Listen to the Music at the Show
Here is a fun bit of Punch & Judy history offered by Christopher van der Craats, who also prepared the pdf file of an 1832 edition of Collier & Cruickshank that is available elsewhere in The Punch Page.

According to van der Craats, who found the music in an encyclopedia of music in a secondhand book shop, the music shown at left and performed in the sound file is "the music which was played during the original Punch and Judy show."

He had the music recorded with a trumpet sound since that was the original instrument used.

The music is apparently of French origin judging from the title and it sounds like an early version of the tune "For He's A Jolly Good Fellow." The anglicized version of the title is "Malbrook."

All references to it come from the Punch and Judy Script recorded by John Payne Collier:

Mr Punch is one jolly good fellow
His dress is all scarlet and yellow
And if now and then he gets mellow
It's only among his good friends
His money he most freely spends
To laugh and grow fat he intends

In the Piccini play, Punch sings along to the tune presented here. But van der Craats suggests that this would have been rather difficult to do with a mouthful of swazzle and that it probably sounded more like: "Root toot Root Rootytoot...., etc."

Malbroug s'en vat en guerre
This 362k .aif sound file should open with QuickTime and other software capable of playing the .aif format. Use the audio control panel at the top of this page to listen and to imagine Punch singing along.
1. The early 19th century Punch Professor originally from Italy referred to as Piccini in Collier and as Porsini in Mayhew, profoundly influenced all future versions of Punch & Judy.

2. The illustration is by Robert Cruickshank in Doings in London, 1828.


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