Modern Street Ballads


I used to be a vulgar clown, with cash and money short in,
Till my old uncle died in Town, and left me all his fortune,
A collier I was by trade, but I’ve chang’d as you may tell, sir,
And since a richer purse I’ve got, I’ll be a regular Swell, sir.

But I’m so plagued with vulgar folks, since I’ve got cash to sport in,
Why can’t a collier cut a swell, when he’s been left a fortune?

I used to go with low bred chaps, and talk to every put low,
Get drunk in Tom and Jerry shops, and go a purring foot bo;
But now, with all the swells in town, I sport my bobs and tanners,
And I am going to London town, to learn some genteel manners.

And when I’ve been to London town, I mean to go to France, Sir,
To practice two or three times a week, to learn to hop and dance, Sir,
Besides, I’ve got a quizzing glass, to see things far and near o,
Which caused me the other day, to fall reet o’er a barrow.

O my family are a vulgar set, tho’ they’ve got clothes in fashion,
They put them on all inside out, which puts me in a passion,
The lads whene’er we go to church, tho’ they have lots of riches,
They all go in their clogs, smock frocks, and leather breeches.

My wife she is the worst of all, when we give genteel dinners,
She uses neither knife nor fork, but pops in all her fingers,
And when they hand the wine about, she tells the gents it stinks, Sir,
Gets fill her mouth, and squirts it out, and calls for treacle drink, Sir.

If I give a dinner to my lord, and bid her make a good ‘un,
Perhaps she will make some pea soup, or else a great black pudding:
And when the tea it is brought in, the tray she always flings, Sir,
Stirs up the sugar with her fist, and then she licks her fingers.

My lord once ask’d us out to dine, and there we had a rum start,
Instead of her new carriage fine, she would ride in a dung cart,
And when he sent a horse for her, and wanted her to ride, Sir,
But what do you think of the ignorant jade, she would get astride, Sir.

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