30. Tom the Drover or the Brindled Bull

                                           No. 30. 
             Tom the Drover or the Brindled Bull

It was on Easter Monday,1 spring time of the year,
Rolling Tom the Drover to Smithfield did repair;
His Togs2 were light and clever, his dog was staunch and free,
With a blue birds eye3 round his Squeeze,4 and his garters below his knees.5
                                                                 Ri tol — &c

The Blades6 of the Town were a lurking to turn out a young Brindled Bull
Turn him back, turn him back was the token, & his tail they began for to pull
When a knowing young blowen7 from the Garden happened by chance to come by
Crying blast you why don’t you hox8 him, you’ll never turn a Bull without you try.

Tom rold his quid, broke the fall, when the Bull gave the dog such a toss,
Go your length my dear jewel for to wind him, to pin a Bull he’s never at a loss
Five to four he’s a dog will recover, Back, and stop9 with the best in the field;
And he’ll dance on his hind pinns10 so clever till he makes the young Brindled Bull to yield.

Sal Squincy ‘tother night, napp’d a tatler,11 and ding’d12 it to her pal13 so soon.
Her Cull14 being leary15 he bon’d16 her before she got out of the room.
Then a row was kick'd up in a minute, a bottle at his head she did fling
Crying blast your eyes you bugger, and down stairs she bundled him clean.

Suk’ Bay, she’s a saucey blowen, and can fad17 with any Mott18 in the Town,
At the Knuckle,19 or the lift20 none so clever, tho’ she pads the hoof21 up and down;
Tho' she pads the hoof up and down, and with a beaver caster22 she goes,
With an Indiaman23 about her squeeze, and he quear wedges24 down to her toes.

I’m a lad that can Fib25 with the quearest, pick a cross26 with pal for a mouse,
Fight a cock, Bait a Bull, Fligh a Pidgeon, Hop a Sparrow, Dance a cat, jumps a mouse.
At the broads27 I can palm with the quearest, slip an ace, act a duce or a tray.
It was I bang’d the blades in the hollow, so come all yo jolly togs come away.

Come away to the sign of the Toper where Betsy the Bunter you’ll see,
She’ll tip you a good rolling hornpipe, for she’s one that’s staunch and free
She’ll give you a chant of the rummest, if you’ll give her plenty of bub,28 
Come away to the sign of the Toper, where we[’]re all flash and free of the Club.

I think one verse is omitted —

 [Editor's note: Place does not number his notes for this song. We have added numbers for the reader's convenience.]

1. Easter Monday— Monday was the great Market day for Cattle in Smithfield
2. Togs—cloaths 
3. Blue Birds eye’— a silk handkerchief of a particular pattern.
4. Squeeze— throat—squeeze because of the hangman rope.
5. Gaiters below his knees— It was a fashion among Coster-mongers – Coal-heavers Drovers and many others to wear breeches very short at the knees they were always left unbuttoned and the strings with which they should be tied hung down—under the knees the stockings were usually fastened with a broad red worsted garters. This mode was considered very “knowing”
6. Blades— idle foolish fellows
7. Blowen— Prostitute–
8. Hox— to hit.
9. Back & stop— attitudes– of the dog when facing the Bull
10. Pins— legs–
11. Napt a tatler— stole a watch–
12. Ding’d— ding is to throw—di gave it suddenly
13. Pal— companion.
14. Cull— the man she had picked up
15. Lery— knowing—in this case found out.
16. Bon’d— seized. what follows cannot be misunderstood.
17. Fad—/    /  for another word used for sexual connection.
18. Mott— whore—
19. Knuckle– picking pockets—knuckler a pick pocket.
20. Lift—shop robbing—shop lifting.
21. Pads the hoof— walks 
22. Beaver Caster— Beaver hat—high crowned[?] beaver hats were worn by women
23. Indiaman— Bandana handkerchief.
24. Quear wedges— long quartered—pointed shoes
25. Fib— fight– Box.
26. Pick a cross— Cheat.
27. Broads— Cards 
28. Bub— Liquor.

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There’s a printing of this ballad, with the same title, in the Bodleian, printed and sold by J. Jennings 15, Water-lane, Fleet Street, (Roud Number V33992. It was reprinted in facsimile in Cox, Broadside Ballads of the 18th and 19th centuries). Place's earlier attempt at recalling this ballad is on p 149 of his manuscript. The first verse of this song is reproduced in Pierce Egan's The Finish to the Adventures of Tom, Jerry and Logic, in their pursuits through Life In and Out of London (London: Reeves & Turner, 1887), p168. It was also included in Egan’s Book of Sports or Mirror of Life, 1832, p. 101. A different ballad with the same opening lines, that has been frequently collected with the title “The Fit Comes On Me Now” (Roud 441) It’s unclear if it is in any way related.

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