The Brokendown Gentleman
Ian - English Concertina
James - Cittern, Fiddle & Fretless Bass
This story of the profligate life of a rural gentleman
was collected from George Blake of St. Denys,
Southampton, Hampshire by George Gardiner. It is
known in other collections as “Epsom Races”. Blake
was a major supplier of songs to Gardiner, who also
collected from his brother, Moses, of Emery Down
and his son-in-law, Henry Stansbridge, of Lyndhurst.
I once thought I would learn all the songs from this
family, but it proved to be too great a task -
maybe one day!
When I was young & in my youth, 'bout twenty four years old,
I spent my time in vanity, along with a lady so bold.
Along with a lady so bold.
I wore the ruffles all at my wrist, a cane all in my hand,
No farmer's son could with me compare, all over the nation so grand.
I kept a pack of hounds, my boys, & servants to wait on me.
For I did intend my money to spend, & that you may plainly see.
I kept a coach & six bay horses with hangers all round about,
With a golden tassel on each horses head, just ready for me to ride out.
I steered my course to Epsom boys, horse racing for to see.
'Twas there I spend 10,000 pounds, all in the light of one day.
I steered my course back home again, my purse it did run small,
And I was a brokendown gentleman, & that was the worst of it all.
My Landlord he came for the rent, of bailiffs there came three.
They took away all that I had & swore that they would have me.
The rogues & thieves around me came, from them I could not run.
They took away my coach & six, and I was quite undone.
My wife she sorrowfully pitied my case, my children round me cried.
To think that now in jail I'll lie, until the day that I die.