Saturday, 14 June 2008

Muisc Hall oyster girls

This lusty song is undated, but may originally have been Irish dating possibly pre 1800 but was a music hall classic for its voluptuous innuendoes and is sometimes credited to London, sometimes Manchester though the geography probably changed according to where it was being sung, usually by a comedian. It seems to have first been printed in 1794 as The Eating of Oysters by M. Randall of Stirling in Scotland.

Basket Of Oysters

As I was walking down a London Street,
A pretty little oyster girl, I chanced for to meet.
I lifted up her basket and boldly I did peek,
Just to see if she's got any oysters.

"Oysters, Oysters, Oysters", said she.
"These are the finest oysters that you will ever see.
I'll sell them three-a-penny but I give 'em to you free,
'Cause I see you're a lover of oysters."

"Landlord, Landlord, Landlord", says I.
"Have you got a little room that's empty and nearby.
Where me and the pretty little oyster girl may lie,
When we bargain for her basket of oysters."

We hadn't been upstairs for a quarter hour more,
When that pretty little oyster girl opened up the door,
She picked my pockets and then down the stair she tore,
She left with her basket of oysters.

"Landlord, Landlord, Landlord", I cried.
"Did you see that little oyster girl drinking by my side?
She's gone and picked my pocket", but the landlord just replied,
"You shouldn't be so fond of your oysters."

Now all you young men be advised by me,
If you meet a pretty oyster girl and you would merry be,
Sew the pockets of your trousers and throw away the key,
Or you'll never get a taste of her oysters.