The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #93871   Message #2093969
Posted By: Jim Dixon
04-Jul-07 - 11:24 AM
Thread Name: Origins: Rigs of the Time / Rigs of the Times
Subject: Lyr Add: THE RIGS OF THE TIMES (from Bodleian)
From Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, Harding B 15(261a):

Hillatt & Martin, Printers, 13, Little Prescot Street Goodman's Fields [London]

Ye men of high and low degree, come listen to my song.
I'll warrant to amuse you well, and not detain you long.
It is concerning these bad times, and many tricks, you know,
Are practised all the country round to cut a decent show.

CHORUS: For the sharpers are on the alert, and puffing is the plan.
An outside show is all the go, and cheating who you can.

Some men are selling at prime cost, and 30 per cent under,
And still live by this mighty loss, which makes some men to wonder;
And if you go into their shop in clothing very fine,
To blind your eyes and rob your purse, they'll hand a glass of wine.

The auctioneer he struts about, cutting a famous swell,
Telling a budget full of lies, the poor man's goods to sell;
And when he's sold the poor man's all, you'll think it very funny:
He shuts up shop, bids them goodbye, and pockets all the money.

The landlord to his tenant goes, demanding then his rent,
And if the same he cannot pay, the bailiffs then are sent.
Then like a pack of hungry dogs, these bloodhounds sally forth,
Within the hand of violence, seize all the man is worth.

The brewer, he is in the mess, and I believe the worst.
He poisons all the ale he brews, to fill his master's purse;
And if you with a friend would go to take a cup or two,
'Tis ten to one when you come out, you stagger to and fro.

The honest miller too, we find, exerts his utmost skill
To cheat the poor man of his grain, and his own barns to fill.
The baker with him takes his share in this disgraceful way,
And both unite to rob the poor and needy every day.

Now to conclude this jovial song, let each be on the alert
To shun those men who collars show, but never wear a shirt.
From all such empty dandy blades let each for ever keep,
And ne'er expect in barren fields a plenteous crop to reap.