Christmas out of town

For many a winter in Billiter-lane

My wife, Mrs Brown, was not heard to complain

At Christmas the family met there to dine

On beef and plum-pudding, and turkey and chine

Our bark has now taken a contrary heel,

My wife has found out that the sea is genteel,

To Brighton we duly go scampering down,

For nobody now spends his Christmas in Town.


Our register-stoves, and our crimson-baized doors,

Our weather-proof walls, and our carpeted floors,

Our casements well fitted to stem the North wind,

Our arm-chair and sofa are all left behind,

We lodge on the Steine, in a bow-window's box,

That beckons up-stairs every Zephyr that knocks;

The sun hides his head and the elements frown, -

But nobody now spends his Christmas in Town.


In Billiter-lane, at this mirth-moving time,

The lamplighter brought us his annual rhyme,

The tricks of Grimaldi were sure to be seen,

We carved a twelfth cake, and we drew king and queen;

These pastimes gave oil to Time's'round-about wheel,

Before we began to be growing genteel;

'Twas all very well for a cockney or clown,

But nobody now spends his Christmas in Town


At Brighton I'm stuck up in Donaldson's shop,

Or walk upon bricks, till I'm ready to drop;

Throw stones at an anchor, look out for a skiff,

Or view the Chain-pier from the top of the cliff,

Till winds from all quarters oblige me to halt

With an eye full of sand, and a mouth full of salt

Yet still I am suffering with folks of renown.

For nobody now spends Christmas in Town.


In gallop the winds, at the full of the moon,

And puff up my carpet like Sadler's balloon;

My drawing room rug is besprinkled with soot,

And there is not a lock in the house that will shut.

At Mahomet's steam-bath I lean on my cane

And murmur in secret - "Ah, Billiter-lane!"

But would not express what I think for a crown,

For nobody now spends his Christmas in Town.


The Duke and the Earl are no cronies of mine,

His Majesty never invites me to dine;

The Marques won't speak, when we meet on the pier,

Which makes me suspect I'm nobody here.

If that be the case, why then welcome again

Twelfth-cake and snap-dragon in Billiter-lane.

Next winter I'll prove to my dear Mrs. Brown,

That Nobody now spends his Christmas in Town.



New monthly magazine and literary journal, London vol 9 page 34 Jan-June 1825