Sunday, December 17, 2006

Totty

I woke up this morning with a song running around my head. This is a not uncommon experience for me - working on my own most of the time I tend to get lost in my own thoughts and tunes in particular can get locked in and in some cases, drive me nuts.
Anyroadup this song just came out of the blue. I haven't thought about it, or sung it, in years.

Strange that!

I should explain that I was a very active semi-pro folk singer in the '60s and '70s (I may well write about this in more detail later) and I heard this song while visiting Ewan McColl's 'Singer's Club' round about '65/'66. It was written and sung by a young chap whos name escapes me except he was a 'John' - I apologise to him for this, as where possible, I like to give credit where it is due.
It is unusual in that it is written almost entirely in cockney rhyming slang - which should prove a challenge for my overseas readers, if not some of those at home!

So...here are the lyrics(I actually have a recording of me singing it but fortunately for the world I don't know how to post it!)
Totty

As she walked along the street, on ‘er little plates of meat
And the summer sun was shinin’ on ‘er golden barnet fair.
Bright as angels in the skies were ‘er two blue mutton pies,
In me east and west old Cupid shot a dart and left it there.

She’d a grecian I suppose and of ‘ampstead ‘eath two rows
In ‘er sunny south they glistened like two glittering strings of pearls.
Down upon me bread and cheese did I fall and murmer ‘Please
Be me storm and strife, Dear Totty, oh you loveliest of girls.’

Then a bow-wow by ‘er side, who ‘till then ‘ad stood and tried
A jenny lee to banish, wot was on ‘is jonah’s whale.
Gave an ‘ydrophobia bark, she said ‘Wot a noah’s ark’
And right through me rank and riches did me cribbage pegs assail.

‘Ere the bulldog I could stop, she ‘ad called a ginger pop
Who said ‘Wot the ‘enery melville do you think you’re doin’ ‘ere?’
And I ‘eard as orf I slunk, ‘Ere that feller’s jumbo’s trunk!’
And the walter joyce was Totty wiv ‘er golden barnet fair.
Everybody got that?......

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2 Comments:

Blogger Richard Seamon said...

The beauty of rhyming slang is that, apart from the well known words most of it's quite often contemporary. I'm having a bit of trouble with some of that!

1:45 am  
Blogger Phil said...

Maybe I'll publish a translation later!

7:19 am  

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