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Lyr Add: Songs of Mr. Flotsam and Mr. Jetsam

Jim Dixon 29 Nov 18 - 10:33 PM
Jim Dixon 29 Nov 18 - 11:04 PM
Will Fly 30 Nov 18 - 04:07 AM
The Doctor 30 Nov 18 - 04:54 AM
Jim Dixon 01 Dec 18 - 11:58 PM
Jim Dixon 02 Dec 18 - 01:15 PM
Thomas Stern 02 Dec 18 - 01:45 PM
Jim Dixon 02 Dec 18 - 03:12 PM
Jim Dixon 02 Dec 18 - 08:53 PM
Jim Dixon 03 Dec 18 - 12:01 PM
Jim Dixon 03 Dec 18 - 01:56 PM
Jim Dixon 03 Dec 18 - 04:55 PM
GUEST,Charley Noble 03 Dec 18 - 08:31 PM
Jim Dixon 03 Dec 18 - 11:38 PM
Jim Dixon 04 Dec 18 - 04:00 PM
Jim Dixon 04 Dec 18 - 10:09 PM
Jim Dixon 05 Dec 18 - 10:51 PM
Jim Dixon 07 Dec 18 - 06:41 PM
Jim Dixon 08 Dec 18 - 10:32 AM
Jim Dixon 08 Dec 18 - 11:40 PM
Jim Dixon 09 Dec 18 - 11:20 AM
Jim Dixon 09 Dec 18 - 06:25 PM
Jim Dixon 11 Dec 18 - 12:30 AM
Jim Dixon 12 Dec 18 - 08:50 AM
GUEST,Warwick Slade 13 Dec 18 - 11:48 AM
GUEST,Jon Bartlett 13 Dec 18 - 06:45 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: WEATHER REPORTS (Mr Flotsam & Mr Jetsam)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Nov 18 - 10:33 PM

According to Wikipedia: “Mr. Flotsam and Mr. Jetsam were an Anglo-Australian musical comedy duo of the 1920s and 1930s. Mr. Flotsam's real name was Bentley Collingwood Hilliam (1890–1968) and Mr. Jetsam's real name was Malcolm McEachern (1883–1945). Hilliam wrote most of their songs, played the piano and sang in a light, high tenor voice. By contrast, McEachern had one of the deepest bass voices on record. Their material consisted of comic songs with rapid-fire delivery and songs with mild social commentary, as well as sentimental songs.

“They are sometimes considered a precursor of Flanders and Swann.”

Several of their songs are included on a series of albums called “Vintage British Comedy.” Here’s one, which you can hear on YouTube:


WEATHER REPORTS
As recorded by Flotsam and Jetsam* on “Vintage British Comedy, Vol. 2” (2011)

Irenie thinks Iceland
Can’t be such a nice land,
For though it’s far over the brine,
Irenie will shout it:
“There’s no doubt about it:
That country is no friend of mine!”
The reason’s not hard to discover.
Irenie, you see, has a lover.
He has a job with the weather reports.
He’s one of those fellows
Who on the air tell us:
“A deep depression has formed over Iceland.
It’s going to be colder—”
Which is all very well for the listeners-in
Who don’t know Irenie and do not know him,
But whatever the thing is that forms over Iceland,
It’s making him cold towards her.

Now Irenie’s father
Has always had rather
A queer sort of cast in one eye.
Well, one day he bellows:
“Of all of your fellows,
I don’t like that weather-wise guy.
He’s mean(?) with a squint, girl, but, damn me,
We don’t want forecasts in the fam’ly.”
’Cause he has job with the weather reports.
On bright sunny mornings
He issues his warnings:
“A deep depression has formed over Iceland.
It soon will be raining like—.”
Hello, my pretty one!
His old posh mother Irenie has met,
But his old anticyclone she hasn’t met yet.
Whatever that thing is that forms over Iceland,
It’s making him cold towards her.

Irenie, no fooling,
Has felt he was cooling,
For of late when she’s sat on his knee,
She’s been driven to wonder
If his thoughts were on thunder
And lightning and so forth, you see.
No wonder it makes her feel nettled
When he tells her the outlook’s unsettled,
For he has a job with the weather reports.
Up she gets bouncing
When he starts announcing:
“A new high-pressure has formed over Iceland.
It soon will be freezing—.”
She knows all about rain and a lot about snow.
And as much about wind as a lady should know,
But whatever that thing is that forms over Iceland,
It’s making him cold towards her.
Nota bene,
For Irenie:
It’s making him cold towards her.

- - -
* Credit as given on the above-named album. There is some discographical information at 45worlds.com


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Songs of Mr. Flotsam and Mr. Jetsam
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Nov 18 - 11:04 PM

Lyrics to another one of Flotsam & Jetsam’s songs, IS 'E AN AUSSIE, LIZZIE, IS 'E? have already been posted in another thread, here.

You can hear the recording at YouTube.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Songs of Mr. Flotsam and Mr. Jetsam
From: Will Fly
Date: 30 Nov 18 - 04:07 AM

My favourite of theirs is "Little Betty Bouncer", which starts:

Little Betty Bouncer loved an announcer,
Down at the BBC...

Malcolm McEachern had a bass voice which was quite rare and found more in Russian religious songs than over here. Ironically, he died of cancer of the oesophagus...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Songs of Mr. Flotsam and Mr. Jetsam
From: The Doctor
Date: 30 Nov 18 - 04:54 AM

English Tapestry used to sing one of their songs, 'Dot and Carry One', about a man with a wooden leg. The chorus at least was in 5/4 time.


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Subject: Lyr Add: KING CANUTE (Mr Flotsam & Mr Jetsam)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 01 Dec 18 - 11:58 PM

There’s a lot in this song I don’t understand, so I suppose the following transcription contains some errors. From here.


KING CANUTE
As recorded by Mr. Flotsam and Mr. Jetsam, and on “Vintage Comedy Collection, Vol. 1”

King Canute, we are told to believe,
Sitting on the sands with nothing up his sleeve,
“Now,” said he, “back there, sea,”
But the sea came rolling on,
And his courtiers said: “Doggone!”

King Canute's been and got his boots wet through.
Boo-hoo!
He didn’t oughter let such a lot of water get through.
That’s true.
But it’s the same with us today
In a different kind of way:
Trying to keep this back, trying to keep that back,
All the time, hey, hey!
Income tax, alimony writs and suits,
Disputes!
Sing, boys, sing; we’re just a lot of King Canutes.

King Canute in this year of grace,
Would have had a trace of worry on his face
With the traffic today in London, say,
Like a sea all round his feet
In the middle of Oxford Street.

King Canute's been and got his boots wet through,
Boo-hoo!
Oh, wouldn’t he relish a go at ... or two!
That’s true.
At thirty miles an hour going strong
Till PC Mary Jane comes along,
Then the little dear says, like the auctioneer says,
“Going, going, gone!”
Beacons thrive, and we’ve got to drive like newts.
No hoots!
Sing, boys, sing; we’re just a lot of King Canutes.

King Canute like a lot of other blokes
Would have thoroughly enjoyed those Mae West jokes.
In the USA he’s have visited Mae,
And probably had a scrum(?) time,
Gone up and seen her some time.

King Canute's been and got his boots wet through.
Boo-hoo!
Oh, how his folly would tickle them in Hollywood, too.
That’s true.
He would have tried to stem the sea
Of divorces there, maybe.
Can’t you hear those cuties asking who Canute is?
King, you’re telling me!
Over there, no one seems to care two hoots.
Those beauts!
Sing, boys, sing; we’re just a lot of King Canutes.

King Canute's been and got his boots wet through,
Boo-hoo!
He at the mike, too, possibly with fright, too
Blue; won’t do!
He’d have thrown his pail and spade
At the foreigners who invade
These our fair shores while on their shores
We’re not allowed to trade.
Dance bands land all the rage in brand new suits,
With flutes.
Sing, boys, sing; we’re just a lot of King Canutes.

- - -
See Wikipedia: King Canute and the tide.


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Subject: Lyr Add: LITTLE BETTY BOUNCER (Flotsam and Jetsam)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 02 Dec 18 - 01:15 PM

Thanks to Will Fly for suggesting this. You can hear it at YouTube:


LITTLE BETTY BOUNCER
As recorded by Mr. Flotsam and Mr. Jetsam, 1927; also on “Old Time British Humor” (sic) (2008)

Little Betty Bouncer is kind to her people and a nice girl, more or less,
But at present, no joke, she’s causing her folks no end of deep distress,
For she is quite mad about a man she’s never met,
And it’s all through an innocent crystal set.

Little Miss Bouncer loves an announcer down at the BBC.
She doesn’t know his name but how she rejoices
When she hears that voice of voices!
Absolutely tireless, sitting at the wireless,
Poor little Miss B!
It’s the man who announces with such a lot of passion in it:
“The Daventry shipping forecast will follow in a minute.”
Little Miss Bouncer loves an announcer down at the BBC.

She almost passes right away, the silly little clown,
Whenever he announces that the station’s closing down.
You’d think from her behaviour when he mentions oscillation,
That there wasn’t any difference between that and osculation.
His voice must be peculiar, for the other afternoon,
He spoke of Mister Jetsam, and she fell into a swoon.
Another night she wept aloud and tore her flaxen tresses
Because he hadn’t mentioned her among the S.O.S.es.
When she came to, this sentimental kid
Couldn’t stand it any longer, and what do you think she did?

Little Miss Bouncer wrote to the announcer down at the BBC.
The answer she received is worth reciting.
By return of post in plain handwriting,
All addressed and dated, this is what it stated:
“Dear little Miss B:
Here’s a picture of my babies and the eldest is the laddie
Who, you may like to know, is the image of his daddy.
To dear Miss Bouncer from the wife of the announcer down at the BBC.”


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Songs of Mr. Flotsam and Mr. Jetsam
From: Thomas Stern
Date: 02 Dec 18 - 01:45 PM

the Flotsam & Jetsam recordings were reissued on CD
by Pearl/Flapper, Vocalion, Conifer, Wyndyridge. Some may
still be available from the usual sources, and also on the
secondary market.


McEachern had a long and interesting career - a magnificent LP box set was issued in Australia by EMI & the National Library.


Thomas.


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Subject: Lyr Add: ONLY A FEW OF US LEFT (Flotsam & Jetsam)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 02 Dec 18 - 03:12 PM

There must be somebody who would like to sing this song. From YouTube.


ONLY A FEW OF US LEFT
As recorded by Mr Flotsam & Mr Jetsam, 1928.

We met a man who was perhaps
Something of a keen leg-puller
And he said: “Do you know, I thought you chaps
Were certainly men of colour.”
The poor little fellow looked all forlorn
When he found that we were British born.
Said he: “How do you stand a chance
Without an American song or dance?
You don’t sing songs about girls being dumb,
And you don’t play a sax and you don’t chew gum.
In fact it’s more than I can guess
How you’ve managed to meet with any success.”

Well, we don’t know and we don’t care.
We like ev’rybody and we go ev’rywhere,
And the funny part is that the songs we croon
Are grammatical words to a British tune.
My word!
Absurd!
Of our senses we’re bereft.
How dare we?
What care we?
For there’s only a few of us left.

A professional chap with a face as long
As an ordinary window shutter
Said: “Listen, and don’t tell me I’m wrong:
Variety’s as dead as butter.”
Said he: “These times aren’t like the past.
They want foreign stuff and they want it fast.
You must play jazz and you must sing blues
Or you won’t get a job in the new revues.”
Said he: “The public taste is wrong.
Nobody wants to hear a decent song,
And the only chance that a song has got
Is in being just a little bit you-know-what.”

Well, we don’t know and we don’t care.
We sing to the children over the air.
The boys and the girls need have no fear
That there’s anything left parents should not hear.
Oh, thanks
To the yanks
For their dances droll and deft,
But mark you,
And hark you:
There are still just a few of us left.

Who wants a mammy down in Alabammy?
I don’t.
I don’t.
Who wants to be back in Tennessee?
I don’t.
I don’t.
Are tunes no good if you can’t fox-trot ‘em?
Would the words matter much if we went and forgot ‘em?
Do you want to see Jetsam do the black bottom?
I don’t.
Yes, yes. (It’d be terrible.)

We don’t know and we don’t care.
We like ev’rybody and we go ev’rywhere,
And the funny part is that the songs we croon
Are grammatical words to a British tune.
My word!
Absurd!
Of our senses we’re bereft.
How dare we?
What care we?
For there’s only a few of us—
Practically the two of us—
Left.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE ALSATIAN AND THE PEKINESE
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 02 Dec 18 - 08:53 PM

You can hear this at YouTube.


THE ALSATIAN AND THE PEKINESE
As recorded by Mr Flotsam & Mr Jetsam, 1928.

In a Lambeth park was heard the bark
Of a pampered Pekinese.
From across the way came the loud deep bay,
An Alsatian if you please.
A funny little mongrel cocked his ear
And said: “Somehow to me it appears
An Alsatian frightens all the folk
And a Pekinese is a canine joke,
So I'd rather be just what I am.
I’m no thoroughbred and don’t give a—”
Hey!
“—a rap for anybody.”
“Well, well,” growled the big Alsatian.
“What does he say?” cried the Pekinese.
“He says that he doesn’t give a something for anybody.”
Funny little mongrel busied with his fleas.

In that selfsame park, some men cried: “Hark!
What on earth is all that din?”
“Some boys are beyond their depth in the pond
And one of them’s fallen in.”
The funny little mongrel cried: “What’s up?
I’ve nothing to do and I'm nobody’s pup,
But where the brave Alsatian hound?
And where that Pekinese to be found?
A pedigree’s fine but on the level,
A kid is drowned so go to the—”
Hey!
“—rescue, won’t you?”
“What’s that?” growled the big Alsatian.
“Have you heard the news?” cried the Pekinese.
That wretched little low-down mongrel pup
Swam out to the lad and held him up.
By the collar of his coat he held him(?) so,
And they’re giving him the dog’s own DSO,
And the mother of the child has offered him a home
For as long as he may please.
“Well, well!” said the big Alsatian. Woof! Woof!
“Isn’t it a scream?” (squeak, squeak) sighed the Pekinese.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE SPOONING OF THE KNIFE AND FORK
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 03 Dec 18 - 12:01 PM

You can hear this song at YouTube:


THE SPOONING OF THE KNIFE AND FORK
As recorded by Mr Flotsam & Mr Jetsam, 1932.

As in worlds of butlery, maids get into muddles,
Do you know that cutlery has their little fuddles?
Knives and forks, come out to play,
Get to spooning, so they say.
Here’s a little story gay
Straight from the knife box:

It was a joint affair; they both got in a stew.
He tried to cut her but he found it wouldn’t do.
He was a blade but she was on her mettle too,
At the spooning of the knife and fork.
She fell for him because he looked so sharp and strong.
He liked her curves and though his thoughts were very wrong,
Declared that she had sex appeal in every prong.
’Twas the spooning of the knife and fork.

The truth about the matter
Was published by the platter;
Then everybody knew it
And the condiments assembled for a gossip in the cruet.

I feel the rest is rather gloomy to relate.
They scraped acquaintance up but had to separate
With just a cuddle on the pattern of the plate
At the spooning of the knife and fork.

Just as Fred and Mabel spoon, being human lovers,
So can any tablespoon cuddle under covers;
So he asked a lady fork:
Did she meet him for a talk,
And perhaps a little walk,
All round the knife box?

The carving knife was cutting in and got on edge.
He never thought his son would skid among the veg,
But stainless steel and electroplate can make a pledge,
Hence the spooning of the knife and fork.
A pickle jar informed the lid upon the jam,
Who told the mustard pot adjacent to the ham
Infatuation for a handsome monogram
Called the spooning of the knife and fork.

And very soon the ladle
Was hinting at a cradle.
A napkin listened coyly,
And the table simply hurried off and told it to the doily.

But woe betide! here comes the family to sup,
And when they’ve emptied every plate and every cup,
To be continued in a beastly washing-up
Is the spooning of the knife and fork.


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Subject: Lyr Add: DOWN WITH DORA (Flotsam & Jetsam)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 03 Dec 18 - 01:56 PM

You can hear this at YouTube.


DOWN WITH DORA
As recorded by Mr. Flotsam & Mr Jetsam, 1932.

1. Dora is a girl who came to see us long ago.
No one did adore ‘er ‘cause she wasn’t nice to know.
Now she’s old and ugly and her skirts are far too long.
That is why I want to introduce this little song.
Dora says you can’t do this and that and these and those.
Dora doesn’t know the war is over I suppose.
Captain Percy Davis does and so he’s done a deal,
And to ev’rybody now he’s making this appeal:

CHORUS: Down with Dora! Dora's doom is nigh.
Down with Dora! Dora's due to die-tiddly-eye-tie.
Don’t you all agree?
Won’t you sing with me?
Eena-meena-mina-moe and out goes she.
Hark! Hark! The dogs do bark,
And ev’ryone’s determined to ignore ‘er.
Your MP, see that he learns to sing this little glee:
Do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti-do
Down with Dora!

2. If you know a little man who keeps a little shop,
Dora says at eight o’clock his sales have got to stop.
If you buy a penny box of matches after time,
Dora says that both of you are guilty of a crime.
If you’re feeling blue because you’re not quite in the pink,
After ten o’clock you mustn’t buy a little drink.
What of “Rule Britannia” and that Britons shan't be slaves?
Yet they go and treat us like a lot of bally knaves. CHORUS.

- - -
I was able to figure out that DORA refers to the Defence of the Realm Act 1914. Wikipedia doesn’t say when its provisions expired or were revoked, except that some pub-closing hours remained in effect until 1988.

I still haven’t figured out who Captain Percy Davis was.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE BRITISH PANTOMIME (Flotsam & Jetsam)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 03 Dec 18 - 04:55 PM

You can hear this at YouTube.


THE BRITISH PANTOMIME
As recorded by Mr Flotsam & Mr Jetsam, 1930.

Come, little English children, and sit on Flotsam and Jetsam’s knee.
And we’ll tell you why Cinderella wants to go back to Tennessee.

Well, you know that the English panto is a thoroughly British thing.
You can tell that’s so by the American songs that the English actors sing.

And yet it was to York and not New York that Dick Turpin rode Black Bess
And Bo Peep didn’t say: “My gol-durned sheep have given me the air, I guess.”

Little Jack Horner didn’t sit in the corner of some Chicago dive,
And Old King Cole was no prohibitionist, sure as you’re alive.

Cinderella’s coach and Aladdin's lamp weren’t made in the USA,
And the babes in the wood weren’t American kids, so the best authorities say.

The bells that made Dick Whittington turn never chimed in old New York,
And Robinson Crusoe never saw America, according to common folk.

So come, little English children and tell us, if you know,
Why the royalties on our panto songs whack(?) to America go.

We know that our British producers are thoroughly loyal chaps,
So they’ll relish our rhymes on their pantomimes,
Perhaps.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Songs of Mr. Flotsam and Mr. Jetsam
From: GUEST,Charley Noble
Date: 03 Dec 18 - 08:31 PM

And amazing collection of songs!

Cheerily,
Charlie Ipcar


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Subject: Lyr Add: SIMON THE BOOTLEGGER (Flotsam & Jetsam)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 03 Dec 18 - 11:38 PM

You can hear this at YouTube:


SIMON THE BOOTLEGGER
As recorded by Mr. Flotsam & Mr Jetsam, 1929.

Oh, Mister Simon – Yes, sir.
Mister Simon of the USA – That’s me.
They say you’re a big man over there.
Quite right, young fellow; I’m a millionaire.
Mr Simon – Well, sir.
I’m a reporter on the Weekly Star. – You are?
I’d like to have a story we could run with a cut.
Why, stories are the only things I’ve nothing else but.
Then will you tell the Star
Exactly who you are?

Oh Simon the cellarer, he was my dad.
You’ve heard of him, no doubt.
I, if you please was his favorite lad
Till he finally threw me out.
I forget what the row was about.
I went to America over the sea.
No emigrant ever was poorer than me,
And today I’m worth more than a million and a half.
Do you wonder, young newspaper scribe, that I laugh?
Oh, ho, oh, ho! I’ve got more dough
Than Simon the cellarer ever could show.


Mister Simon – Yes, sir.
Mister Simon of the USA – Proceed.
So Simon the cellarer was your dad?
Yes, and I’m a cellarer too, my lad.
Mister Simon – Well, sir.
Are there cellarers in America now? – And how!
But I thought prohibition was still in force.
So it is, with the accent on the still, of course.
Then Simon the cellarer’s game
Is known by a different name.

I’m Simon the bootlegger, chief of a gang
Of daredevil rum-running thugs.
I can get all the illicit liquor you want,,
And dodging the federal tugs
I take all kinds of money from mugs.
I control all the speakeasies I met a boy(?),
Too dangerous a guy for the cops to annoy.
When I die, they’ll be passing my coffin for hours,
And ten thousand dollars won’t purchase the flowers.
Oh, ho, oh, ho! I’m a likely knave
To make Simon the cellarer turn in his grave.


Oh, ho, oh, ho! But just the same
I’d rather have Simon the cellarer’s game,
For in England we still have a liberty which
Is free from conscience stains,
And our brewers and publicans when they get rich,
Don’t do so on ill-gotten gains.
They don’t have to have criminal brains.
Oh, ho, oh, ho! We don’t have to go
To the cellar below for a spot, you know.
Oh, ho, oh, ho! We chuckle and crow
Like Simon the cellarer long ago.


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Subject: Lyr Add: SCHUBERT’S TOYSHOP (Flotsam & Jetsam)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 04 Dec 18 - 04:00 PM

You can hear this at YouTube. I believe I got nearly all the words correctly, but there are a few uncertain phrases. I welcome corrections.


SCHUBERT’S TOYSHOP
As recorded by Mr. Flotsam & Mr Jetsam, 1929.

Far, far away in a small town in Germany
A man keeps a toy shop and Schubert is his name.
He sells ev’ry make of toy,
Girl or boy, what a joy!
Ev’ry kind of child’s decoy,
Ev’ry sort of game.

Schubert had long been regarded as a crazy man
Ever since somebody passed around the word
That he had told told his poor old wife
That his toys came to life
Ev’ry day at half past five,
Which was quite absurd.

Soon as trading had to stop him,
Schubert throws his tiny shop in.
Then came the time when those toys of his came off their shelves.
Then came the time when they started to enjoy themselves.
At least that’s what mister Schubert still would have us to believe.

Out of their boxes came all the little soldier toys.
From cardboard houses came dolls of ev’ry kind.
Many’s the sawdust heart beats fast
When they’re massed, marching past.
Toys may be of metal cast.
The toys are on parade.

Stand so, tiptoe, peep through a hole in the shade.
Can you see through? Try to but don’t be afraid.
Now friend, pretend just for poor old Schubert's sake,
You hear the drum and fife.
And let the old man think his toys have really come to life.
It’s sad; he had all of his boys in the war.
Each one passed on and never returned any more.
Poor sad half mad Schubert declared that his boys
Come there from somewhere to join the parade of the toys.
Don’t let him see tears are standing in your eyes.
Toy guns, dead sons haunt him till he dies.

So that’s why old Schubert was known as a crazy man,
Ever since somebody passed around the word
That he had told his poor old wife
That his toys came to life
Ev’ry day at half past five.
... pipe to drum and fife,
Dolls, spectators, men and guns,
Ordered around by his sons,
Boys beloved and once caressed,
Now twice blessed,
Now out west,
Sons he’d never see again.
Poor old brain half insane,
....

That is the story of Schubert's Marche Militaire.

- - -
The tune is Franz Schubert's Marche Militaire No. 1. You can hear the original arrangement for piano, four hands, at YouTube.


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Subject: Lyr Add: MELODRAMA OF THE MICE (Flotsam & Jetsam)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 04 Dec 18 - 10:09 PM

You can hear this at YouTube.


MELODRAMA OF THE MICE
As recorded by Mr. Flotsam & Mr Jetsam, 1935.

You know when you go to any picture house
You’ll see either a Silly Symphony or else a Mickey Mouse.
We have a silly symphony, although perhaps we shouldn’t.
Well, do you think that we can sing it?—Symphony* if we couldn’t.

You think—don’t you?—that nothing goes on
In a pitch-dark theatre when the crowd has gone.
Don’t you believe it, ’cause it isn’t true.
We have a secret that we’ll tell to you.

Backstage mice, mice behind the scenes,
Watch all the actors and the actorines.
Wait till the stage staff all have gone away.
Out come the mice to perform their play.

Squeak, squeak, squeak, they hurry from their holes,
Scamper on the stage and are given their roles.
Wouldn't you like to be there? Wouldn’t it be nice
To watch the melodrama of the backstage mice?

Here comes the villain with his fierce mustache.
Mrs Mouse owes the mortgage and hasn’t got the cash.
Poor little baby mice letting out a wail,
Miss Mouse the heroine lashes her tail.

Look, here’s Rodent, the little sailor mouse
With money in his knapsack to pay for the house.
Sudden pandemonium; now what is going on?
Enter the stage cat—end of act one.

Ten minutes interval, same as other shows,
Longer if need be till the damn cat goes.
At the all-clear signal, out they come again,
Link tails, dance to a popular refrain.

Look at little Miss Mouse; doesn’t she look nice?
Marries Mister Rodent with a choir of mice.

What about the villain? – Tell you in a minute.
Walks into a trap, dies in it.

Backstage mice, mice behind the scenes,
Think what the fame of Mickey Mouse means.
Following his footsteps, mice on parade.
See the little cowards in their cavalcade.

Squeak, squeak, squeak, supper if you please.
Where there are actors there is always cheese.
Wouldn’t you like to be there, nibble at a slice?
So ends the melodrama of the backstage mice.

- - -
* I think this is meant to be a pun on “seem funny.”


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE MODERN DIVER (Flotsam & Jetsam)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 05 Dec 18 - 10:51 PM

You can hear this song at YouTube:


THE MODERN DIVER
As recorded by Mr. Flotsam & Mr Jetsam, 1929.

All basses used to sing of the good old-fashioned diver.
But divers now are so highbrow there’s hardly one survivor
Who is walking alone, walking alone,
Walking alone in the depths of the sea.
Now divers have their fashion books.
The best of divers dive for looks.
They don their diving kit(?) with pride,
Their helmets cocked a bit one side,
And sure as smiling mermaid pass,
They wink at her through safety glass—
No danger now for modern fish
Are educated as you wish.
They wave a welcome with their fins.
Sardines invite them to their tins,
And if you’re tired, so it’s said,
The oysters offer you their bed.
How cheerful the life of a diver must be,
Strolling alone, patrolling alone,
Strolling, patrolling the depths of the sea!

Sometimes I must confess I’d like to be a diver.
When things are blue and all askew, it would be worth a fiver
To be lounging alone, basking alone,
Sleeping alone in the depths of the sea.
Now divers mostly pay their subs
To most exclusive divers’ clubs,
While others lead more hectic lives
Drinking in divers divers’ dives,
And there’s a diver’s union too
To say what divers have to do,
And make them certain times of day
Give channel swimmers right of way.
The ones that dive for pearls, it’s said,
Won’t wear a helmet on the head.
Their watchword is, and they make it flat:
Down with this and down with that.
How cheerful the life of a diver must be,
Slumming alone, plumbing alone,
Slumming and plumbing the depths of the sea!
Searching for treasure in a coral strand,
Stepping to the music of a submarine band,
Jazzing along, bear-hugging(?) along,
Doing the black bottom
At the black bottom of the sea.


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Subject: Lyr Add: PC LAMB (Mr Flotsam and Mr Jetsam)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 07 Dec 18 - 06:41 PM

You can hear this at YouTube:

PC LAMB
As recorded by Mr. Flotsam & Mr Jetsam, 1929.

My word! but we’re lucky today, gents.
I thought we were going to be late.
The traffic outside from far and wide
Is in a most congested state.
Did you see that fine policeman who helped us through the jam?
Why, you know that constable is: that’s PC Lamb.
How do you know that that was he?
I’ll sing you what he sang to me:

I a position of trust have,
The king of the traffic jam.
You heard of me; you must have.
I’m P’lice Constable Lamb.
I give the sign to high and low
Whether to stop or whether to go.
Sometime or other you’ve heard me bark
… where to go or where to park.
Yes, sir, that’s who I am:
Robert Augustus Wellington Lamb,
Pride of the force as a matter of course,
And the only Lamb that won’t stand sauce.
Yes, sir: PC Lamb; I’m no respecter of rank.
What the dot and dash do you think you’re doing,
You blankety-blankety-blank?

Where do you think you’re going, young man,
Pulling to the kerb? Now what’s your plan?
Where you’re driving license? One more grin
From the likes of you and I’ll run you in.
Don’t think you can get past me by stealth.
I’m not ‘ere for my blooming health.
Is your name Seagrave? What’s the idea?
You in the sidecar: pull over ‘ere.
I suppose I’ll be handling traffic
Till the blinking crack o’ doom,
When all the souls seraphic
Will rise from their final tomb.
When the so-called last trump sounds, sir,
And a million millions wait
In a blooming queue, including you,
To pass through the pearly gate,
Who do you think they’ll call on
When the mob gets into a mess?
St Peter’s eye will fall on—
I’ll give you a single guess.

Me, me, PC Lamb.
I’ll be the one to relieve the jam.
… seven … eleven
I’ll jolly well guide them into heaven.
Yes, sir, PC Lamb; they’ll all have me to thank.
What the dot and dash do you think you’re doing,
You blankety-blankety-blank?
So now you know who I am:
Robert Augustus Wellington Lamb.
Husband of Annie Teresa Lamb,
King of a hundred traffic jams,
Father of thirteen little lambs.
That’s me: PC L-A-M-B, Lamb!


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE LONDONER AND THE HUN (Flotsam&Jetsam)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 08 Dec 18 - 10:32 AM

This is recited with piano accompaniment. You can hear it at YouTube.


THE LONDONER AND THE HUN
As recorded by Mr. Flotsam & Mr Jetsam, 1940.

“You’ll have noticed,” said the Hun, “what we’ve been and gone and done
To the highways and the byways of your town.
And it’s nothing,” said the Hun, “to the fusillade of fun
That the Fuehrer’s got the mind to send you down.
Aren’t you staggered? Aren’t you cowed? Aren’t you praying out aloud?
Aren’t you dreading ev’ry setting of the sun?
Aren’t you weary of blaspheming at the bombs that come a-screaming?
Don’t you wish that you were dreaming?” said the Hun.

“Shut your big blue-pencil mouth,” said the Londoner.
“There’s a channel to the south,” said the Londoner,
“That the bully who’s your boss doesn’t dare attempt to cross,
So the nasty-minded cuss thinks he’ll take it out of us,
But he’d better think again,” said the Londoner.
“We can stand a lot of pain,” said the Londoner.
“We’re not dumb Teutonic mutts; we’ve the guns and we’ve the guts.
You can tell Adolf he’s nuts,” said the Londoner.

“You’re forgetting,” said the Hun, “that your streets are overrun
By the hungry and the homeless and the halt;
Not to mention,” said the Hun, “that your buildings by the ton
Are succumbing to our aerial assault;
And the palace of your king has a badly crippled wing.
Crazy cockney, now the blitzkrieg has begun,
It’s your diet for duration; why the stubborn hesitation?
What about capitulation?” said the Hun.

“Why, you nasty Nazi nark,” said the Londoner.
“How you miss the ruddy mark,” said the Londoner.
“All the deeds of which you’re proud are but stitches in your shroud.
Ev’ry little child you slay is a crime for which you’ll pay.
Vent your sanguinary spleen,” said the Londoner.
“God will save our king and queen,” said the Londoner,
“And, you vile Pygmalion simp, with his aid we’ll put a crimp
In that paper-hanging pimp,” said the Londoner.


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Subject: Lyr Add: OLD BILL AND YOUNG BILL (Flotsam & Jetsam
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 08 Dec 18 - 11:40 PM

You can hear this at YouTube. This too is recited to piano accompaniment. Flotsam and Jetsam alternate verses.


OLD BILL AND YOUNG BILL
As recorded by Mr Flotsam & Mr Jetsam, 1940.

Ours is a different war, ours is,
From the one our fathers fought;
For theirs was a war of mud and trench,
And sweat and toil and blood and stench,
But facts were facts and French were French,
And our allies couldn’t be bought.
Oh, this is a different war, this is,
From the one our fathers fought.

We grubbed and groused in dugouts deep,
Blasphemed when the Bosch disturbed our sleep,
But we knew where he was, and he knew where we were,
And war being war, most things seemed fair,
Whether Blighty or leave back over the foam,
To find our folks all safe at home.


Not so we sons; we’re put to work
For a spell in hell and then Dunkirk.
No getting to grips but home on ships
That we’d used in peace for pleasure trips.
Yes, home to learn that our special wench
Has been blown sky high from a factory bench,
And our folks are god knows where.
Oh, ours is a hell of a war, ours is,
For it’s all so damned unfair.

We old contemptibles loved our name,
And we had Ben's(?) father to build our fame,
And our wives leant over their windowsills
And called out the news of their own old Bills,
For times would come when we’d over the top,
And belabour the Jerries and capture a crop,
And this helped to keep us from going bats
In our four-year siege of lice and rats.


In that, we share our fathers’ dread,
But the rats we hate fly overhead,
And the louse we loathe is the airborne louse
That sheds its bombs on our parents’ house.
Oh, God! for the chance our fathers had
Of a good straight fight with a foe gone mad.

Theirs is a different war, theirs is,
From the war we fathers fought.
And our old hearts bleed for our thwarted sons
Who must needs mark time till the tireless guns
Have pounded a path to the hides of the Huns
And the day when we’ll spare them not.


An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,
And the pagan polluter of Germany's youth
To hang as he damned well ought.
Oh, this is a different war, this is,
From the war our fathers fought.


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Subject: Lyr Add: BIG BEN CALLING (Mr Flotsam & Mr Jetsam)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 09 Dec 18 - 11:20 AM

You can hear this at YouTube.

BIG BEN CALLING
As recorded by Mr Flotsam & Mr Jetsam (1932)

A letter arrived for us today,
A letter from quite a world away,
Written by someone we’ve never seen,
Sent from a place where we’ve never been.
We’re going to read you, that’s if we may,
This letter from quite a world away:

“You can’t imagine,” the letter ran,
“What modern wireless means to a man
Exiled here in this lonely spot,
Or do you know that it means a lot,
Down on your luck and all alone,
To hear the sound of a saxophone.
You can’t imagine what it can mean
Unless you’ve been
Upon the scene.

“But best of all, the moment when
We hear the chime of great Big Ben,
And turn to somebody near and say:
‘That’s Big Ben calling at close of day
To us a world away,
To us poor devils a world away.’ ”

“This is the London station closing down.
Good night, everybody; good night.”

It comes to us each day
From quite a world away.
We wait in homes remote
For its ...(?).
In fancy we’ll ...(?)
A rose upon a ...(?).
Some dear remembered scene
Where grass is always green:
The walks we love so well
By mountain moor and fell.
The winding English lanes
We’ll never see again/
Good night from London town!
Our hearts are closing down.
Big Ben is calling,
Calling—
Big Ben is calling
From London town.


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Subject: Lyr Add: GHOST OF AN OLD KING’S JESTER (Flotsam...
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 09 Dec 18 - 06:25 PM

You can hear this at YouTube:


GHOST OF AN OLD KING’S JESTER
As recorded by Mr Flotsam & Mr. Jetsam, 1932.

Is it true?—What?—Can you—Well?
Inform me if there’s such a thing
As a theatre-ghost—A theatre ghost?
That waits until the crowd is gone
And then at midnight, maybe one,
Comes out and—? I know what you mean.
A ghost like that I’ve heard and seen
And met.
—You’ve what?—
I have.—You’ve not!—
Upon this very spot!

You’ve taken the wind from out my sails.
It must be the same old spook, all right,
I met on the stairs the other night.

You’ve heard each theatre has its ghost,
Shade of a bygone day,
That lurks unseen behind a post
And watches each new play.


There’s one of whom the records tell—
His story you should know.
He was a fool in cap and bell
Three hundred years ago.

Ghost of an old king’s jester, he’s a wise old spook, I vow,
But he’s glad, i’faith, that he’s just a wraith and not a jester now.


He watches with ghostly anguish young actors in their plight,
When a new play flags and the so-called gags fall flat on the opening night.

“Is the modern audience handcuffed? Are their hearts all made of stone?”
He says to his spectral self, says he, and vanishes with a groan.


Court jester once was he, I vow,
But he wouldn’t be court-jesting now.

Three hundred years ago, his tales
Would make the welkin ring.
Today they bore the Prince of Wales
And aggravate our king.


Loud laughs came easy in his life;
No beads upon his brow.
“That was no lady; ‘twas my wife”
Was sure-fire then, not now.

Ghost of an old king’s jester, no wonder he’d ’a’ rather stay
By hook or crook a carefree spook than be on the stage today.


His spectral Punchinello he holds in a ghostly grip,
And a knowing smile appears the while a-tremble upon his lip.

“Oh, my humour is now called slapstick. and a lowbrow ghost am I,”
He says to his poor transparent self and vanishes with a sigh.
Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!
There’s truth in what he says, you know
Court jester once as records tell,


Kings fool was he in cap and bell
Three hundred years ago.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE GIRL ACROSS THE WAY (Flotsam & Jetsam
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 11 Dec 18 - 12:30 AM

You can hear this at YouTube:


THE GIRL ACROSS THE WAY
As recorded by Mr. Flotsam and Mr. Jetsam, 1928.

Why do you stand at the window
At this time ev’ry day?
What keeps you patiently standing there,
Watching the street with an eager stare?
Won’t you tell me your secret?
There’s a kind of look in your face.
There’s a gleam in your eyes
That makes me surmise
There’s a woman in the case.


I’d like to know someday
That girl across the way.
I wonder what she’d say
Were I to her waylay
And bravely say: “Hello!
I have admired you so.
I wonder if you go
With any special beau?”
Now would that maiden fair
Hand me what’s called the air?
Would she right then and there
Give me one icy stare?
When in my bed I curl,
My brain is half awhirl
About that little girl
Across the way.

You’ve got it bad, haven’t you?
I know I have!

See, see, there she goes!
Do you mean the one with the turned-up nose?
I’d like to wave; do you think I ought?
To the one with a skirt that’s a bit too short?
Yes, yes, and the Eaton crop.
And the funny little red hat stuck on top?
The alligator bag and the sable fur.
Are you really keen on knowing her?

I’ll have you meet today
That girl across the way.
No need for more delay;
I’ll simply call out: “Hey!
A fellow clubman here
Who claims to be sincere,
Has gone a trifle queer
Because of you, my dear.”
That little mademoiselle
Will cross the street pell-mell
And then you’ll hear that girl
Tell me to go to—
Well! You see, my private life
Includes that storm and strife.
That is my little wife
Across the way.


I’m awfully sorry!
(laughs) So am I!

- - -
The Eton crop


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Subject: Lyr Add: MAUD MARIE (Mr Flotsam and Mr Jetsam)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 12 Dec 18 - 08:50 AM

You can hear this at YouTube.


MAUD MARIE
As recorded by Mr Flotsam and Mr Jetsam, 1928.

In a busy boarding house lives little Maud Marie,
Idol of the men.
She is only ten.
Never plays a favourite as far as one can see,
But there is a sly
Twinkle in her eye.

You’re as fickle as you’re fair, Maud Marie,
With the sunlight in your hair, Maud Marie.
How your heart with anguish throbbed
When the folks to whom you’ve sobbed
Wouldn’t let you have it bobbed, Maud Marie.

You’d have lost your pretty curls, Maud Marie,
To be like the other girls, Maud Marie,
But now bobs are on the wane,
And long hair comes back again.
You will sing a glad refrain, Maud Marie.

Neighbourhood celebrity is little Maud Marie.
Down the street she goes,
Tidy tilted nose,
Never looks at little boys and doesn’t seem to see
Why they should exist,
Simply won’t be kissed.

When I look into your eyes, Maud Marie,
And I see you growing wise, Maud Marie,
And I find now once again
That you ask me to explain
Things beyond my humble brain, Maud Marie,

Oh, I hope you will not mind, Maud Marie,
When I say that you’re the kind, Maud Marie,
Just the kind, if fates allow,
I would meet again somehow,
Say eleven years from now, Maud Marie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Songs of Mr. Flotsam and Mr. Jetsam
From: GUEST,Warwick Slade
Date: 13 Dec 18 - 11:48 AM

I knew B C Hilliam as he lived at Bank, Lyndhurst in The New Forest. However I never saw him perform.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Songs of Mr. Flotsam and Mr. Jetsam
From: GUEST,Jon Bartlett
Date: 13 Dec 18 - 06:45 PM

I have his autobiogrpahy: "Flotsam's Follies: The Autobiography of B.C. Hilliam". London: Arthur Barron Ltd., 1948. He was in BC from I think 1905 to 1914, when he became a sapper in the Canadian Engineers. While here, he made quite a few local songs, including "Lottie Has Lots and Lots of Lots" about the real estate boom in pre-war Vancouver.

Jon Bartlett


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