THE NEW PENNY POSTAGE
 
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Of Steam and Rails, Balloons and Gas,
Let other Folks be boasting;
Of all that ever is or was,
There's nought beats Penny Posting.
How nice to send a body's thoughts,
If good thoughts you have any;
To Erin, Scotia, Johnny-Groats,
And all for one poor penny.

Chorus: Of Steam and Rails, Balloons and Gas,
Let other Folks be boasting;
Of all that ever is or was,
There's nought beats Penny Posting.

Old penny Postmen used to go,
And thought it no small trouble;
To Wapping Wall or Pimlico,
Then made the Penny double.
Thus Penny Post to Twopence changed,
Was threepence charged to manny;
But now the Empire may be ranged,
And all for one poor Penny.

Chorus:

A Penny from some distant cline,
May now bring intimation;
To dine that day and Rail Road Time,
Will meet the invitation.
And if you take one bottle more,
As you return, 'tis reckoned;
You'll ride a hundred miles before,
You've time to crack a second.

Chorus:

To spend a fortune was the lot,
Of letter-writing ladies;
But Penny saved is Penny got,
And now a fortune made is.
Such Postage who for Lovers sighs,
Would grudge were mean and mulish;
And though he might seem Penny wise,
Would only be Pound Foolish.

Chorus:

A Poet says, and well he meant,
Tho' Postage high price fetches;
Yet Letters were by Heaven sent,
To aid unhappy wretches.
But now they come a cheaper way,
To help a scribbling Nation;
And show ('tis not too much to say)
No little Penetration.

Chorus:

May correspondence, wise as free,
To profit long employ all;
And our new Penny Postage be,
A Glorious Penny Royal!
And may our youthful Sovereign Reign,
Her Country's favourite fairy;
And may those find, who do disdain,
Some peniten-ti-a-ry.

Chorus:
 
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Written and composed by Thomas Dibdin - 1839
From monologues.co.uk Music Hall Lyrics Collection
 
Trivia1
Popular songs often celebrated current innovations and this is a good example. In 1840 Sir Rowland Hill received backing from parliament for a 'Penny Post'. Prior to this, letters were delivered at varying rates and could be very expensive with payment demanded on delivery. Rowland's system was cheap and well organised and did have very positive results. Stamps were purchased by the sender and had to be attached to the letter before it was sent. The rate of one penny (if letters were very heavy they were more expensive) meant that many more people could communicate across the country.
 
Trivia3
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