A tailor’s song

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November 1, 2014 by Ville Raivio

Bill Smith was a tailor, a ‘prentice he’d been

whose work was as perfect as ever was seen

he knew how to build up a front and to press

a frock coat, a morning coat, lounge, or a dress

for full forty years at the trade he had worked

and during that period no job he had shirked

but one fact his conscience continually mocked

he’d not made a job yet that couldn’t be cocked!

chorus: fol-de-rol-liddle-lol; fol-de-rol-lay; more collar-ology every day!

said Smith: “Now this frock coat I’m starting to make

will be absolutely perfection I’ll stake;

every point will be studied, the collar fit clean,

the edges I’ll prick with a fifteen between.”

the fronts then he molded artistic and true

he pinked it so much that his shopmates turned blue

a penny an hour were his earnings if clocked

on this wonderful garment that couldn’t be cocked.

chorus: fol-de-rol-liddle-lol; fol-de-rol-lay; no collar-ology encore I’ll say

the words that gave them a most terrible shock

were “I ordered a lounge and you’ve made me a frock.”

fol-de-rol-liddle-lol; the theme of my song: no matter what happens the journeyman is wrong!

~ as told in Nothing but the Best by Thomas Girtin


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Only a beautiful life is worth living.


"If John Bull turns around to look at you, you are not well dressed; but either too stiff, too tight, or too fashionable".
~ Beau Brummell

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