The Hangman by C.J. Dennis

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[Alec. Taylor, a Naval Reserve man, has been appointed to the post of public hangman rendered vacant by the death of Mr. Billington.  He is of a humorous disposition, and made an application for the position on a previous occasion. - English newspaper.]

Hark to the sound of my tuneful lay,
   Sing hey for the merry hangman!
I looked for a billet and found it to-day,
   Sing hey for the merry hangman!
I've tried for the job for years and years;
I'm not a fellow of squeamish fears,
And I damped the earth with my grateful tears
   When I got the job as a hangman.

Hark to the song I'm singing to you,
   The cheerful song of the hangman,
Who never was dull and never looked blue,
   The jolly old public hangman;
For if I put in my spoke, you see,
Adjusting the rope real joking-lee
The criminal will murmur choking-lee:
   "What a jolly old chap for a hangman!"

Hearken awhile to the song I sing,
   Hurrah for the merry hangman!
Who laughs aloud as the corpses swing
   At the touch of the cheery hangman;
For what is the use of looking sad
And making the convict feel it bad?
Better be merry and make him glad
   To be hanged by the jolly old hangman.

This is the end of my joyful song,
   Three cheers for the merry hangman!
Who winks his eye as he says good-bye
   To the man who's hanged by the hangman.
Oh, I often think as I lie in bed
What joy it must be to be led, led, led,
And hanged by the neck till you're dead, dead, dead,
   At the hands of a cheerful hangman.

First published in The Critic, 10 January 1906

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on January 10, 2013 10:23 AM.

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