Song: I lived a happy life

I lived a happy life

I lived a happy life
’til I was ten years old,

When debt landed Dad in prison
And our country house was sold

Worked at a boot polish factory
Labeling jars, quite dull – all told

Goodness only knows
I was a miserable soul

For a time I went to school
But then I found a job

As a clerk to a lawyer
Oh it made my poor head throb

I failed to be an actor
In spite of my loud gob.

Ended up reporting speeches
Of the parliamentary mob

Then as everybody knows
I started writing prose.

Put my life into my books,
Friends, enemies and crooks.

Legal bosses up they crop
in “The Old Curiosity Shop”

Fagin in “Oliver Twist”
A factory pal, you get the gist.

And although my memory’s quite foggy
Got Scrooge from the grave of Ebenezer Scroggie.

My first book was an overnight sensation
But I drove myself too hard to enjoy the adulation,

Despite my wealth, my family begged for money
I wrote of it in “Chuzzlewit” which people said was funny.

Didn’t sell like books before
My family still asked for more.

“Little Dorrit” is a tale
About my Dad in debtor’s jail.

While “Hard Times” tells my life
‘Bout when I tried to leave my wife.

Little Nell’s death was my poor,
Dear, departed sister-in-law

And “David Copperfield”, working in a factory
I must confess that that was really me.

In my life felt shamed
’bout poverty in childhood

Wrote about sadness, suffering and fears
Also wrote about people with funny names

Bumble, Smallweed, Scrooge,
Uriah Heap and Wackford Squeers.

Whilst writing “Edwin Drood”
A train crash didn’t help my mood.

Still I drove myself on with readings
Far across the pond

Died before I wrote Drood’s end
This sort of thing drove me round the bend.

So Dickens, take a dickens, take a bow
And heaven knows I’m miserable …… now.”