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"The girl that I kissed in the dark on the stairs..." | 21-Feb-05

I'm looking for a twentieth century British poem that has the refrain "The girl that I kissed in the dark on the stairs". Can you help at all?

15 comments have been made on this quote. Click here to read them and then add your own!

Do you know this poem? Do you have any clues to help us find it?


Unfortunately I don't have any clues but this is exactly the poem I was loooking for. My father used to recite it at parties and I was hoping to find the text...I know the first verse if that helps!
Phil Newton

My Uncle Hugh (Neale) used to perform this at concerts around Lincolnshire with 'the Jolly Nibs' concert party. My father got him to record it in his old age. Here it is, as he recorded it:

I've kissed many girls in many conditions
kissed them both with and without their permissions
But never a wone for a moment compares
with the girl that I kissed in the dark on the stairs

It was just round the corner, a very sharp turning
Someone kindly forgot to leave a light burning
We met with a bump, caught both unawares
And somehow or other we just kissed on the stairs

Was she fair, was she dark, was she mistress or maid?
An innocent schoolgirl or had brazened lay
I never discovered and I don't really care
Enough that we met and we kissed on the stair

She didnt say Yes and she didn't say No
But she clung pretty tight and she wouldn't let go
A lover who wins is a lover who dares
So I kissed her again in the dark on the stairs

Her lips were so soft and her skin it was creamy
And as for her eyes, well I bet they were dreamy
But alas, total darkness one's vision impairs
But you don't need to look when you kiss on the stairs

For fully a minute she clung pretty tight
Then up on the landing some fool lit a light
And swearing the softest of feminine swears
She kissed me and left me along on the stairs.

Eddie Neale

I know it appeared in a section called 'Parlour Poetry" some years ago in 'This England' magazine. The text supplied by Eddie Neale sounds right from what I can remember. It may even have been written in the 19th century.
Tony Andrews

I have been searching for this poem for years ! My father (born 1904) who died over 20 years ago, used to recite it to us and I always regretted not writing it down. I am thrilled to bits to find it today.
Shirley Bedford

I now an old-un opf 69 years. I preformed this poem when I was about 16 or 17 years old on a stage at a concert, I have been trying to find this for some time, I still remember most of it but it fades a bit after some time, it is quite wonderful to find it again. Thanks to Eddie Neale, happy days.

Michael Britton

My mother Henrietta B Peers was a member of the concert party 'The Jolly Nibs'. I would love to know more about the other members of the group and what happened to them.
Veronica Mascord

The last verse:

That was long, long ago and I'm fast growing old
And the girls nowadays leave me out in the cold
But I just close my eyes to such mundane affairs
And fancy I'm kissing that girl....on the stairs
Lynn Hawkins

Was she fair, was she dark, was she mistress or maid?
An innocent schoolgirl or had brazened lay

My memory of my father (born 1898) reciting this has slightly different words but the above last line was 'An innocent schoogirl or hearbreaking jade (to rhyme with maid)
Lynn Hawkins

Many thanks to Eddie and Lynn. I have been looking for these words for several years. My father, born 1897, recited this at every family gathering but, unfortunately, I never wrote the words down. Two other poems that he loved were "The Pigtail of Li Fang Fu' and " One Eyed Yellow Idol" I found the words to these but "The Girl on the Stairs" eluded me until now.
Tom Anderson

I first found this in an anthology called "Verse and Worse" many years ago. I don't know if it is available
Gerald Davies

We have a Faber anthology here in the Poetry Library, "Verse and Worse" edited by Arnold Silcock, published 1952, but this poem does not appear to be in there. The British Library hold several poetry books called "Verse and Worse".
Poetry Library

You'll find the poem by searching "Make 'em Laugh" - "monolgues.co.uk" a website devoted to doggerel - and some of it is excellent doggerel! The poem was written by Lawrence Hanray and recorded by Jack Howarth (who played Albert Tatlock in Coronation Street). There's music for it too -Braintree Male Voice Choir performed it recently. Let me know if you want more information about the music and I'll contact one of the members of the choir.
M.J. Revell

This poem has been in my repertoire for some time - albeit, incomplete it now seems! It is very much a crowd pleaser, and I enjoy reciting it enormously. It was the "party piece" of our artistic director, Mr. Bill Hicks, a well know producer/director of drama in the Tees-side area. He would always perform it after each production at our "after play party" .I am so pleased to be updated with its past history.
Hugh Waldie
Hugh Waldie

My Father, James F. McBurnie gave me the words to this monologue over 50 years ago.

I've kissed many girls, under many conditions,
I've kissed them both with, and without their permissions,
But none for a moment, ever compares,
With the girl that I kissed, in the dark, on the stairs.

It was just to the right, a sort of sudden sharp turning,
and they'd kindly forgotten, to leave the light burning,
We met with a bump, taken quite unawares,
and somehow or other, we kissed on the stairs.

Her lips were so soft, and her skin it was creamy,
and as for her eyes, I'll bet they were dreamy,
But there in the dark, well your visions impaired,
and you don't want to look, when you kiss on the stairs.

Was she fair, or was she dark, mistress or maid,
innocent schoolgirl, or heart breaking Jade,
Well I couldn't discover, but still, who cares,
It was enough, that we kissed, in the dark, on the stairs.

As we stood trembling, with fear and delight,
Up on the landing, some fool struck a light,
And swearing the softest of feminine swears,
She left me, alone, on the stairs.

Well long years have passed by, and of course I've grown old,
And I still wake at night and go all hot and cold,
With a glimpse of false teeth, scrawny neck and grey hair,
It was my mother-in-law, that I kissed on the stairs.
Les McBurnie

looking for the word of the kiss on the stairs the only line I have of it: a robin passed my path today
marion oconnor

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