Modern Street Ballads


Of all the days throughout the year,
There was never one, I say,
That could come up in former times,
At all to Boxing Day.
But in the windows now you’ll see,
How shocking, I declare,
Notice! recollect, no Christmas Boxes
Will be given here.

In former times, how folks would spree,
So lively, brisk and gay,
Such jolly games there used to be
Upon a Boxing Day.

Some folks are mean, as may be seen,
Who plenty have in store,
And strive outright, with all their might,
To trample on the poor.
It was not so in former times,
For every class together,
Stroll to the Play, on Boxing Day,
Like Birds of every feather.

The beadles out a boxing went,
So did old women too,
The dustmen out a boxing went,
A whistling—Dust O!
Some would dance, and some would sing,
And some a noise would keep,
And some would in the watch house go,
To get a lodging cheap.

In grandfather’s and grandmother’s days,
Folks through the streets were led,
There were no police with rolling pins,
To break the people’s heads;
They did not Polka dresses wear,
Or bustles on their rumps,
And shop boys did not smoke cigars,
Made out of Cabbage Stumps.

Now up and down old London Town,
In windows every where,
There are bills that say, No Christmas boxes
Will be given here.
They may put their Christmas boxes up,
Said Bet to her old man,
And then she boxed him round the room,
And broke the frying pan.

Now all old ancient customs will
Be quickly done away,
Here’s a happy new Year, and may you live
Till another Boxing day:
But may Old Nick a visit pay
To them both far and near,
Who in their windows put,
No Christmas Boxes given here.

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