The Darwinian Theory

by John Young, C.E.

(Air: The King of the Cannibal Islands, Allegretto)

Oh! have you heard the news of late,
About our great original state?
If you have not, I will relate
The grand Darwinian theory.
Take care as you saunter along the street,
How you tread on the dust beneath your feet:
You may crush a cherub in embryo sweet,
For each atom may hold a germ complete,
Which, by some mystical process slow,
And selective power, to a monkey may grow,
And from that to a man, the truth to show
Of the grand Darwinian theory.

Oh! hokey, pokey, Kanyuwan,
From nothing to something, from monkey to man.
Oh! this is the great developing plan,
Of the grand Darwinian theory.

The beginning of all was a little cell,
Composed of what substance no one can tell,
Endowed with a power to develop and swell
Into general life by this theory.
With a power to select what it wished to be -
A fungus or flower, a bush or a tree,
A fowl of the air, or a fish of the sea,
A cow or a sheep, a bug or a flea,
Or, if tired of these, it may change its plan:
Be a cat or a dog, or O-rang-oo-tan,
But culminating at last in a man
By this grand Darwinian theory.

Oh! hokey, pokey, pow'r of selection,
Choose yourself your particular section.
A peasant, or Lord with a great connection.
By the grand Darwinian theory.

Your attention, ladies - let me win it;
Just think of this theory for a minute;
Is there really not something distressing in it -
To think that you sprang from a monkey?
That delicate hand was a monkey's paw,
Those lovely lips graced a monkey's jaw,
Those handsome ankles, so trim and neat,
One time surmounted a monkey's feet;
Those sparkling eyes a monkey did lend,
That graceful form from one did descend,
From a monkey you borrowed the Grecian bend,
By this grand Darwinian theory.

Oh! hokey, pokey, protoplasm,
'Tween monkeys and man there is no chasm,
Why shouldn't you clasp them to your bosom?
They're infant men by this theory.

Such murderers we - far worse than Cain,
For darker deeds our characters stain;
For thousands of brothers we've eaten and slain,
By the grand Darwinian theory.
When sitting at breakfast, and picking the wing
Of a pigeon, or grouse, or of some other thing;
Or dining on mutton or lamb, if in spring;
Or on salmon, or trout, or on cod, or on ling -
Gaze into the future, and say, can't you see
What horrible cannibals we must be,
Devouring the flesh, which may yet become we,
By the grand Darwinian theory?

Oh! hokey, pokey, ringo-ging,
The cannibal islands once had a King
Who ate his own kin, but to us he's no-thing,
When compared in the light of this theory.

But why should the theory end with man?
If he has been less, surely more he can,
And should be, by the great developing plan
Of the grand Darwinian theory.
Why should he not on this earth yet be,
An angel, or god, like Mercury,
With a wing on each shoulder, each ankle and knee?
Oh! how delightful then it will be,
When sighing and wishing your sweetheart to see,
To wipe your beak, and just upwards flee,
Like birds - and meet your love on a tree,
On the top of a hill, by this theory.

Oh! hokey, pokey, ringo-ging,
The world then literally on the wing,
No street cabs needed, or any such thing,
By the grand Darwinian theory.


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