Wild and Wicked Youth
Robert Hurr’s Wild and Wicked Youth is another example of the popular ‘goodnight ballads’. It mentions ‘Fielding’s Gang’, which was London’s first police force (also known as the Bow Street Runners). Set up in 1749 by the author Henry Fielding, who was also a magistrate at Bow Magistrates Court, it was London’s first formalised law enforcement agency. It was financed centrally through the courts, unlike the more common ‘thief-takers’, who solved petty crime on a freelance basis. Sung to Vaughan Williams on the 24th November 1910 in Southwold, Suffolk
Vaughan Williams Memorial Library: http://www.vwml.org/record/RVW2/1/198
This song was part of Singing Histories, a national project led by Sing London to create booklets and resources containing traditional folk songs and history from eight areas across England.
The Singing Histories - London illustrated song book (which includes this song) can be downloaded from the document tab at the top of this panel. Audio recording(s) of this song are also available from the audio tab.