The Ballad of Jack the Ripper
has 6 verses of "black humour", as Germans express it, in the Cockney dialect describing the infamous serial killers nocturnal doings in the narrow ill-lit streets of Victorian London. This relatively modern song, © 1974, can be found it Great Cockney Songs Vol. 1
and is the work of Horace Phlange & James Home (lyrics) and Thornton G. Roper (music). It was published by Southern Music Publishing Co. Ltd
Each verse has memorable lines. My particular favourite is the final verse:
- Now Jack, e' was a family man what lived wiv 'is old mum.
- They sat down every night to supper when the day was done.
- And when his muvver asked him, "Jack, fetch me a piece of tart."
- 'E said, "D'you want a change this week, or the usual ribs and heart? "
For those not familiar with English slang, tart
is not an edible dessert but refers to unvirtuous ladies having low moral values.
When Dr Oliver Rosteck
and I teamed up, I thought this "ballad" would be ideal in our repertoire.