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Joan's Ale Was New Post by :Admorinc Category :Poems Author :Unknown Date :May 2011 Read :3172

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Joan's Ale Was New

(Ours is the common version of this popular song; it varies considerably from the one given by D'Urfey, in the Pills to purge Melancholy. From the names of Nolly and Joan and the allusion to ale, we are inclined to consider the song as a lampoon levelled at Cromwell, and his wife, whom the Royalist party nick-named 'Joan.' The Protector's acquaintances (depicted as low and vulgar tradesmen) are here humorously represented paying him a congratulatory visit on his change of fortune, and regaling themselves with the 'Brewer's' ale. The song is mentioned in Thackeray's Catalogue, under the title of Joan's Ale's New; which may be regarded as circumstantial evidence in favour of our hypothesis. The air is published in Popular Music, accompanying three stanzas of a version copied from the Douce collection. The first verse in Mr. Chappell's book runs as follows:-

There was a jovial tinker,
Who was a good ale drinker,
He never was a shrinker,
Believe me this is true;
And he came from the Weald of Kent,
When all his money was gone and spent,
Which made him look like a Jack a-lent.
And Joan's ale is new, my boys,
And Joan's ale is new.)

There were six jovial tradesmen,
And they all sat down to drinking,
For they were a jovial crew;
They sat themselves down to be merry;
And they called for a bottle of sherry,
You're welcome as the hills, says Nolly,
While Joan's ale is new, brave boys,
While Joan's ale is new.

The first that came in was a soldier,
With his firelock over his shoulder,
Sure no one could be bolder,
And a long broad-sword he drew:
He swore he would fight for England's ground,
Before the nation should be run down;
He boldly drank their healths all round,
While Joan's ale was new.

The next that came in was a hatter,
Sure no one could be blacker,
And he began to chatter,
Among the jovial crew:
He threw his hat upon the ground,
And swore every man should spend his pound,
And boldly drank their hearths all round,
While Joan's ale was new.

The next that came in was a dyer,
And he sat himself down by the fire,
For it was his heart's desire
To drink with the jovial crew:
He told the landlord to his face,
The chimney-corner should be his place,
And there he'd sit and dye his face,
While Joan's ale was new.

The next that came in was a tinker,
And he was no small beer drinker,
And he was no strong ale shrinker,
Among the jovial crew:
For his brass nails were made of metal,
And he swore he'd go and mend a kettle,
Good heart, how his hammer and nails did rattle,
When Joan's ale was new!

The next that came in was a tailor,
With his bodkin, shears, and thimble,
He swore he would be nimble
Among the jovial crew:
They sat and they called for ale so stout,
Till the poor tailor was almost broke,
And was forced to go and pawn his coat,
While Joan's ale was new.

The next that came in was a ragman,
With his rag-bag over his shoulder,
Sure no one could be bolder
Among the jovial crew.
They sat and called for pots and glasses,
Till they were all drunk as asses,
And burnt the old ragman's bag to ashes,
While Joan's ale was new.

(The end)
Anonymous's poem: Joan's Ale Was New

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