Mudcat Café message #3007682 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #76910   Message #3007682
Posted By: Jim Dixon
15-Oct-10 - 08:12 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: The Hell-Bound Train
Subject: Lyr Add: RAILROAD TO HELL
The basic idea is similar, but the words are completely different. Also note, there is no narrative in this version.

From a reproduction of an old broadside in Curiosities of Street Literature by Charles Hindley (London: Reeves and Turner, 1871), page 33:


This Line begins in the Brewery, and runs through all Public-Houses, Dram-shops, and Jerry-shops, in a zigzag direction, until it lands in the Kingdom of Hell.

1. If you are determined and wishful to go,
With blind debauchees to the regions of woe,
Then go to the Tap without any delay,
And drink both your reason and money away,
But never mind care, for if you despair,
It is the first train that will carry you there.

2. You've nothing to do but to guzzle and swill,
As long as the Landlord is willing to fill,
For this is the Line and the Railroad to Hell,
Where Drunkards and Devils for ever must dwell;
So drink all you can, it is the chief plan,
That e'er was invented by Devil for man.

3. This Railroad it runs thro' Parlours and Snugs,
And here you can sit round glasses and jugs,
And have what you please, such as Ale, Gin, or Rum,
To please an old friend, or an old drunken chum;
And this is the way to drink all the day,
And then stagger home when you've swallowed your pay.

4. Such Taverns as these are Railroads to Hell,
Their barrels are engines which make men rebel;
Their jugs and their glasses which furnish their Trains,
Will empty their pockets and muddle their brains.
And thus drunkards ride to Hell in their pride,
With nothing but steam from the barrels inside.

5. We've Railroads to Heaven, and Railroads to Hell,
Where good men can ride, and where Devils can dwell;
We've Taverns for drunkards and Churches for Saints,
And quacks of all sorts to heal our complaints;
So now we can ride to Hell in our pride,
On Railroads of sin with blue Devils inside.

6. Old Swilltub the doctor and guard of the Trains,
He filches your pockets and fuddles your brains;
But when he's got all from the poor silly man,
He then sends him home to do as he can,
With all his old chums, his badgers and bums,
Who sue him for money he owes in great sums.

7. But let us not ride on these Railroads of sin,
Nor drink either Brandy, Ale, Porter, or Gin;
And then we shall ride into Heaven with joy,
Where no drunken quacks can our vitals destroy
With poisonous drugs, sold to us in jugs,
In either their Bars, their Parlours, or Snugs.

8. The number of vaults which we have in Town,
Have robbed the poor lass of her bonnet and gown,
Her topknots and feathers have gone to the Pop,
And many have lost both credit and shop;
Both young men and maids of very good trades,
Have drunk all they earned, and gone down to the shades.

9. We've plenty of signs, both Horses and Bulls,
Of Lions and Dragons, to serve drunken Trulls;
We've signs too of Angels, of Warriors and Kings—
Yes, plenty of signs of good and bad things.
But what's their design? Why Gin, Rum, and Wine,
Sold here to intoxicate puppies and swine.

10. We've White and Black Bulls and two Suns in one street,
One Swan and two Lions which never taste meat,
And here you see women with bottles and jugs,
Roll into these taverns and dram-drinking snugs,
As brazen as brass to get an odd glass,
In some of these shops where a fool cannot pass.

11. No wonder that Pop-ticket women and wags,
Are dressed up in nothing but patches and rags.
Their dresses and shawls for strong liquor they'll swop,
Yes, Tagrag and Bobtail must go to the pop;
And when this is done, away they will run,
To either a Lion, a Bull, or a Sun.

12. Such poor sorry women who pledge their old rags,
Are known by their petticoats hanging in jags;
You'll see them at night with their heads wrapt in shawls
Not far from the Dram-shop, or sign of Three Balls,
With bonnets and hats, old dresses and brats,
Made up into bundles as you have seen Pat's.

LONDON:—T. Such, Printer, Union street, Boro.'