The Whitechapel Murders
I come from the East End of London
and the East End ain’t pretty or sweet,
‘specially where I come from
just off Dorset Street.
And the people from up in the West End
with their noses up in the air
Either treat us like vermin
or pretend we just ain’t there.
Well they couldn’t pretend no longer
and they suddenly started to care
when the news of the Whitechapel Murders
broke in Pembroke Square.
Whitechapel’s part of the East End,
some people say the worst,
but no one foresaw what had started
on August 31st.
It was quarter to four in the morning
when a carter names Cross, walking slow,
thought he saw a tarpaulin
laid in the kerb in Buck’s Row.
So he walked to the opposite pavement,
as he stood there and lowered his head,
he saw that it weren’t no tarpaulin
but a woman. Drunk. Or dead.
A man name of Paul was approaching.
Shouts Cross “give us hand with her, mate”.
Then they looked and saw her throat bleeding
and the blood dripping down a grate.
They both ran to look for a bobby
and they found one named Constable Haine,
who called for a Scotland Yard doctor
to examine the tart by the drain.
When the doctor examined the body
he turned to the men with a scowl
saying “gentlemen, we have uncovered
a murder most horrid and foul”.
The newspaper rendors that evening
had placards displayed at their feet
saying “Woman killed in Whitechapel
and then disemboweled in the street!”
Now murders ain’t really unusual,
even less so around the East End,
but the slaying of Mary Ann Nichols
was something quite different again.
The public was sort of uneasy;
the press said a monster was loose
and that Londoners couldn’t rest easy
‘til he hung with his neck in a noose.
For eight days the hatter continued
and then, like a bolt from the blue,
on September the 8th Annie Chapman
was founds dead and butchered too.
In the back yard of 29 Hanbury Street,
with people asleep all around,
she was found with her throat cut and bleeding
and her entrails laid out on the ground.
Well, the people were now in a panic,
And people were heard to remark:
“If you don’t want to be the next victim,
don’t go out alone after dark!”
For three weeks nothing happened.
The police still hadn’t a clue,
But at least there’d been no more murders
And we hoped it might stop at two.
And then one Sunday it happened
and it put the whole city in fright;
another two murders committed
and both on the same bloody night!
A bloke with a cart found the first one;
at his gate his horse stopped and shied,
so the fella, called Diemshutz got down
and discovered the cause was Elizabeth Stride.
She lay there, her throat freshly severed,
she had only that moment been done,
and when Diemshutz had come ‘round the corner
the murderer had to run.
In fact it was highly likely
That the carter, not wanting to wait,
Had passed within feet of the monster
Who was hiding behind the gate!
At the same time, Katherine Eddowes
was being released by the police.
She had been taken in as a drunkard,
but was sober enough for release.
She was walking toward the East End
on her way back from Bishopsgate nick
when she met a man at Church Passage
and stopped to chat for a tick.
If you go down Church Passage a short way
you come to Mitre Square
and her horrible butchered body
at a quarter to two was found there.
Outside Kearly & Tonge,
sprawled out and half undressed,
with her entrails over her shoulder
and her throat cut like all the rest.
A letter was sent to the papers,
written completely in red,
from a bloke who said he’s done the murders.
Course he might have been out of his head.
He said “what do you think of the double?
With the first I had no time to clip her,
But the second I did, and there’ll be more yet!”
and he signed it “Jack the Ripper”.
Sir Charles Warren realized the victims
were all of one particular class,
but other than that he knew nothing,
not even his head from his arse.
The people were screaming for vengeance,
and, terrified, woman and bloke,
they shouted “the sack for Charles Warren!”
who they thought was no more than a joke.
The police had arrested hundreds,
dozens, sometimes, in one day,
hoping they’d caught the Ripper,
but they all got sent away.
And then came the day in September
that I have cause to regret.
My gaffer sent me to Millers Court
to a woman who’d got into debt.
The debtor was Mary Jane Kelly,
a nice enough girl, and well known,
she’d been living there with a fella
who’d gone off and left her alone.
Well, I went ‘round to hers in the morning,
‘bout quarter to eleven it were,
I knocked on the door for some minutes
but I couldn’t hear anything stir.
So I walked ‘round the back to the courtyard,
and a glass at the back of her room
was broke, so I pulled back the curtain
and reached up and peeped through the gloom.
Well I bloody-well wish I hadn’t.
I wish I’d not tried so hard
‘cause the sight that I saw thorough that window
nearly felled me right there in the yard.
On a bed near the window lay Mary,
or some of her anyway, dead,
with the rest of her laid on the table
or arranged down the side of the bed.
Her ears and her breasts and her eyelids,
and her nose, all given the chop;
all that remained was her carcass,
like a pig in a butchers shop.
I ran like old Nick was behind me
and my voice seemed to come from elsewhere
as I shouted “another foul murder,
for gawd's sake, is anyone there?”
It took me a month to recover
and I still wake up screaming at night
as in dreams I see poor Mary Kelly
laid in that terrible plight.
Well, it’s quite a few years since that
happened, back in 1888
since I found Mary’s body in Dorset Street
left in that horrible state.
The Ripper spent two hours on Kelly
alone in that dingy old flat,
and that must have satisfied Jackie
‘cause there wasn’t no more after that.
The police never caught Jack the Ripper,
they don’t have a clue to him still.
they didn’t know who he was then, mate,
and I recon they never will.