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English Ladies' [1860's]
New Fashioned Petticoats


Search all the world over I vow and declare,
With the ladies of England there's none can compare
With the sleeves on their arms like a coal-porter's sack,
Their cockleshell bonnets and Jack Sheppard hats.
The ladies hooped petticoats dragging around,
Just cover a mile and three-quarters of ground.

Oh, I must have a husband young Jenny did say,
I will be in the fashion so buxom and gay,
With a bustle before and another behind,
And under my trousers a big crinoline.

When I'm married, my husband upon me will doat,
Looking so fine in a hooped petticoat.
To have one, I'll just go a week without grub,
Or else knock out the staves of our big washing-tub.
There was an old lady went down through the Strand,
She was linked in the arms of a dashing young man,
Her hooped petticoat caught a coal-heaver's clothes.
Down he went like a donkey wop bang on his nose.

The lasses that wander the street in the dark,
Swear they cannot get custom unless they're smart,
If their skin is as black as a Welch Billy Goat,
They must have a wonderful hooped petticoat.

An old farmer's wife an hooped petticoat wore,
'Twas as wide as an haystack behind and before,
The wind caught the bottom as you may suppose,
Then up in the clouds in a moment she goes.

I knew a young milkmaid at Old Farmer Days,
She sold her frock and trousers, her stockings and stays,
From her master's beer barrel, a hoop then she took,
And she had it sown around her new red petticoat.

She got up one morning, so buxom and fine,
She quickly went folding her new crinoline,
She holloaed and swore such a terrible oath,
For the old cow had calved in her hooped petticoat.

A young lady of Aldershot was when it rained,
And a regiment of soldiers going over the plain.
Popped into a place, just for shelter they took,
The whole regiment stood under her hooped petticoat!

Good people, beware! as you pass through the streets,
If a girl with a crinoline you chance for to meet,
Take care as you ramble along in a group,
Or, you may get caught in a hooped petticoat.

There was a sweet duchess a lap dog had got,
She had lost it one morning and cried such a lot,
But oh, lack-aday, she beheld in a group,
A bitch and nine pups in her hooped petticoat.

They say that the queen has crinoline on,
And so has Prince Albert and buxom Lord John,
We expect to see Palmerston next week afloat,
Strutting up round May Fair in a hooped petticoat.

H. Disley, Printer, 57, High Street, St. Giles.

SOURCE: Curiosities of Street Literature, London, Reeves and Turner, 196, Strand, 1871.