Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A ROW IN AN OMNIBUS BOX; A LEGEND OF THE HAYMARKET, by RICHARD HARRIS BARHAM



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A ROW IN AN OMNIBUS BOX; A LEGEND OF THE HAYMARKET, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Dol-drum the manager sits in his chair
Last Line: About nothing on earth but 'fiddle-de-dee'!
Alternate Author Name(s): Ingoldsby, Thomas
Subject(s): Theater & Theaters; Stage Life


DOL-DRUM the Manager sits in his chair,
With a gloomy brow and dissatisfied air,
And he says, as he slaps his hand on his knee,
'I'll have nothing to do with Fiddle-de-dee!'

-- 'But Fiddle-de-dee sings clear and loud,
And his trills and his quavers astonish the crowd;
Such a singer as he You'll nowhere see;
They'll all be screaming for Fiddle-de-dee!'

-- 'Though Fiddle-de-dee sings loud and clear,
And his tones are sweet, yet his terms are dear!
The "glove won't fit!" The deuce a bit.
I shall give an engagement to Fal-de-ral-tit!'

The Prompter bow'd, and he went to his stall,
And the green-baize rose at the Prompter's call,
And Fal-de-ral-tit sang fol-de-rol-lol;
But, scarce had he done When a 'row' begun,
Such a noise was never heard under the sun.
'Fiddle-de-dee! -- -- Where is he?
He's the Artiste whom we all want to see! --
Dol-drum! -- Dol-drum! -- Bid the Manager come,
It's a scandalous thing to exact such a sum
For boxes and gallery, stalls and pit,
And then fob us off with a Fal-de-ral-tit!
Deuce a bit! We'll never submit!
Vive Fiddle-de-dee! a bas Fal-de-ral-tit!'

Dol-drum the Manager rose from his chair,
With a gloomy brow and dissatisfied air;
But he smooth'd his brow As he well knew how,
And he walk'd on, and made a most elegant bow,
And he paused, and he smiled, and advanced to the lights,
In his opera-hat, and his opera-tights;
'Ladies and Gentlemen,' then said he,
'Pray what may you please to want with me?'

'Fiddle-de-dee! -- Fiddle-de-dee!'
Folks of all sorts and of every degree,
Snob, and Snip, and haughty Grandee,
Duchesses, Countesses, fresh from their tea,
And Shopmen, who'd only come there for a spree,
Halloo'd, and hooted, and roar'd with glee
'Fiddle-de-dee! -- None but He! --
Subscribe to his terms, whatever they be! --
Agree, agree, or you'll very soon see
In a brace of shakes we'll get up an O.P.!'

Dol-drum the Manager, full of care,
With a gloomy brow and dissatisfied air,
Looks distrest, And he bows his best,
And he puts his right hand on the side of his breast,
And he says, -- says he, 'We can't agree;
His terms are a vast deal too high for me. --
There's the rent, and the rates, and the sesses, and taxes --
I can't afford Fiddle-de-dee what he axes.
If you'll only permit Fal-de-ral-tit-----'

The 'Generous Public' cried, 'Deuce a bit!
Dol-drum! -- Dol-drum! -- We'll none of us come.
It's "No Go!" -- it's "Gammon!" -- it's "all a Hum": --
You're a miserly Jew! -- "Cock-a-doodle-do!"
He don't ask too much, as you know -- so you do --
It's a shame -- it's a sin -- it's really too bad --
You ought to be 'shamed of yourself -- so you had!'

Dol-drum the Manager never before
In his lifetime had heard such a wild uproar.
Dol-drum the Manager turn'd to flee;
But he says -- says he, 'Mort de ma vie!
I shall nevare engage vit dat Fiddle-de-dee!'
Then all the gentlefolks flew in a rage,
And they jump'd from the Omnibus on to the Stage,
Lords, Squires, and Knights, they came down to the lights,
In their opera-hats, and their opera-tights.
Ma'am'selle Cherrytoes Shook to her very toes,
She couldn't hop on, so hopp'd off on her merry toes,
And the 'evening concluded' with 'Three times three!'
'Hip -- hip! -- hurrah! for Fiddle-de-dee!'

Dol-drum the Manager, full of care,
With a troubled brow and dissatisfied air,
Saddest of men, Sat down, and then
Took from his table a Perryan pen,
And he wrote to the News,
How Mac Fuze and Tregooze,
Lord Tomnoddy, Sir Carnaby Jenks of the Blues,
And the whole of their tail, and the separate crews
Of the Tags and the Rags, and the No-one-knows-whos,
Had combined Monsieur Fal-de-ral-tit to abuse,
And make Dol-drum agree
With Fiddle-de-dee,
Who was not a bit better singer than he.
-- Dol-drum declared 'he never could see,
For the life of him, yet, why Fiddle-de-dee,
Who in B flat, or C, Or whatever the key,
Could never at any time get below G,
Should expect a fee the same in degree
As the great Burlybumbo who sings double D.'
Then slily he adds a little N.B.,
'If they'd have him in Paris he'd not come to me!'

The Manager rings, And the Prompter springs
To his side in a jiffy, and with him he brings
A set of those odd-looking envelope things,
Where Britannia (who seems to be crucified) flings
To her right and her left funny people with wings
Amongst Elephants, Quakers, and Catabaw Kings;
And a taper and wax
And small Queen's heads in packs,
Which, when notes are too big, you're to stick on their backs.
Dol-drum the Manager seal'd with care
The letter and copies he'd written so fair,
And sat himself down with a satisfied air;
Without delay He sent them away,
In time to appear in 'our columns' next day!

Dol-drum the Manager, full of care,
Walk'd on to the stage with an anxious air,
And peep'd through the curtain to see who were there.
There was Mac Fuze,
And Lieutenant Tregooze,
And there was Sir Carnaby Jenks of the Blues,
And the Tags, and the Rags, and the No-one-knows-whos;
And the green-baize rose at the Prompter's call,
And they all began to hoot, bellow, and bawl,
And cry 'Cock-a-doodle,' and scream and squall
'Dol-drum! -- Dol-drum! -- Bid the Manager come!'
You'd have thought from the tones
Of their hisses and groans,
They were bent upon breaking his (Opera) bones.
And Dol-drum comes, and he says -- says he,
'Pray what may you please to want with me?' --
'Fiddle-de-dee! -- Fiddle-de-dee! --
We'll have nobody give us sol fa but He!
For he's the Artiste whom we all want to see.'

-- Manager Dol-drum says -- says he --
(And he looks like an owl in a 'hollow beech-tree')
'Well, since I see The thing must be,
I'll sign an agreement with Fiddle-de-dee!'
Then Mac Fuze, and Tregooze,
And Jenks of the Blues,
And the Tags, and the Rags, and the No-one-knows-whos,
Extremely delighted to hear such good news,
Desist from their shrill 'Cock-a-doodle-doos.'
'Vive Fiddle-de-dee! Dol-drum and He'
They are jolly good fellows as ever need be!
And so's Burlybumbo, who sings double D!
And whenever they sing, why, we'll all come and see!'

So, after all This terrible squall,
Fiddle-de-dee 's at the top of the tree,
And Dol-drum and Fal-de-ral-tit sing small!
Now Fiddle-de-dee sings loud and clear
At I can't tell you how many thousands a year,
And Fal-de-ral-tit is consider'd 'Small Beer';
And Ma'am'selle Cherrytoes Sports her merry toes,
Dancing away to the fiddles and flutes,
In what the folks call a 'Lithuanian' in boots.

So here's an end to my one, two, and three;
And bless the Queen -- and long live She!
And grant that there never again may be
Such a halliballoo as we've happen'd to see
About nothing on earth but 'Fiddle-de-dee'!





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