam,
Here is the sluice with the race running under.
Marvellous places, though handy to home!
Sounds of the village grow stiller and stiller,
Stiller the note of the birds on the hill;
Dusty and dim are the eyes of the miller,
Deaf are his cars to the moil of the mill.
Years may go by, and the wheel in the river
Wheel as it wheels for us, children, today,
Wheel and keep roaring and foaming for ever,
Long after all of the boys are away.
Home from the Indies and home from the Ocean,
Heroes and soldiers, we all shall come home;
Still we shall hear the old mill-wheel in motion,
Turning and churning that river to foam.
no one ever marries me
Poem by Laurence Alma Tadema from
‘Little Girls’ (Realms of Unknown Kings)
If no one ever marries me,
And I don’t see why they should,
For nurse says I’m not pretty,
And I’m seldom very good,
If no one ever marries me
I shan’t mind very much;
I shall buy a squirrel in a cage,
And a little rabbit hutch.
I shall have a cottage near a wood,
And a pony all my own,
And a little lamb quite clean and tame,
That I can take to town;
And when I’m getting really old -
At twenty eight or nine -
I shall buy a little orphan girl
And bring her up as mine.
If no one ever marries me, -
And I don’t see why they should!
Poem by Robert Louis Stevenson
from ‘A Child’s Garden of Verses’
The lights from the parlour and kitchen shone out
Through the blinds, and the windows, and bars;
And high overhead, and all moving about,
There were thousands and millions of stars.
There ne’er were such thousands of leaves on a tree,
Nor of people in church, or the park,
As the crowds of the stars that looked down upon me,
And that glittered and winked in the dark.
The Dog, and the Plough, and the Hunter, and all,
And the star of the Sailor, and Mars,
These shone in the sky, and the pail by the wall
Would be half full of water and stars.
They saw me at last, and they chased me with cries,
And they soon had me packed into bed;
But the glory kept shining, and bright in my eyes,
And the stars going round in my head.
How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do?
Up in the air, and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
Rivers, and trees, and cattle, and all
Over the countryside.
Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown,
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air, and down!
Poem by Norman Gale from ‘Songs for
the Little People’
Elizabeth, my cousin, is the sweetest little girl,
From her eyes, like dark blue pansies, to her tiniest golden
I do not use her great long name, but simply call her
And yesterday I planted her in Mustard and in Cress.
My garden is so narrow that there’s very little room,
But I’d rather have her name than get a hollyhock to bloom;
And before she comes to visit us with Charlie and with Tess,
She’ll pop up green and bonny out of Mustard and of Cress.
 -  Bird Songs
Poems by A. S.
When the harvest all was gathered
In the sunny Autumn weather,
To the greenwood, blithe and merry,
We went nutting all together;
And as the woods we wander’d,
So dim and dark and green,
We heard a sweet voice calling
Though no one could be seen:
‘Two sticks across,
And a little bit of moss;
It’ll do, it’ll do, it’ll do,
Coo, coo, coo.’
The wild things of the woodlands
Scarce seemed of us afraid;
The blue jay flash’d before us,
And the squirrel near us played.
We ate our nuts and rested
On a fallen tree, moss grown,
And still a voice kept calling
In softest, tend’rest tone:
On her nest, with her young,
Sat the starling in the steeple,
While below the great bell swung
To the church to call the people.
‘Mother mother’, cried the starlings,
‘What is that? Oh mother, tell!’
‘Don’t be frightened, little darlings,
’Tis the great church bell,
Ringing out its solemn warning,
That the people far and near
All may know ‘tis Sunday morning,
And make haste to gather here.
While the organ’s sweetly playing
Little birds need have no fear!
While below the folk are praying,
You can sing your hymns up here!’
On a sultry Summer morning
Down the dusty road we stray’d,
And plucked the wayside flowers,
And ran and laughed and played!
There was not the slightest breeze,
And we wearied of our play,
And then we heard the yellowhammer say:
‘A little bit of bread and no cheese!’
Once again we roamed the woodland,
When the years had fleeted by,
And, poor as mice, we pledged
Our vows, my love and I.
We had kiss’d beneath the trees,
And then we heard again
The yellowhammer say, quite plain:
‘A little bit of bread and no cheese!’
A wren just under my window
Has suddenly, sweetly sung;
He woke me from my slumbers
With his sweet shrill tongue.
It was so very early,
The dewdrops were not dry,
And pearly cloudlets floated
Across the rosy sky.
His nest is in the ivy
Where his little wife sits all day,
And by her side he sings to her,
And never flies far away.
Three little owlets
In a hollow tree,
Cuddled up together
Close as could be.
When the moon shone out
And the dew lay wet,
Mother flew about
To see what she could get.
She caught a little mouse
So velvety and soft,
She caught a little sparrow,
And then she flew aloft
To the three little owlets
In a hollow tree
Cuddled up together
Close as could be.
‘Tu-whoo’, said the old owl,
‘Isn’t this good cheer?’
‘Tu-whit,’ said the owlets,
‘Thank you, mother dear,
Tu-whit, tu-whit, tu-whit, tu-whit
at Michael’s Gate
Poem by Henry Kingsley
Magdalen at Michael’s gate,
Tirled at the pin;
On Joseph’s thorn sang the blackbird,
‘Let her in! Let her in!’
‘Hast thou seen the wounds?’ said Michael,
‘Knowest thou thy sin?’
‘It is ev’ning,’ sang the blackbird,
‘Yes, I have seen the wounds,
And I know my sin.’
‘She knows it well,’ sang the blackbird
‘Let her in! Let her in!’
‘Thou bring’st no offerings,’ said Michael
‘Nought save sin.’
‘She is sorry,’ sang the blackbird,
‘Let her in! Ah, let her in!’
When he had sung himself to sleep,
And night did begin,
One came and open’d Michael’s gate,
And Magdalen went in.
Poem by Constance Morgan
Fold your white wings, dear Angels,
Fold your white wings;
Dew falls and nightingale softly now sings.
Across the lawn lie shadows,
So still, so deep,
Dear loving Angels, pass not by,
Hush me to sleep.
Night falls, and whisp’ring goes
The wind along the sea,
Fold them, dear Angels,
Fold them round me.
Poem by H. W. Longfellow
The rising moon has hid the stars,
Her level rays like golden bars
Lie on the landscape green
With shadows brown between,
And silver-white the river gleams,
As if Diana, in her dreams
Had dropp’d her silver bow
Upon the meadows low.
On such a tranquil night as this,
She woke Endymion with a kiss.
When sleeping in the grove,
He dreamed not of her love.
Like Dian’s kiss unask’d unsought,
Love gives itself, but is not bought,
Nor voice nor sound betrays
Its deep impassioned gaze.
It comes, the beautiful, the free;
The crown, of all humanity,
In silence, and alone,
To seek the elected one.
It lifts the boughs whose shadows deep
Are life’s oblivion, the soul’s sleep.
And kisses the closed eyes
Of him who slumbering lies.
Oh, weary hearts, oh, slumbering eyes,
Oh, drooping souls whose destinies
Are fraught with fear and pain,
Ye shall be loved again!
No one is so accursed by fate,
No one so utterly desolate
But some heart, though unknown,
Responds unto his own.
Responds as though with unseen wings
An angel touched the quiv’ring strings
And whispers in its song
Where hast thou stayed so long?
when soft voices die
Poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Music when soft voices die,
Vibrates in the memory,
Odours, when sweet violets sicken,
Live within the sense they quicken.
Rose leaves, when the rose is dead,
Are heaped for the belovèd’s bed;
And so thy thoughts, when thou art gone,
Love itself will slumber on.
a little red spider
Poem by L. Ann Cunnington
And what have ye come to bring,
Ye wee little scrap of a thing?
Sure ‘tis a long way down from the ceiling,
A long way down for to swing.
And you, an atom so small,
How found ye the way at all?
Sure, ’tis a long way down from the ceiling,
A long way down for to fall.
Small wizard, ye came to me,
Saying ‘Good hope for thee!
Sure, ’tis a long, long night has no morning,
With no fresh dawn for to see!’
And that’s what ye came to bring,
Ye wee little scrap of a thing!
Sure, all the long way down from the ceiling,
Such a long way down for to swing.
in the Valley
From ‘Love in the Valley’ by George Meredith
Lovely are the curves of the white owl sweeping
Wavy in the dusk lit by one large star.
Lone in the fir-branch, his rattle-note unvaried,
Brooding o’er the gloom, spins the brown eve jar.
Darker grows the valley, more and more
So were it with me if forgetting could be willed.
Lily of a Day
Poem by Ben Jonson
It is not growing like a tree in bulk,
Doth make man better be,
Nor standing like an oak
Three hundred year,
To fall at last a log,
Dry, bald and sere.
The lily of a day,
Were fairer far in May,
Although it droop and die that night,
It was the plant and flow’r of light.
In small proportions we just beauties see
And in short measures life may perfect be.
I am dead, my dearest
Poem by Christina Rossetti
When I am dead, my dearest,
Sing no sad songs for me;
Plant thou no roses at my head,
Nor shady cypress tree;
Be the green grass above me
With showers and dewdrops wet:
And if thou wilt, remember,
And if thou wilt, forget.
I shall not see the shadows,
I shall not feel the rain,
I shall not hear the nightingale
Sing on as if in pain,
And dreaming through the twilight
That doth not rise nor set,
Haply I may remember,
And haply may forget.
 -  Four Cautionary Tales and a Moral
Poems by Hilaire Belloc
(Who slammed doors for fun and
A trick that everyone abhors
In little girls is slamming doors.
A wealthy banker’s little daughter,
Who lived in Palace Green, Bayswater,
(By name Rebecca Offendort,)
Was given to this furious sport.
She would deliberately go
And slam the door like Billy-Ho!
To make her Uncle Jacob start,
(She was not really bad at heart.)
It happened that a marble bust
Of Abraham, was standing just
Above the door this little lamb
Had carefully prepared to slam.
And down it came!
It knocked her flat!
It laid her out! She looked like that!
Her funeral sermon (which was long
And followed by a sacred song,)
Mentioned her virtues, it is true,
But dwelt upon her vices too,
And showed the dreadful end of one
Who goes and slams the door for fun!
(Who ran away from his Nurse, and was eaten by a Lion)
There was a boy whose name was Jim:
His friends were very good to him.
They gave him tea, and cakes, and jam,
And slices of delicious ham.
They read him stories through and through,
And even took him to the Zoo –
But there it was the dreadful fate
Befell him, which I now relate.
You know - at least you ought to know
For I have often told you so –
That children never are allowed
To leave their nurses in a crowd;
Now this was Jim’s especial foible,
He ran away when he was able,
And on this inauspicious day
He slipped his hand and ran away!
He hadn’t gone a yard when - bang!
With open jaws, a lion sprang;
And hungrily began to eat
The boy; beginning at his feet.
Now just imagine how it feels
When first your toes and then your heels
And then by gradual degrees,
Your shins and ankles, calves and knees
Are slowly eaten, bit by bit.
No wonder Jim detested it!
No wonder that he shouted ‘Hi!’
The honest keeper heard his cry
Though very fat he almost ran
To help the little gentleman.
‘Ponto!’ he cried, with angry frown, -
‘Let go, sir! Down, sir! Put it down!’
But when he bent him over Jim,
The honest keeper’s eyes were dim.
The Lion having reached his head
The miserable boy was dead.
When Nurse informed his parents, they
Were more concerned than I can say.
His mother, as she dried her eyes,
Said, ‘Well - it gives me no surprise,
He would not do as he was told!’
His father, (who was self -controlled)
Bade all the children round attend
To James’ miserable end,
And always keep a hold of Nurse
For fear of finding something worse.
(Who told lies, and was burned to death)
Matilda told such dreadful lies,
It made one gasp and stretch one’s eyes.
Her aunt, who, from her earliest youth,
Had kept a strict regard for truth,
Attempted to believe Matilda:
The effort very nearly killed her.
Now once, towards the close of day,
Matilda, growing tired of play,
And finding she was left alone,
Went tiptoes to the telephone
And summoned the immediate aid
Of London’s noble Fire Brigade.
From Putney, Hackney Downs, and Bow,
With courage high and hearts aglow,
They galloped, roaring through the town,
Matilda’s house is burning down!
They ran their ladders through a score
Of windows on the ball-room floor;
And took peculiar pains to souse
The pictures up and down the house,
Until Matilda’s Aunt succeeded
In showing them they were not needed,
And even then she had to pay
To get the men to go away!
It happened that a few weeks later
Her Aunt went off to the Theatre
To see that entertaining play
‘The Second Mrs Tanqueray.’
That night a fire did break out –
You should have heard Matilda shout!
You should have heard her scream and bawl,
And throw the window up and call.
But every time she shouted, ‘Fire!’
The people answered ‘Little liar!’
And therefore when her Aunt returned,
Matilda, and the house, were burned.
(Who chewed little bits of string and was early
cut off in dreadful agonies)
The chief defect of Henry King,
Was chewing little bits of string.
At last he swallowed some which tied
Itself in ugly knots inside.
Physicians of the utmost fame
Were called at once: but when they came,
They answered, as they took their fees,
‘There is no cure for this disease,
Henry will very soon be dead.’
His parents stood about his bed
Lamenting his untimely death,
When Henry, with his latest breath,
Cried ‘Oh, my friends, be warned by me
That breakfast, dinner, lunch and tea,
Are all the human frame requires...’
With that, the wretched child expires.
(Who always did what was right, and so accumulated an
The nicest child I ever knew
Was Charles Augustus Fortescue,
He never lost his cap, or tore
His stockings or his pinafore:
In eating bread he made no crumbs,
He was extremely fond of sums.
And as for finding mutton-fat
Unappetising, far from that!
He often, at his father’s board,
Would beg them, of his own accord,
To give him, if they did not mind,
The greasiest morsels they could find, -
His later years did not belie
The promise of his infancy.
In public life he always tried
To take a judgement broad and wide;
In private, none was more than he
Renowned for quiet courtesy.
He rose at once in his career,
And long before his fortieth year
Had wedded Fifi, only child
Of Bunyan, first Lord Alberfylde.
He thus became immensely rich,
And built the splendid mansion which
Is called’The Cedars, Muswell Hill’
Where he resides in affluence still
To show what everybody might
SIMPLY DOING RIGHT!
true friend hath my hat
S-r Ph-1-p S-dn-y
(from ‘Parody Pie’)
Poem by A. Stodart-Wal-ker
My true friend hath my hat, and I have his,
By choice of mine, one for another changed;
I hold his dear, and mine he’d never miss,
There never was a better swop arranged:
My true friend hath my hat, and I have his.
His hat on me saves me the price of one;
My hat on him his foolish head hath guyed;
He hates my hat, he much prefers his own,
I cherish his, my bald patch it doth hide:
 –  Two Nonsense Songs from ‘Alice in Wonderland’
Poems by Lewis Carroll
Beautiful Soup, so rich and green,
Waiting in a hot tureen!
Who for such dainties would not stoop?
Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup!
Soo-oop of the e-e-evening,
Beautiful, beautiful Soup!
Beautiful Soup! Who cares for fish,
Game, or any other dish?
Who would not give all else for two p-
Ennyworth only of beautiful Soup?
Pennyworth only of beautiful Soup?
you walk a little faster?
‘Will you walk a little faster?’ said a whiting to a snail,
‘There’s a porpoise close behind us, and he’s treading on my
See how eagerly the lobsters and the turtles all advance!
They are waiting on the shingle - will you come and join the
Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, will you join the
Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, won’t you join the
‘You can really have no notion how delightful it will be,
When they take us up and throw us, with the lobsters, out to sea!’
But the snail replied ‘Too far! Too far!’ and gave a look
Said he thanked the whiting kindly, but he would not join
Would not, could not, would not, could not, would not join
Would not, could not, would not, could not, would not join
‘What matters it how far you go?’ his scaly friend replied,
‘There is another shore, you know, upon the other side.
The further off from England the nearer is to France -
Then turn not pale, beloved snail, but come and join the
Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, will you join the dance?
Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, won’t you join the dance.’
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