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An Old Man's Lament

1867-8: Representation of the People Acts

This poem appears in our anthology

Publication: Hoo'let

Publisher: Peter Pearson, 18 Gilmour Street

Published: 1868

Place of publication: Paisley, Scotland

Publication type: Newspaper/Periodical

A full copy of this poem is available.

This poem has a set tune, and its title is:
Broom of the Cowdenknows.

Recording:

More information about this recording

This song appears in the second edition of the Hoo'let, p2. Three periodicals were produced during the period of the 1868 election campaign in Paisley: the Hoo'let, the Hawk and the Eclipse. The Hoo'let represented the Conservative interest in the town and backed the candidature of Campbell of Blythswood. IN the first edition it is noted: 'The Hoo'let is intended to be a source of Amusement and political instruction to the inhabitants of Paisley, and in its pages will be found an asylum for all the stray jokes which would most untimely have perished but for its protective pages.' This poem highlights how the extension of the franchise had changed the social make up of the ruling classes - in the opinion of the poet, not for the better. Now 'upstarts'(s) aspire to be politician and 'cash' has replaced status as the precondition of office. The poem shows that not everyone was appreciative of the ways in which democratisation was reshaping politics.