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[Note 196.1] The song gives voice to the widespread fear that the British economy was being swamped by goods imported from countries outside the British Empire.

[Note 196.2] "Another train has just come in, it makes the Powers stare" : The Tariff Reform League (see note 3 below) was formed in 1903, the year the song was published and presumably written. "The Powers" were Britain's imperialist rivals, notably Germany.

[Note 196.3] "The Driver wears an orchid" :- Joseph chamberlain was a leading figure in the Tariff Reform faction. He habitually wore an orchid in his button hole and sported a monocle..

[Note 196.4] "Protection for our Colonies and for our working men":-  The Tariff Reform lobby argued that taxes on imports and the protection of British industry from foreign competition would be beneficial to the British population at large. They proposed special arrangements to encourage trade with countries within the British Empire..

[Note 196.5] Sandy and Pat are Stokers: Sandy; the archetypal Scot and Pat; the archetypal Irishman are cast in menial roles

 

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