Jobson's Blunders, or Gas and Steam

A countryman come to London is amazed by new inventions including steam boats and speculates on the possibility of a steam plough.

Jobson¹'s Blunders, Or, Gas and Steam


WHEN I was a youngster, about a yard high,
Whilst sitting at whoam, I to mother should cry,
Sich things about Lunnun l'ze heard people say
Lord ! let us go them wi our Dobbin¹ and chay¹.
Tol de rol, &c (The source of the music gives the chorus as "Toll lol de rol lol de rol lol de rol lol")

But mother she frowned, and As bid me adone (sic),
And said, talk about Lunnun wur most on it fun ;
Beside, she tould me 'twur a nation great way,
And further than Dobbin could drag the ould chay.
Tol de rol, &c.

Yet somehow or other it run'd in my yead,
That I should see Lunnun before I wur dead;
And that I ha seen it, be now very true,
And I will, if you please, tell its wonders to you..
Tol de rol, &c

When first I got there, it war dark pitch at night,.
And yet, by the lord ! all the streets wur as light  [Note 195.1]
As though it wur day, and they brought it to pass
By a somethin the Lunnuners tould me wur gas. [Note 195.2]
Tol de rol, &c

Now what this gas wur I could'na make out ;
'Twur a light in a lantern coming out of a spout ;
So I axed what it was, when they called I a fool,
And said it wur smoke that war coming from coal.
Tol de rol, &c

Then arrived at the inn, sirs, I read for an hour [Note 195.3]
In the paper, 'bout gas and its wonderful power;
Whose it said, though swear it ne'er can be true,
That gas, 'stead of horses, would soon draw the pleugh.(sic) [Note 195.4]
Tol de rol, &c

Now I could'na help laughing, it wur, sich ajoke.
To think of our fields being ploughed now by smoke.
When I tells folks at whoam, I knows just what say,
It's if gas pleughs (sic) our fields will gas eat our hay.
Tol do rol, &c.

I next went on the water, some more sights to see,
For they tould I a boat-race wur going to be, [Note 195.5]
When a ship it went by, and so swiftly did pass, _
Without sail or oars, say I that goes by gas.
Tol de rol, &c

At this the folk laughed, sirs, and so did I,
But not knowing the reason, I thought. I would try
To find it out, but quite foolish did seem.
When a chap roared out, gaby¹, that boat went by steam.
Tol de rol, &c

But, perhaps you'll be thinking my singing a bore,
So I'll finish by telling you one wonder. more,
And that wur a mon who went up to the moon
In a wonderful thing which he called a balloon.
Tol de rol, &c

'Twu made all of silk, and striped red and white, [Note 195.6]
And very soon carried him out of our sight ;
Yet I could'na make out how they brought it to pass,
But wur certain it was either steam or else, gas.
Tol de rol, &c.

So that I might not quite a stupid elf seem,
I just axed a mon if he went up by steam,
When he laughed in my face, and called me stupid ass ;
Than cried, no, you youkel (sic), he's gone up by gas.
Tol de rol, &c.

So having seen all, to go back is my plan,
And stick to work, sirs, as long as Ian ;
While I'll laugh at the thoughts of e'er bringing to pass,
Land carriages by steam or pleughing(sic) by gas. [Note 195.7]
Tol de rol, &c,