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His Excellency Regrets

This song is by Noël Coward and appears on the compilation album His HMV Recordings 1928 To 1953 (1993) and on the compilation album Complete Recordings Vol. 4 (1944 To 1951): I Wonder What Happened To Him (2004).

Now listen please,
I'll tell you confidentially
How ADCs
Are trained in social grace.
They must be brave,
For daily
They're called upon to save
His Excellency's face.

Any explanation
Of the duties of an ADC
Proves the complications
That are rife at Government House.
Certain situations
They could never let a lady see.
There are strange vibrations
In the life of Government House.

Truth is often sacrificed
For reasons of diplomacy.
That, of course, you understand.
But all the same,
It must be grand
To be
So suave,
So calm,
So dignified,
If you knew what all that signified!

Who break the ninth commandment every day
Would hang their heads in shame and say
We have
To live
Officially on feet of clay.'

Every minute
We're made to sin, it
Is really very depraved,
But to Hell with the lies we tell--
His Excellency's honour must be saved!

His Excellency regrets
That owing to an attack of gout
He really dare not venture out
On Saturday to dine.

His Excellency regrets
That owing to doctor's orders
He cannot attend the mission tea
And also must decline
Your kind invitation
For Wednesday week.
A slight operation,
And poor circulation,
Combined with a weedy physique
Has made him unable to speak.
All this in addition to what
The doctors describe as a clot,
Which may disappear
By the end of the year,
But may very possibly not.

His Excellency regrets
That owing to his exalted state
He can no more associate
With amiable brunettes.
Walk up, walk up,
We're willing to take your bets
That that's one of the principal things His Excellency regrets!

So now you know
About the Diplomatic Corps,
How it can so
Corrupt the soul of youth.
Imagine if
Someday they gave the waiting world a whiff
Of plain unvarnished truth!

His Excellency regrets
That, failing a better alibi,
He must admit he'd rather die
Than open your bazaar.

His Excellency regrets,
That lacking enough official scope,
He can't disband the Band of Hope,
No matter where they are.

He frankly despises
The people he rules.
His gorge also rises
When giving the prizes
At co-educational schools,
To rows of illiterate fools.
And if you should write in the book,
He'll give you a murderous look,
For it ruins his day
To be taken away
From his rod and his line and his hook.

His Excellency regrets,
He hasn't enough to run the house,
Or pay the staff, or feed a mouse
Upon the pay he gets.
Hey-ho, hey-ho,
He's up to his ears in debts,
But that's one of the least of the things His Excellency regrets!

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