Tuesday 26 April 2016

The Horrors of Living in London

The Horrors of Living in London!

A Famous New Comic Song, now singing by Mr. BULLER, with great applause. Written by Mr. J. BRUTON.

AIR - "The Gypsy Party."

Of country troubles I've heard much, 
Of hedges, ditches, dirt and such, 
But on a different theme I'll touch,
   The horrors of living in London. 
Your cockney travellers often tell 
Of dangers great which them befell. 
While journeying beyond " Bow Bell," 
And fore'd with raw greenhorns to dwell 
Of rural miseries let 'em prate,
But we may have many just as great, 
And so you'll say when I relate
   A few of the horrors of London! 
                                       Tooral looral, &c.

An urgent letter to a friend, 
Into the country you've to send, 
So with it yourself must wend,
    Ere all the mails leave London
In crossing of some street, the way's 
Completely stopp'd by carts and shays, 
Waggons, omnibusses, drays, 
Extending far as you can gaze. 
So 'neath the horses legs you cut, 
And breathing reach the office—but 
That very moment find it shut!
   And such are things in London.

The Opera, or Drury Lane,
You leave at night, with ladies twain, 
When all at once down comes the rain, 
   Another horror of London !
To save the dears from dirt and wet, 
Beneath some gateway you all get; 
Then to the coach-stand off you set, 
But find the vehicles all let!
From street to street you hurry on, 
But all is vain, so back you run
To join the ladies,—but they're gone
   Another horror of London.

Perhaps you're bald or grown quite grey,
And walking on a windy day,
Your hat and wig are blown away,
   And carried half o'er London
Then off you start with all your might, 
To overtake then in this plight, 
While at your bald-head every wight, 
Sets up a shout of rare delight. 
With grief aloud you curse and groan, 
For, after you so far have flown,
Clean o'er the bridge your hat is blown,
   Another horror of London.

In white ducks dress'd a perfect beau
Cravat and waistcoat white as snow, 
For to a party you've to go
   In one of the squares of London!
You cross the road, by sweeper seen
Who asks for alms, and if you're mean,
You're ducks that were so nice and clean, 
He spatters o'er with mud, for spleen; 
You mutter curses long and deep,
But then no good from that you reap, 
He brings his friend to fight—a sweep!
   Another horror of London.

While walking through the Street, you look 
Into a pamphlet, or a book,
And find that you have your way mistook, 
   A common thing in London!
You study on, but not being fenc'd, 
An iron bar you run against;
Its bearer you blow up incensed, 
But with abuse get recompens'd! 
Then on you go to 'scape a brawl.
But venturing on too near the wall, 
You clean into a cellar fall
   Another horror of London.

As through the hail and elect you go, 
The wind a hurricane will blow,
Your pleasure heightened by some snow, 
   And that's a treat in London!
Your umbrella inside out
Is blown—while all the urchins about, 
And, stooping to give one a clout,
Your hat's knocked off and kick'd about! 
But from some house-top soon is blown, 
A tile, while running for your own,
Upon your head, which makes you groan,
   And curse the horrors of London.

Being ill from nervousness, you take 
A room retired, for quiet sake;
As noise would quite your system shake,
    And where's not noise in London? 
You find, e'er you've passed one day o'er, 
A coffin-maker lives next door;
While o'er the way at No. 4,
There's practisinga trumpet blower
And in next roans, by a thin wall screened, 
A noisy child is being weaned,
Who howls all night—the little fiend, 
   And such is living in London

transcribed from
Pickwick Songster vol.3 no.1, 'edited by Sam Weller' [Harding A 1229] n.d. ?1837?
[with many thanks to Simon Cope @simontcope for his assistance]


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