Railway Station Sandwich, The

 [342Notation]

I'll introduce a friend of mine, a friend I've known for years
A warrior whose history would move a cat to tears
AS piece of meat between some bread, defying mastication;
A sandwich that for years has been on the bar at a railway station

Chorus:  Only an outcast alone in the world
                 A target for very band language
                 For years, and years, and years he's been
                 A Railway station sandwich

Each time I lift the lid he speaks a language very strong,
And starts to "hum"! In fact at times he'll burst forth into song.
A railway traveller bit him once - this sandwich armour plated;
He took a bite and died that night, with his jaw dislocated.

Patter to slow music:  To ham or not to ham? That hams the question;
                                        To beef or not to beef - that's another silly question
                                        Would that this too, too solid flesh would melt
                                        And not give us indigestion.


Alas! Poor sandwich, I know thee well.
Well, that is to say, my great-grandfather has often taken me upon his knee (not face-downwards) [Note 342.5]
and often he has told me how, when called to arms in the early thirsties - I mean the early thirties - he snatched you from the counter at the railway station, and rushed away to fight in the Crimean War.
There was you - you was there - there you was. You! You! Safe and sound, concealed in the back pocket of my great-grandfather's pantaloons². Ah, you thought I was going to say trousers.
One night, at the battle of Billy Clever - I should say Balaclava [Note 342.1] - he, my great-grandfather, was making the enemy run. Suddenly he gave a cry. He received a shot. Yes, but the bullet struck you and glided off, and you, yes, you, you hardened old sinner! You saved his life.
Of course, you were in the back-pocket of his - trousers. Ah! You thought I was going to say pantaloons. Anyway, you being in the back pocket of his pantaloons - ah! You thought I was going to say trousers.
Well, anyhow, you were in the back pocket of his - ah, got yer! And the fact of him being shot in the back pocket, where you were, only goes to show which way he was running.
Oh! And how you were cherished and brought back again, and the railway porters welcomed you like an old friend, and placed you once again on the counter at the refreshment room, to be sneered at by hungry railway travellers.
And this is how England treats her heroes, no wonder that Shamrock the Second was third! [Note 342.2]
But here, you must listen to this; I've been writing some poetry about you. This is how it goes.


There was a young woman named Gurney
Took the train with her sweetheart named Ernie
They travelled a lot and quite hungry she got
And she said I'd enjoy a nice sandwich

(Ah! You thought I was going to say 'journey')

To the room for refreshment he hurried
Came back with her sandwich quite flurried
She was just going to bit when the engine took fright
And the face of the girl it looked-

Ah you thought I was going to say "worried"; but I wasn't. you see, as the girl was going to bite, the sandwich dropped out of her hand on to the railway line.
Of course, it was the usual railway sandwich, and the train went over it and went off the rails, wrecking the train.
This is the same sandwich; - that's him, ain't you, Cocky¹?
You see, ladies and gentlemen, the sandwich, taken as a body (but not inside the body), is composed thusly : some evil-minded person who is always in the employ of the railway company, is told off specially to prepare these "teeth destructors" and this is how he does it. He takes a long sharp knife, and with it he cuts two thin slices of no meat, and then, by constant practice, he is able to place the two thin slices of no meat between two thick slices of Queen Anne bread. [Note 342.3]
The sandwich is then placed in the sun to dry, and afterwards stored away to get ripe.
After a few years the railway officials order that the aforesaid sandwich shall be placed upon the counter of the refreshment room for sale. And, mark you, after the sandwich has passed through all the processes I have just mentioned , it seems wonderful how they can offer it at the low price of threepence.

You know there have been people who have actually tried to eat the railway sandwich. There was once a man who paid for one, and was just about to insert his teeth when the keeper rushed in and dragged the lunatic back to the asylum.
Anyone brave enough to take a second bite at a railway sandwich should be rewarded with the Victoria Cross¹.
Not that I want to be too hard on the railway sandwich; it could be made useful as paperweight, or to break up to mend the roads with.
And finally, it would be the crowning glory to the history of the railway sandwich, if the officials all got their sandwiches together and sent them to feed the Boers¹, and stop the war.[Note 342.4]
That would kill 'em. 

Chorus - Only an outcast &c

 

 

 

Sources (texts, music) & Publishing data

Click to show Sources etc
Origin Music Hall
Source Title The Railway Station Sandwich
Bargery Number 342
Roud Not in the Roud Index
Earliest Date 1901
Evidence for Earliest Date The reference to Shamrock II. See Note 342.2
Latest Date 1902
Evidence for Latest Date Publication date
Source of Text British Library Shelfmark H.3988.m.(38.)
Author Wallis W.H.
Source of Music As text
Printer or Publisher Francis, Day & Hunter
Other Imprints no other imprints found
First Line I'll introduce a friend of mine, a friend I've known for years
Parsed Title Railway Station Sandwich
Variant Set No variants found
DATA for: The Railway Station Sandwich

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