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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Steve Parkes Lyr Req: Little Willie's Wild Woodbines (27) Little Willie's Wild Woodbines - query 16 Dec 12


There's an old Music Hall song of this title, recorded several times by the eponymous Billy Williams in the early years of the 20th century. It has since been recorded (and performed) by Cosmotheka (Dave & the late Al Sealey). The song commemorates the Children Act of 1908, which introduced a number of safeguards to the legal status of children -- including the right of police officers and others (park keepers!) to confiscate any tobacco or cigarette papers from under-age children.

OK: cut to the chase. There are some pre-WWI slang expressions in the chorus, which I'm completely unfamiliar with; any help would be very welcome ...
Five little fags in a dainty little packet,
Five cigarettes that cost one D,
Five little pains underneath his jacket,
Five wopples in his little maree,
Five little whiffs, five little jiffs ...


Weird words in bold. (If you didn't already know, fag=cigarette and D is the abbreviation for pre-decimal pence. As for the packet, Google it!)


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