By Noel Coward

Verse 1

In a dear little village remote and obscure
A beautiful maiden resided.
As to whether or not her intentions were pure
Opinion was sharply divided.
She loved to lie out ‘neath the darkening sky
And allow the soft breeze to entrance her.
She whispered her dreams to the birds flying by
But seldom received any answer.

Over the field and along the lane
Gentle Alice would love to stray,
When it came to the end of the day,
She would wander away unheeding,
Dreaming her innocent dreams she strolled
Quite unaffected by heat or cold,
Frequently freckled or soaked with rain,
Alice was out in the lane.
Whom she met there
Every day there
Was a question answered by none,
But she’d get there
And she’d stay there
Till whatever she did was undoubtedly done.
Over the field and along the lane
When her parents had called in vain,
Sadly, sorrowfully, they’d complain,
“Alice is at it again.”


Verse 2                   

Though that dear little village
Surrounded by trees
Had neither a school nor a college
Gentle Alice acquired from the birds and the bees
Some exceedingly practical knowledge
The curious secrets that nature revealed
She refused to allow to upset her
But she thought when observing the beasts of the field
That things might have been organised better.

Over the field and along the lane
Gentle Alice would make up
And take up – her stand.
The road was not exactly arterial
But it led to a town near by
Where quite a lot of masculine material
Caught her roving eye.
She was ready to hitchhike
Cadillac or motor-bike,
She wasn’t proud or choosey,
All she
Was aiming to be
Was a prinked up,
Minked up
Fly-by-night Floosie.
When old Rajahs
Gave her pearls as large as
Nuts on a chestnut tree
All she said was, “Fiddlededee,
The wages of sin will be the death of me!”
Over the field and along the lane
Gentle Alice’s parents would wait hand in hand.
Her dear old white-headed mother, wistfully sipping champagne
Said “We’ve spoiled our child – spared the rod,
Open up the caviar and say Thank God.
We’ve got no cause to complain,
Alice is at it
Alice is at it
Alice is at it again.”


NOËL COWARD: The Complete Lyrics, ed. Barry Day, Methuen 1998