Lyrics: John Freeth.
Tune: “The Staffordshire Fox Chase.”
The summer was over, the season unkind,
In harvest a snow how uncommon to find;
The times were oppressive, —and well be it known,
That hunger will strongest of fences break down;
’Twas then from their cells the black gentry stept out,
With bludgeons, determined to stir up a rout.
The Prince of the Party, who reveled from home,
Was a terrible fellow, and called Irish Tom;
He brandished his bludgeon with dexterous skill,
And close to his elbow was placed Barley Will;
There instantly followed a numerous train,
As cheerful as bold Robin Hood’s merry men;
Sworn to remedy a capital fault,
And bring down the exorbitant price of the malt.
From Dudley to Walsall they trip it along,
And ’Hampton was truly alarmed at the throng;
Women and children, wherever they go,
Shouting out, “O the brave Dudley Boys O!”
With nailors and spinners, the cavalcade join,
The markets to lower their flatt’ring design;
Six days out of seven poor nailing boys get,
Little else at their meals but potatoes to eat;
For bread hard they labour, good things never carve,
And swore, ’twere as well to be hanged as to starve:
Such are the feelings in every land,
Nothing necessity’s call can withstand;
And riots are certain to sadden the year,
When six-penny loaves are three pounds as are here.