Caught Bending at Hastings

Caught bending at HastingsInspired by Sue Bailey’s love of Victorian Porn, I must confess a love for vintage innuendo. Maybe I’ll dust off some more of my old saucy postcards but one confuses me. I bought this on eBay a while back. It made me titter. But I don’t really get the gag. Do you? It’s dated 1909.

5 Responses to Caught Bending at Hastings

  1. Sue says:

    Hmm. I don’t get that either. What did bending used to mean? Is it related to “bender” now (either to be one or to go on one)?

    But I too have a collection of old postcards where the joke is difficult to find. There’s a whole series where if you don’t know one particular popular song from the 1870s, they make NO SENSE WHATSOEVER – and others where I just think “that used to be funny?!” It’s like old editions of Punch: I don’t think we necessarily have the same sense of humour now.

  2. Linda says:

    It was a popular catch phrase, appeared in Edwardian music hall songs. Originally sexual in meaning it was later adopted more widely and used innocently and in humour to mean ‘just give me the opportunity and I’ll take advantage of you’. You’ll find countless comic postcards of the era with the phrase illustrated.

    Now, here’s a verse that you should remember..

    Knees up Mother Brown!

    Knees up Mother Brown!
    Knees up Mother Brown!
    Under the table you must go
    Ee-i-ee-i-ee-i-oh!
    **If I catch you bending**,
    I’ll saw your legs right off,
    Knees up! Knees Up!
    Don’t get the breeze up,
    Knees up Mother Brown!

    Oh My! What a rotten song!
    What a rotten song!
    Oh, What a rotten song!
    Oh My! What a rotten song!
    What a rotten singer too!

    Knees up Mother Brown!
    Knees up Mother Brown!
    Under the table you must go
    Ee-i-ee-i-ee-i-oh!
    If I catch you bending,
    I’ll saw your legs right off,
    Knees up! Knees Up!
    Don’t get the breeze up,
    Knees – up – Mother – Brown!
    Ow’s yer farver? All right!

  3. Knees up, Mother Brown!

  4. dw says:

    Knees down, Mother Brown!I always liked this version from the Scaffold. Bit of class comemntary. Oops.

    http://www.myspace.com/scaffoldbelgrade/music/songs/knees-down-mother-brown-1998-digital-remaster-35887840

  5. Sue C says:

    Ow’s yer favver? Alright!
    Ow’s yer muvver? She’s tight!
    Ow’s yer sister? She might!
    When was the last time? Last night!

    Remembered from my 1950s childhood, when it could be chanted at the end of any song, including Knees Up Mother Brown.

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