Pearson’s Magazine (UK), October 1905


There was a time when Murphy’s Rents was not the sort of place
Where any law-abiding bloke would like to show his face;
It didn’t do for toffs and such to wander near the spot,
For, in a way of speaking, we was what you might call ’ot.

We used to spend the ’appy days in vierlence and crime,
There wasn’t one wot ’adn’t done his little bit of time;
The gents what write in papers called us ’ooligans, I’ve ’eard,
But, bless yer, things in Murphy’s Rents is different now—my word!

But no, it wasn’t what you think that made us mend our ways;
There weren’t no Alexanders nor no Torreys in those days,
It wasn’t hymns and sermons that converted us from sin;
It was just an ’arf-baked copper, which was mostly bones and skin.

Him wot was on the beat before got on all right until
He had a little argument one night with Ginger Bill,
And in doo course to ’orspital that copper had to go,
And then this other one arrived. We grinned and said “What ho!”

He wasn’t what you’d call a blooming second ’Ackenschmidt;
He ’ad a pair of shoulders, but you’d ’ardly notice it:
He looked ’arf like a suit of clothes just ’ung upon a pole,
You’d make a better man than him of orange-peel and coal.

Says Ginger Bill, “Is Murphy’s Rents a Paradise or not?
Why ’ave they sent this nipper to this ’appy little spot?
Is this the bloke who’ll run us in when we are on the spree?
Why, I’d eat ’im,” says old Ginger, “for a relish with me tea.”

And every time old Ginger met that copper on his beat
He used to stop and stare at him, and then ’e’d laugh a treat:
And we noticed, one or two of us, as we was passing by,
That the copper ’ad a gentle sort of dreamy-looking eye.

One night it chanced that Ginger felt a little extra gay,
And he made a small disturbance on the pavement, so to say.
He was gettin’ pretty lively, but ’e ’adn’t ’arf begun
When the noo-appointed copper comes along and sees the fun.

“Now, jest you come with me, me lad,” the ’arf-baked copper said.
And Ginger didn’t tork, yer see, but ’it ’im on the ’ead,
And the copper, down ’e tumbled, like as if ’e’d ’ave a rest,
So naturally Ginger came to jump upon his chest.

He ’adn’t ’ardly raised his foot when things began to hum:
It ’appened all so sudden-like, it struck us feerly dumb.
The copper seemed to give a twist, and that was all we knowed
Till Bill went flying through the air across the blooming road.

He soon came back, although we seed ’e’d ’ad a nasty strain;
The copper gives another twist, and off he goes again,
And we noticed, one or two of us, as we was standing by,
That the copper ’ad a gentle sort of dreamy-looking eye.

He grabbed old Ginger by the arms, and tied them in a knot,
And twisted him about a bit, and bent his spine a lot:
And Ginger ’e went quiet, looking what you might call queer,
As if to say, “Well, blimey, what ’as bin ’appening ’ere?”

That done a lot of good, that done, to Murphy’s Rents. And why?
We didn’t like that copper’s sort of dreamy-looking eye.
We thought to vex a man like him was just a bit too warm,
So Murphy’s Rents they didn’t wait, but started to reform.

The blooming fact we subsequently learnt by slow degrees;
Our copper ’ad ’ad lessons from the blooming Japanese;
It was what they call Joo-Jitsu what ’ad given him his skill,
And, crikey! ’ow he did joo-jitsu poor old Ginger Bill!