Chinatown Chant

Original Text: 
Tom McInnes, In Amber Lands: A Poem (New York: Broadway, 1910): 154-56. Internet Archive.
2    See my very good friend:
3I have something good to eat
4    With my very good friend:
7He think me just Number One,
8    He my very good friend.
10        Yim poi--you no care,
11Sometime good time alla time maybe!
12        We no care--yim poi!
13Hello, how do, come in, sit down!
14    You my very good friend!
15You come best place in Chinatown,
16    You my very good friend!
17Too much cold and rain in street,
18You look sick, me stand you treat,
19Fix up something good to eat
20    For my very good friend.
21        Yim poi--I no care!
22        Yim poi--you no care,
23Sometime good time alla time maybe!
24        We no care--yim poi!
25S'pose you like some extra-dry,
26    You my very good friend:
28    You my very good friend!
30Bamboo-stick in chicken-wing,
31Mushroom stew with everything
32    For my very good friend.
33        Yim poi--I no care!
34        Yim poi--you no care,
35Sometime good time alla time maybe!
36        We no care--yim poi!
37Plenty eat and plenty drink
38    For my very good friend!
39You stay here all night I think,
40    You my very good friend!
41I lock fast big outside door,
42Have best time you had before,
43Sing-song girlie come some more
44    For my very good friend.
45        Yim poi--I no care!
46        Yim poi--you no care,
47Sometime good time alla time maybe!
48        We no care--yim poi!
49Sing-song girlie dance for you,
50    Sing, my very good friend!
51No more now you feel damblue,
52    Sing, my very good friend!
53Too much drink and too much fun
54Just enough for Number One,
55You know nothing when you done,
56    O my very good friend!
57        Yim poi--I no care!
58        Yim poi--you no care,
59Sometime good time alla time maybe!
60        We no care--yim poi!


1] Dupont Street: now Grant Avenue, San Francisco. Sdee Jesse B. Cook, "San Francisco's Old Chinatown," San Francisco Police and Peace Officers' Journal (June 1932), online at the Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco. Back to Line
5] damblue: damn blue. Back to Line
6] fantan: Chinese gambling game. Back to Line
9] Yim poi!: take and drink! Back to Line
27] mo-goo-gai: Cantonese dish with button mushrooms, chicken, and other vegetables in a broth-based sauce. Back to Line
29] chop-suey: meat, vegetables, and eggs, cooked in a starchy sauce. guy-see-ming: unidentified. Back to Line
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire / Sharine Leung
RPO Edition: