Good Old Days of Adam & Eve (1824)


I SING, I sing in jingling rhymes, Sirs,
In praise of long-lost good old times, Sirs,
When old and young would every one rise
Time enough to see the sun rise ;
But fashion plays a different tune now,
Folks don't get up till afternoon now ; …
And all such healthy notions scorning,
They get their night's rest in the morning.
Sing hey, sing ho, people grieve
For the good old days of Adam and Eve

When rogues, whose necks strong halters suited,
Went in a cart to be executed ;
Through the streets were mobs collecting
To Tyburn-and oh! it was quite affecting.
But now they hang them all at Newgate,
And the crowd's so great, you can't a view get;
And though the parson prays and preaches,
They never make no dying speeches.
Sing hey, sing ho, &c.

When all over England's happy island,
Churches and chapels were built on dry land ;
And on Sundays folk so gay there,
In their best clothes went to pray there ;
But now at novelty they grapples,
There's swimming churches, and floating chapels!
And what does more surprising seem, Sirs,
There's prayers and sermons preach'd by steam, Sirs.
Sing hey, sing ho, &c.

When round town there was many a score fields,
And when old Bedlam stood in Moorfields,
Folk might stand by London Wall, Sirs,
And plainly hear mad people bawl, Sirs ;
But Bedlam was pull'd down, and in a hurry
All the mad folks were moved to Surry ;
London Wall is down, I vow, Sirs,
And Moorfields is no more fields now, Sirs.
Sing hey, sing ho, &c.

When in our farm-yards hens would lay, Sirs,
Producing eggs in the natural way, Sirs;
Then fondly sitting on and sticking,
Till each egg produced a chicken ;
But now there's a man, who swears and vows and
Says he chickens can hatch by the thousand,
And all by steam, which so fast produces,
He'll supply all London with ducks and gooses.
Sing hey, sing ho, &c.

When people died, and this world's riot,
left and laid in their graves so quiet,
Till the day of resurrection,
Nor dream'd of being dug up for dissection ;
But now there are men, whose trade quite odd is,
They go out of a night to steal dead bodies :
To die in Town, the chance gadzooks is
Ten to one but you go to Brookes's.
Sing hey, sing ho,