Modern Street Ballads


Good folks I will try at a song.
So I hope you will make no wry faces,
Believe me, I’ll not keep you long,
With my budget of public places:
To what I’m about to rehearse,
If you’ll but please to attend,
You will learn from my play-bill in verse,
Where to go, if you’ve money to spend.

Covent Garden Garden of O.P.** renown,
The contest you all may remember;
Old Drury that was burnt down,
And Bartelmy Fair in September.
With the Tower of London so grand,
Where a huge pocket-pistol you see,
And Salmon’s Wax Work in the Strand,
With the Sans Pareil after your tea.

There’s the Opera House at the West,
A Chalk Farm and a famous Jew’s Harp,
Where, pay well, you may feed on the best,
Then walk in the Regency Park.
A Lord’s Cricket Ground that is new,
With a Tottenham Playhouse so gay,
Hyde Park and the Serpentine too,
For Men Milliners on a Sunday.

There’s Wigley’s promenade too, I ween,
And Bond Street parade in addition,
With Kensington Gardens when clean,
And the Somerset House Exhibition.
There’s the Wells, and Grimaldi so rum, Sirs,
With Westminster Abbey to range,
A walk in the Temple for Lawyers,
And “All alive in Exeter ‘Change.”

The British Museum’s a treat,
Vauxhall with its fireworks pretty,
Where belles and their sparks you will meet,
And “the Royalty” too, in the City.
A Surret Theatre there’s too, Sirs,
Where the bow-wow performers so grand,
Played with eclat and where you may view,
The fine bridge ’twixt Bankside and the Strand.

A forum there is for debate,
A Fives Court for milling in fun, Sirs,
A Parliament House for the great,
With a cock-pit for cruelty’s sport, Sirs,
With balls, concerts, and masquerades,
And spouting rooms, too, half a score,
With prime song-clubs in the “Shades,”
Knock ’em down with a Bravo! Encore!

Gas lights too flare in your eyes,
Indian Jugglers deceive in Pall Mall,
Guildhall for a lottery prize,
Astley’s horses, too, still bear the bell.
The Monument, too, a tall post,
And also, without any raillery,
The Londoners’ principal boast,
St. Paul’s and its Whispering Gallery.

* Written in 1815.
** Referring to the famous O.P. (Old Prices) riots.

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