Sweeney Todd the Barber (A) Dm A Dm / Bb Am Dm / Dm A Dm / Dm Am Dm / F - / Gm / Dm A Dm / Gm Dm / Dm A Dm / Dm A Dm Am / Dm A / Dm A / Dm - / Dm A Dm In Fleet Street, that's in London Town When King Charlie wore the crown, There lived a man of great renown 'Twas Sweeney Todd the Barber. One shave from him and you'd want no more, You'd feel his razor sharp, Then tumble, wallop!, through the floor And wake up playing a harp, and singing . . . Sweeney Todd the Barber, by God he were better than the play, Sweeney Todd the Barber, "I'll polish 'em off" he used to say. His clients through the floor would slope But he had no fear of the hangman's rope "Dead men can't talk with their mouths full of soap," Said Sweeney Todd the Barber. Now underneath the shop, it's true Where the bodies tumble through, There lived a little widow, who Loved Sweeney Todd the Barber. She made her living by selling pies, Her meat pies were a treat, Chock full of meat and such a size For she was getting the meat from mister Sweeney Todd the Barber, by God he were better than the play, Sweeney Todd the Barber, "I'll polish 'em off" he used to say. For many a poor orphan lad The first square meal he ever had Was a hot meat pie made out of his dad From Sweeney Todd the Barber (spoken) It was Saturday night in Old Sweeney Todd's shop And the customers sat in a row. While behind a screen Sweeney shaved some poor mug And his sweetheart made pies down below. Though none were aware, it were "cut prices" there, They were rolling up in twos and threes, And his foot got quite sore pressing knob on the floor And his voice went from saying "Next please!" Well in came a swell and he asked Sweeney Todd "Just a shave and a perfumed shampoo, For I've just got engaged." Sweeney just pressed the knob and said, "There, now it's all fallen through." Well a bookmaker sat with his mouthful of soap, said, "They're all backing favourites today, So I 'spect I'll go down," Sweeney said, "Yes you will," And he did, he went down straight away. But what rotten luck, the darn trap went and stuck For the hinge he'd forgotten to grease, And a customer started calling out "Police!" Just as Sweeney was shouting, "Next please!" Yes, he ran to the door and he shouted out "Police!" He shouted out "Police!", nine times or ten But no policeman came, it wasn't no wonder Police weren't invented by then. But up came the bold Bow Street Runners (Hurrah!) And he had to let many a pie burn And they dragged him to Quad, and next day Sweeney Todd Was condemned to be switched off at Tyburn. And there on the gibbet he hangs in his chains And they do say a little black crow Made a sweet little nest in old Sweeney Todd's whiskers And he sang as he swang to and fro . . . (sung) Sweeney Todd the Barber, by God he were better than the play, Sweeney Todd the Barber, they buried him underneath the clay And Old Nick calls him from his grave shouting, "Wake up, Sweeney, I need a shave, And Mrs Nick wants a permanent wave from Sweeney Todd the Barber." ----------------------------------------------------------------- It can be argued that George Dibdin Pitt's "domestic drama," Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1842), was the first true crime play. Critics have speculated, without success, as to the historical characters upon which the hero and heroine were based. Stanley Holloway credits R.P.Weston, a prolific writer for the Halls, with the creation of this cante-fabel which pokes fun at the melodrama which was so terrifying to Victorians. Recorded on 'Ere's Olloway, Columbia Records, 1956 and on An Evening At The English Music Hall, Front Hall records FHR-030, 1984. DC
Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!