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I'll tell you a story of Jack and his glory

Posted by Bill Anderson on September 01, 2009 at 21:08

Does anyone know the origin of the phrase "I'll tell you a story of John Bull and his glory, if you promise not to speak in the middle of it"? I heard this said recently in a TV drama and it reminded me of an expression often used by my father who would say, "I'll tell you a story of Jack and his glory, if you promise not to speak in the middle of it". This was as I was growing up on Tyneside in the early fifties. I hadn't heard this for decades and I'd quite forgotten it until I heard it quoted by Robert Glenister as Sup't Empton in an edition of 'Inspector George Gently' on BBC1 Friday 28th Aug. Any ideas please?