Don't die in Liverpool!

In the month of December eighteen forty-one
A man was found dead in the street
They took what he had from his person
Then laid him out quite neat

When no-one came forward to give that man a name
His body went to the workhouse
Into a coffin just as he came
Though too short for his corpse

The hearse's old driver had long forgot his all
The horses got there despite him
His helper was a tottering fool
Who couldn't close the coffin

So they bundled up box corpse and lid with a shroud
And in parish ground buried it
In all they did there was just one cloud
No funeral service

An economy drive in the workhouse accounts
Had lead to a quaint decision
To pay the clergyman small amounts
Once for many paupers

Now if you wish for a flowered and hymned farewell
By this sorry story be warned
For an end with vicar book and bell
Don't die in Liverpool !

By Caroline Tilbury