The Coster’s Serenade

The Coster’s Serenade


You ain’t forgotten yet that night in May,
Down at the Welsh ’Arp, which is ’Endon way,
You fancied winkles and a pot of tea,
“Four ’alf” I murmured’s “good enough for me.”
“Give me a word of ’ope that I may win”—
You prods me gently with the winkle pin—
We was as ’appy as could be that day
Down at the Welsh ’Arp, which is ’Endon way.

  Oh, ’Arriet I’m waiting, waiting for you my dear,
  Oh, ’Arriet I’m waiting, waiting alone out here;
    When that moon shall cease to shine,
    False will be this ’eart of mine,
  I’m bound to go on lovin’ yer my dear; d’ye ’ear?


You ain’t forgotten ’ow we drove that day
Down to the Welsh ’Arp, in my donkey shay;
Folks with a “chy-ike” shouted, “Ain’t they smart?” 1 shout
You looked a queen, me every inch a Bart.
Seemed that the moke was saying “Do me proud;”
Mine is the nobbiest turn-out in the crowd; 2 finest; trap
Me in my “pearlies” felt a toff that day, 3 swell
Down at the Welsh ’Arp, which is Endon way.
      Oh, ’Arriet, &c.


Eight months ago and things is still the same,
You’re known about ’ere by your maiden name,
I’m getting chivied by my pals ’cos why? 4 chaffed
Nightly I warbles ’ere for your reply.
Summer ’as gone, and it’s a freezin’ now,
Still love’s a burnin’ in my ’eart, I vow;
Just as it did that ’appy night in May
Down at the Welsh ’Arp, which is Endon way.
    Oh, ’Arriet, &c.


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.



. . .
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