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and their new Flags.

Oh dear, what a fuss and a bother,
From one end of this great city bang to the other,
The Cabmen all say they shall live in clover
Now they have the Free-trade in cabs;

This Act, it is Bruce's, the Home Secretary,
And it came into force the 1st of February,
That his ideas are grand, of course you'll say very,
Especially the dodge of the Flags !

Oh my, is there not an uproar,
About the new regulations of Bruce's New Cab law,
First the Cabby's, the badge, like schoolboys they wear now,
Now it's a Flag and a Ticket for Soup !

The Cab-horses now at their good luck are laughing,
To think their nose bags will have more corn and chaff in,
And cock up their noses as by us they'll passing,
Saying, what do you think of our Flags !

The phillibeloo of the Cab-strike, I'll never forget ye,
Nor who brought out the Badge, oh no, what a pity ?
Or the Cabman's best friend, poor lamented dear Dickey,
But he never thought of the Flags !

They must mount their banners up in the air, sir,
Nor stir from the rank till hail'd by a fare, sir,
And dub up their tickets, its true I declare, sir,
Yes, that is the rules of the Act.

To see their Flags stuck up, it's strange for to see now,
Like those that they stick on a Christmas tree, now,
They're stuck full of letters and on it just see now,
You can ride just for sixpence a mile!

Now a man and his wife in the old fashioned manner,
Could ride side by side just a mile for a tanner
And two or three kids besides they could cram there,
But now it's just two for a bob;

For a young one in napkins, it's true what I tell you,
Is considered a person, though a small one, it is true,
Butt, a pot-bellied Alderman is counted as two, now,
To help them to pay for the Flags !

Now the Act is in force, I should not at all wonder
That dustmen and nightmen and costermongers
Will apply for a license and take out a number
And mount on their foreheads a flag;

And the people they shout, tho' it's really too bad, sir,
As over the stones they go with their cabs, sir,
I say, old pal, I'll have your flag;
And where is your ticket for soup.

Now cabs of all kinds must be inspected
To see that no sand cracks are in them detected
And all the shofle shofles they will be rejected
Now they won't they look after the flags.

Now I think of the Act to say more it no use is,
They'll rechristen the cabs, & stand no excuses,
There'll be no four wheelers or hansoms,
they'll all be called Bruce's,
Tho' it does not say so in the act.

Disley, Printer, High Street, St. Giles's.

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