I am a Railway Porter and my mates all call me Dan
I earn as many ha'pence as a Railway Porter can
My wages are a pound a week, which isn't very fat
When there's a wife and family to see to out of that
It takes me all my time I know, to find them bread and cheese
And I should have no dinners but for my gratuitous
Gratuities are sixpences and threepences and bobs
Which I get hold of now and then for waiting on the nobs

Chorus: Take your seats for Leicester, Chester, Birmingham and Crewe
See your luggage labelled, for the place you're going to
And if you are a Captain or a Colonel or a man
You can find a little sixpence for the Porter Dan

Now if you'd like a journey that will suit you, don't you know
Just tell me what you are and then I'll tell you where to go
If you're fond of billiards go to Kew and then to Poole
And to the Scilly Islands if you fancy you're a fool
If you're a waiter you should go of course to Table Bay
And if you are a donkey, then you ought to go to Bray
Go to the Sandwich Islands if you're hungry and would dine
But if you're fond of bloaters go to Herrin'-on-the-Rhine


There's the Isle of Man for ladies who are looking out for mates
For lovers who've made up their minds, there's the United States
For those who want divorces, Sunderland of course is best
And all the babies certainly prefer to go to Brest
All those who like a game of whist should cut at once for Deal
And pugilists to Box Moor go when they have been to Peel
Bookbinders should be happy, if to Russia they are bound
And invalids be glad if they arrive at Plymouth Sound


The Milkmen should go more to Cowes, I very often say
And Jockeys should be off to Ryde, or else Horse-trail-i-a
The Mashers should to Starch Green go to keep their collars stiff
And Tenor singers make a note to go to Tenerife
The girls should go to Kissingen, there is no doubt they do
The boys should go to Darlington, to Ems and Nancy too
The Queen should go to Queensland though it's far across the sea
And the Prince of Wales in Kingsland then would very welcome be.


The development of the railways was one of the most important innovations of the Victorian period and Music Hall songs celebrated railway personalities as cheerful, though not always hardworking, characters that all their audiences would recognise. Many people were employed to work on the trains; engine drivers, firemen and porters. It was accepted that porters would get tips from the passengers and that the other workers did not get this perk and so porters wages were low. The leisured classes could pay a porter to keep a carriage door locked so that no other passengers could sit there and porters could also receive money for carrying luggage, obtaining travelling rugs and looking after animals.

Written and composed by Harry hunter & G.D. Fox - 1884
Performed by Henri Clark (1840-1905)
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