Modern Street Ballads

Of course, it was only in the nature and fitness of things that Henry Russell’s extremely popular song, “I’m Afloat,” should be parodied, and of all that I remember, I think the following was most sung in the streets. The present Cad, or ‘Arry, is bad enough in all conscience, but the Gent of those days was worse. How Albert Smith did scarify him!


I’m a Gent, I’m a Gent, I’m a Gent ready made,
I roam through the Quadrant and Lowther Arcade,
I’m a registered swell from my head to my toe,
I wear a moustache, and a light paletot.

I’ve a cane in my hand, and a glass in my eye,
And I wink at the girls, demme! as they go by,
Then lor! how they giggle to win my regards,
And I hear them all say—he’s a gent in the Guards.

I’m a Gent, I’m a Gent, in the Regent Street style,
Examine my wesket, and look at my tile,
There are gents, I dare say, who are handsomer far,
But none who can puff with such ease, a cigar.

I can sing a flash song, I can play on the horn,
I like Sherry Cobblers, I’m fond of Cremorne,
I love the Cellarius,* the Polka** I dance,
And I’m rather attached to a party from France.

This gal I adore is a creature divine,
Though devilishly partial to lobsters and wine,
She was struck with my figure—and caught—with a hook,
For I took her to visit my uncle the duke.

* A dance somewhat similar to a Redowa, and in vogue about the time when the Polka was the rage.
** See “Jullien’s Grand Polka.”

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