To Pimlico we'll go

Melody -

To Pimlico we'll go,
Where merry we shall be,
With ev'ry Man a Can in's Hand,
And a Wench upon his knee.

And when that we're disposed,
We ramble on the Grass,
With long patch'd Coats for
To hide a pretty Lass.

Seven years I served,
My old Master Wild;
Seven years I begged
Whilst I was but a Child.

I had the pretty knack,
For to wheedle and to cry;
By young and by old,
Much pitied e'er was I.

Fatherless and Motherless
Still was my complaint,
And none that ever saw me,
But took me for a Saint.
  I begg'd for my Master
And got him store of Pelf;
But Jove now be praised,
I now beg for myself

Within a hollow Tree,
I live, and pay no Rent;
Providence provides for me,
And I am well content,

Of all Occupations,
A Beggar lives the best,
For when he is weary,
He'll lie him down and rest.

I fear no Plots against me,
But live in open Cell;
Why who would be a king,
When a Beggar lives so well?

There's a bed for me where e'er I lie
And I don't pay no rent;
I've got no noisy looms to mind
And I am reet content.

I can rest when I'm tired,
I need no master's bell,
A man'd be daft to be a king
When beggars live so well."

"Vagrancy was one of the most pressing social problems of the age of the Tudors and early Stuarts, and the crime was taken so seriously because to the dominant classes vagabonds appeared to threaten the established order." Nevertheless, songs celebrating beggars enjoyed a considerable vogue. Richard Brome's play Jovial Crew; or, The Merry Beggars of 1641 had several such pieces. This later edition in, 1684, introduced what is perhaps this most farnous of all beggar songs, which also appeared as a street ballad.

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