Modern Street Ballads


In Portsmouth town, at the sign of the Ship,
A jolly Jack Tar sat drinking his flip,
A messmate was there, who spun him a yarn,
That we’d a new King, he’d soon give him to larn.

Says sailor Ben to sailor Jem,
He’s a King, and a sailor trim,
And ‘bout him there’s no palaver or fuss,
Acause, don’t you see, he is one of us.

Says sailor Ben to his messmate Jem,
He knows that I’ve sailed under him,
And when our ship’s paid off at Chatham,
I’ll go and have a good stare at ’em.

Now Ben Block he arriv’d at the Park,
And soon the King and Queen did mark,
Says Ben, says he, I’ll bet you a tanner,
He hails me in a Kinglike manner.

Ye ho! says Ben, and he soon brought to,
And his boatswain’s whistle out he drew,
When the King turn’d round with pride and joy,
Halloo! says he, what ship ahoy?

Now Ben, he answered with a grin,
The Royal Charlotte I’ve sailed in,
She was nam’d arter your royal mother,
Whose great and glorious son you are.

The King the hand of Ben he shook,
And said at the time I was a Mid,
Then Ben lugged out his ‘bacca box,
And said to the King, come take a quid.

If you won’t, the Queen may like a bit,
Mayhap, like one of her Indian squaws;
So he scrap’d up to her, and offered his box,
No thank ye, says she, I never chaws.

The King he gave promotion to Ben
So he thought that he’d steer back again,
But the Queen, he thought he first would tell her
That her husband the king, was a d——d good fellow!

* This story is supposed to be told of William IV.

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