Villikins And His Dinah

This is another of the songs my father thought suitable for his pre-teenage daughters to listen to on long car journeys. I can still hear him singing it, relishing the Victorian mixture of melodrama and fun.

‘Tis of a rich merchant who in London did dwell,
He had but one daughter, an uncommon nice gel.
Her name it was Dinah, scarce sixteen years old,
With a very large fortune in silliver and gold.

Chorus:  Singing touraly, touraly, touraly ay

As Dinah was a’ walking in her garden one day,
Her papa came to her, and this he did say:
“Go dress yourself, Dinah, in gorgeous array,
For I’ve found you a husband both gallant and gay! “

“Oh papa, Oh, papa I’ve not made up my mind,
And to marry just yet, why I don’t feel inclined;
To you my large fortune I’ll gladly give o’er,
If you’ll let me live single a year or two more.”

“Go, go, boldest daughter,” the parent replicd;
“lf you won’t consent to be this here young man’s bride,
I’ll give your large fortune to the nearest of kin,
And you shan’t reap the benefit of one single pin.”

As Villikins was walking the garden around,
He spied his dear Dinah lying dead upon the ground;
And a cup of cold pizen it lay by her side,
With a billet-doux stating ’twas by pizen she died.

He kissed her cold corpus a thousand times o’er,
He called her his Dinah though she was no more,
Then swallowed the pizen like a lover so brave,
And Villikins and his Dinah lie both in one grave.


Now all you young maidens take warning by her,
Never not by no means disobey your gov’nor,
And all you young fellows mind who you clap eyes on,
Think of Villikins and his Dinah and the cup of cold pizen.

The quality of the video is rather poor, but if you would prefer to hear it sung, then I offer you:


About layanglicana

Author of books on Calcutta, Delhi and Dar es Salaam, I am now blogging as a lay person about the Church of England and the Anglican Communion. I am also blogging about the effects of World War One on the village of St Mary Bourne, Hampshire.
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