Favourite Poem – Albert and the Lion

One of my favourite comic poems has always since I first heard it as a young boy been Albert and the Lion.

In fact when I was a lecturer in sports I used it as a device for sprints in the gym by dividing the students into groups each group being either, Albert (1), Mr and Mrs Ramsbottom (2) or Wallace the Lion and other animals (3) and when there names were read out in the poem the students had to sprint down the length of the gym.

Confusion always ruled when ‘all’ (4) or reference to everyone involved cropped up as the students listening for something else suddenly realised they should all be running.

Note:- I’ve annotated the group numbers as I used them in case anyone felt the need to try it out. You will have to pace the reading to give them chance to run.


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 (2)

Went there with young Albert (1), their (2) son (1)

A fine little lad were young Albert (1)

All dressed in his best, quite a swell

He’d a stick with an ‘orse’s ‘(3) ead ‘andle;

The finest that Woolworth’s could sell

They (4) didn’t think much to the ocean

The waves they were piddlin’ and small

There were no wrecks and nobody drownded

‘Fact, nothin’ to laugh at at all!

So, seeking for further amusement

They (4) paid, and went into the zoo

Where they’d lions (3) and tigers(3) and camels(3)

And cold ale and sandwiches, too

There were one great big lion called Wallace(3)

Whose nose was all covered with scars;

He (3)lay in a som-no-lent posture

With the side of ‘is face on the bars

Now Albert(1) ‘ad ‘eard about lions-

‘Ow they was ferocious and wild;

To see lion(3) lyin’ so peaceful

Just didn’t seem right to the child

So straightway the brave little feller(1)

Not showin’ a morsel of fear

Took ‘is stick with the ‘orse’s ‘ead ‘andle

And stuck it in Wallace’s (3)ear

You could see that the lion (3)din’t like it

For givin’ a kind of a roll

‘E pulled Albert (1)inside the cage with ‘im

And swallered the little lad(1) – ‘ole!

Now Mother(2) ‘ad seen this occurrence

And not knowin’ what to do next

She ‘ollered “Yon lion’s et Albert!”(1)

An’ Father(2) said “Ee, I am vexed.”

They complained to an animal keeper

Who said “My, wot a nasty mis’ap;

Are you sure it’s your (1)boy ‘e’s eaten?”

Pa (2)said, “Am I sure? There’s ‘is cap!”

The manager ‘ad to be sent for;

‘E came and ‘e said “Wot’s to-do?”

Ma (2)said “Yon lion’s et Albert(1)

And ‘im in ‘is Sunday clothes, too!”

Father (2)said “Right’s right, young feller-

I think it’s a shame and a sin

To ‘ave our son (1)1et by a lion(3)

And after we paid to come in.”

The manager wanted no trouble;

He took out his purse right away

Sayin’ “‘Ow much to settle the matter?”

Pa (2)said “Wot do you usually pay?”

But Mother(2) ‘ad turned a bit awkward

When she saw where ‘er Albert(1) ‘ad gone

She said “No, someone’s got to be summonsed!”

So that was decided upon

And off they (4)all went to p’lice station

In front of a Magistrate chap;

They told what ‘ad ‘appened to Albert(1)

And proved it by showing ‘is cap

The Magistrate gave ‘is opinion

That no one was really to blame

And ‘e said that ‘e ‘oped the Ramsbottoms(2)

Would ‘ave further sons to their name

At that Mother (2)got proper blazin’:

“And thank you, sir, kindly, ” said she-

“Wot, spend all our lives raisin’ children

To feed ruddy lions? (3)Not me!”

Songwriters: George Marriott Edgar

The Lion and Albert