Ourselves like the great to secure a retreat
OURSELVES, LIKE THE GREAT, TO SECURE A RETREAT. AKA and see "Cobbler There Was (A)," "Cobbler's End (The)." English, Air. The 17th century air is the vehicle for a duet, "Ourselves, like the great", sung by Lockit and Peachum and in Act III of John Gay's Beggar's Opera (1728). It was printed in Allan Ramsay's Tea-table Miscellany, vol. 2 as Song XX in a section of "Twenty-one favourite Songs in the Beggar's Opera."
Ourselves, like the great, to secure a retreat,
When matters require it, must give up our gang;
And good reason why,
Or instead of the fry,
Ev'n Peachum and I,
Like poor petty rascals, might hang, hang;
Like poor petty rescals, might hang.
See note for "Cobbler There Was (A)" for more on the tune.
Source for notated version:
Hear Gay's song performed on youtube.com