Bab Ballads and Savoy Songs eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 118 pages of information about Bab Ballads and Savoy Songs.



Roll on, thou ball, roll on! 
Through pathless realms of Space
Roll on! 
What, though I’m in a sorry case? 
What, though I cannot meet my bills? 
What, though I suffer toothache’s ills? 
What, though I swallow countless pills? 
Never you mind! 
Roll on!

Roll on, thou ball, roll on! 
Through seas of inky air
Roll on! 
It’s true I’ve got no shirts to wear;
It’s true my butcher’s bill is due;
It’s true my prospects all look blue—­
But don’t let that unsettle you! 
Never you mind! 
Roll on!

(It rolls on.)


The bravest names for fire and flames,
And all that mortal durst,
Were General John and Private James,
Of the Sixty-seventy-first.

  General John was a soldier tried,
    A chief of warlike dons;
  A haughty stride and a withering pride
    Were Major-General John’s.

  A sneer would play on his martial phiz,
    Superior birth to show;
  “Pish!” was a favorite word of his,
    And he often said “Ho! ho!”

  Full-Private James described might be,
    As a man of a mournful mind;
  No characteristic trait had he
    Of any distinctive kind.

  From the ranks, one day, cried Private James
    “Oh!  Major-General John,
  I’ve doubts of our respective names,
    My mournful mind upon.

  “A glimmering thought occurs to me,
    (Its source I can’t unearth)
  But I’ve a kind of notion we
    Were cruelly changed at birth.

  “I’ve a strange idea, each other’s names
    That we have each got on,
  Such things have been,” said Private James. 
    “They have!” sneered General John.

  “My General John, I swear upon
    My oath I think ’tis so”—­
  “Pish!” proudly sneered his General John,
    And he also said “Ho! ho!”

  “My General John! my General John! 
    My General John!” quoth he,
  “This aristocratical sneer upon
    Your face I blush to see!

  “No truly great or generous cove
    Deserving of them names
  Would sneer at a fixed idea that’s drove
    In the mind of a Private James!”

  Said General John, “Upon your claims
    No need your breath to waste;
  If this is a joke, Full-Private James,
    It’s a joke of doubtful taste.

  “But being a man of doubtless worth,
    If you feel certain quite
  That we were probably changed at birth,
    I’ll venture to say you’re right.”

  So General John as Private James
    Fell in, parade upon;
  And Private James, by change of names,
    Was Major-General John.


  Sir Guy was a doughty crusader,
        A muscular knight,
        Ever ready to fight,
  A very determined invader. 
    And Dickey de Lion’s delight.

Project Gutenberg
Bab Ballads and Savoy Songs from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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