booze and the blowens

Discuss the historical aspects of magic, including memories, or favorite stories.

Postby Bill Mullins » 11/24/04 03:35 PM

In "Ricky Jay and his 52 Assistants", Jay had a short interlude where he quoted from a poem "VILLON'S STRAIGHT TIP TO ALL CROSS COVES" by William Ernest Henley. This was Henley's translation (or better, re-interpretation), into 19th century criminal slang and cant, of Francois Villion's "De bonne doctrine a ceux de mauvaise vie" from the 1400's. If you remember Jay's recitaiton, it is probably from the line "Booze and the blowens cop the lot" (liquor and women get all your money).

Villon's original poem is here.

Henley's version, and an attempt to annotate the slang, is here.
Bill Mullins
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