Mudcat Café message #3603289 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #153739   Message #3603289
Posted By: Jim Dixon
20-Feb-14 - 01:54 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: You dirty little nipper . . .
I don't think this song was the origin of the catch phrase, but it probably reflects the fact that it was then popular enough to be annoying, and new enough to be remarkable.

From Hodgson's National Songster by Orlando Hodgson (London: Orlando Hodgson, 1832), page 49:


I am the laughing stock of all.
    No rest nor peace have I.
The young, the old, the great and small,
    All at me have a shy.
I thinks it wery, wery hard,
    And so vould you, no doubt,
If they cried, vhene'er you valked abroad,
    "Does your mother know you're out?"

My station is respectable.
    There's nothing about me
In the slightest vay detectable,
    Of the apeing wain cockney.
I keeps my os; I dresses vell;
    But as I rides about,
The cry is—"Ho! my precious svell!
    Does your mother know you're out?"

Then if I ever fishing go,
    Folks vill not let me be.
Vot's mirth to them to me is voe,
    Although, p'rhaps but a spree.
Intently ven I sometimes try,
    Fly-fishing, to catch trout,
Some willain vill come up and cry—
    "Does your mother know you're out?"

It's really quite a misery,
    To be so much annoyed.
In fearing this wile quizzery,
    Friend and foe I alike awoid.
From post to pillar I am chased,
    And driven like a scout.
One to ask at ev'ry corner's placed—
    "Does your mother know you're out?"

I vonce the nuisance to escape,
    Vos forced a cab to call,
But the fellers out of spite did gape,
    And vouldn't hear me bawl;
Then my pursuers tipt the vink.
    The cads set up a shout—
(I felt so queer you cannot think)—
    "Does your mother know you're out?"

For my part, nothing can I see
    About my person flaring,
Vy they should push their fun at me,
    And saucily be staring.
'Tis shameful, and vith rage I burn
    That ev'ry stupid lout
Should cry, vhichever vay I turn—
    "Does your mother know you're out?"

To a ball last night I vent,
    And happy might have been,
A pleasant ev'ning there have spent,
    Vith a damsel—beauty's queen!
But as a valtz ve tvisted,
    She vith an artful pout,
Asked, as not to be resisted,
    "Does your mother know you're out?"

My mind's made up; I vill not stay
    In town, to be derided,
But to some silent glen avay,
    Vere my grief can be subsided.
I'll seek some shelt'ring peaceful nook,
    Vere none can come and rout,
Or question me, vith fiendish look—
    "Does your mother know you're out?"