Broken down gentleman
Williams, Alfred: Ms / WGS / FSUT: â€˜Formerly a favourite throughout the Thames villages. At Wanborough, Wiltshire, it was sung by Timothy Tassel, the crippled blacksmith. I obtained my copy of Charles Hambridge, Buscot, Berkshire.â€™
The original manuscript is found at WSHC 2598/77 and only contains verses 1 â€“ 5 which ends at line 3. The usual citation for this song is: WSHC: 2598/36 Packet 1 â€“ Indexes, lecture notes, Berkshire: Williams, A: MS collection No Bk 2. The above text is taken from the original which is the citation given above.
The song as published in FSUT follows:
When I was young, in my youthful days,
About four and twenty years old,
I spent my time in vanity,
Along with the ladies so bold.
I wore the ravels all round my wrist,
And a cane all in my hand;
No farmerâ€™s son would I accept,
Not one in all the land.
I kept a pack of good hounds, my boys,
And servants to wait upon me,
And I did intend my money to spend,
And that you can plainly see.
I kept a coach and six bay horses,
And hangers all round about,
A golden tassel on each horseâ€™s head,
Just ready for me to drive out.
I steered my coach to Ipswich town,
Horse racing for to see,
And there I spend a thousand pound
In the light of that very next day.
I steered my coach back home again,
My traps they did run small;
Now I am a broken- down gentleman,
And thatâ€™s the worst of it all.
The landlord he came to my house,
And bailies he brought three,
He stole away my coach and six,
And swore he would have me.
My wife she did most pitiful look,
My children round me cried,
To think that I in prison should lie,
Until the day I died.
The remainder of the sheet contains the words of Pressed off to war which by comparison with a version printed in the Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard is probably a fragment of the manuscript thought to be lost.
Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2014.