This song by Harry Gordon is about 100 years old and is in the Scottish music hall tradition. It's short because it was the lead into a stand-up comedy routine in character. The character in this case being a fireman on the footplate of a steam engine.
The triode was invented in 1906 by Lee De Forest and by around 1920 was refined enough to be commercially viable for widespread distribution. It was the World's first 'Active Device'. It could amplify and oscillate. It (and its derivatives) made possible all of the technologies of modernity – public address, radio, audio/video recording, television, radar, radio telescopy, electron microscopy, computing, the Internet, artificial intelligence. Without active devices, modernity would vanish in a flash. Those who really want to turn the clock back need only abandon science, technology and education. Nature will do the rest.