“The Reason Why”


The singer is picked up by a beautiful woman. She takes him to a house and then to bed: "You are the nicest boy I've seen today... I would love a jewelled ring." In the morning a man comes in and kicks him into the gutter. He pays and doesn't ask why


The description is based on Walter Pardon's version on Voice15.

The following description, based on broadside Bodleian Harding B 11(3238), tells a story with a different ending: The singer was picked up by a beautiful woman. She took him in tow. He paid for brandy and oysters. A dandy kicked him into the gutter. The police took him to the station-house. Before a magistrate, his wife and children he is sentenced to 30 days.

Keywords combine both stories.

Walter Pardon's version has a simple chorus:

And she said, "Come, come along, old boy,

And don't look so bashful and shy

She really was a beauty. I thought it was my duty,

So I paid and never asked the reason why.

The broadside Bodleian Harding B 11(3238) version has each "chorus" modified to advance the story. - BS

Cross references


  • Bodleian, Harding B 11(3238), "The Reason Why" ("One night in cold December, I've reason to remember"), H. Disley (London), 1860-1883; also Firth b.28(13), Firth c.17(151), 2806 c.15(284), 2806 c.15(284), "The Reason Why"


  • Walter Pardon, "One Cold Morning in December" (on Voice15)


  1. Roud #1745
  2. BI, RcTReWhy


Author: unknown
Earliest date: before 1884 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 11(3238))
Found in: Britain(England(Lond))