Modern Street Ballads


Jack Binnacle just come from sea,
As jolly a tar as ever could be,
Hearing with many a joyous smile,
That Queen Victoria ruled our isle,
Weighed anchor for her palace soon,
With honest ardour just in time,
Declaring loudly, with a grin,
That he’d have a shake at the Royal Fin.

Gaily push the grog about,
With mirth we’ll make each cabin shout
Let pleasure everywhere be seen,
Long life to Britain’s youthful Queen!

Away Jack Binnacle then sped,
With natty hat upon his head,
With slacks and jacket blue, so trim,
No tar look’d half so well as him.
With shiners too, his purse was stor’d,
Besides, he had some grog aboard;
He reach’d her palace gates with joy,
Where loud he shouted—”Ship, Ahoy!”

The guards, amazed, without delay,
All sought to drive the tar awy;
Avast! ye lubbers! then he cries,
And spits his quid into their eyes,
To see her Queenship, I’ve come afar,
I know she’ll not despise a tar;
Because, don’t ye see, don’t make a fuss,
Her uncle Bill was one of us.

In vain they tried to hinder Jack,
He bolted into the palace, smack!
Pass’d all the Yeomen on the stairs,
And on to the state chamber steers.
With wonder each one did him view,
Jack hitch’d his slacks—cried how d’ye do?
All right I hope,—no harm I mean,
I’ve come to see our Royal Queen.

The Courtiers did not like this rout,
And would have put the Jack Tar out,
But our good Queen with friendly glance,
Desir’d our hero to advance,
“What! are YOU Victoria?” Jack then cries,
“Lord love your pretty twinking eyes,
Exactly like my Poll, that’s flat,
Only as how you’re not so fat.

Avast!—my jaw I must belay,
I hopes you’ll pardon what I say,
I sailed with your good Uncle Bill,
Whose memory I do honour still,
So, as I’ve heard, you’re Captain now,
I thought I’d come and make my bow,
And, as I have got lots of prog,
Would your Queenship take a glass of grog?”

Our lovely Queen seemed to enjoy
The joke, which did her guests annoy;
For Queen Victoria, who can blame,
Loves all her subjects just the same.
Jack full an hour there did stay,
Then cried, as he rose to go away,
Poking a quid between his jaws,
“I s’pose your Majesty never chaws?”

Then off went Jack, to the sign of the Ship,
And ordered a galore of flip,
Declaring loudly he did mean
To swim in grog to the health of the Queen.
Many a tar then joined hand,
Cans were filled, hands grasp’d each hand,
So then they shouted with such glee,
To Queen Victoria—three times three.

* The date of this ballad is evidently 1837, soon after the Queen’s ascension.

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