The Mayor’s Tea Party




Following is a song about the annual Lord Mayor’s Ball (Sydney). This occasion inevitably created a scandal – who was invited and who was not etc. The interesting thing to me is that this song is ascribed  ‘By the author of ‘Billy Barlow’ – (but which one!). It also uses the tune designated for several of the immigrant complaint songs.

From Colonial Melodies—No: 2.


(Air: The King of the Cannibal Island)


No doubt you read, the other day,
“The Fancy Ball,” by Mr. Rae :
So now a stave I’ll sing or say
About the Mayor’s Tea Party.
His Worship doesn’t dance, you see—
With jigs and reels he don’t agree;
But yet, inclin’d to have a spree,
He ask’d the citizens to Tea’
French rolls by bushels, stale and new,
With rounds of beef a score or two,
And Garry Owen’s best sky-blue,
Were at the Mayor’s Tea Party.


Hokee Pokee—black and green—
Ham and chicken—fat and lean—
Oh! I such a spree was never seen
As at the Mayor’s Tea Party!
Oh! it ’twas a glorious sight to see
Sir George, so affable and free,
Who pledg’d the Mayor in “strong bohea”
All at the grand Tea Party:
And Lady G. was there a guest—
While barristers, in big wigs drest,
Were closely round the table press’d,
And hob and nobb’d o’er “Houqua’s best.”
M.C.’s the festive board, too, graced,
And reverend doctors there were plac’d,
Who pitched into the herring paste,
All at the Mayor’s Tea Party.

Hokee,pokee, &c.
When all were filled with tea and cake,
The band struck up “The Fairy Lake
The singers now their places take
All at the Mayor’s Tea Party.
Then songs were sung, a watery lot—
The streamlet wot flow’d round the cot—
The Jolly Waterman”  I wot—
With many more which I’ve forgot;

While councillors, ” blown out’ with tea,
Popp’d into “Wyatt’s” (stealthily);
And took their nips of eau de -vie,
All at the Mayor’s Tea Party
Hokee pokee, &c.
The concert o’er. Sir George and suite,
The Mayor, and many more retreat,
I While ” three times three” their exits greet,
All at the Mayor’s Tea Party.
And when the ”swells” had gone away,
The fun commenc’d without delay,
For then each lad and lass, so gay,
Did ” welt the flur” ‘till break of day.
But mark the sequel of my tale—
Next morning ” Busby’s bore” did fail,
And water “riz” – “a brown” a pail –
All through the Mayor’s Tea Party

Hokee pokee, &c.


[We have taken the liberty of borrowing the above humorous ditty from the cigar wrapper
of Mr. S. J. Cohen, tobacconist, of 9, Kingstreet, Sydney.]


Published in the Maitland Mercury. 1845 12 July