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The Landlord's Song, lyrics

Song: The Landlord's Song
Lyrics: "W.W."

Music: n/a
Year: assumed to be 19th century
Genre: Traditional
Country: England (assumed)

I sit like a king in my lordly tower,
    and all that I see is mine,
I reign supreme and I wield a power
    by virute of right devine,

I look around and on every side
    as far as the eye can see,
On the fields and the wood and the pastures wide
    they all belong to me.

The farmer ploughs and the farmer sows
    he toils with care and pain,
'Tis for me he ploughs and reaps and sows
    and gathers the golden grain,
The Miner digs in the darksome caves where
    the sun does never shine,
Though they work and toil like gally slaves
    yet the work of their toil is mine.
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I gather the gold from every source
    I take a toll from all,
I spend it all on myselfe of course
    with revile riot and ball,

I eat the fat and drink the sweet
    I neither toil nor spin,
I pass the time with companions
    and even the rent comes in.
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Markets may rise and prices may fall
    and men may be discontent,
Though rain should overwhelm them all
    still I must have my rent,

For I make the laws that hedge me around
    that none may my rights assail,
And I've built them up with a skill profound
    and a cunning that I just prevail. So I site like a king in my lordly tower and
    I reign supreme alone,
And I wield a more despotic power than
    the monarch on the throne.


1 - From the Bodleian Library, Ballads Catalogue: Harding B 11(1436),

2 - From The Standard, Volume 1, No. 10, New York, Saturday, March 12, 1887 (Adobe pdf file): the author is "W.W., Author of the Miller's Moan".