Modern Street Ballads


Britannia’s sons an attentive ear
One moment lend to me,
Whether tillers of our fruitful soil,
Or lords of high degree.
Mechanic too and artizan,
Old England’s pride and boast,
Whose wondrous skill has spread around
Far, far from Britain’s coast.

For the great world’s Exhibition,
Let’s shout with loud huzza,
All Nations never can forget
The glorious First of May.

From every quarter of the Globe
They come across the sea,
And to the Crystal Palace
The wonders for to see;
Raised by the handwork of men
Born on British ground
A Challenge to the universe
It’s equal to be found.

Each friendly nation in the world
Have their assistance lent,
And to this Exhibition
Have their productions sent;
And with honest zeal and ardour,
With pleasure do repair,
With hands outstretched and gait erect,
To the world’s great National Fair.

The sons of England and France,
And America likewise,
With other nations to contend
To bear away the prize.
With pride depicted in their eyes,
View the offspring of the hand,
Oh, surely England’s greatest wealth
Is an honest working man.

It is a glorious sight to see
So many thousands meet,
Not heeding creed or country,
Each other friendly greet.
Like Children of one might Sire
May that sacred tie ne’er cease
May the blood-stained sword of war give way
To the olive branch of peace.

But—hark—the trumpets flourish,
Victoria does approach,
That she may be long spared to us
Shall be our reigning toast.
I trust each heart it will respond,
To what I now propose.
Good will and plenty to her friends,
And confusion to her foes.

Great praise is due to Albert,
For the good that he has done,
May others follow in his steps
The work he has begun,
Then let us all with one accord,
His name give with three cheers,
Shout Huzza for the Crystal Palace,
And the World’s Great National Fair.

<< Margate Hoy   Sheep's Eyes for Ever >>

The End As I Know It: A Novel of Millennial Anxiety, by proprietor Kevin Shay, is now available in paperback.

Please visit for more information.