The singer, once poor, receives a large inheritance. As an experiment, he goes out in poor clothing -- and is despised. As soon as he displays money, he is treated kindly. He repeats the test, then notes "Many an honest heart beats beneath a ragged coat."
Ragged Coat, The Partial text(s) *** A *** From Norman Cazden, Herbert Haufrecht, Norman Studer, Folk Songs of the Catskills, #102(A), pp. 384-385. From the singing of Etson Van Wagner. What a world of flumity!* There is so much deceit in it, As you will find in life's ways as you journey on. Rich and poor, young and old, everywhere you're meetin' it, It is the same, I will maintain, and prove it in my song. * (broadside text reads "flummery") (11 additional stanzas)