When our Nelson kept the British flag a-flying,
      When we hammered Boney on the shore,
There were traders coming hat in hand a-buying
      At the counter of the John Bull Store.
Though we won supremacy over foes by land and sea
      They were begging for the things we made;
For the German, Yank and Russ, though they fought and hated us,
      Weren’t a patch upon John Bull at trade.

            Buy! buy! buy! at the John Bull Store,
                  The Deutscher and the Yank we shall want no more;
            And the money that we gain will in British hands remain
                  If we buy at the John Bull Store.

But an altered tale our present day was telling,
      For the Empire’s glory seemed to fade;
We were buying where we used to go a-selling,
      And the foreigners had grabbed our trade.
Just when things were looking black and the orders getting slack
      Came a champion leaping to the fore,
With an eye-glass in his eye that the quicker he could spy
      What was wanting in the John Bull Store.


And he made a plan to draw our lads together,
      All the Empire standing hand in hand,
That our trade may grow in good and evil weather
      And Fortune smile upon our land.
Now our “Joe” is straight and square, and he’s always played us fair
      When we’ve trusted him with jobs before;
So I trust that all will aid in the little plan he’s made
      For bringing trade to John Bull’s Store.


The Daily Express published a slightly revised version on 15 October 1903, and printed two additional verses on 6 January 1906, just before the General Election:

Where’er we turn our gaze across the waters,
      There are branches of the John Bull Store;
They are managed by his sturdy sons and daughters,
      And they grow and prosper more and more.
Now our foreign friends may call, there is trade enough for all—
      If we stop them “dumping” on our shore.
But it’s first our kith and kin that we mean to welcome in,
      As customers of John Bull’s Store.

It’s a question far above the strife of party,
      It’s a question that concerns us all—
Are we going to keep John Bull robust and hearty,
      Or to let his Empire wane and fall?
With Britannia’s usual luck she has found the man of pluck,
      With a heart that’s loyal to the core;
And I say he’s bound to win, and some day we’ll put him in
      As Manager of John Bull’s Store!

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