Ye Scamps, Ye Pads, Ye Divers

Ye Scamps, Ye Pads, Ye Divers
From The Choice of Harlequin: or The Indian Chief by MR. MESSINK, and sung by JOHN EDWIN as “the Keeper of Bridewell”.


Ye scamps, ye pads, ye divers, and all upon the lay, 1 footpads; pick pockets; Notes
In Tothill-fields gay sheepwalk, like lambs ye sport and play; 2 Tothill-fields prison
Rattling up your darbies, come hither at my call;
I’m jigger dubber here, and you are welcome to mill doll. 3 warder, pick oakum
          With my tow row, etc.


At your insurance office the flats you’ve taken in,
The game they’ve play’d, my kiddy, you’re always sure to win;
First you touch the shiners—the number up—you break, 4 money
With your insuring-policy, I’d not insure your neck.
            With my tow row, etc.


The French, with trotters nimble, could fly from English blows, 5 feet
And they’ve got nimble daddles, as monsieur plainly shews; 6 fist
Be thus the foes of Britain bang’d, ay, thump away, monsieur,
The hemp you’re beating now will make your solitaire.
With my tow row, etc.


My peepers! who’ve we here now? why this is sure Black-Moll: 7 eyes
My ma’am, you’re of the fair sex, so welcome to mill doll;
The cull with you who’d venture into a snoozing-ken, 8 common lodging-house][Notes
Like Blackamore Othello, should “put out the light—and then.”
With my tow row, etc.


I think my flashy coachman, that you’ll take better care,
Nor for a little bub come the slang upon your fare; 9 drink; abuse
Your jazy pays the garnish, unless the fees you tip, 10 wig; "footing"
Though you’re a flashy coachman, here the gagger holds the whip,
With my tow row, etc.
Chorus omnes
We’re scamps, we’re pads, we’re divers, we’re all upon the lay,
In Tothill-fields gay sheepwalk, like lambs we sport and play;
Rattling up our darbies, we’re hither at your call,
You’re jigger dubber here, and we’re forc’d for to mill doll.
    With my tow row, etc.


Stanza I, line 1. The lay = a pursuit, a scheme: here = thievery and roguery in general.

Stanza IV, line 4. Like Blackamore Othello &c.—the reference is to Othello, v. 2. “Yet she must die, else she’ll betray more men. Put out the light, and then—put out the light.”

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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. . .
The Black Procession
Frisky Moll’s Song
The Canter’s Serenade
Retoure My Dear Dell
The Vain Dreamer
When My Dimber Dell I Courted
The Oath Of The Canting Crew
Come All You Buffers Gay
The Potato Man
A Slang Pastoral
Ye Scamps, Ye Pads, Ye Divers
The Sandman’s Wedding
The Happy Pair
The Bunter’s Christening
The Masqueraders
The Flash Man of St. Giles
A Leary Mot
The Night Before Larry was Stretched
The Song of the Young Prig
The Milling Match
Ya-Hip, My Hearties!
. . .