The Word on the Street
home | background | illustrations | distribution | highlights | search & browse | resources | contact us

Broadside ballad entitled 'The Clerk of the Pipe, Or, The Leith Reform Garland'



Or, the Leith Reform Garland.

TUNE?Down derry down.

The Clerk of the Pipe is a man of some weight.
And nothing will serve him but serving the state ;
And the State being rebuilt on a broad-bottom'd plan,
He has fairly set up for a Parliament-man.
Sing down down, down derry down.

He's a gallant Reformer, and ever has been.
And abhors Sinecurists   as creatures unclean ;
Being bravely resolved, as he often has shewn,
To make war on all Sinecures - saving his own.
Sing down down, down derry down.

He's an Orator too,-tho' a copy, they say,
Of leather-lung'd Jacky, the member for Bray ;
And he'd fain be a wit,?tho' by some odd mischance.
It reminds one of Jacky just learning to dance.
Sing down down, down derry down.

But tho' dull to the eye, and more dull to the ear,
Tho' heavy in front, and most heavy in rear.
The path of ambition he still must pursue,
And exhibit his parts, Oh ! my country, to you!

Sing down down, down derry down.

So with two or three Speeches got up with due care,
And two or three jokes somewhat worse for the wear;
And two or three friends, such as one might suppose,
In the good town of Leith he his nakedness shows,

Singing down, down,down derry down.

In Leith then behold him discoursing at large,
Of all that has never been laid to his charge,
His contempt for the rich?his regard for the poor,?
But as to the Fact of his own sinecure,

Singingdown,down,down derry down.

Then, quoth he, " I not only must make my appeal.
" In behalf of myself, but of all that's genteel,
"For a mercantile town you will never degrade,
"By chusing a member that's risen by trade."

Sing down, down, down derry down.

Says a Voter, " all this may be good in its way,
But will you, my good sir, have the kindness to say,
How among the Reformers you thus should appear,
With your sinecure-place of six hundred a-year ?"
Sing down down, down derry down.

To this the poor Clerk never answer'd a word,
But look'd round in a way that was very absurd ;
And I merely will add, since his own mouth is shut,
If he went as The Pipe, he came back as The Butt.

Sing down down, down derry down.

previous pageprevious          
Probable period of publication: 1830-1840   shelfmark: RB.m.143(174)
Broadside ballad entitled 'The Clerk of the Pipe, Or, The Leith Reform Garland'
View larger image

NLS home page   |   Digital gallery   |   Credits

National Library of Scotland © 2004

National Library of Scotland