Wot Cher!

Wot Cher!

or, Knocked ’em in the Old Kent Rd.


Last week down our alley come a toff, 1 well-dressed man
Nice old geezer with a nasty cough, 2 man
Sees my Missus, takes ’is topper off 3 hat
  In a very gentlemanly way!
“Ma’am,” says he, “I ’ave some news to tell,
Your rich Uncle Tom of Camberwell,
Popped off recent, which it ain’t a sell, 4 died; mistake
  Leaving you ’is little Donkey Shay.”
  “Wot cher!” all the neighbours cried,
    “Who’re yer goin’ to meet, Bill?
    Have yer bought the street, Bill?”
  Laugh! I thought I should ’ave died,
  Knock’d ’em in the Old Kent Road! 5 made them stare


Some says nasty things about the moke, 6 donkey
One cove thinks ’is leg is really broke, 7 fellow
That’s ’is envy, cos we’re carriage folk,
  Like the toffs as rides in Rotten Row!
Straight! it woke the alley up a bit, 8 no mistake
Thought our lodger would ’ave ’ad a fit,
When my missus, who’s a real wit,
  Says, “I ’ates a Bus, because it’s low!”
    “Wot cher!” &c.


When we starts the blessed donkey stops,
He won’t move, so out I quickly ’ops,
Pals start whackin’ him, when down he drops,
  Someone says he wasn’t made to go.
Lor it might ’ave been a four-in-’and,
My Old Dutch knows ’ow to do the grand, 9 wife; make a show
First she bows, and then she waves ’er ’and,
  Calling out we’re goin’ for a blow!
    “Wot cher!” &c.


Ev’ry evenin’ on the stroke of five,
Me and Missus takes a little drive,
You’d say, “Wonderful they’re still alive,”
  If you saw that little donkey go.
I soon showed him that ’e ’d have to do,
Just whatever he was wanted to,
Still I shan’t forget that rowdy crew,
  ’Ollerin’ “Woa! steady! Neddy Woa!
    Wot cher!” &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.

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. . .
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
A Plank-Bed Ballad
The Rondeau of the Knock
The Rhyme of the Rusher
Wot Cher!
Our Little Nipper
The Coster’s Serenade