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THE NIGHT I APPEARED AS MACBETH William Hargreaves (1922) T'was through a Y.M.C.A concert I craved a desire for the stage In Flanders one night I was asked to recite Gadzooks I was quickly the rage They said I was better than Irving And gave me some biscuits and tea I know its not union wages But that was the usual fee Home I came - bought a dress Appeared in your Theatre and what a success. Chorus: I acted so tragic the house rose like magic The audience yelled "You're sublime" They made me a present of Mornington Crescent They threw it a brick at a time Someone threw a fender which caught me a bender I hoisted a white flag and tried to surrender They jeered me, they queered me And half of them stoned me to death They threw nuts and sultanas, fried eggs and bananas The night I appeared as Macbeth. The play tho' ascribed to Bill Shakespeare To me lacked both polish and tone So I put bits in from Miss Elinor Glyn, Nat Gould, and some bits of my own The band played the Barber of Seville And being too long they made cuts When I entered somewhere in Scotland And finished in Newington Butts Oh, the flowers - what a feast They threw it in bagfulls, self raising and yeast. Chorus: I acted so tragic the house rose like magic I improved the part with a dance The pit had a relapse, so R.A.M.C. chaps Were wired for to come back from France I withdrew my sabre and started to labour Cried "Lay on MacDuff" to my neighbour I hollared, "I'm collared I must reach the bridge or its death" But they altered my journey, I reached the infirm'ry The night I appeared in Macbeth. The advertised time for the curtain Was six forty-five on the sheet The hall keeper he having mislaid the key We played the first act in the street Then somebody called for the author "He's dead " said the flute player's wife The news caused an awful commotion And gave me the shock of my life Shakespeare dead - poor old Bill Why I never knew the poor fellow was ill. Chorus: I acted so tragic the house rose like magic They wished David Garrick could see But he's in the Abbey, then someone quite shabby Suggested that's where I should be Lloyd George and Clemenceau, they both carried on So the King of the Belgians rushed in with Alfonso They pleaded - unheeded And all of them cried in one breath "There's another war coming if you don't stop humming" The night I appeared in Macbeth. Extra Chorus: I acted so tragic the house rose like magic I gave them such wonderful thrills My tender emotion caused such a commotion The dress circle made out their wills The gallery boys straining, dropped tears uncomplaining The pit put umbrellas up, thought it was raining Some floated - some boated And five of the band met their death And the poor programme women Sold programmes while swimming The night I appeared as Macbeth. (Contributed by - February 2008)

    


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