David Savage
SKULDUGGERY --- dictionary definition:   "Up to no good"

I have a bit of  a thing about grouping songs together with a common theme. So  here is a set  of traditional  songs that all involve various deceptions from a collections of characters who are all up to no good.   Some are fairly harmless but others with deadly or dastardly intent!

To play, click on the player opposite each song.
GENTLEMAN SOLDIER This version is taken from the Penguin book of English Folk songs (1959) but I first heard it sung by Alex Campbell in a London folk club in the mid 60's.
I'm still adding songs to this page!
THE BLACK COOK  Published as a Broadside Ballad in about
1860 and better known in America. This is one of those fanciful
tales that could well be true; indeed you really hope that it is!
The sale of corpses for dissection was well established in
many ports; in Great Yarmouth the son of the vicar at St
Nicholas, Sir Astley Cooper, who was also the renowned
surgeon to Queen Victoria, employed a notorious local body
snatcher, Thomas Vaughan to undertake the gruesome work. 
He was paid around 12 guineas for each corpse. He is
commemorated by a Blue Plaque in the churchyard!