Why Can't The English? lyrics

Album: My Fair Lady

Look at her, a prisoner of the gutters,
Condemned by every syllable she utters,
By rights she should be taken out and hung,
For the cold-blooded murder of the English tongue.
Eliza: Aaoooww! (Henry imitating her Aaoooww!)
Heavens! What a sound!
This is what the British population,
Calls an elementary education.
Pickering: Come Sir, I think you picked a poor example.
Henry: Did I?
Hear them down in Soho Square,
Dropping "h's" everywhere.
Speaking English anyway they like.
You sir, did you go to school?
Man: Wadya tike me for, a fool?
Henry: No one taught him 'take' instead of 'tike'!
Hear a Yorkshireman, or worse,
Hear a Cornishman converse,
I'd rather hear a choir singing flat.
Chickens cackling in a barn! Just like this one!
Eliza: Garn!
Henry: I ask you, sir, what sort of word is that?
It's "Aoooow" and "Garn" that keep her in her place.
Not her wretched clothes and dirty face.
Why can't the English teach their children how to speak?
This verbal class distinction by now should be antique.
If you spoke as she does, sir, instead of the way you do,
Why, you might be selling flowers, too.
Pickering: I beg your pardon.
An Englishman's way of speaking absolutely classifies him,
The moment he talks he makes some other Englishman despise him.
One common language I'm afraid we'll never get.
Oh, why can't the English learn to set
A good example to people whose
English is painful to your ears?
The Scotch and the Irish leave you close to tears.
There even are places where English completely disappears.
Why, in America, they haven't used it for years!
Why can't the English teach their children how to speak?
Norwegians learn Norwegian; the Greeks are taught their Greek.
In France every Frenchman knows his language from "A" to "Zed"
The French never care what they do, actually,
So long as they pronounce it properly.
Arabians learn Arabian with the speed of summer lightning,
The Hebrews learn it backwards,
Which is absolutely frightening.
But use proper English you're regarded as a freak.
Why can't the English,
Why can't the English learn to speak?

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