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The Inheritance
Reform to 1850
Twentieth Century
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Radical Songs
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The Voice of Radicalism

Last Speech of the Towns Officers


Last Speech of the Towns Officers


"There's Nae Luck Aboot the Hoose"


Now Clerk count o'er the Council Board
They're a met here bit twa ,
And we maun sign our dying Speech,
Our Cash is now awa:
Let Geordy Steel and a' his gang,
Tak warnin by our Fa,
For fan the Siller leaves the House,
The luck flees a' awa.
For there's nae luck about the Town,
There's nae luck ava;
There's nae luck about this House
Our Sillers a' awa.

We loudly here re-it-e-rate
Proclaim it "ye Elect,"
In management of Town's Affairs,
There's radical defect;
A system of concealment too,
If one were so inclined;
He'd keep a best intentioned few,
Like little moles, stone-blind.
For there's nae luck, &c.

We therefore humbly here propose,
Altho' it may seem strange,
Don't think it odd to come from those
Who never dream't of change:
Now we think it just and fair,
T' effectually controul,
And fairly we'd concede a share,
We canna keep the whole.
Na-There's nae Cash about the House
There's nae luck ava, &c.

But hark! We hear the Council Bell,
One duty to perform
Is left for us, our Tools we tell,
That they must all Reform:
For many months we've all thought so,
‘Tis needless then to preach.
An empty Purse will farther go,
Than a' our Dying Speech.
For there's nae luck, &c.

Now, hand in hand with "One Accord,"
Let's in the circle draw,
We must retire from this sad Board,
Hark! Hear the mob huzza!
Let Geordy Steel and a' his gang,
Tak warnin by our Fa,
For fan the Siller leaves the House,
The luck flees a' awa.
Exeunt omnes-
Without singing the Chorus.


Grace Banks
David Hunter
Shirley Watt
Eric White


Inserted in‘Local Prints, Broadsheets etc collected by WF Taylor’. 'The Last Speech' is undated but it predates the 1st Reform Act of 1832 and refers to the corruption in the burgh council – which was widespread. This ballad could relate to the announcement by the city treasurer in February 1817 that he could no longer meet the interest payments on the city’s debts, and the ensuing 2 year bitter struggle between the old Tory ruling group and their critics.

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