The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #139901   Message #3212921
Posted By: Artful Codger
26-Aug-11 - 05:20 AM
Thread Name: Tune Req: Hot Codlings
Subject: RE: Hot Codlings
The lyrics for both "Hot Codlin[g]s" and "Typitywichet"/"Tippety-witchet" were written for Grimaldi by Charles [Isaac Mungo] Dibdin, jr, a son of the famed songwriter Charles Dibdin.

In A Book of Scattered Leaves, James G Hepburn writes:
He [Charles Dibdin, Jr.] became proprietor and acting manager of the Sadler's Wells Theatre. "Hot Codlings" apparently dates from the first years of the [19th] century. It was popular for many years as broadside, stage, and parlor ballad. At least a dozen of Dibdin's lyrics came onto the street. They include "Betty Brill," "Giles Scroggin's Ghost," "Kitty of the Clyde," and "Tippetywitchet."
Hepburn goes on to refute John Ashton's supposition that Charles' brother Thomas was the real author and adds: "I am obliged to Alexandra Franklin for identifying Charles Dibdin Jr. as the author of "Hot Codlings." The Bodleian Ballads catalog is in agreement, listing him explicitly as the author in several broadside entries of the song.

Accounts differ on when the song first appeared. Some assert that Grimaldi first sang it "at Christmas" in 1806, in the pantomime Mother Goose, written by Thomas Dibdin (one of Charles jr's twenty-odd siblings), where Grimaldi played Squire Bugle. Others say Grimaldi first sang it in the pantomime of The Talking Bird in 1819, on the night that a boy was crushed. But this later date seems to mark only when the song caught on like wildfire. "Hot Codlins" seems to have enjoyed a revival of popularity in the 1860s, probably by way of Tony Pastor.

I haven't been able to find a score online--or the cached copy of the MP3.

Codlin[g]s are (1) toffee apples, or (2) boiling apples, i.e. apples not ripe enough to eat raw and are fit only to be boiled.

Here are the transcribed lyrics, from a broadside (Bodleian ballad collection, Harding B 11(2415)).


Hot Codlins.

A little old woman a living she got,
By selling hot codlins, hot! hot! hot!
And this little old woman who codlins sold,
Though her codlins were hot, thought she felt herself cold,
So to keep herself warm, she thought it no sin,
To fetch for herself a quartern of ---- Ri, tol, lol, &c.

This little old woman set off in a trot,
To fetch her a quartern of hot! hot! hot!
She swallowed one glass, and it was so nice,
She tipp'd off another in a trice;
The glass she fill'd till the bottle shrunk,
And this little woman they say got ---- Ri, tol, lol, &c.

This little old woman, while muzzy she got,
Some boys stole her codlins, hot! hot! hot!
Powder under her pan put, and in it some stones,        [usually: round stones]
Says the little old woman, "these apples have bones!"
The powder the pan in her face did send,
Which sent the old woman on her latter ---- Ri, tol, lol, &c.

The little old woman then up she got,
All in a fury, hot! hot! hot!
Says she, "Such boys, sure, never were known,
They never will let an old woman alone."
Now here is my moral, around let it buz--
If you wish to sell codlins, never get ---- Ri, tol, lol, &c.


Based on the first line of the third verse, I'm guessing that the last unmentioned word must be "muzz[ed]".

A record at the EFDSS website says that "Hot Codlings" appears with music in the English Song Book (1926), pp. 58-9, edited by Scott; "Sung by Grimaldi, music arranged by William Reeve". [Reeve also wrote the music for "Typitywichet" ca. 1810.]

I have more information on "Typitywichet", but that will have to wait for a later posting.