Modern Street Ballads


There was an old chap in the west country,
A flaw in his lease the lawyers had found,
It were all about felling of five oak trees,
And building some houses upon his own ground.

Ri tooral, looral, looral, looral, Ri tum looral i, do.

Now this owd chap to Lunnon did go,
To tell the King a part of his woe,
Likewise to unbosom to him his grief,
In hopes King George would give him relief.

When this owd chap to Lunnun had come,
He found the King to Windsor had gone,
But, if he’d a known he’d not been at home,
He dom’d his buttons, if ever he’d come.

Now this owd chap to Windsor did stump,
But the gates were barred, and all secure,
So he knocked and thumped with his oaken clump,
There’s room for I within, to be sure.

Pray, Mr. Noble, show I the King,
What’s, that the King, as I see there?
If that chap’s a king, I vow and declare,
I’ve seen finer Kings at Bartlemy Fair.

Pray, Mr. King, how do you do?
I’ze gotten for you, a bit of a job,
Which, if you’ll have the kindness to do,
I’ve got a summut for you in my fob.

The King, he took the lease in hand,
To sign it he was likewise willing,
And the farmer, to make him some little amend,
He lugged out his bag, and gi’ed him a shilling.

The King, to carry on the joke,
Ordered ten pounds to be paid down,
Likewise ten shillings, and half a crown,
For years and years after for ever more.

The farmer, he stared and looked very funny,
But to take up the cash, he was likewise willing
But, if he’d a known, he’d half so much brass,
He dommed his wig if he’d gi’en him the shilling.

<< The Bonny Grey   Hodge in London >>

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.