Sweet Highbury Barn


But though Giovanelli worked hard to improve the reputation of Highbury Barn, it was hard to prevent other goings-on at all these pleasure gardens – not only disturbing the peace and quiet of the residents but also corrupting the youth of Victorian London.  

Vocals: Richard Rhys O’Brien
Accordion: Nicola Hadley
Written to the tune of Molly Malone.  The famous Irish ballad we know today was yet to be published though the song had older roots (and indeed is shrouded still in some mystery)


In London’s fair city, where everyone’s pretty
I first set my foot in sweet Highbury Barn
It was oh so delightful, you could get a real eyeful
So stroll up and roll up, to Highbury Barn
I paid my first shilling, and then the Lord willing
I knew that I’d certainly have a good time
The band was a-playing and everyone was saying
Make it snappy, little chappy, in Highbury Barn
There I met a young lady, in a corner nice and shady
She said I was handsome, she said I was cool
Through the night we were dancing, but as dawn was advancing
My wallet, left my pocket, and I felt like a fool
So you lads and you lasses, avoid all excesses
Take care when you go to sweet Highbury Barn
If you catch the fever, there’ll be no-one to save yer
Such places and spaces can do you great harm
Alive alive oh, Hi Highbury Ho-o
Singing, stroll up, and roll up, to Highbury Barn