The Ragtime Postman

Edwardian postmanFound in a scrapbook of clippings and manuscript material dating from c 1914 – 1930 and entitled ‘Gags ‘ is this written down ditty called ‘Ragtime Postman’. We are informed that the first verse should be sung ‘ by 4 with movement ‘.

Morning, noon & night you’ll always hear

Rat a tat Rat a tat Rat a tat

Then the ragtime Postman will appear

On his back in a sack he’s got letters in a stack

For you and me

And all of us get a move on post man do

Letters with kisses from other fellows’ misses

All of want to see what’s in them

(enter comedy postman & sings chorus)

I’m the ragtime postman

(all) Have you got any letters for me ?

(postman) For your best girl or your real pal

From your honey

(all) One with lots of money in it.

Ragtime post man, I live at number 3

When you come with your rat tat tat

Like that

Don’t stand there there’s welcome on the mat

Walk in, walk in, walk in.

Mr ragtime postman

(post man sings)

Morning, noon & night you’ll always hear

(all) Rat a tat Rat a tat Rat a tat

(postman)Then the ragtime postman will appear

(all) With his bag, what a drag, what a syncopated rag

(postman) There may be one for you or you

(all) & there may be one for me

(postman) Letters from mothers, brothers one & others

(all) All of us want to see what’s in them…

At this point the ragtime beat breaks down and in line with the Music Hall tradition of the singer/comedian the song becomes a comedy dialogue between the postman and a man. The faulty metre and rhyme scheme suggest that this is an original piece, but we can’t be sure. Interestingly, ‘The Ragtime Postman ‘has features in common with the popular ‘rap’ music of our own time. [R.M.Healey]

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