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St. James and St. Giles part 01

St. James and St. Giles part 01

Composer: Hardwick, J. A.

Medium: Lithograph

Date: 1863

Shelfmark: H.1773.I.(57)

Item number: Tract (57.)

Genre: Printed Music and Illustrated Cover

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The lyrics of this song make reference to social conditions in London during the 19th Century. St James' is seen as a wealthy area, with inhabitants enjoying life in the fashionable West End. This is sharply contrasted with the area of St Giles in which the poorer individuals must exist. It contains gin palaces and pawnbrokers where goods are exchanged for cash. The point is made through very clever 'play on words' such as the following line, "In St James' Conservative Principle's run, In St Giles's the Principle's 'naffint for none'". It is difficult not to assume that songs like this are political statements about conditions.

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