My Mother

My Mother
By BON GAULTIER in Tait’s Edinburgh Magazine.


Who, when a baby, lank and thin,
I called for pap and made a din,
Lulled me with draughts of British gin?—
                               My mother.


When I’ve been out upon the spree,
And not come home till two or three,
Who was it then would wallop me?—
                          My mother.


Who, when she met a heavy swell, 1 well-dressed man
Would ease him of his wipe so well, 2 handkerchief
And kiss me not to go and tell ?—
                              My mother.


Who took me from my infant play,
And taught me how to fake away.
And put me up to the time of day?— 3 made me cunning
                             My mother.


Who’d watch me sleeping in my chair,
And slily to my fob repair, 4 pocket
And leave me not a mopus there?— 5 penny
                             My mother.


Who, as beneath her care I grew,
Taught my young mind a thing or two,
Especially the flats to do?— 6 stupid ones
                            My mother.


I’m blessed if ever I did see,
So regular a trump as she:
I own my virtues all to thee,—
                            My mother.


So hand, my pals, the drink about,
My story and my glass are out,
A bumper, boys, and with me shout—
                            My mother.


“Bon Gualtier” was the joint nom-de-plume of W. E. Aytoun and Sir Theodore Martin. Between 1840 and 1844 they worked together in the production of The Bon Gualtier Ballads, which acquired such great popularity that thirteen large editions of them were called for between 1855 and 1877. They were also associated at this time in writing many prose magazine articles of a humorous character, as well as a series of translations of Goethe’s ballads and minor poems, which, after appearing in Blackwood’s Magazine, were some years afterwards (1858) collected and published in a volume. The four pieces above mentioned appeared as stated in Tails Edinburgh Magazine under the title of “Flowers of Hemp, or the Newgate Garland,” and are parodies of well-known songs.

Taken from Musa Pedestris, Three Centuries of Canting Songs and Slang Rhymes [1536―1896], collected and annotated by John S. Farmer.

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. . .
On the Prigging Lay
The Lag’s Lament
Nix My Doll, Pals, Fake Away
The Game Of High Toby
The Double Cross
The Thieves’ Chaunt
The House Breaker’s Song
The Faking Boy To The Crap Is Gone
The Nutty Blowen
The Faker’s New Toast
My Mother
The High-Pad’s Frolic
The Dashy, Splashy.... Little Stringer
The Bould Yeoman
The Bridle-Cull and his little Pop-Gun
Jack Flashman
Miss Dolly Trull
The By-Blow Of The Jug
The Cadger’s Ball
Dear Bill, This Stone-Jug
The Leary Man
. . .