Digital Tradition Mirror

The Darwinian Theory

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The Darwinian Theory
(John Young)

Oh! Have you heard the news of late
About our great original state?
If you have not, I will relate
     The grand Darwinian Theory.
Take care as you saunter along the street
How you tread on the dust beneath your feet;
You may crush a cherub in embryo sweet
For each atom may hold a germ complete,
Which, by some mystical process slow
And selective power, to a monkey grow,
And from that to a man, the truth to show
     Of the grand Darwinian theory.

Oh! Hokey, pokey, Kanuwan
From nothing to something, from monkey to man
Oh! This is the great developing plan
     Of the grand Darwinian theory.
The beginning of all was a little cell
Composed of what substance, no one can tell,
Endowed with the power to develop and swell
     Into general life by this theory.

With a power to select what it wished to be
A fungus or flower, a bush or a tree,
A fowl of the air or a fish of the sea,
A cow or a sheep, a bug or a flea,
Or, if tired of these it may change its plan
Be a cat or a dog or O-rang-oo-tan,
But culminating, at last, in a man
     By this grand Darwinian theory.

Oh! Hokey, Pokey, pow'r of selection,
Choose yourself your particular section,
A peasant, or lord with a great connection;
     By the grand Darwinian theory.

Your attention, ladies, let me win it;
Just think of this theory for a minute,
Is there really not something distressing in it ---
To think that you sprang from a monkey?
That delicate hand was a monkey's paw
Those lovely lips graced a monkey's jaw,
Those handsome ankles, so trim and neat
One time surmounted a monkey's feet!
Those sparkling eyes a monkey did lend,
That graceful form from one did descend
From a monkey you borrowed the Grecian bend,
     By this grand Darwinian theory.

Oh! Hokey, pokey, protoplasm
'Tween monkeys and men there is no chasm
Why shouldn't you clasp them to your bosom?
They're infant men, in theory.
Some murderers we, far worse than Cain,
For darker deeds our character stain;
For thousands of brothers we've eaten and slain
     By the grand Darwinian theory.

While sitting at breakfast, and picking the wing
Of a pigeon or grouse, or some other thing,
Or dining on mutton --- or lamb, in the spring ---
Or on salmon or trout, or on cod or on ling...
Gaze into the future and, say, can't you see
What horrible cannibals we all must be,
Devouring the flesh, which may yet become we,
     By the grand Darwinian theory.

Oh! Hokey, pokey, ringo-ging
The cannibal islands once had a King
Who ate his own kin; but to us he's no thing
     When compared in the light of this theory.

But why should the theory end with man?
If he has been less, surely more he can
And should be, by the great developing plan
     Of the grand Darwinian theory.
Why should he not on this earth yet be
An angel, or god, like Mercury
With a wing on each shoulder, each ankle and knee?
Oh! how delightful then it will be
When sighing, and wishing your sweetheart to see
To wipe your beak, and just upwards flee
Like birds --- and meet your love on a tree
     On the top of a hill, by this theory.

Oh! Hokey, pokey, ringo-ging,
The world then literally on the wing,
No street cabs needed, or any such thing
     By the grand Darwinian theory.

From the Scottish Students Songbook (1929 edition)

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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