Modern Street Ballads


Now list, ye landsmen, all to me,
To tell you the truth I am bound,
What happen’d to me, by going to Sea,
And of the wonders which I found.
Shipwrecked I once was off Perouse,
And cast upon the shore,
So I resolved to take a cruis,
The Country to explore.

But far I had not scudded out,
When close alongside the ocean,
I saw something move, which at first I thought,
Was all the earth in motion.
But steering up alongside,
I found ’twas a Crocodile,
And from his nose to the tip of his tail
He measured five hundred mile.

This Crocodile, I could plainly see,
Was not of a common race,
For I was obliged to climb a very high tree
Before I could see his face.
And when he lifted up his jaw,
Though perhaps you’ll think ’twas a lie,
It reach’d ‘bove the clouds for miles three score,
And his nose nearly touched the sky.

Whilst up aloft, and the stream was high,
It blew a gale from the south,
I lost my hold, and away did fly,
Right into the Crocodile’s mouth.
He quickly closed his jaws on me,
And thought to grab a victim,
But I ran down his throat d’ye see,
And that’s the way I tricked him.

I travell’d on for a month or two,
Till I got into his maw,
Where I found of rum kegs not a few,
And a thousand bullocks in store.
Of life I banish’d all my cares,
For in grub I was not stinted,
So in this Crocodile I lived ten years,
Very well contented.

This Crocodile being very old,
One day, alas! he died,
But he was three years a getting cold,
He was so long and wide.
His skin was ten miles thick, I’m sure,
Or very near about;
For I was a full six years or more,
Cutting a hole for to get out.

But now once more I’ve got on earth,
And resolv’d no more to roam,
So in a ship that pass’d, I got a berth,
And now I’m safe at home.
And lest my story you should doubt,
Should you ever travel the Nile,
Just where he fell, you’ll find the shell,
Of this wonderful Crocodile.

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The End As I Know It: A Novel of Millennial Anxiety, by proprietor Kevin Shay, is now available in paperback.

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