I am quite the thing

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I AM QUITE THE THING. AKA - "Quite the thing." English, Air (6/8 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). One part. The tune, which appears in two anonymous manuscripts, one from Staffordshire, and the other of unknown origin in the possession of Stephen Campbell, appears to be a song air (first strain only, the second differs) with a harmony part. "I am quite the thing" possibly was the vechicle for a humorous song called "The London Mercer" printed in playwright John O'Keefe's (1747-1833) Edwin's pills to purge melancholy : containing all the songs sung by Mr. Edwin, Of Covent-Garden Theatre, since his first appearance in London; And many Duets that Mr. Edwin has a Part in. With an humourous account of Mrs. Siddons's first reception in Dublin; and a portrait of Mr. Edwin, Finely Executed (1788), The Musical Miscellany: Or, Songster's Companion (London, 1791), and in The New Vocal Enchantress (1788). The lyric goes:

A Mercer I am in a very good stile,
Neat and pretty by jingo!
I bow and smirk,
I noddle and jerk,
Then prick up and perk,
And simper and smile;
With my hey dong, ding dong, dingo!
Lord, I am quite the thing!
With my hey dong, ding dong, dingo!
At Bagnigge Wells sometimes I sip tea,
At Islington sup, good stingo;
I shut up my shop,
And out of town pop,
Then dance at a hop;
He! he! he! he! he!
With my hey dong, ding dong, dingo!
A'n't I quite the thing?
With my hey dong, ding dong, dingo!

The song was written by O'Keefe for his comic opera The Farmer (1787), with music music "selected and composed" by William Shield, sung by Mr. Edwin (the first line goes: "Look dear ma'am I'm quite the thing" in the play).

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