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Lyr Add: 'Erbert 'Enry 'Epplethwaite (G Fields)


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Jim Dixon 27 Mar 11 - 06:41 PM
Jim Dixon 29 Mar 11 - 01:30 PM
GUEST 15 Apr 11 - 01:13 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: 'ERBERT 'ENRY 'EPPLETHWAITE (G Fields)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 06:41 PM

This is more of a recitation than a song. You can hear it at Bill Hanks' web site. Here's my transcription:

As recited by Gracie Fields

Young 'Erbert 'Enry 'Epplethwaite was quite a likely lad,
The envy of the neighbours and the idol of 'is dad.

He was nigh on fifteen years of age and leavin' school for good.
Then Father thought it time to let 'im know just 'ow things stood.

That evenin' in the kitchen when they'd cleared away the tea,
Dad said, "Now, 'Erbert 'Enry, I want a word with thee.

"Thou'll be fifteen come Ash Wednesday and startin' life anew.
Now, 'as thee made thy mind up, lad, just what thou's goin' to do?

"Thou knows I've always 'oped thou'd be a plumber just like me."
Then 'e gazed into 'is son's blue eyes and stuck 'im on 'is knee.

"Thou'll never be ashamed to be a plumber," Father said,
"And I'd like someone to carry on, me lad, when I am dead."

Then Mother put 'er spoke in as she dropped the tabby cat.
"We'll 'ave no more plumbers 'ere," she said. "No fear, I'll see to that."

And she looked as if she meant it when she went quite red in t' face,
And she started pokin' t' fire and chuckin' coal about the place.

But Mister 'Epplethwaite sat still and supped 'is glass o' beer.
"Well, 'Erbert lad," Ma said, "what would you like to be, my dear?

"I'll answer for thee, 'Enry and ... I'll say:
Thou's goin' to be a horganist like 'Arry 'Emin'way."

"And what's 'e goin' to practice on?" said Pa. "I'd like to know.
We've only got a mouth organ and that damn thing won't blow."

"Now that's enough o' that," said Ma. "It's not a time for jokes."
And then she went at t' fire again and 'ad a few more pokes.

"Now look 'ere, John," she said. "You've been a plumber all your life,
And I've 'eard nowt else but plumberin' since I became your wife.

"Well, if you're such a clever plumber, as you're advertised to be,
You can start and make a horgan for our 'Erbert 'Ennery.

"I can manufacture one meself without so many jobs.
Why, all you want's a bag o' wind, some lead pipes and some knobs."

Then 'Epplethwaite got vexed and said, "Now, Clara, 'ave some sense.
It's our 'Erbert 'Enry's future." Then the atmosphere got tense.

He gazed at 'Erbert 'Enry like a cat does at a bird,
And up till then, poor 'Enry 'ad never said a word.

"Come, come, me lad," said 'Epplethwaite. "What would thou like to be?"
Then 'Erbert answered as 'e slithered off 'is father's knee:

"I'll never be a plumber. Smell o' putty makes me sick."
"Well, what 'ave you set your mind on then?" said Pa. "Now tell me quick."

Then 'Erbert gulped 'is cocoa as 'e offered this reply:
"I want to be a crooner, Pa," 'e answered with a sigh.

"A crooner? What's a crooner cry?" said Pa as 'e swore,
As someone started knockin' loud upon t' front street door.

"Now who the 'eck can that be?" grunted Pa. "I'd like to know.
It can't be Art the postman and it's never Uncle Joe."

So Ma got up and opened t' door. "Come in," she said, polite.
And then a chap came walkin' in, in uniform all bright.

Ma seemed to get all flustered-like, and when she'd got 'er wind,
"Well, who might you be?" she inquired. Then 'Erbert 'Enry grinned.

At last 'is moment 'ad arrived. The blood rushed to 'is 'ead.
Then to 'is dotin' parents 'e casually said:

"Oh, this 'ere is my mate, John Willie Pratt. I 'ope you'll understand.
He's signed me on as crooner for t' Salvation Army band."

[Oddly, I can't find this song on any catalog or discography, although it's obviously Gracie Fields' voice. It makes me wonder if the above web site has given the correct title. Does anybody know anything about the song?]

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Herbert Henry Hepplethwaite (G Fields)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Mar 11 - 01:30 PM

I just discovered that Bill Hanks' web site, where I found this song, has the same song listed twice under 2 different titles. The other title is I WANT TO BE A CROONER.

That doesn't help because I can't find that title either!

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: 'Erbert 'Enry 'Epplethwaite (G Fields)
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 01:13 AM

'Erbert 'Enery 'Epplethwaite. Sullivan/Parr-Davies (Published by Francis Day) 5.3.35. OEA1811-2 HMV B 8312

This recording will soon be available on a set of re-mastered rare Gracie Fields tracks from Music From The Past (

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