by Stephen Collins Foster (1826 - 1864)

On the seventeenth day of September you...
Language: English 
On the seventeenth day of September you know, 
Took place in our city the great baby show; 
They shut up the factories and let out the schools, 
For the Seventeenth day was the day of all fools. 

Sing tu ral lala lu ral lal lu rall lal lay, 
Sing tu ral lala lu ral lal lu rall lal lay, 
Sing tu ral lala lu ral lal lu rall lal lay, 
Sing tu ral lala lu ral lal lu rall lal lay.

They made a procession of wagons and boats, 
Of raccoons and oxen (they all have their votes) 
Sledge hammers, triangles and carpenter's tools, 
One thousand and eight hundred horses and mules. 

They had gemmen ob color join in their games 
And jokers and clowns of all ages and names 
They had pop guns and tin pans and all kinds of toys 
And a very fine party of women and boys. 

They had young men on horse back, so nice and so gay 
Aged Seventeen years on this Seventeenth day, 
And the ladies all thought they were bold cavaliers 
These bright looking lads aged seventeen years. 

They had grim border-ruffians, I'll bring to your mind, 
And they've plenty more left of the very same kind, 
They drank from a flask and played cards on the way, 
And the children looked on, on this Seventeenth day. 

They had Ohio Yankees of Western Reserve 
Who live upon cheese, ginger cakes and preserve, 
Abolition's their doctrine their rod and their staff, 
And they'll fight for a sixpence an hour and a half. 

Now was it not kind in these good simple clowns 
To amuse all the children in both of our towns 
To shut up their work shops and spend so much money 
To black up their faces, get tight and be funny. 

They called it a council of freemen you know 
But I told you before 'twas a great baby show, 
For when they had met they had nothing to say 
But "Poor Bleeding Kansas" and "Ten Cents A Day". 

Then their ship Constitution was hauled through the street 
With sixteen small guns she was armed compleat 
But the brave ship of State by which Democrats stand 
Carries thirty-one guns with old Buck in command. 

In the year '45 when the fire laid us waste 
Old Buck gave us five hundred dollars in haste 
They then took his money and lauded his name 
But he's now "Ten cent Jimmy", their banners proclaim.

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Researcher for this text: Laura Prichard [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2015-12-26
Line count: 45
Word count: 411