A BASS’S LAMENT By E. Ralph Andrew I wasn’t feeling very well; The nurses hovered near.
They seemed a little worried, But I really had no fear. I’d sometimes sung a hymn or two, Or sometimes said a prayer, So if I shuffled off this coil I shouldn’t have a care. My quartet came to visit me; I thought it rather odd
That rather than an uppie piece They sang, “I’ll Walk with God.” And then they sang, “Abide with Me” As the nurses changed my dressing. I knew I was in trouble when I heard “The Irish Blessing.” “I thought you came to cheer me up,” I said, “Sing something cheerful!” But the boys seemed sad and out of sorts, And lachrymose. (That’s “tearful”). I had to send them out of there To come another day. Then I lay back on my pillow, and I quietly passed away. But soon I opened up my eyes Like waking from a coma. My nostrils were assaulted by A sulphurous aroma. I squirmed in some discomfort, And no wonder that I did, Because my comfy bed was now A heated iron grid.
“At least it’s warmer here,” I thought, As I started to perspire, For all around me I could see A roaring, blazing fire. A fellow stood beside me, Dressed in red, all quiet and still. “Uh, oh,” I thought,” this hospital Has really gone downhill.” The fellow smiled, and welcomed me, Despite his horns and tail. “I’m really glad you’re here,” he said. I felt myself go pale. “Don’t worry, man, we’ve plenty here Of lawyers, priests and coppers. It’s only rarely we can welcome Any barbershoppers.” I gasped in fear, “Oh, you must be The Evil One, the Devil!” He laughed and said, “Don’t worry, I am far below that level. I’m just about as lowly as A garbage dump inspector! In fact, I’m even lower: I’m our Musical Director. “A man of your experience Is really quite a gift! I want you in our chorus.” And I felt my spirits lift. “We need a choreographer, A treasurer as well. And you’ll be singing baritone.” Then I knew I was in hell.