JACK SHEPPARD
 
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I'm the shadow of Jack Sheppard descending you know
From the rackety times of gay long ago
I was King of the Dials and Lord of the Mint
The theme of adventures that folks cannot print
I always was ready, when fun should begin
To give a smart husey a chuck 'neath the chin
Or I'd rid a man neatly of gold he had piled
Smart! thanks to the teaching of Jonnathan Wild.

Chorus: Then here's to the fame of Jack Sheppard
Here's to the mad-cap boy
Burglar and pride of the ladies
Their prey and their readiest toy
Idol of days when the people
To the hardiest villain would bow
Dark days that are dead
Do you think the world's better now?


Oh, lud, things were different my first time on earth
I'd cut capers, crack cribs, from the day of my birth
Sometimes I was collared - they nabbed me in vain
Though they slapped me in chokey, I broke out again
It was 'Stand and Deliver' one moment - same day
The coin we'd bagged we were carousing away
With Edgeworth Bess helping - the old love and the new
It's 'a fig for tomorrow', an old toast but true.

Chorus:

I'd a pride in my business, no psalm singing airs
I was never a hypocrite, snivelling at prayers
I robbed no poor widows, in Christian like way
Smashed no Liberator and bolted away
'Twas a rollicking dare-devil period then
The fairest frail women, the smartest frail men
In these days of divorce courts, such tales cause surprise
You can't see vice now - that's if you shut your eyes.

Chorus:

Let me paint a final picture - Jack with clasp'd and twitching hands
At the funeral of his mother in old Willesden churchyard stands
In heart broken stupor, he scarce hears friends 'Blueskin' warning
'Fly, Jonnathan Wild's here' Then Jack sobs, 'Leave my Mother's grave not I
Let them take me.' Wild has seized him, 'Till the dreadful finish wait,
I'll not struggle, for my mother's grave I will not desecrate.'
Vile thief taker, Wild mocks him, drags him off in brutal glee
'Drive on lads! Hurrah for Newgate, halfway house for Tyburn Tree.'
 
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Recorded by Harry Weldon
 
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