A hilarious, classic patriotic song with the same kind of tongue-in-cheek self-depreciation as "Yankee Doodle." Written by singer / songwriter Richard Leveridge in 1735, it remained extremely popular well throughout the rest of the century, turning the commonly-held Gallic stereotype of the British as a people of bovine-dependent gastronomes into a badge of honour while lampooning their Continental cousins as a nation of effete dandies.

Roast Beef Of Old England
Richard Leveridge, 1735

When mighty roast beef was the Englishman's food
It ennobl'd our veins and enriched our blood
Our soldiers were brave and our courtiers were good
Oh! The roast beef of Old England, and Old English roast beef.

But since we have learned from all vapouring France
To eat their ragouts, as well as to dance.
We are fed up with nothing but vain complaisance
Oh! The roast beef of Old England, and Old English roast beef.

Our fathers, of old, were robust, stout and strong
And kept open house, with good cheer all day long.
Which made their plump tenants rejoyce in this song
Oh! The roast beef of Old England, and Old English roast beef.

But now we are dwindled, to what shall I name
A sneaking poor race, half begotten and tame
Who sully those honours that once shone in fame
Oh! The roast beef of Old England, and Old English roast beef.

When good Queen Elizabeth sat on the throne
E'er coffee and tea and such slip-slops were known
The world was in terror if e'er she did frown.
Oh! The roast beef of Old England, and Old English roast beef.

In those days, if fleets did presume on the main
They seldom, or never, return'd back again
As witness, the vaunting Armada of Spain.
Oh! The roast beef of Old England, and Old English roast beef.

Oh! Then we had stomachs to eat, and to fight
And when wrongs were a-cooking to do ourselves right
But now we're a... I could, but goodnight.
Oh! The roast beef of Old England, and Old English roast beef.

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