DESCRIPTION: "When I've a saxpence under my thumb, Then I get credit in ilka town: But ay when I'm poor they bid me gang by, O! poverty parts good company." The singer and his wife enjoy their ale as they wake. His wife is sweet when drinking but a fighter sober.
EARLIEST DATE: 1733 (Ramsay)
KEYWORDS: marriage drink humorous nonballad husband wife
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Bord))
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Whitelaw-Song, p. 72, "Todlin' Hame" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: Allan Ramsay, The Tea-Table Miscellany: or, A Collection of Scots Sangs (in three vols) (London, 1733 (ninth edition) ("Digitized by Google")), Vol. I, p. 167, "Todlen Butt, and Todlen Ben" ("When I've a saxpence under my thumb") (1 text)
James Johnson, Editor, _The Scots Musical Museum_ [1853 edition], volume III, #275, p. 284, "Todlen Hame" (1 text, 1 tune)
ST AdART167 (Partial)
cf. "George Ridler's Oven" (one verse) and references there
NOTES [170 words]: "'Todlin Hame' is one of the bacchanalian rants of our forefathers, in the days when honest burgesses got innocently muddled on twopenny ale: it used to be sung with such effect by an Edinburgh writer of the last century, that his boon companions had him painted in the appropriate attitude which he always assumed in correspondence with the first line -- 'When I has a saxpence under my thoum....'" (source: "Scottish Songs", William and Robert Chambers, editors, Chambers's Edinburgh Journal (London, 1836 ("Digitized by Google")), No. 190, September 19, 1835, p. 26).
Robert Burns: "Scottish Bacchanalians we certainly want, though the few we have are excellent. For instance, 'Todlin hame' is, for wit and humour, an unparalleled composition; and 'Andrew and his cutty gun' is the work of a master" (source: letter to Mr Thomson, 19 November 1794, in John Lockhart, The Works of Robert Burns (Boston, 1846 ("Digitized by Google")), p. 418).
See "George Ridler's Oven" for information on a possible earlier date. - BS
Last updated in version 3.2
Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography
The Ballad Index Copyright 2019 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.