Modern Street Ballads


You’ve called on me to sing a song, I’ll try what I can do,
I don’t say whether good or bad, for that I’ll leave to you,
The subject’s now before you, and I firmly do declare.
There’s no one in this street can sport such a nobby head of hair.

Perhaps you think I’m bragging, but the proof it is most clear,
If you only twig the company that stands around me here,
But something I’ll tell you,—now, pray don’t at me stare,—
There’s nothing half so handsome—as a nobby head of hair.

When an infant I a wonder was, but, upwards as I grew,
At school, I so surprized the boys, they in mobs around me flew;
But when a young man I had grown, my mother said, if I took care,
I soon should catch an heiress, with my nobby head of hair.

I go to all places of amusement, and everything that’s new,
Balls, Plays, White Conduit Gardens, and the Eagle Tavern too,
I feel prouder than Prince Albert, when the ladies see me there,
To hear the buz of admiration at my nobby head of hair.

Although my hair is elegant, it oft gets into scrapes,
At the Zoological, the other day, ’twas well pull’d by the apes;
And, in making my escape from them, I was grappl’d by a bear,
It fancied that I was it’s cub, by my nobby head of hair.

Not liking this brute treatment, from the gardens I did roam,
I caught a lady ogling me,—I ask’d to see her home,
Her husband, we met on the road, he asunder did us tear,
Then he dragg’d me through a horse pond, by my nobby head of hair.

He left me near dead with affright, and wet through to the skin,
A mob soon came around me—they did nought but jeer and grin,
A policeman took me in custody, and solemnly did swear,
I, a member of the swell mob was, by my nobby head of hair.

To the Magistrate, my innocence I pleaded, but in vain,
He said, to prison you must go, your guilt it is quite plain;
So to the treadmill I was sent,—but on the silent system there,
But what griev’d me most, they cut off all my nobby head of hair.

I thought it would have drove me mad, but it grew again so fast,
It put me in such spirits, that I soon forgot the past,
The Mill, it dragg’d down all my fat, I look’d quite lean and spare,
My friends, they knew me only, by my nobby head of hair.

But now that I am free again, I’m happy as a king,
That’s one reason why to night, you see, I have come here to sing;
But this is a fact you can’t deny, it is a thing most rare—
To see a handsome chap like me, with such a nobby head of hair.

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