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A New Song

1832: Representation of the People Acts

Author: Anon

This poem appears in our anthology

Publication: The Ten Pounder

Publisher: Peter Brown

Published: 6 October 1832

Place of publication: Lady Stair's Close, Edinburgh, Scotland

Publication type: Newspaper/Periodical

Featured individuals:
Francis Jeffrey (1773-1850)

A full copy of this poem is available.

This poem has a set tune, and its title is:
Come bother their buttons, quoth Tom o' the Goose.

Archive/Library: Glasgow University Library
Classmark(s): Sp Coll Mu56-e.12
Pages(s): 74-75

The editor of this journal, Peter Brown, was a ‘ten pounder’: ‘one of those who have been called into political existence, as it were, by the great measure which has lately given a new character to public affairs’.  Despite this, he was against those calling for more reform. This poem, which addresses Lord Jeffrey, states that in the past, people went to church, honoured their King and all was content, but now everyone focuses on the state.  The poems asks 'Are we richer, or better, or happier now?' - a common complaint of anti-reformers who did not believed anything was to be gained from reform.  The poem also states that profress will only be achieved when reformers focus on 'reforming his own rotten borough - the HEART'.  The poem also appeared, under different titles in Blackwood's Magazine, an Edinburgh periodical, and the Glasgow Herald, a Glasgow newspaper, and it was anthologised in Brown's collection Reform Songs and Squibs.