> Danny Spooner > Songs > London’s Ordinary

London’s Ordinary

[ Roud V18996 ; Bodleian Roud V18996 ; EBBA 20086 ; trad.]

John Faulkner sang London’s Ordinary, or Every Man in His Humour in 1966 on The Critics Group’s album A Merry Progress to London.

Lis Johnston and Danny Spooner sang London’s Ordinary on the 1978 album Danny Spooner and Friends. Spooner noted:

The ‘pub’ has always played an important part in the social life of most communities, but in London it was often an employment office as well. This song dates from about the 18th century and explains where the various sorts of tradesmen could be found. It is from Evans’ Old Ballads.


Lis Johnston and Danny Spooner sing London’s Ordinary

Through the Royal Exchange as I walked,
Where gallants in satin do shine,
At midst of the day they parted away
To several places to dine.

The gentry went to the King’s Head,
The nobles unto the Crown;
The knights unto to the Golden Fleece,
And the ploughmen unto the Clown.

The clergy will dine at the Mitre,
The vintners at the Three Tuns;
The usurers to the Devil will go,
And the friars into the Nuns.

The cheater will dine at the Checquer,
The pick-pocket at the blind Ale-house.
Till taken and tried up Holborne they ride
And make their end at the Gallows.

The plumbers will dine at the Fountain,
The cooks at the Holy Lamb;
The drunkards at noon to the Man in the Moon,
And the cuckolds into the Ram.

The rovers will dine at the Lion,
The watermen at the Old Swan,
The bawd will to the Negro go,
And the whores to the Naked Man.

The fishmongers unto the Dolphin,
The bakers to the Cheat Loaf;
The turners into the Ladle will go,
Where the may merrily quaff.

The hosiers will dine at the Leg,
The drapers at the signe of the Brush;
The fletchers to Robin Hood will go,
And the spend-thrift to Beggers Bush.

The goldsmiths will to the Three Cups,
Their money they count it as dross;
Your puritan to the Pewter Can,
And your papist to the Cross.

The weavers will dine at the Shuttle,
And the glovers will into the Glove;
The maidens all to the Maidenhead,
And the true lovers unto the Dove.

And thus every man in his humour,
From the North unto the South;
But he that hath no money in his purse,
May dine at the sign of the Mouth.