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The Substitute Broker, song lyrics

Song: The Substitute Broker
Lyrics: John L. Zieber(1)

Music:
Year: 1864(1)
Genre:
Country: USA


I am a broker Sirs, and living in this city;
In substitutes(2) I deal, and do it without pity,
I'm always on the hunt for some poor verdant fellow,
I ply him with "soft-soap"(3) and liquor till he's mellow;
That's the way we do, aint we Jolly Jokers!
Making money too, all by being brokers.

I met a chap one day, a stranger and a green one,
Says I, that is my man, or I have never seen one,
I speedily hail'd him, and smiled most unresisting,
Says I, "my dear young friend do you think of enlisting!"
That's the way we do, aint we Jolly Jokers!
Making money too, all by being brokers.
This song was originally posted on protestsonglyrics.net
"Oh yes" says he, "I am, `twas that which brought me hither,
I'll fight for Uncle Sam, and march, I don't care whither,"
We went to a hotel and took smile after smile Sirs,
We drank ale, beer and wine, I paying all the while, Sirs;
That's the way we do, aint we Jolly Jokers!
Making money too, all by being brokers.

And then to make all right, we went to the theatre,
I saw he staggered quite, tho' I could scarce walk straighter,
We staid not long in there, but towards my den I took him,
I thought the time had come when I could nearly hook him.
That's the way we do, aint we Jolly Jokers!
Making money too, all by being brokers.
This song was originally posted on protestsonglyrics.net
Before we reached the place he swored he'd have more liquor,
Thinks I, I won't refuse, I'll nail you all the quicker,
We dranks and went somewhere, where "greeney" without warning,
Sold me as a Substitute, I found it out next morning.
That's the way we do, aint we Jolly Jokers!
Making money too, all by being brokers.

Now listen brokers all, take warning by my fate, sirs,
If you should catch a fool, keep sober and walk straight, sirs,
Or as you run along you'll fall in your own trap, sirs,
And be sold as a Substitute by some green country chap, sirs.
That's the way we do, aint we Jolly Jokers!
Making money too, all by being brokers.


Notes:

1 - Transcribed from the sheet music, Published by W. R. Smith, Agent, 135 N. Eighth St., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

2 - A substitute broker was a Civil War agent employed to procure a substitute on behalf of a person who has been conscripted. The brokers made a substantial profit between what they paid the substitute and what they received, usually from a wealthy family, trying to prevent a male family member from being conscripted. See Draft Dodging for Profit, p. 48, An Underground Education: The Unauthorized and Outrageous Supplement to Everything You Thought You Knew about Art, Sex, Business, Crime, Science, Medicine, and Other Fields of Human Knowledge, 1999 by Richard Sacks, ISBN-10: 0385483767, ISBN-13: 978-0385483766.

3 - "Soft-soap" was slang for insincere flattery or persuasive talk. With the reference to "soft-soap" being to being slippery.