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Oom-Pah-Pah lyrics

Oom-Pah-Pah lyrics

Oom-Pah-Pah is a lively and somewhat risqué show tune with music and lyrics by Lionel Bart and appearing in the musical Oliver! when it is sung by Nancy and the crowd at the “Three Cripples” tavern. Nancy is creating a little commotion by starting this song so that she can steal and save Oliver from Bill Sikes, the fearsome robber.  The word “oom-pah-pah” is seemingly used euphemistically to refer to both intoxication and fornication; however, as the song points out, the word’s meaning is only as dirty as the listener interprets it. 

Nancy: (spoken) All right, shut up, you lot! A bit of culture now! ‘Ere we go…

(sung) There’s a little ditty
They’re singing in the city
Especially when they’ve been
On the gin
Or the beer
If you’ve got the patience,
Your own imaginations
Will tell you just exactly what you want to hear…

All: Oom-pah-pah! Oom-pah-pah!
That’s how it goes,
Oom-pah-pah! Oom-pah-pah!
Ev’ryone knows.

All: They all suppose what they want to suppose
When they hear…oom-pah-pah!!

Nancy: Mister Percy Snodgrass
Would often have the odd glass —
But never when he thought anybody could see.
Secretly he’d buy it,
And drink it on the quiet,
And dream he was an Earl
Wiv a girl on each knee!

Customers and Nancy: Oom-pah-pah! Oom-pah-pah!
That’s how it goes.
Oom-pah-pah! Oom-pah-pah!
Ev’ryone knows…

Nancy: What is the cause of his red shiny nose?
Could it be…oom-pah-pah!?

Pretty little Sally
Goes walking down the alley,
Displays her pretty ankles to all of the men.
They could see her garters,
But not for free-and-gratis
An inch or two, and then she knows
When to say when!

All: Oom-pah-pah! Oom-pah-pah!
That’s how it goes.
Oom-pah-pah! Oom-pah-pah!
Ev’ryone knows…

Nancy: Whether it’s hidden, or whether it shows —
It’s the same…oom-pah-pah!
She was from the country,
But now she’s up a gum-tree —
She let a feller feed ‘er, then lead ‘er along
What’s the good o’ cryin’?
She’s made a bed to lie in
She’s glad to bring the coin in,
And join in this song!

All: Oom-pah-pah! Oom-pah-pah!
That’s how it goes!
Oom-pah-pah!Oom-pah-pah!
Ev’ryone knows.

Nancy: She is no longer the same blushing rose
Ever since … oom-pah-pah!

(spoken) Altogether now!
Nancy: (sung) There’s a little ditty
They’re singing in the city
Espeshly when they’ve been
On the gin
Or the beer
If you’ve got the patience,
Your own imaginations
Will tell you just exactly what you want to hear…

Chorus Overlap

All: Oom-pah-pah! Oom-pah-pah!
That’s how it goes,
Oom-pah-pah! Oom-pah-pah!
Ev’ryone knows.
They all suppose what they want to suppose
When they hear…oom-pah-pah!!

All: Oom-pah-pah! Oom-pah-pah!
That’s how it goes,
Oom-pah-pah! Oom-pah-pah!
Ev’ryone knows.
They all suppose what they want to suppose
When they hear…oom-pah-pah!!
Oom-pah-pah!

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