D'OYLY CARTE OPERA COMPANY


Hail Men O' Wars' Men Lyrics

Enter little Buttercup, with large basket on her arm

RECITATIVE

Hail, men-o'-war's men -- safeguards of your nation
Here is an end, at last, of all privation;
You've got your pay -- spare all you can afford
To welcome Little Buttercup on board.

ARIA

For I'm called Little Buttercup -- dear Little
Buttercup,
Though I could never tell why,
But still I'm called Buttercup -- poor little
Buttercup,
Sweet Little Buttercup I!

I've snuff and tobaccy, and excellent jacky,
I've scissors, and watches, and knives;
I've ribbons and laces to set off the faces
Of pretty young sweethearts and wives.

I've treacle and toffee, I've tea and I've coffee,
Soft tommy and succulent chops;
I've chickens and conies, and pretty polonies,
And excellent peppermint drops.

Then buy of your Buttercup -- dear Little Buttercup;
Sailors should never be shy;
So, buy of your Buttercup -- poor Little Buttercup;
Come, of your Buttercup buy!

BOAT. Aye, Little Buttercup -- and well called -- for
you're
the rosiest, the roundest, and the reddest beauty in
all
Spithead.
BUT. Red, am I? and round -- and rosy! Maybe, for I
have
dissembled well! But hark ye, my merry friend -- hast
ever
thought that beneath a gay and frivolous exterior there
may lurk
a canker-worm which is slowly but surely eating its way
into
one's very heart?
BOAT. No, my lass, I can't say I've ever thought that.

Enter Dick Deadeye. He pushes through sailors, and
comes down

DICK. I have thought it often. (All recoil from him.)
BUT. Yes, you look like it! What's the matter with the
man? Isn't he well?
BOAT. Don't take no heed of him; that's only poor Dick
Deadeye.
DICK. I say -- it's a beast of a name, ain't it -- Dick
Deadeye?
BUT. It's not a nice name.
DICK. I'm ugly too, ain't I?
BUT. You are certainly plain.
DICK. And I'm three-cornered too, ain't I?
BUT. You are rather triangular.
DICK. Ha! ha! That's it. I'm ugly, and they hate me for
it; for you all hate me, don't you?
ALL. We do!
DICK. There!
BOAT. Well, Dick, we wouldn't go for to hurt any
fellow-
creature's feelings, but you can't expect a chap with
such a name
as Dick Deadeye to be a popular character -- now can
you?
DICK. No.
BOAT. It's asking too much, ain't it?
DICK. It is. From such a face and form as mine the
noblest
sentiments sound like the black utterances of a
depraved
imagination. It is human nature -- I am resigned.

RECITATIVE

BUT. (looking down hatchway).
But, tell me -- who's the youth whose faltering feet
With difficulty bear him on his course?
BOAT. That is the smartest lad in all the fleet--
Ralph Rackstraw!

BUT. Ha! That name! Remorse! remorse!

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