Cockneys Trip To Brummagem, The

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You Birmingham lads, come listen awhile,
And I'll tell you a story that will cause you to smile,
For the railroad they're going to open next spring
Will life up from London to Birmingham bring.

When the swell mob comes down, we must look out for squalls,
Or they'll bolt with the organ from out the Town Hall;
They think themselves clever in every feat,
But we'll show 'em one more boys, we'll show 'em Broad Street

So reckon on sport when the Cockneys come down,
For they're all very flash¹ from the fop¹ to the clown¹;
Whether tinkers or tailors or omnibus cads,
We can learn them a tune called the Warwickshire Lads.

The Cockneys for boxing have long held the sway;
This railroad will help us to meet them half-way.
This much I can say without telling a crammer¹:
If they'll find the anvil, we'll find our own hammer.

They say every cock can crow on his own hill,
But they must not come here empty pockets to fill.
They may walk round our streets without trouble or pain;
They'll have to do something to walk round Hammer Lane¹

We all know that London's a place of renown,
And for my own part, I will not run her down;
But I can't help thinking it'll be a queer thing
To be fighting the Cockneys in our old Bull Ring.

So now to conclude and to finish my song,
May the railroad be finished before very long;
May London and Brummagem unite and join hands
And grow like the oak tree of our native land.

Sources (texts, music) & Publishing data

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Origin Broadside
Source Title The Cockneys Trip To Brummagem
Bargery Number 061
Roud Indexed B62823 but not numbered
Earliest Date 1836
Evidence for Earliest Date The line "For the railroad they're going to open next spring / Will life up from London to Birmingham bring" suggests that the song was created in 1837 before the opening of the London-Birmingham Railway in 1838. However the original plan had been to open the line at the same time as the line from Liverpool to Birmingham was opened i.e. July 1837 (see Bar030 A new song on the opening of the Birmingham And Liverpool Railway); but difficulty in constructing the Kilsby Tunnel in Northamptonshire delayed the opening of the line to London. This song may have been written before the day was known about, putting its earliest date at 1836.
Latest Date 1838
Evidence for Latest Date Openeing of the London to Birmingham Railway
Comments on Song The balladeers hope that trains would be used for travel to prize fights was well founded. Excursions trains taking spectators to fights were popular.
Source of Text Roy Palmer (Touch on the times ISBN 0140811826), says that this is a shortened version of a text in the British Museum 1876 e 2
Author Anonymous
Source of Music No tune given
Music Notation No tune given
Printer or Publisher Russell
Where Printed Birmingham
Other Imprints no other imprints found
First Line You Birmingham lads, come listen awhile,

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