The Stately Homes Of England

  • Lord Elderley, Lrd Borrowmere,
    Lord Sickert and Lord Camp,
    With every virtue, every grace,
    Ah what avails the sceptred race,
    Here you see-the four of us,
    And there are so many more of us
    Eldest sons that must succeed.
    We know how Caesar conquered Gaul
    And how to whack a cricket ball;
    Apart from this, our education lacks co-ordination.
    Though we're young and tentative
    And rather rip-representative,
    Scions of a noble breed,
    We are the products of those homes serene and stately
    Which only lately
    Seem to have run to seed!

    The Stately Homes of England,
    How beautiful they stand,
    To prove the upper classes
    Have still the upper hand;
    Though the fact that they have to be rebuilt
    And frequently mortgaged to the hilt
    Is inclined to take the gilt
    Off the gingerbread,
    And certainly damps the fun
    Of the eldest son-
    But still we won't be beaten,
    We'll scrimp and scrape and save,
    The playing fields of Eton
    Have made us frightfully brave-
    And though if the Van Dycks have to go
    And we pawn the Bechstein Grand,
    We'll stand
    By the Stately Homes of England.

    Here you see
    The pick of us,
    You may be heartily sick of us,
    Still with sense
    We're all imbued.
    Our homes command extensive views
    And with assistance from the Jews
    We have been able to dispose of
    Rows and rows and rows of
    Gainsboroughs and Lawrences,
    Some sporting prints of Aunt Florence's,
    Some of which were rather rude.
    Although we sometimes flaunt our family conventions,
    Our good intentions
    Mustn't be misconstrued.

    The Stately Homes of England
    We proudly represent,
    We only keep them up for
    Americans to rent,
    Though the pipes that supply the bathroom burst
    And the lavatory makes you fear the worst,
    It was used by Charles the First
    Quite informally,
    And later by George the Fourth
    On a journey north.
    The State Apartments keep their
    Historical renown,
    It's wiser not to sleep there
    In case they tumble down'
    But still if they ever catch on fire
    Which, with any luck, they might
    We'll fight
    For the Stately Homes of England

    The Stately Homes of England,
    Though rather in the lurch,
    Provide a lot of chances
    For Psychical Research-
    There's the ghost of a crazy younger son
    Who murdered, in thirteen fifty-one,
    An extremely rowdy Nun
    Who resented it,
    And people who come to call
    Meet her in the hall.
    The baby in the guest wing,
    Who crouches by the grate,
    Was walled up in the west wing
    In fourteen twenty-eight.
    If anyone spots
    The Queen of Scots
    In a hand-embroidered shroud
    We're proud
    Of the Stately Homes of England.

    Lord Elderley, Lord Borrowmere,
    Lord Sickert and Lord Camp,
    Behold us in our hours of ease,
    Uncertain, coy and hard to please.
    Reading in Debrett of us,
    This fine Patrician quartette of us,
    We can feel extremely proud,
    Our ancient lineage we trace
    Back to the cradle of the Race
    Before those beastly Roman bowmen
    Bitched our local Yeomen.
    Through the new democracy
    May pain the old Aristocarcy
    We've not winced nor cried aloud,
    Under the bludgeonings of chance what will be- will be.
    Our heads will still be
    Bloody but quite unbowed!

    The Stately Homes of England
    In valley, dale and glen
    Produce a race of charming,
    Innocuous young men.
    Though our mental equipment may be slight
    And we barely distinguish left from right,
    We are quite prepared to fight
    For our principles,
    Though none of us know so far
    What they really are.
    Our duty to the nation,
    It's only fair to state,
    Lies not I pro-creation
    But what we pro-create;
    And so we can cry
    With kindling eye
    As to married like we go,
    What ho!
    For the Stately Homes of England!

    The Stately Homes of England,
    Although a trifle bleak,
    Historically speaking,
    Are more or less unique.
    We've a cousin who won the Golden Fleece
    And a very peculiar fowling-piece
    Which was sent to Cromwell's niece,
    Who detested it,
    And rapidly sent it back
    With a dirty crack.
    A note we have from Chaucer
    Contains a bawdy joke.
    We also have a saucer
    That Bloody Mary broke.
    We've two pairs of tights
    King Arthur's Knights
    Had completely worn away.
    Sing Hey!
    For the Stately Homes of England.

    The Stately Homes of England,
    Tho' rather on the blink
    Provide a lot of reasons
    For what we do and think.
    Tho' we freely admit we may be wrong,
    Our conviction that we are right is strong
    Tho' it may not be for long,
    We'll hold on to it
    We might as well hold the bat
    Till they knock us flat
    Our dignity of race may
    Retire into its shell
    Our Minister of Grace may
    Defend us none too well
    But still if a child
    Becomes too wild
    And we're forced to use the rod,
    Thank God
    For the Stately Homes of England Writer/s: NOEL COWARD, NOEL PIERCE COWARD
    Publisher: Warner Chappell Music, Inc.
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind


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