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Crime & punishment

New song on Preston gaol

(38) New song on Preston gaol



Sec. 2

Good people all give ear I pray,
And mark you well what I say,
To my misfortunes great and small,
O list and I will tell you all,
I used to lead a joyous life,
Devoid of care, devoid of strife,
Could go to bed and fall asleep,
No ugly sprites did round me creep,
But O the touts and cupid—'gad,
They nearly drove me romping mad,
From the Town Hall they did me trail,
And whipped me into Preston Gaol.

Now when we got to the end of the route,
The turnkey turn'd my pockets out,
To see if I had got such stuff,
As blunt, grub, tobacco, or snuff,
They took me then to try my size,
Colour of hair—colour of eyes,
The length of my nose from root to tip,
Or if I'd more than one top lip,
Then straight with me in a yard they goes,
And offered me a suit of clothes,
The kids came out and did me hail,
With another new cock for Preston gaol.

Then one of them said with a roguish leer,
My fakin kic what brought you here,
Says I now who do you think, you lout
Would bring me here that wasn't a tout,
Then all came round like so many fools,
And one of them spoke about the rules,
That each new cock must sing a song,
Or tell them a tale Bob knows how long
Or break his wind or give them a whack
Or else be tied up to black Jack,
And there they'd wollop him tooth and nail
With a large wet towel in Preston Gaol.

I trotted and walked about the yard,
Thinks I my case is wonderous hard,
When all at once I heard a din,
The deputy yardsman shouts—fall in,
Then blowing down the yard they go,
Like brutes turn'd out of a wild beast show,
Some crack'd in skin, some in mind,
And some through cracks showed their behind,
Then one by one went round the tub,
To get the country 'lowance of grub,
And blow'd our ribs out like a sail,
With skilly and whack in Preston Gaol.

When half-past four came, one of them said,
'Twas nearly time to go to bed,
And truth I found from him to creep,
For soon we all fell in two deep,
The turnkey shouts as stiff as starch.
Right—face—then quick march,
We did and caused a curious rush,
Like monkeys marching round a brush,
Such clinking of clogs, and shaking of keys,
Croaking of bellies, and shaking of knees.
And cursing of beds as hard as a nail,
Oh 'twould starve the devil in Preston Gaol.

At seven next morning up we got
Each stoned his cell and cleaned his pot,
And then about the yard did lurch,
Till all fell in to go to church,
And there such dresses met the view,
One arm was red, the other blue,
One leg was yellow, the other was grey,
Then the parson came to preach and pray,
He said Elijah went up in a cloud,
And Lazarus walk'd about in a shroud,
And Jonah lived inside of a whale,
'Twas better than living in Preston Gaol.

When service was over all came back,
At eight fell in for skilly and w hack
Like pigs were crouched all as lump,
At nine each took a turn at bump,
At ten we raised a glorious mill,
They fibb'd each other with right good will,
At twelve we got a quiet house,
Then all fell in for cans of scouse,
But if there's a row no matter how droll,
They pop the kids in Pompey's hole,
Where whack and water cocks their tail,
Oh ! there's glorious doings in Preston Gaol.

But all young men be ruled by me,
Don't let your passions get too free,
Keep from each blue Lobster's claw,
Or, shun each thief-cateher's paw,
But if the fates should me increase,
And make me deputy of Police,
And this blue bottle turned about,
Oh ! would not I serve him nicely out—
I'd bone the tout in half a crack,
And feed him well on skilly and whack—
Oh ! would I not make him droop his tail.
He should hunt for his dinner in PrestonGaol.


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