Modern Street Ballads


Come all you lads of high renown, and listen to my story,
For now the time is coming on, that is to all your glory,
For Jumping Nan is coming here, the Statutes to admire,
To see the lads and lasses standing all, a-waiting for their hire.

Lo, to Hiring we have come, all to look for places,
If the master and we can agree, and he will give good wages.

The master that a servant wants, will stand now in a wonder,
You all must ask ten pounds a year, and none of you go under,
It’s you then, must do all the work, and what they do require,
So now, stand up for wages, lads, befoer that you do hire.

There’s Rolling Jane the hemp will spin, and Sal will mind the dairy,
And John will kiss his mistress when his master is a-weary,
There’s Tom will reap and mow, they’ll thrash, and never tire,
They’ll load the cart, and do their part, so they’re the lads to hire.

There’s Carter John, with whip so long, rises early in the morning,
He’s always ready at his work, before the day is dawning,
Hey up, gee wo, the plough must go, till he is almost weary,
But a jug of ale, both stout and stale, it will soon make him merry.

There’s Poll so red, will made the bread, likewise good cheese and butter,
And Bet so thick, will tread the rick, she’s never in a flutter:
She’ll feed the sows and milk the cows, and do what she is able,
Although she’s mean, she’s neat and clean, when waiting at the table.

There’s black eyed Fan, with the frying pan, will cook your eggs and bacon,
With beef and mutton, roast and boiled, if I am not mistaken,
She’ll make the puddings fat and good, all ready for your dinner,
But, if you grumble when she’s done, she’ll cure you with the skimmer.

The farmer’s wife so full of pride, must have a lady’s maid, Sir,
All for to dress and curl her hair, and powder it beside, Sir,
But the girl of heart, to dress so smart, they call her charming Nancy,
She can wink and blink in such a style, she’s all the young men’s fancy.

And when the mop it is all o’er, you that are young and hearty,
Must take your girl all in your hand, and join a drinking party.
But, when you are returning home, enjoying sweet embraces,
With love and honour spend the night, at statutes, fairs, or races.

So all you pretty lasses gay, I do not wish to shame you,
Nor yet do I intend at all, by any means to blame you;
But I doubt next year you’ll want no places,
If you care for yourselves going home from the races.

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