This short poem is from Songs and Ballads of Cumberland and the Lake Country, compiled by Sidney Gilpin, and published in 1874. The preface to this poem reads thus -

[To the tune of "Jockey." - Copied by the Rev. Thomas Lees of Wreay, from an old quarto parchment-bound manuscript Book preserved in the Parish Chest of Warcop, Westmorland. On the inside of the cover, under the parchment fold, at the top of the page is written, "Richard Braithwait his Booke, 1684." At the bottom of the same page, "Geog : Braithwaite Book, 1732." On the third page. "Mrs. Mariana Braithwait her Book of Receipts, 1678, Brough.]

It evidently refers to some ancient political intrigues, but what these were, and when, are unclear. If you can throw any light on this fragment of Appleby's history, I'd like to hear from you.

The Mayor Of Appleby

Come all ye good Songsters and help me to sound
The praise of ye Mayor of Appleby Town;
So neat looks his staff, and so well fits his gown,
I'll swear they're no judges that call him a Clown.
For a bonny smart lad is my Tommy,
For a bonny smart lad is my Tommy.

Some say he's a Blockhead, and some say a Drone,
And some that his head is as hard as a Stone;
But a fig for ye Doctor, and Pumps we'll have none,
To pump all our money to th' top of ye Town.
And a pumping proud Mayor was Jemmy,
And a pumping proud Mayor was Jemmy.

Knaves for peeping must pay, as I understand,
For the Lawyer will have it or seize on his land;
Should he pay Twenty Pounds for every offence,
It would lessen his substance or leave him more sense.
And a peeping old knave is Tom Lambo,
And a peeping old knave is Tom Lambo.

What think ye of Billy that play'd such a trick,
He's cheated his mother and great Politique;
When they thought they had got him quite on ye Hip,
He pluck't up his courage and gave them ye slip.
O! that was well done of my Billy,
And that was well done of my Billy.

But ye Nine they would have what would be ye Case,
In speight of ye Nobles or any such Race;
Had it been for a Member instead of a Mayor,
By Jove, ye Election wou'd have made you all Stare.
And an honest free set are ye Nine,
And an honest free set are ye Nine.

 

Songs And Ballads Of Cumberland And The Lake Country, Sidney Gilpin, published in London by John Russell Smith, and in Carlisle by G. & T. Coward, 1874


16/01/07

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Steve Bulman