Come All You Buffers Gay

Come All You Buffers Gay
From The Humourist .... a choice collection o£ songs. ’A New Flash Song’, p. 2.


Come all you buffers gay, 1 rogue or horse-thief
  That rumly do pad the city, 2 prowl about
Come listen to what I do say,
  And it will make you wond’rous wity.


The praps are at Drury Lane,
  And at Covent Garden also,
Therefore I tell you plain,
  It will not be safe for to go.


But if after a rum cull you pad 3 well-dressed victim; walk
  Pray follow him brave and bold;
For many a buffer has been grab’d,
  For fear, as I’ve been told.


Let your pal that follows behind,
  Tip your bulk pretty soon;
And to slap his whip in time, 4 give signal to confederate
  For fear the cull should be down. 5 Notes


For if the cull should be down.
  And catch you a fileing his bag, 6 robbing
Then at the Old Bailey you’re found,
  And d—m you, he’ll tip you the lag. 7 get you transported


But if you should slape his staunch wipe 8 steal; handkerchief
  Then away to the fence you may go, 9 receiver of stolen property
From thence to the ken of one T— 10 house
  Where you in full bumpers may flow.


But now I have finish’d my rhime,
  And of you all must take my leave;
I would have you to leave off in time,
  Or they will make your poor hearts to bleed.


In the Roxburghe Collection (ii. 504) is a ballad upon which the present song is clearly based. It is called The West Country Nymph, or the little maid of Bristol to the time of Young Jemmy (i.e. the Duke of Monmouth, Charles II’s natural son). The first stanza runs—

 Come all you maidens fair,

   And listen to my ditty,

 In Bristol city fair

   There liv’d a damsel pretty.

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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. . .
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
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
. . .