Ya-Hip, My Hearties!

Ya-Hip, My Hearties!
From MOORE’S Tom Crib’s Memorial to Congress:—“Sung by Jack Holmes, the Coachman, at a late Masquerade in St Giles’s, in the  character of Lord C—st—e—on ... This song which was written for him  by Mr. Gregson, etc.”.


  I first was hired to peg a Hack 1 drive a hackney-coach
  They call “The Erin” sometime back,
  Where soon I learned to patter flash, 2 talk slang
  To curb the tits, and tip the lash— 3 horses; whip
  Which pleased the Master of The Crown
  So much, he had me up to town,
  And gave me lots of quids a year, 4 money
  To tool “The Constitutions” here. 5 drive
    So, ya-hip, hearties, here am I
    That drive the Constitution Fly.


  Some wonder how the Fly holds out,
  So rotten ’tis, within, without;
  So loaded too, through thick and thin,
  And with such heavy creturs IN.
  But, Lord, ’t will last our time—or if
  The wheels should, now and then, get stiff,
  Oil of Palm’s the thing that, flowing, 6 money
  Sets the naves and felloes going.
  So ya-hip, Hearties! etc.


  Some wonder, too, the tits that pull
  This rum concern along, so full,
  Should never back or bolt, or kick
  The load and driver to Old Nick.
  But, never fear, the breed, though British,
  Is now no longer game or skittish;
  Except sometimes about their corn,
  Tamer Houghnhums ne’er were born.
  So ya-hip, Hearties, etc.


  And then so sociably we ride!—
  While some have places, snug, inside,
  Some hoping to be there anon.
  Through many a dirty road hang on.
  And when we reach a filthy spot
  (Plenty of which there are, God wot),
  You’d laugh to see with what an air
  We take the spatter—each his share.
  So ya-hip, Hearties! etc.


Stanza III, line 8. Houyhnhnms. A race of horses endowed with human reason, and bearing rule over the race of man—a reference to Dean Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels (1726).

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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. . .
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!
Sonnets For The Fancy: After The Manner Of Petrarch
The True Bottom’d Boxer
Bobby And His Mary
Flashey Joe
My Mugging Maid
Poor Luddy
The Pickpocket’s Chaunt
On the Prigging Lay
The Lag’s Lament
Nix My Doll, Pals, Fake Away
. . .