Ten Minutes Too Late

Traditional; written by Harry Clifton (1824-1872)


This example of "Ten Minutes Too Late" is performed by Máirtín de Cógáin on his album The False Start, available from the Chivalry Music store.
Please refer to Cantaria's Copyright information

Notes:  Harry Clifton was a prolific London music-hall writer and performer.  There is a running thread about his work in the Digital Tradition forum: http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=51212

There's some fidgety folks I always have known
Who are famous for being out too soon
For that two o'clock dinner or four o'clock tea
They always turn up around noon.

Such whimsical fancy I ne'er call my own
Although the reverse is my fate. (As a curse has decided my fate)
For it always occurs that wherever I go
I'm exactly ten minutes too late.

Punctuality is all very proper I know
and all hurry and worry I hate,
For it always occurs that wherever I go
I'm exactly ten minutes too late

I was once in my life very deeply in love
When I courted in verse and in prose.
I obtained me a big lock of her hair and a glove
And I made up my mind to propose.

Well the cab drove away as I knocked on her door
And the answer decided my fate,
For my rival had been just ten minutes before
So that I was ten minutes too late.


When I jump on a tram or I hop on a bus
To be nicely in time for a train
Well I'm all in a fever and quite in a fuss
Though I know that my efforts' in vain.

For when I arrive at the station at last
And I think it five minutes to eight
I observe by the clock that it's five minutes past
So that I am ten minutes too late.


I could sing for a month if I tore into song
Of the misfortunes I've had to endure,
For this this curse is has haunted me all my life long
And will haunt me till death I am sure.

When this fitful career is approaching its end
And I lie in a critical state,
Sure No matter what physics the doctor may send
He'll send them ten minutes too late.