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Sixteen to One, song lyrics

Song: Sixteen to One
Lyrics: C. M. Copp(1)(2)

Music: to the tune of "Billy Barlow"
Year: 1896(1)
Country: USA

("A Red Hot Campaign Song")

Kind friends, if you'll listen to me for awhile,
I will sing you a song that will cause you to smile,
Hard times they have struck us, if you don't believe it's so,
Just look at this old coat of Billy Barlow.

Some people like silver, while others like gold,
And the story of the Gold Bugs is getting quite old;
Now they had better be careful and not fool with the dough(3),
Or they'll get a good spanking from Billy Barlow.
This song was originally posted on
Bill Barlow is the people, as you'll see at a glance,
And with those rich gold bugs he stands little chance;
For the right they eat turkey, while the people eat crow,
And they never say turkey to Bill Barlow.

The rich are the gold bugs and they live way down East;
While the people are hungry they sit down at their feast;
And while the country is suffering, they're hoarding the dough,
For they don't care a snap for poor Billy Barlow.
This song was originally posted on
Yellow fever is raging, and those it hurts worst
Are those who don't have it, and thereby are cursed,
If you want to stop the fever just double the dough,
And coin gold and silver for Billy Barlow.

Now kind friends, I am done, and my story is told;
We've had quite enough of single standard of gold;
And now let's get ready and double the dough,
And fill up the pockets of Billy Barlow.


1 - Transcribed from the sheet music published by the National Music Company, 215-221 Wabash Avenue, Chicago, Illinois, USA.

2 - We can not confirm who the author, C. M. Copp was.

3 - "Dough" a slang term for money.

4 - Silver vs. Gold, wedge issue of the 1896 election, from the Smithsonian Institute.

5 - 1896, The Gold Standard, Bimetallism, or 'Free Silver'?, from Vassar College.

6 - Silverites, Populists, and the Movement for Free Silver, from National History Education Clearinghouse.

7 - History of the coinage act of 1873, from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and Coinage Act of 1873 from Wikipedia.

8 - John Sherman On “The Crime of 1873” in a speech before the Ohio Republican Convention, on August 15, 1895 on the U.S. Treasury's decisions on silver versus gold.