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All the World is Scheming (or, Oh Times Are Really Very Hard), song lyrics

Song: All the World is Scheming (or, Oh Times Are Really Very Hard)
Lyrics: J. E. Carpenter(1)

Music: J. Harroway
Year: between 1830 and 1838 (2)
Genre: Comic Song
Country: USA

Oh! times are really very hard,
There's little cash about now;
Tho' 'tis not that that I regard,
If I could made it out now.
That causes such a panic(4), I,
To think of have been dreaming,
And would you guess the reason why?
'Tis all mandkind are scheming.

With plans your purse to renovate,
The Papers they are teeming,
So now's your time to Speculate,
For all the world are scheming.

They say, it's all because Reform,
Has pass'd the House of Commons,(5)
Where promises they ne'er perform,
They're such a set of rum 'uns;
They'd vote a Joint-Stock Property,
Those Radical debaters,
And organise a Company,
For selling "Hot baked 'Taters". This song was originally posted on

There's Brown, who drives an Omnibus
From Greenwich up to London,
He's always making such as fuss
And says as how he's undone;
"Those Rail-way Companies" says he
"Sarves me in such a manner,
No Tradesman ever rides with me
While they takes ev'ry Tanner."


There's even the poor Watermen,
They say it a disgrace is,
Those Steam boat Companies should plan
To ruin all their places;
There's such a lot of Steam about
To do what they require,
That the River boils, and soon no doubt
They'll "set the Thames a fire."
This song was originally posted on

Our Youths no more take rapid strides
In Boarding-shcool or College,
A Joint-stock Company provides
Them all with useful knowledge;
The Penny-Magazine in thrall
Their faculties has taken,
The Blacksmiths study Locke, and all
The Cheesemongers know Bacon.


A Company that all must praise
Supplies the Town with Water,
A Dairy-Company conveys
New Milk to ev'ry quarter;
And just because they thrive so well,
Hear what they mean to do now,
Get up a Company to sell
A union of the two now.


'Tis not in life alone that we
These Companies need dread, Sir,
There's a Cemetery-company
Provides for us when dead, Sir,
You may be taken unawares
By Burying concoctors,
For I'm assured that all the Shares
Are bought up by the Doctors.


There's one thing tho' that puzzles me,
You'll own it is surprising,
A Joint-Stock Banking-Company
We here and there see rising,
That folks have Money 'twould denote
Tho' I am more for thinking
What they call Capital afloat,
Is Capital a sinking.



1 - Books by Joseph Edwards Carpenter (1813 - 1885), from the University of Pennsyvania.

2 - Published by Jame L. Hewitt & Co., 239 Broadway, New York, which existed from 1830-1838

3 - Capitalization of the words is as per the original sheet music.

4 - The timing of this could be around the Panic of 1837, with information from the Harvard Business School, Historical Collections.

5 - On the other hand, there is also reference to the reform of the "House of Commons," which could likely be a reference to the 1832 Report Act of England and Wales. There is no confirmation as to the precise date in that decade for this song.