Our Little Nipper

Our Little Nipper


I’m just about the proudest man that walks,
I’ve got a little nipper, when ’e talks 1 child
I’ll lay yer forty shiners to a quid 2 shillings; pound
You’ll take ’im for the father, me the kid.
Now as I never yet was blessed wi’ wealf,
I’ve ’ad to bring that youngster up myself,
And though ’is education ’as been free,
’E’s allus ’ad the best of tips from me. 3 information
    And ’e’s a little champion,
    Do me proud well ’e’s a knock out, 4 Notes
  Takes after me and ain’t a bit too tall.
    ’E calls ’is mother “Sally,”
    And ’is father “good old pally,”
  And ’e only stands about so ’igh, that’s all!


’E gits me on at skittles and ’e flukes, 5 Notes
And when ’e wants to ’e can use ’is “dooks,” 6 hands
You see ’im put ’em up, well there, it’s great,
’E takes a bit of lickin at ’is weight;
’E’ll stick up like a Briton for ’is pals,
An’ ain’t ’e just a terror with the gals;
I loves to see ’im cuttin’ of a dash,
A walkin’ down our alley on the mash. 7 courting
  There, ’e’s a little champion,
  Do me proud well ’e’s a knock out,
  I’ve knowed ’im take a girl on six foot tall;
  ’E’ll git ’imself up dossy, 8 dressy
  Say I’m goin’ out wi’ Flossie,
  An’ ’e only stands about so ’igh, that’s all.


I used to do a gin crawl e’vry night, 9 round of ginshops
An’ very, very often come ’ome tight, 10 drunk
But now of all sich ’abits I’ve got rid,
I al’us wants to git ’ome to the kid.
In teachin’ ’im I takes a regular pride,
Not books, of course, for them ’e can’t abide,
But artful little ikey little ways, 11 funny
As makes the people sit up where we stays. 12 stare

(Spoken)—Only last Sunday me an’ the missus took ’im out for a
walk—I should say ’e took us out. As we was a comin’ ’ome I says to
the old gal “Let’s pop into the ‘Broker’s Arms’ and ’ave a drop o’
beer?” She didn’t raise no objection so in we goes, followed by ’is
nibs—I’d forgotten all about ’im—I goes to the bar and calls for two
pots of four ’alf; suddenly I feels ’im a tuggin’ at my coat, “Wot’s
up?” sez I; “Wot did yer call for?” sez ’e; “Two pots of four ’alf,”
sez I; “Oh,” sez ’e, “ain’t mother goin’ to ’ave none?”

Well, ’e’s a little champion,
Do me proud well ’e’s a knock out,
“Drink up,” sez ’e, “Three pots, miss, it’s my call.”
I sez “Now Jacky, Jacky;”
’E sez, “And a screw of baccy,”
And ’e only stands about so ’igh, that’s all.


Albert Chevalier, a “coster poet”, music-hall artist, and musician of French extraction was born in Hammersmith. He is a careful, competent actor of minor parts, and sings his own little ditties extremely well.

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

previous * next


. . .
’Arry at a Political Picnic
Rum Coves that Relieve us
Villon’s Good-Night
Villon’s Straight Tip To All Cross Coves
Culture in the Slums
A Plank-Bed Ballad
The Rondeau of the Knock
The Rhyme of the Rusher
Wot Cher!
Our Little Nipper
The Coster’s Serenade