The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #139901   Message #3213126
Posted By: Artful Codger
26-Aug-11 - 03:23 PM
Thread Name: Tune Req: Hot Codlings
Subject: Typitywichet / Tippety-witchet (C. Dibdin jr)
Maurice Willson Disher in Victorian Song: from dive to drawing room (1955):
Wit is one thing, we are always being told, and humour another.
Both can be distinguished in old songs that could not be properly
called comic. What calls for this label is neither the thoughtful
laughter of the one nor the broader animal spirits of the other
but an insistence on jokes. In this sense it began in clown's ditties
like those of Grimaldi. What he made of "Tipitywitchet" with
its hiccup, sneeze, yawn, cry, and laugh, may be guessed. The
word mag, derived from magpie, means chatter:

This very morning handy,
   My malady was such,
I in my tea took brandy,
   And took a drop too much.
(Hiccups) Tol de rol.

But stop! I mustn't mag hard,
   My head aches, if you please,
One pinch of Irish blackguard,
   I'll take to give me ease.
(Sneezes) Tol de rol.

Now I'm quite drowsy growing,
   For this very morn,
I rose while cock was crowing,
   Excuse me if I yawn.
(Yawns) Tol de rol.

I'm not in cue for frolic,
   Can't up my spirits keep,
Love's a windy cholic,
   'Tis that makes me weep.
(Cries) Tol de rol.

I'm not in mood for crying,
   Care's a silly calf;
If to get fat you're trying,
   The only way's to laugh.
(Laughs) Tol de rol.


The song lyrics appear in Vocal Magazine (1815) under the title "A Typitywichet; or, Pantomimical Paroxysms." "Sung with reiterated applause and approbation by Mr. Grimaldi, at various Theatres." Google Books has an entry for a "Typitywichet budget", 1810, listing Joseph Grimaldi and Charles Dibdin as the authors. The lyrics also appear in the Melodist, Vol. 3, under the title "Typitywichet"; Charles Dibdin was one of the main editors of this collection, so this spelling may be taken as the original.

Richard Findlater, in Joe Grimaldi, His Life and Theatre (p. 146) quotes Charles Dibdin thus:
The Songs which I wrote for Grimaldi were of a singular nature, and, generally speaking, unless sung by the Clown of a Pantomime, in Character, lost half their effect: when writing them I had in view much more his peculiarities of what I may call expression, than any literary fame. Many Songs sing well (technically speaking) that would read ill. Even Nonsense, in its place, can have a meaning.
Findlater continues in his own words:
One of the most celebrated of these 'singular' songs was 'A Typitywitchet: or Pantomimical Paroxysms'. It was sung for the first time on 30th July 1811 at Sadler's Wells, in Bang Up: or Harlequin Prime (a satire on the contemporary mania for racing). [Lyrics of the song follow.]
Per OLIS, the Oxford Library has two scores of "Tippity witchet", "composed by W[illiam]. Reeve" ca. 1810.


BTW, "Hot Codlins" has been assigned the Roud number 13942.