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No. 17 - Duet - Guy and Meakin - "The Unemployed."


Guy & Meakin: We're true British labourers, honest and free,
but alas, we are both unemployed,
It's not the least use of us trying to work,
for the "coppers" at once get annoyed.
They shove us in gaol without a kind word,
and I'm certain there's no luck about;
For the moment we both of us get settled down,
I'm blest if they don't let us out.
When will justice be done in England?
Why don't they allow us to earn our own bread.
It ain't much enjoyment
To ask for employment
And only get work instead!

We was mending a hole in the roof of a house
at midnight, one evening last year;
And I happened to carry some family plate
that belong'd to my poor Mother dear;
A policeman come up with a horrible face,
I gave it just one or two rubs.
What was the result? Twelve bright summer months,
wasted in Wormwood Scrubbs.
When will justice be done in England?
Oh, here are we shivering out in the rain,
And both of our sisters
Are passive resisters,
And Mother's got married again.

One morning last winter we asked an old lady
who lives at a house close to here,
For a small drop of something to keep out the cold
as we'd both of us come over queer.
Said she, "Here's a shovel, now clear off the snow
and you'll both have some nice lemonade!"
My heart was so brimful of honest disgust,
I walked off with her blooming spade.
When will justice be done in England?
The pure milk of kindness we will not discuss,
But we don't want a dairy
For our Little Mary,
It doesn't agree with us.

One day we was starving; no morsel of food
we had touched for a hour or two,
When an old gent who noticed our pitiful plight
said he'd try and see what he could do.
We went to his house, he gave us a meal
The salad was all full of oil;
We gave him a pitiful look of reproach
and drove straight to the Café Royal.
When will justice be done in England?
We lay down at night with a sigh and a tear.
At Rowton's doss-houses,
We take off our waistcoats,
And dream that the Thames is beer.

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