Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 2

Ancient Songs, Ballads, & Dance Tunes, Sheet Music & Lyrics - online book

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This tune is now familiarly known as There was a jolly Miller ; it is also the. vehicle of a harvest-supper song, "Here's a health unto our Master;" but a still earlier name (or at least a name under which I find it at an earlier date) is The hudgeon it is a delicate trade.
The budgeon it is a delicate trade, is contained in The Triumph of Wit, or Ingenuity displayed, and in A new Canting Dictionary, &c, " with a com­plete collection of Songs in the canting dialect," 8vo., 1725. From this it appears that a " budge" is a thief who slips into houses in the dark, to steal cloaks and other clothes. The dialect of the song might be intelligible to a police-ofiicer, but would not be so to the general reader, as the following sample will shew:—
" The budgeon it is a delicate trade, And a delicate trade of fame, For when that we have bit the blow, We carry away the game.
But if the cully nab us, and
The lurries from us take, 0 then he nibs us to the whit,
Though we are not worth a make."
The tune was introduced into several of the ballad-operas {The Quaker's Opera, 1728; The Devil to pay ; The Fashionable Lady, or Harlequin's Opera; &c), under the name of The budgeon it is a delicate trade.
One stanza of There was a jolly Miller was sung in Love in a Village, 1762; and it is therefore supposed to have been written by Bickerstaffe, but he appro­priated so many songs from other sources, without acknowledgement, that this may also have been introduced. However, I have not seen the words in print before 1762.

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III