Sheela-na-Gig aka Jeanne Rathbone

Street Cries of London by Orlando Gibbons

Posted in Street Cries of London Orlando Gibbons 1583-1625 by sheelanagigcomedienne on July 24, 2012

We went to a lunchtime prom concert at Cadogan Hall on Monday 23rd July. The programme of songs were performed by vocal ensemble Tenebrae included two commissions and Orlando Gibbons  Cries of London. The poems of Thomas Wyatt 1503-1542 were set to music  entitled Sorrowful Songs by Julian Phillips and traditional street songs themed around death including Oranges and Lemons were  adapted by Steve Martland.

Here are a few. Note the one in bold.

“Buy any ink, will you buy any pens, very fine writing ink, will you buy any ink?”

“I ha’ ripe peascods, ripe.

Ripe damsons, fine ripe damsons. Hard garlic, hard.

Fine potatoes, fine.”

“What is’t ye lack?

Fine wrought shirts or smocks.

Perfumed waistcoats, fine bone lace or edgings, sweet gloves, silk garters, very fine silk garters, fine combs or glasses.

And a potting stick with a dildo

Old doublets, ha’ye any old doublets?”

“Ha’ ye any corns on your feet or toes?

Will ye buy any starch for a clear complexion, mistress?”

“Will ye buy any aqua vitae, mistress?”

“Ha’ ye any rats or mice to kill?”

Hot codlings , hot. Hot apple
pies, hot.
Hot pippin pies, hot.
Fine pomegranates, fine. Hot mutton pies, hot.
Ha’ ye any old bellows or trays to mend?
Rosemary and bays, quick and gentle.
Ripe chestnuts, ripe. Ripe walnuts, ripe.
Ripe cabbage, white young cabbage, white.

Will you buy ant scurvy grass

Buy a fine washing ball

Will you have any small coal

New fresh herrings at Billinsgate, four a penny, five too many.

Have you any wood to cleave

Bread and meat for the poor prisoners of the Marshalsea, for Christ Jesus’ sake , bread and meat.

Twelve o’clock, look well to your lock, your fire and your light and so good night.


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