Lyrics adapted from "The Song of the Lower Classes" by Ernest Jones (c. 1848)
We're low - we're low - mere rabble, we know
But, at our plastic power,
The mould at the lording's feet will grow
Into palace and church and tower
Then prostrate fall - in the rich man's hall,
And cringe at the rich man's door;
We're not too low to build the wall,
But too low to tread the floor.
Down, down we go - we're so very low,
To the hell of the deep sunk mines,
But we gather the proudest gems that glow,
When the crown of a despot shines.
And whenever he lacks - upon our backs
Fresh loads he designs to lay;
We're far too low to vote the tax,
But not too low to pay.
We're low - we're low - we're very very low,
Yet from our fingers glide
The silken flow - and the robes that glow
Round the limbs of the sons of pride.
And what we get - and what we give -
We know, and we know our share;
We're not too low the cloth to weave,
But too low the cloth to wear!
Lyrics adapted from a parody of the popular patriotic Victorian song "Happy Land"
Happy land! happy land! Thy fame resounds shore to shore
Happy land! where 'tis a crime, they tell us, to be poor.
If you shelter cannot find, of you they'll soon take care:
Most likely send you to grind wind - For sleeping in the air.
Happy land! happy land! To praise thee, who will cease?
To guard us, pray, now ain't we got a precious New Police?
A passport we shall soon require, which by them must be scanned,
If we to take a walk desire - Oh, ain't this happy land?
Happy land! happy land! Ne'er from thee I will stray,
The soldier cries, because, y'see, he cannot get away.
For nothing flogged, with grief he sighs, while probably the band,
Strike up to drown the wretch's cries - To the tune of 'Happy Land!'
Happy land! happy land! is now the chant in every street.
Happy land! happy land! Sings everyone you meet.
The ballad-singer, minus clothes; shirtless, coatless,
And with buckets none to shield his toes - He warbles 'Happy land!'"