The Great Boobee

This ballad was quite a popular one in it's time. It appears in a number of collections including Roxburghe and Pepys. For the reenactor, it is interesting for the walking tour of London it provides, as well as the glimpse at a rustic countryman's accent. It would seem to date from before the Civil War because the Long Parliament suppressed the Paris Garden, bearbaiting and theatres by ordinances, 1641-1647.

(Roxb. Coll. III. 74, 228; Pepys, IV, 232; Euing, 124; Douce, I. 92; III. 35)

The Great Boobee.

To A PLEASANT NEW TUNE; or, Sallenger's Round.
My friend, if you will understand my fortune what they are, 
I once had Cattel, House, and Land, but now I am never the near; 
My Father left a good estate, as I may tell to thee, 
I couz'ned was of all I had, like a great Boobee. 

I went to School with good intent, and for to learn my book, 
And all the day I went to play, in it I never did look; 
Full seven years, or very nigh, as I may tell to thee, 
I could hardly say my Christ-Cross-Row,' like a great Boobee. 

My father then all the haste, did set me to the Plow, 
And for to lash the horse about, indeed, I knew not how; 
My father took his Whip in hand, and soundly lashed me, 
He call'd me Fool and Country Clown, and a great Boobee. 

But I did from my Vather run, for I will plow no more, 
Because he had so slashed me, and made my sides so sore; 
But I will go to London town, zome Vashions for to see; 
When I came there, they call'd me Clown, and a great Boobee. 

But as I went along the street, I carried my Hat in my hand, 
And to every one that I did meet, I bravely bus't my hand; 
Some did laugh, and some did scoff, and some did mock at me, 
And some did say I was a Woodcock, and a great Boobee. 

Then I did walk in hast to Paul's, the Steeple for to view, 
Because I heard some people say, it should be builded new; 
Then I got up unto the top, the City for to see: 
I was so high it made me cry, like a great Boobee. 

The Second Part. TO THE SAME TUNE. 

From thence I went to Westminster, and for to see the Tombs, 
"Oh," said I, "what a house is here, with an infinite sight of rooms," 
Sweetly the Abbey-Bells did ring, it was a fine sight to see, 
Methought I was going to Heaven in a string, like a great Boobee. 

But as I went along the street, the most part of the day, 
Many Gallants did I meet, methought they were very gay; 
I blew my nose, and befoul'd my hose, some people did me see, 
They said I was 'a Beastly Fool, and a great Boobee. 

Next day I through Pye-corner past, the roast-meat on the stall 
Invited me to take a taste, my money was but small: 
The meat I pickt, the Cook me kickt, as I may tell to thee, 
He beat me zore, and made me rore, like a great Boobee. 

As I through Smithfield lately walkt, a gallant Lass I met, 
Familiarly with me she talkt, which I cannot forget; 
She proffered me a pint of Wine, methought she was wonderous free, 
To the Tavern I went with her, like a great Boobee. 

She told me we were near of kin, and call'd for Wine good store, 
Before the reckoning was brought in, my Cousin prov'd a Whore: 
My purse she pickt, and went away, my Cousin cozened me, 
The Vintner kickt me out of door, like a great Boobee. 

At the Exchange, when I came there, I saw most gallant things, 
I thought the pictures living were of all our English Kings; 
I doft my Hat, and made a leg, and kneeled on my knee, 
The people laught, and call'd me Fool, and a great Boobee. 

To Paris-Garden then I went, where there was great resort, 
My pleasure was my punishment, I did not like the sport: 
The Garden Bull, with his stout horns, on high then tossed me; 
I did bewray myself with fear, like a great Boobee. 

The Bear-heard went to save me then, the people flockt about, 
I told all the Bear-garden-men my guts were almost out; 
They said I stunk most grievously, no man would pitty me, 
They call'd me witless Fool and Ass, and a great Boobee. 

Then o're the Water did I pass, as you shall understand, 
I dropt into the Thames, alas! before I came to land: 
The Water-man did help me out, and thus did say to me, 
"'Tis not thy fortune to be drown'd, thou great Boobee. 

But I have learned so much wit, shall shorten all my cares, 
If I can but a License get, to play before the Bears; 
'Twill be a gallant place indeed, as I may to thee, 
Then who dares call me Fool or Ass, or a great Boobee. 

Printed for F. Coles, in Wine-street, on Saffron-hill, Hatton-Garden. 

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