Australian Melodist circa 1880


 

BILLY BARLOW

 

The following the song published in the Australian Melodist no.10, circa 1880. Published by A.H. Massina, Melbourne. The Australian Melodist was a series of songbooks and carried the note: “The most popular songs, as sung at the theatres and concert halls by the several minstrel troupes which have visited the colonies.” I would point out that the first minstrel troupe visited Australia in 1838. The Templar was the ship that George Coppin arrived on from Liverpool.

 

BILLY BARLOW

Now, ladies and gentlemen, how do you do?
I have come here before you with one boot and one show –
I don’t know how it is, but somehow it is so;
Now isn’t it hard on poor Billy Barlow?

 

Oh, dear oh, raggidy oh;
Now isn’t it hard on poor Billy Barlow.

 

As I was a going down town t’other day,
The people all stared, and some of them did say –
“Why, that ‘ere young chap now, he ain’t so slow” –
“I guess not,: says a lady, “that’s William Barlow.”

 

Oh, dear oh, raggidy oh:
“I guess not,” says a lady, “that’s William Barlow.”

 

Oh dear, bless my soul, but I’m tired of this life –
I wish in my heart I could get a good wife;
If there’s any young lady ‘ere wanting a bean.
Let her fly to the buzzom of Billy Barlow.

 

Oh, dear oh, raggidy oh,
Let her fly to the buzzom (sic) of Billy Barlow.

 

But ‘ow ‘ard ‘mongst so many the trouble of choosin’,
Then dear creatures, pray save ne the pain of refusin’;
So up in the hair all your coppers let go,
And cry heads or tails for this Billy Barlow.

 

Oh, dear, oh, raggedy oh;
And cry heads or tails for this Billy Barlow.

 

I’ve been to the shop where the papers they fills,
With hints to economise your tailor’s bills;
When I showed ’em my togs, they confessed ’twas no go
To try and economise Billy Barlow.

 

Oh, dear, oh, raggidy oh;
To try and economise Billy Barlow.

 

Encore verse.
Oh, ladies and gentlemen, I’ve come out again,
Of your approbation I feels rather vain.