Billy Barlow by Himself (1834)




America also had a tradition of Billy Barlow songs. I include some examples corresponding to Joy’s book references.

(28 May 1834)


A favourite Comic Song as sung with unbounded applause at the Western & Southern Theatres BY HIMSELF
Arranged for the PIANO FORTE by P. F. FALLON.





Oh ladies and gentlemen how do you do,
I’ve come out before you with one boot & shoe
I do not know how it tis, but some how tis so,
Oh! is’n’t it hard up on Billow Barlow.


Oh! Oh! tragedy oh!
now is’nt it hard up on Billy Barlow.


As I was walking down street gist tother day,
The people all gazed and some of ’em did say
Why that fellow there, why he aint so slow
Humph I guess not says a lady thats M. Barlow.


They say there’s been a robbery committed in town,
I don’t know who could have done it but Canker the clown
I feel perfectly safe I’d have you to know
I should like to see a man try to rob Billy Barlow.


I went to the Races gist the other day,
The man that keeps the gate asked me to pay
Pay — says I — and looked at him so —
O you can pass on, I know you, you are Billy Barlow.


I had’nt been long you must know on the course,
When the good people all flocked around me of course
Asking who’s the gemman, does any one know,
Why yes that’s the fat chap that sings Billy Barlow.


Oh dear bless my soul I’m tired of this life,
I wish in my heart I could get a good wife
If there’s any young lady here in want of a Beau —
Let her fly to the arms of young William Barlow.


They say there’s a wild Beast show come to town,
Of Lions & Monkeys & Porcupines too
But if they start to show I’ll beat them I know
For they ain’t got a varmint like Billy Barlow.


They tried to buy me to go with that show,
But the Monkeys got jealous & the Lions snapped at me too,
The Hyena growled, and looked at me so
Thinks I twill never do for you M. Billy Barlow.


I’m sure I was born, but where I can’t tell,
My Mother never told me I know very well
But I’ve grown up that all of you know
For perfection it self just look at Billy Barlow.


There’s been a nigger here singing about a long tail Blue,
But he ain’t a patching and that’s very true,
If you want the cut of a coat or any thing so
Just look at the rigging of Billy Barlow.


The Tailors in town are all rushing after me,
To get the cut of my clothes that’s plain to see
But before they can get them I’ll just let you know
They must spill out the rhino to M. Barlow.


Dinah Ross, has reported that I’ve got married
I wish here she had a little longer tarried
If she had, I’d caught and choked her ges so,
So don’t know how she has abused Billy Barlow.


Oh ladies and genamem, I bid you good bye,
I’ll get a new suit, when clothes aint so high
My hat’s shocking bad, that all of you know
Yet it looks well on the head of this Billy Barlow.