The Cadger’s Ball

The Cadger’s Ball
From JOHN LABERN’S Popular Comic Song Book. Tune—Joe Buggins..


Oh, what a spicy flare-up, tear-up,
  Festival Terpsickory,
Was guv’d by the genteel cadgers
  In the famous Rookery.
As soon as it got vind, however,
  Old St Giles’s vos to fall—
They all declar’d, so help their never,
  They’d vind up vith a stunnin’ ball!
    Tol, lol lol, etc.


Jack Flipflap took the affair in hand, sirs—
  Who understood the thing complete—
He’d often danced afore the public,
  On the boards, about the streets.
Old Mother Swankey, she consented
  To lend her lodging-house for nix— 1 nothing
Say’s she, ’The crib comes down to-morrow,
  So, go it, just like beans and bricks.’ 2 merrily
    Tol, lol lol, etc.


The night arrived for trotter-shaking— 3 walking
  To Mother Swankey’s snoozing-crib; 4 lodging-house
Each downy cadger was seen taking
  His bit of muslin, or his rib. 5 sweetheart; wife
Twelve candles vos stuck into turnips,
  Suspended from the ceiling queer—
Bunn’s blaze of triumph was all pickles
  To this wegetable shandileer.
    Tol, lol lol, etc.


Ragged Jack, wot chalks ‘Starvation !’
  Look’d quite fat and swellish there—
While Dick, wot ‘dumbs it’ round the nation,
  Had all the jaw among the fair.
Limping Ned wot brought his duchess,
  At home had left his wooden pegs—
And Jim, wot cadges it on crutches,
  Vos the nimblest covey on his legs.
    Tol, lol lol, etc.


The next arrival was old Joe Burn,
  Wot does the fits to Natur chuff—
And Fogg, And Fogg, wot’s blind each day in Ho’born,
  Saw’d his way there clear enough,
Mr. Sinniwating Sparrow,
  In corduroys span new and nice,
Druv up in his pine-apple barrow,
  Which he used to sell a win a slice. 6 penny
    Tol, lol lol, etc.


The ball was open’d by fat Mary,
  Togg’d out in book muslin pure, 7 dressed
And Saucy Sam, surnamed ‘The Lary,’
  Who did the ‘Minuit-on-a-squre.
While Spifflicating Charley Coker,
  And Jane of the Hatchet-face divine,
Just did the Rowdydowdy Poker,
  And out of Greasy took the shine. 8 Grisi?
    Tol, lol lol, etc.


The Sillywarious next was done in
  Tip-top style just as it should,
By Muster and Missus Mudfog, stunning,
  Whose hair curled like a bunch of wood.
The folks grinn’d all about their faces,
  ’Cos Mudfog—prince of flashy bucks—
Had on a pair of pillow Cases,
  Transmogrified slap into ducks!
    Tol, lol lol, etc.


The celebrated Pass de Sandwich
  To join in no one could refuse—
Six bushels on ’em came in, and wich
  Wanish’d in about two two’s.
The Gatter Waltz next followed arter— 9 beer
  They lapp’d it down, right manful-ly, 10 drunk
Until Joe Guffin and his darter,
  Was in a state of Fourpen-ny!
     Tol, lol lol, etc.


Next came the Pass de Fascination
  Betwixt Peg Price and Dumby Dick—
But Peg had sich a corporation,
  He dropp’d her like a red hot brick.
The company was so enraptur’d,
  They buckets of vall flowers threw—
But one chap flung a bunch of turnips,
  Which nearly split Dick’s nut in two.
     Tol, lol lol, etc.


The dose now set to gallopading,
  And stamp’d with all their might and main—
They thump’d the floor so precious hard-in,
  It split the ancient crib in twain, 11 house
Some pitch’d in the road, bent double—
  Some was smash’d with bricks—done brown—
So the cadgers saved ‘The Crown’ the trouble
  Of sending coves to pull it down.
     Tol, lol lol, etc.


John Labern, a once popular, but now forgotten music-hall artiste, and song-writer, issued several collections of the songs of the day. It is from one of these that “The Cadger’s Ball” is taken.

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

previous * next


. . .
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
A Hundred Stretches Hence
The Chickaleary Cove
Blooming Æsthetic
’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
. . .