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She Was Poor but She Was Honest (It's the Same the Whole World Over)

Anonymous
Language: English

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[fine 800]
Canzone fine ottocentesca da varietà, una storia patetica cantanta “tongue-in-cheek”, in tono scherzoso, eppure è un’aperta denuncia di una delle tante ingiustizie nella millenaria guerra che i ricchi fanno ai poveri…
Esistono molte versioni del brano, una adattata anche al periodo della Grande Guerra quando - it's always the same story – se gli uomini erano carne da cannone, le donne erano carne per i guerrieri…
La versione forse più famosa – il cui testo ho reperito sul solito Mudcat Café - è questa interpretata dall’attore inglese Billy Bennett (“almost a gentleman” si definiva), uno dei re del music hall e del varietà degli anni 20 e 30…

Billy Bennett
She was poor but she was honest,
Though she came from 'umble stock,
And her honest heart was beating
Underneath her tattered frock.

But the rich man saw her beauty,
She knew not his base design,
And he took her to a hotel
And bought her a small port wine.

It's the same the whole world over,
It's the poor what gets the blame,
It's the rich what gets the pleasure,
Isn't it a blooming shame?

In the rich man's arms she fluttered
Like a bird with a broken wing,
But he loved her and he left her,
Now she hasn't got no ring.

Time has flown - outcast and homeless
In the street she stands and says,
While the snowflakes fall around her,
'Won't you buy my bootlaces.'

It's the same the whole world over,
It's the poor what gets the blame,
It's the rich what gets the pleasure,
Isn't it a blooming shame?

Standing on the bridge at midnight
She says, 'Farewell, blighted love!'
There's a scream, a splash, good 'eavens!
What is she a doing of?

Soon they dragged her from the river,
Water from her clothes they wrang.
They all thought that she was drownded,
But the corpse got up and sang:

"It's the same the whole world over,
It's the poor what gets the blame,
It's the rich what gets the pleasure,
Isn't it a blooming shame?"

She was poor but she was honest,
Victim of a rich man's game.
First he loved her, then he left her,
And she lost her maiden name.

Then she ran away to London
For to hide her grief and shame.
There she met an Army captain,
And she lost her name again.

"It's the same the whole world over.
It's the poor that gets the blame.
It's the rich that gets the pleasure.
Ain't it all a bleeding shame?"

See him riding in a carriage
Past the gutter where she stands.
He has made a stylish marriage,
While she wrings her ringless hands.

See him there at the theatre,
In the front row with the best,
While the girl that he has ruined
Entertains a sordid guest.

"It's the same the whole world over.
It's the poor that gets the blame.
It's the rich that gets the pleasure.
Ain't it all a bleeding shame?"

See her on the bridge at midnight,
Crying "Farewell, blighted love".
Then a scream, a splash, and . . Goodness!
What is she a-doing of?

When they dragged her from the river
Water from her clothes they wrung.
Though they thought that she was drownded,
Still her corpse got up and sung:

"It's the same the whole world over,
It's the poor what gets the blame,
It's the rich what gets the pleasure,
Isn't it a blooming shame?"

Contributed by Bernart Bartleby - 2014/9/10 - 09:33



Language: Italian

Versione risalente al periodo della Grande Guerra, dove il protagonista è un ufficiale senza scrupoli che s’ingalla la poveretta sprofondandola nell’infelicità e nella miseria mentre lui continua a puttaniare intraprendendo poi una brillante carriera politica…
Molte altre versioni “da caserma”, diffuse soprattutto nella Royal Navy, possono leggersi qui.
SHE WAS POOR BUT SHE WAS HONEST

She was poor but she was honest
Victim of the Colonel’s whim
First he wooed her then seduced her
And she had a child by him.

It’s the same the whole world over
Isn’t it a bleedin’ shame?!?
It’s the rich what gets the pleasure
And the poor what gets the blame.

Then she went away to London
For to hide her grief and shame
But she met an army captain
And she lost her name again

It’s the same the whole world over
Isn’t it a bleedin’ shame?!?
It’s the rich what gets the pleasure
And the poor what gets the blame.

In the little country cottage
Where her saddened parents live
Though they drink the fizz she sends ‘em
Yet they never can forgive.

It’s the same the whole world over
Isn’t it a bleedin’ shame?!?
It’s the rich what gets the pleasure
And the poor what gets the blame.

Now she’s standing in the gutter
Selling matches a penny a box
While he’s riding in his carriage
With an awful dose of pox

It’s the same the whole world over
Isn’t it a bleedin’ shame?!?
It’s the rich what gets the pleasure
And the poor what gets the blame.

See him in a grand theater
Eating chocolate in the pit
While the poor girl what he ruined
Wanders round through mud and shit

It’s the same the whole world over
Isn’t it a bleedin’ shame?!?
It’s the rich what gets the pleasure
And the poor what gets the blame.

See him in the House of Commons
Making laws to put down crime
While the victim of his passion
Slinks around to hide her shime

It’s the same the whole world over
Isn’t it a bleedin’ shame?!?
It’s the rich what gets the pleasure
And the poor what gets the blame.

Now she’s livin’ in the cottage
But she very rarely smiles
And her only occupation
Is cracking ice for grandad’s piles.

Contributed by Bernart Bartleby - 2014/9/10 - 09:34



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