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Lines in Praise of the Lyric Club Banquet

William Topaz McGonagall 1825 – 1902 (Greyfriars Parish, Edinburgh)

Which was Held in the Queens Hotel, Perth, on the Evening of 5th September 1894

'Twas in the year of 1894, and on the 5th of September,
Which for a long time I will remember,
And the gentlemen I entertained in the city of Perth,
Which is one of the grandest cities upon the earth.

At the Banquet there were gentlemen of high degree,
And the viands they partook of filled their hearts with glee;
There was Beef, Fish, and Potatoes galore,
And we all ate until we could eat no more

The gentlemen present were very kind to me,
And the entertainment I gave them filled their hearts with glee;
Especially the Recital I gave them from "Macbeth",
They were so much fascinated they almost lost their breath.

The audience were orderly and all went well,
As cheerily and as smoothly as a marriage bell.
Mr James Speedie was the chairman, and behaved right manfully,
And sang a beautiful song, which filled our hearts with glee.

But when I sang my "Rattling Boy from Dublin Town",
The audience were like to pull the house down
With the hearty applause they showered upon me,
Because I sang the song so merrily.

But, in conclusion, I must honestly say
I haven't been so well treated for manv a day;
Because I got a Splendid Bed in the Queen's Hotel,
And the breakfast I got there I liked right well.

The treatment I received there would please the Queen,
Because the cooking is most excellent and the beds are clean;
And, in conclusion, I return my thanks to one and all,
Especially the members of the Lyric Club, big and small,
Also the landlord of the Queen's Hotel, yours truly,
McGonagall.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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William Topaz McGonagall

William Topaz McGonagall (March 1825 – 29 September 1902) was an Irish weaver, poet and actor who lived in Scotland. He won notoriety as an extremely bad poet who exhibited no recognition of, or concern for, his peers' opinions of his work. He wrote about 200 poems, including "The Tay Bridge Disaster" and "The Famous Tay Whale", which are widely regarded as some of the worst in English literature. Groups throughout Scotland engaged him to make recitations from his work, and contemporary descriptions of these performances indicate that many listeners were appreciating McGonagall's skill as a comic music hall character. Collections of his verse remain popular, with several volumes available today. McGonagall has been lampooned as the worst poet in British history. The chief criticisms are that he was deaf to poetic metaphor and unable to scan correctly. His only apparent understanding of poetry was his belief that it needed to rhyme. McGonagall's fame stems from the humorous effects these shortcomings are considered to generate in his work. Scholars argue that his inappropriate rhythms, weak vocabulary, and ill-advised imagery combine to make his work amongst the most unintentionally amusing dramatic poetry in the English language. His work is in a long tradition of narrative ballads and verse written and published about great events and tragedies, and widely circulated among the local population as handbills. In an age before radio and television, their voice was one way of communicating important news to an avid public. more…

All William Topaz McGonagall poems | William Topaz McGonagall Books

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    "Lines in Praise of the Lyric Club Banquet" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 14 Jun 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/41830/lines-in-praise-of-the-lyric-club-banquet>.

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