A Budg And Snudg Song

A Budg And Snudg Song
1676 and 1712
From A Warning for Housekeepers... by one who was a prisoner in Newgate 1676. The second version from the Triumph of Wit (1712).


The budge it is a delicate trade, 1 Sneaking into houses and stealing anything to hand
  And a delicate trade of fame;
For when that we have bit the bloe,2 Accomplished the theft
  We carry away the game:
But if the cully nap us, 3 fellow catches
  And the lurries from us take, 4 swag [properly money]
O then {they rub}{he rubs} us to the whitt 5 take us to Newgate; [Notes]
  {And it is hardly }{Though we are not} worth a make 6 halfpenny


{But}{And} when we come to the whitt
  Our darbies to behold, 7 fetters
And for to (take our penitency)(do out penance there)
  {And}{We} boose the water cold. 8 drink
But when that we come out agen
  [And the merry hick we meet] 9 countryman
We (bite the Cully of; file off with) his cole 10 steal his money
  As (we walk; he pikes) along the street.


[And when that we have fil’d him 11 robbed
  Perhaps of half a job; 12 half a guinea
Then every man to the boozin ken 13 ale-house
   O there to fence his hog; 14 spend a shilling
But if the cully nap us,
  And once again we get
Into the cramping rings], 15 Handcuffs and leg-shackles
  (But we are rubbed into; To scoure them in) the whitt.


And when that we come (to; unto) the whitt,
  For garnish they do cry; 16 "footing"
(Mary, faugh, you son of a whore; We promise our lusty comrogues)
  (Ye; They) shall have it by and bye
[Then, every man with his mort in his hand, 17 whore
   Does booze off his can and part,
With a kiss we part, and westward stand,
  To the nubbing cheat in a cart]. 18 gallows


{But/And} when {that/---} we come to {Tyburn/the nubbing cheat}
  For {going upon/running on} the budge,
There stands {Jack Catch/Jack Ketch}, that son of a {whore/bitch}, 19 Notes
  That owes us all a grudge.
{And/For} when that he hath {noosed/nubbed} us, 20 hung
  And our friends {tips/tip} him no cole, 21 give no money
{O then he throws us in the cart/He takes his chive and cuts us down}, 22 knife
  And {tumbles/tips} us into {the/a} hole.

[An additional stanza is given in Bacchus and Venus (1737), a version which moreover contains many verbal variations]. 23 Notes


But if we have a friend stand by,
  Six and eight pence for to pay,
Then they may have our bodies back,
  And carry us quite away:
For at St Giles’s or St Martin’s,
  A burying place is still;
And there’s an end of a darkman’s budge,
  And the whoreson hath his will.


Chappell in Popular English Music of the Olden Time says that this song appears in The Canting Academy (2nd ed. 1674) but the writer has been unable to find a copy of the book in question. The song was very popular, and many versions (all varying) are extant. The two given have been carefully collated. The portions in brackets [ ],- -for example stanza II, line 6, stanza III, lines 1—7, stanza IV, lines 5—8 etc.—only appear in the New Canting Dict. (1725). It was sung to the tune now known as There was a jolly miller once lived on the river Dee.

Title. Budge = “one that slips into a house in the dark, and taketh cloaks, coats, or what comes next to hand, marching off with them” (B. E., Dict. Cant. Crew, 1690). Snudge = “one that lurks under a bed, to watch an opportunity to rob the house”—(B. E., Dict. Cant. Crew, 1690).

Stanza I, line 7. Whitt= Newgate (see Note p. 204).

Stanza V, line 3. Jack Ketch, the public hangman 1663-1686.

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

previous * next


. . .
Towre Out Ben Morts
The Maunder’s Wooing
A Gage Of Ben Rom-Bouse
Bing Out, Bien Morts
The Song Of The Beggar
The Maunder’s Initiation
The High Pad’s Boast
The Merry Beggars
A Mort’s Drinking Song
A Beggar I’ll Be
A Budg And Snudg Song
The Maunder’s Praise Of His Strowling Mort
The Rum-Mort’s Praise Of Her Faithless Maunder
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
. . .