Modern Street Ballads


Hurrah, my boys, a bumper fill,
And drink success, with heart and will,
To those that pass’d the Corn bill,
      Long may they be victorious.
Cheap food from every foreign shore,
In shiploads will sail in galore,
The landlords now are wounded sore;
They’ll have to sell both sow and boar,
To keep their great big paunches up
They’ll scarcely have a bite or sup;
Too long, my boys, they’ve sucked the honey cup,
      But soon they’ll lose the swarm.
                  Hurrah, etc.

The landlords cry, Oh, Bobby P——l,
You have a heart as hard as any steel,
Sure, for the landlords you should feel,
      And not be so hard hearted.
Oh dear, oh dear, the landlords cry,
The time is fast approaching nigh,
When neither barley, oats, nor rye,
The merchants will not from us buy,
For they can get both flour and grain
From France, America and Spain,
Enough to rack us on the brain,
      And set John Bull distracted.
                  Hurrah, etc.

The bread will shortly get a fall,
The bakers will go to the wall,
No ‘taters they must use at all,
      But sell the best and cheapest.
Too long it has been on the rise,
But now they’re struck with much surprise
They’ll have to look with both their eyes,
And with the poor man compromise.
Good bread will be a penny a pound,
And beef and mutton safe and sound,
Well earned, too, that I’ll be bound,
      Will daily be imported.
                  Hurrah, etc.

The monopolists have cause to weep,
They cannot lull themselves to sleep,
Their rams, and wethers, yews and sheep,
      They may send off to market.
Too long they have fattened on the spoil,
They’d fain to work your bones to oil,
Their greasy pots did often boil
Upon the poor man’s sweat and toil.
The time is now approaching fast,
Free trade will fly on every mast,
The bonded stores will then, at last,
      Cry out, the ports are open.
                  Hurrah, etc.

Tom Duncombe, Cobden, and Dick Bright
In Parliament, on Thursday night,
They did kick up the devils fight,
      And chased the Duke of R——d
Poor B——m he did lose his wig,
Old Nosey gave him such a dig,
And called him an old grunting pig,
And Bobby danced the Polka jig;
Says Bob, I surely will resign,
I tell you, Arthur, now in time,
You’d better get a piece of line,
      And hang the Duke of R——d.
                  Hurrah, etc.

May Cromwell’s ghost, of whom they talk,
Come jumping with a piece of chalk,
And mark a road for Bob to walk,
      Right to the town of Tamworth.
Sure, little John, I’ve heard it said,
Is planted now in Bobby’s stead,
He’ll give you plenty of cheap bread
For ten years after you are dead.
The whigs are getting into power,
The tories are all looking sour,
The very thoughts of foreign flour
      Will make them cut their wison.
                  Hurrah, etc.

Now to conclude and end my song,
I hope to see before it’s long,
The corn-brokers in a throng
      All sailing to Hanover.
For now they call out wirnstrew,
And damn the duke of Waterloo.
Oh dear, oh dear, what shall we do?
Free trade will surely make us rue.
So, ladies, all come shout huzza,
For now comes on the glorious day
When plenty of cheap bread, beef, and tea,
      Will make you smile so charming.
                  Hurrah, etc.

<< A New Alphabetical Song on the Corn Law Bill   The Crisis >>

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.