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Lyr Req: Harem (Chas 'n' Dave - music hall song?)

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lee@ariadnet.demon.co.uk 24 Jun 97 - 06:10 AM
MMario 05 Nov 99 - 10:02 AM
Joe Offer 08 Jun 07 - 02:33 PM
GUEST,Mushroom 25 04 Jul 09 - 04:02 PM
Jim Dixon 12 Jul 09 - 02:29 AM
Jim Dixon 12 Jul 09 - 11:27 AM
Jim Dixon 12 Jul 09 - 12:38 PM
Jim Dixon 12 Jul 09 - 01:14 PM
Jim Dixon 12 Jul 09 - 01:57 PM
SINSULL 12 Jul 09 - 02:44 PM
Steve Gardham 12 Jul 09 - 03:30 PM
Jim Dixon 14 Jul 09 - 12:54 AM
GUEST 16 Jul 10 - 04:35 AM
Charley Noble 16 Jul 10 - 01:45 PM
Artful Codger 17 Jul 10 - 01:31 AM
Artful Codger 17 Jul 10 - 05:50 AM
Jim Dixon 23 Jul 10 - 12:09 PM
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Jim Dixon 23 Jul 10 - 01:11 PM
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GUEST,Stephanie Hall 31 Oct 14 - 12:41 PM
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Subject: Music Hall-esp
From: lee@ariadnet.demon.co.uk
Date: 24 Jun 97 - 06:10 AM

I'm after amusing songs (prob from Music Hall) especially one about a chap in the Harem... There was I large as life, Sitting in the Rajah's Harem, .... Along came the Rajah...and said Oy You if I catch you bending Off'l come your old bald (repeat) Off'l come your old Bald 'ead.

Well that's some of it, I'd REALLY like to find the rest... Many thanks in advance Lee


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Subject: RE: Music Hall-esp
From: MMario
Date: 05 Nov 99 - 10:02 AM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Music Hall-esp 'Sitting in the Harem'
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Jun 07 - 02:33 PM

You know, it's almost ten years, and we haven't found this song. It sounds very familiar to me but I can't find it right now.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Music Hall-esp 'Sitting in the Harem'
From: GUEST,Mushroom 25
Date: 04 Jul 09 - 04:02 PM

A version of the song was recorded by Chas & Dave, and was the "b" side of their single "Stars over 45", released in December 1981.


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Subject: Lyr Add: GIVE ME THE SULTAN'S HAREM (Gerber,Silver
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 02:29 AM

There are a surprising number of songs about harems. Here's one:

From the sheet music at IN Harmony: Sheet Music from Indiana:


GIVE ME THE SULTAN'S HAREM
(WON'T YOU GIVE THAT HAREM TO ME)
Words, Alex Gerber. Music, Abner Silver.
New York: M. Witmark & Sons, 1919.

1. I had a dream last night that was immense.
I dreamed that I was at the Peace Conference,
Where England and France and Italy
Each got her share of her indemnity.
And after they divided up the dish,
They asked me if there's anything that I'd wish.
I was so shy, I thought they'd die
When I made this reply:

CHORUS 1: "Give me the harem, the old sultan's harem.
That's the only thing I crave.
The sultan's too old, for he's past eighty-three,
And his thousand wives need a fellow like me.
I'll never beat them. With kindness I'll treat them,
And all that I ask is a trial.
Imagine me sitting on a carpeted floor,
Telling my slave to bring me wife 'Ninety-Four.'
I'll be so gallant. I'm chucked full of talent.
Won't you give that harem to me?"

2. The diplomats all listened to my plea.
They wondered just what was the matter with me,
But I kept on asking for a trial.
I tried to show them it was worth the while.
Just then they asked if I was qualified,
And I replied, "You folks will be satisfied.
I'll prove to you that I'll be true,
But here's what you must do:

CHORUS 2: "Give me the harem, the old sultan's harem.
That's the only thing I crave.
I'll take of the veils that they wear on their face.
The young ones I'll keep, and the old ones I'll chase.
I'll give them freedom. On garlic I'll feed 'em,
So they can grow stronger for me.
King Solomon was four hundred years when he died.
If I live till forty-three, I'll be satisfied.
I'll be a wizard, a real harem lizard.
Won't you give that harem to me?"


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Subject: Lyr Add: I'M THE GUY WHO GUARDS THE HAREM (Berlin)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 11:27 AM

From the sheet music at Duke University:


I'M THE GUY WHO GUARDS THE HAREM
(AND MY HEART'S IN MY WORK)
Irving Berlin
From Ziegfeld Follies of 1919

When the Sultan goes out on a spree,
He presents me with the harem key.
Ev'ry Turk in Turkey envies me,
For I've got the best job in Turkey.

CHORUS: I'm the guy who guards the harem
When the Sultan goes away.
I'm a conscientious Turk, and my heart is in my work.
The Sultan tells me that I earn my pay.
While he's gone, I keep them happy,
And it keeps the wheels a-working in my knob.
If the Sultan ever saw the way I guard his harem,
He would go out and engage someone to stand guard over me.
I'm the guy who guards the harem,
And I wouldn't take a million for my job.


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Subject: Lyr Add: IN MY HAREM (Irving Berlin)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 12:38 PM

From the sheet music at the Levy Collection (which I viewed through the JScholarship portal):


IN MY HAREM
Irving Berlin, 1913

1. Down in Turkey-urkey, {Pat Malone/Abie Cohen}
Was selling fancy clothes to anyone who'd wear 'em,
When the Turks were called away to war.
A Turk asked {Patrick/Abie} if he wouldn't watch his Harem.
{Patrick/Abie} said, "With pleasure! I will cover ev'ry track.
I'll take care of ev'rything, so don't you hurry back."
{Patrick/Abie} then sat down and wrote a note
To all his friends at home, and this is what he wrote:

CHORUS: In my Harem, my Harem,
There's Rosie, Josie, Posie,
And there never was a minute
King Solomon was in it,
Wives for breakfast, wives for dinner,
Wives for supper time;
Lots of fancy dancing, and it doesn't cost a dime,
In my Harem, my Harem,
There's Fannie, Annie, Jenny,
And the dance they do
Would make you wish that you were in a Harem with {Pat Malone/Abie Cohen}.

2. {Patrick/Abie} said, "I've got a thousand wives
And ev'ry one of them has got a perfect figure.
Small ones, tall ones, big as they could be,
There's some as big as that, and some are even bigger.
That young Turk ain't coming back until the war is won.
I don't wish him hard luck, but I hope they steal his gun.
I am living many happy lives.
How can a man get lonesome with a thousand wives? CHORUS


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Subject: Lyr Add: HAREM LIFE (OUTSIDE OF THAT...) (I Berlin
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 01:14 PM

From the sheet music at the Levy Collection (which I viewed through the JScholarship portal):


HAREM LIFE
(OUTSIDE OF THAT EVERY LITTLE THING'S ALL RIGHT)
Irving Berlin, 1919
From Ziegfeld Follies of 1919

1. While trav'ling through Turkey, in my dreams,
I chanced to stray
Right into a harem and it seems
They let me stay.
I spoke to the Sultan's fav'rite wife
Before I fled.
I asked her how she liked harem life.
Here's what she said:

CHORUS: "Living in a harem, what a life!
Ne'er a thought of care or strife,
Waiting on the Sultan night and day,
Ever ready to obey,
He keeps me dancing morning, noon and night.
Dancing fills 'im with delight.
I am black and blue from the dance I do,
But outside of that ev'ry little thing's all right."

2. I wanted to know how many wives
The Sultan had.
She answered each day a wife arrives
Fresh from Bagdad.
How did he continue on that plan
So many years?
She answered, "He's just a poor old man
With young ideas. CHORUS.


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Subject: Lyr Add: LOCK ME IN YOUR HAREM AND THROW THE ...
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 01:57 PM

From the sheet music at the Levy Collection (which I viewed through the JScholarship portal):


LOCK ME IN YOUR HAREM AND THROW THE KEY AWAY
Irving Berlin, 1914

1. In the heart of Cairo the Sultan one day
Nearly lost his life when his horse ran away.
Pat McCann, an Irishman who happened to be there,
Stopped the horse and saved the Sultan's life by a hair.
The Sultan said, "I'll give you anything I can afford."
Patrick answered, "If you want to give me a reward—

CHORUS: "Lock me in your harem and throw the key away.
Let me cuddle-uddle up to Rosie and May.
Let me see the fat one who dances all the day.
My eyes were made for seeing.
Honest, I'm a human being.
Down in your harem,
There's Rosie, Josie, Posie and I know that you could spare 'em,
So won't you let me stay,
Locked in the harem with the keys thrown away.

2. When the Sultan brushed off his clothes and could speak,
He replied, "You're welcome to stay for a week."
Pat walked in the harem with a smile from ear to ear.
Tho' the Sultan said a week, he stayed for a year.
The morning after Pat came home, his wife began to weep.
He could not explain why he was singing in his sleep. CHORUS


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Music Hall-esp 'Sitting in the Harem'
From: SINSULL
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 02:44 PM

Jim O'Shea
Was castaway upon an Indian isle.
The natives there
They liked his hair
They liked his Irish smile.
They made him Chief Fandango
And nabob of them all.
The called him Jittabob Jay
And rigged him out so gay
That he sent to Galway Bay
To his sweetheart just to say

Oh I've got rings on me fingers
Bells on me toes.
Elephants to ride upon, my little Irish Rose
So come to your nabob
And on St. Patrick's Day
Be Mistress Mumbo Jumbo Jittabob Jay, O'Shea

Across the sea came Rose McGee
To wed her nabob grand
She met him in his (seraphim?)
And when he kissed her hand.
He led her to his harem
Where he had wives galore
She staring shedding a tear
Says he now don't you fear
I am keeping these wives here
Just for ornament, my dear

For I've got...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Music Hall-esp 'Sitting in the Harem'
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 03:30 PM

What I want is a proper cup o' coffee, made in a proper coffee pot.
I may be off me dot, but I like a cup o' coffee from a copper coffee pot,
Iron coffee pots and tin coffee pots, oh they're no use to me,
If I can't have a proper cup o' coffee from a proper copper coffee pot,

I'll have a cup'o tea!

The sultan sat on his oriental mat in his harim, High Street, Persia
.........................he cried out, 'Curse ya, curse ya!'

Courtesy of John Foreman in the 60s. I've got the sheet music somewhere.

'We all go the same way home'
has the verse...
'A Rajah gay was travelling back to India once again, with his four and twenty little wives.
In one compartment of the train with all of them he got, for to keep his jealous eye upon the lot.
The porter said, 'Now hey, you're overcrowded, there's room in here for ten not 32.'
The Rajah said, 'Now we're alright, though we're packed in extra tight, come, come, get together do...
For we all go the same way home, all the old collectioon, in the same direction etc. etc.

One of me grandad's songs.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Music Hall-esp 'Sitting in the Harem'
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 12:54 AM

By the way, the Chas 'n' Dave song was called simply HAREM. Too bad—that makes it awfully hard to find any information on the Internet. Anyway, here's a picture of the record sleeve.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Music Hall-esp 'Sitting in the Harem'
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Jul 10 - 04:35 AM

Here you go mate That's the full song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXRYfx-r9ok


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Music Hall-esp 'Sitting in the Harem'
From: Charley Noble
Date: 16 Jul 10 - 01:45 PM

Guest-

Great catch! You should provide your name so we may preserve it in the Finder's Hall of Fame.

Love all these songs.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Music Hall-esp 'Sitting in the Harem'
From: Artful Codger
Date: 17 Jul 10 - 01:31 AM

The song posted by SINSULL (with some interesting mondegreens) is "I've Got Rings On My Fingers" (or, "Mumbo, Jumbo, Jijjiboo J. O'Shay"). Original sheet music can be found online in the Lester S. Levy Collection. Words by Robert Patrick Weston & F. J. Barnes, music by Maurice Scott.

For some more information, see this Wikipedia entry on the song and this entry on Weston. The first entry provides links to two sound recordings, one by Ada Jones and one by Billy Murray.

DigiTrad entry: I've Got Rings on My Fingers

A nice rendition was recorded by Joan Morris and William Bolcom on their LP After the Ball, and is included on the CD reissue. If you like these songs, do pick up this compilation; you won't regret it.


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Subject: Kafoozelum
From: Artful Codger
Date: 17 Jul 10 - 05:50 AM

And veering slightly off the harem focus, check out the music hall song "Kafoozelum", about the difficulty a Baba (mid-eastern official) has with his daughter and her unsuitable suitor.


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Subject: Lyr Add: MISTER PAT O'HARE (Benjamin Hapgood Burt)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 23 Jul 10 - 12:09 PM

Actually, I'm looking for sheet music that matches the song sung by Chas 'n' Dave, but I keep running across these other songs that are too good to pass up.

This one is from the sheet music at the Archive of Popular American Music at UCLA:


MISTER PAT O'HARE
Words and music by Benjamin Hapgood Burt.
New York: Jerome H. Remick & Co., 1910.

1. Out in Turkey, where the Turks sleep all day and no one works,
Once there landed, "broke" and stranded, Patrick J. O'Hare.
He was Irish through and through, full of Irish whiskey, too.
When he called upon the Sultan there,
Mister Sultan looked him over carefully,
Then he asked him what he wanted there.
Patrick said, "My bride has run away from me,
Is she in your harem anywhere?

CHORUS: "Take me to the harem," said Patrick J. O'Hare.
"She was harum-scarum, and might have landed there.
I'll take her back to Dublin, and call the matter square,
If she's in your harem," said Patrick J. O'Hare.

2. Mister Sultan laughed in glee, then to Pat O'Hare said he:
"You might scare 'em in the harem unless I was there:
So as soon as we have lunch, we'll go in and see the bunch,
Also look for Missus Pat O'Hare. "
At the table they had wine of ev'ry kind.
"This is new to me," said Pat O'Hare.
"Take me to the harem quick. I'm getting blind.
I'd never know my wife if she was there." CHORUS

3. When they reached the harem gay, Pat got sober right away.
"Are these women goin' in swimmin'?" whispered he in fright.
"Have they got no clothes to wear but the rose that's in their hair,
Or have I completely lost my sight?"
When the Sultan asked him if his wife was there,
Patrick said, "The joke's on you today.
Sure my wife is waitin' home in county Clare.
I came here to pass the time away!"

LAST CHORUS: "Take me through the harem," said Patrick J. O'Hare.
"I feel harum-scarum, so you ought not to care.
I'll tell them back in Dublin, when I go over there,
I was in the harem," said Patrick J. O'Hare.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Music Hall-esp 'Sitting in the Harem'
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 23 Jul 10 - 12:14 PM

The song DARDANELLA, which was a popular jazz standard in the big-band era, has a chorus that begins "Oh, sweet Dardanella, I love your harem eyes." (It has been posted in its own thread; click the link.)


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Subject: Lyr Add: FAT, FAT FATIMA (B MacDonald, S Romberg)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 23 Jul 10 - 01:11 PM

Another one from the Archive of Popular American Music at UCLA:


"Max R. Wilner & S. Romberg present Pat Rooney and Marion Bent in the new musical comedy 'Love Birds' – Book by Edgar Allen Wolff, Lyrics by Ballard MacDonald, Music by Sigmund Romberg, staged by Edgar McGregor and Julian Alfred"

FAT, FAT FATIMA
Words by Ballard MacDonald. Music by Sigmund Romberg.
New York: M. Witmark & Sons, 1921.

In my harem, avoirdupois,
In my harem, furnishes joy.
A lady cannot qualify unless she is fat.
Her market rate depends on weight, and speaking of that:

CHORUS: See my fat, fat, fat, fat Fatima.
She's my favorite wife, my favorite wife.
You ought to see my fat, fat, fat, fat Fatima.
She's the joy of my life, the joy of my life
The ladies never come too fat for me.
She weighs two hundred, or maybe it's three.
That is just a guess; may be more or less.
Twenty, thirty, forty, fifty,
My Fatima's fat and nifty.
Oh, my fat, fat, fat, fat Fatima,
She's a wonderful gal, more like a pal.
And when I think about Fatima,
My head's in a whirl about my girl.
The only time we ever row or ever have a scrap
Is when my fat Fatima tries to sit upon my lap.
She's just a bit too fat for that love-making business,
Fat Fatima, my beautiful pearl.


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Subject: Lyr Add: OH! YOU HAREM SKIRT (Norman Fraser Allan)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 23 Jul 10 - 01:42 PM

From Library and Archives Canada:


OH! YOU HAREM SKIRT
Words and music by Norman Fraser Allan.
Toronto: N. F. Allan, 1911.

1. We've had many diff'rent styles of hats for our women folks to wear,
But they soon get out of date you know, as the charming Merry Widow and Chanticleer.
We've had many diff'rent styles of gowns that are worn for fashion's sake,
But there's one from the Oriental East that most certainly takes the cake.

CHORUS: Oh! you Harem, Harem, Harem skirt,
How came you by that name?
You may be all right for a Turk,
But you're gentlemen's attire just the same.
Oh, you Harem, Harem, Harem skirt,
'Twas from Turkey that you came,
Oh, you Wear-em scare-em tear-em Harem Oriental Harem skirt.

2. The directoire gown is passé now; that is, it's quite out of style.
The sheath gown was a classy dress, but with the Harem scarem it's not worthwhile.
We should not forget the Hobble skirt which came from Paris, France.
Now why don't men form a union and go around wearing the Harem pants?


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Subject: Lyr Add: DOWN IN BOM-BOMBAY (MacDonald/Carroll)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 23 Jul 10 - 03:26 PM

This song was found at Parlor Songs. They also have a midi file, and you can display and "play" the sheet music if you have the Sibelius Scorch plug-in installed.


DOWN IN BOM-BOMBAY
Words by Ballard MacDonald. Music by Harry Carroll.
Shapiro, Bernstein & Co., Inc., 1915.

1. If you're tired of this life,
If you're lonely with one wife,
Take my little tip:
Take your little grip.
Take a little trip
To India far away,
Down to Bom-Bombay.

CHORUS 1: Down in Bom-Bombay,
Where the palm trees sway,
Where you clap your hands,
Then you give commands,
To those Indian bands
To play a little tom-tom—
There the girlies sway
In that oriental way.
E'vry cat has got nine lives.
Ev'ry man has got nine wives,

Down in Bom-Bombay.

2. There the tropic breezes blow.
There the waw-waw bushes grow,
Where the girls are nice.
They eat curried rice
Full of red-hot spice
In india far away,
Down in Bom-Bombay.

CHORUS 2: Down in Bom-Bombay,
Where the palm trees sway,
Where you clap your hands,
Then you give commands,
To those Indian bands
To play a little tom-tom—
There the girlies sway
In that oriental way,
Where you lead the simple life,
Ev'ry day a diff'rent wife,

Down in Bom-Bombay.


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Subject: Lyr Add: HAREM (Chas 'n' Dave)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 23 Jul 10 - 04:19 PM

I couldn't find any sheet music for this, nor even any publication data, such as composer, date, etc.—so I had to resort to transcribing the recording on YouTube by Chas 'n' Dave. This was difficult because of the thick Cockney accent (which I have not tried to reproduce phonetically). Corrections are welcome.


HAREM
As sung by Chas 'n' Dave.

CHORUS: There was I, large as life, sitting in the middle of the harem.
All the girls were sitting on my knee.
They were tickling my whiskers, looking after me.
In came the rajah ... an' said:
"My word! If I catch you bending,
Off'll come your old bald—
Off'll come your old bald—
Off'll come your old bald head."

1. Once I bought a ticket for the day where the Turkey rhubarb grows.
I tied a little bit of rag around my head.
"I'm off to Turkey," to the wife I said.
I had a laugh when I got there. In fact, I had a little grin,
'Cause as soon as the rajah popped right out, your humble I popped in. CHORUS

2. Into the harem passages I went, as soon as ever nighttime fell.
This nice young tart showed me around the place,
Just in a little bit of flimsy lace.
The guests went out and I thought, "Aye-aye! Now we're gonna be all right.
There's gonna be a lot of foggy weather at the old crossroads tonight." CHORUS

3. Back to Canning Town sooner I goes. I thought I'd better see my wife.
I went into the kitchen. She said to me:
"I've got a photograph of you to see.
I've had it sent from Turkey there. You've enjoyed yourself, not half!"
I had a look at it. I nearly had a fit, 'cause upon that photograph— CHORUS


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Music Hall-esp 'Sitting in the Harem'
From: GUEST,Stephanie Hall
Date: 31 Oct 14 - 12:41 PM

My Grandfather was in a Canadian Group called "The Dumbbells" and he wrote a song called, "Oh you Harem Skirt etc" in 1911. His name was Norman Fraser Allan. Perhaps it is this as they played over in England and France during the war.

Stephanie


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE HAREM SCAREM (Hauerbach/Hoschna)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 01 Nov 14 - 03:28 PM

OK, this isn't really about a harem, but I had it mostly transcribed before I realized that! Here it is, anyway. Maybe someone will find it useful someday.

From the sheet music at UCLA:


THE HAREM SCAREM
Words by Otto Hauerbach; music by Karl Hoschna
New York : M. Witmark & Sons, ©1909.

1. My disposition's awful bad; so says my ma and pa.
Ma says it comes from papa's side; Pa says it's from my ma.

CHORUS: And that is why they call me a harem-scarem.
That is why they call me a rip-and-tear-'em.
I never mind my ma; I never mind my pa.
I'm just the worst they ever saw,
And that is why they call me a harem-scarem.
That is why they call me a do-and-dare-'em.
I'm the kid who never did
A single thing that he was bid,
A rip-and-tear-'em harem-scarem!

2. I've got a brand-new sister kid; Pa bought her from our nurse.
I told him there were lots of other things I needed a darn sight worse.

3. And worst of all, nurse cheated us when she sold us sister Ruth.
I put my whole hand in her mouth and she didn't have one good tooth.

4. One day Pa bought a rubber plant, but was it rubber? Nit!
I cut off ev'ry leaf it had, and they wouldn't stretch a bit.


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Subject: Lyr Add: FROM FIGLEAF TO HAREM (Southern)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 02 Nov 14 - 12:04 PM

Another song about Harem pants, a.k.a. harem skirt, etc.

From the sheet music at The University of Oregon:


"Successfully sung by Lenore Lorrayne"
FROM FIGLEAF TO HAREM
Words by E. T. Southern; music by Agatha Cummings-Southern
San Francisco: Southern's Stagecraft Studio, ©1911.

1. I wonder what Adam, the first man, would say
If he were transplanted to earth,
And viewed mother Eve in a late harem gown,
Would his vision cause sorrow or mirth?
Would he rummage around until he had found
An old dress of hers made of leaves?
Would he quietly say "Take those things away"?
"Temptation the serpent still weaves!"
Would it cause him to swear, and pull out his hair?
Would he forbid her to wear 'em?
Could he survive, if he were alive,
The change from the fig-leaf to harem?

CHORUS: The harem! The harem!
Don't be afraid that you'll tear 'em,
You can walk at your ease even bending your knees!
Or do a high kick in the harem!
The harem! Scare 'em!
Any woman can wear 'em!
You'll never be vexed as soon as you're next!
And used to wearing the harem!

2. If you're doing a stunt on the vaudeville stage,
And would like to invent a new turn,
Just represent Eve in her first summer gown,
And no matter what sal'ry you earn,
You'll soon get a raise, and the manager's praise.
A headliner quickly you'll be!
So advertise right, and say ev'ry night,
A wonderful change they will see!
You'll advocate style, wear a fig-leaf awhile,
To wear one just like it you'll dare 'em!
Say you'll surprise, you'll open their eyes,
When you change from the fig-leaf to harem!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Music Hall-esp 'Sitting in the Harem'
From: GUEST
Date: 07 May 18 - 08:45 AM

I suspect that the Chas and Dave song was composed by them - there is no credit on the record label, which is unusual and suggests to me that they wanted people to assume it was an old music hall song, which it doesn't appear to be as there is no record of it. Good pastiche.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Harem (Chas 'n' Dave - music hall song?)
From: Long Firm Freddie
Date: 09 May 18 - 07:58 PM

It's a Harry Champion song - it appears on a Windyridge CD:Harry Champion - Funny Little Bob Tailed Coat - (CDR56)
http://www.musichallcds.co.uk/cdr56_page.htm

LFF


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Harem (Chas 'n' Dave - music hall song?)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 10 May 18 - 04:54 PM

Long Firm Freddie seems to be referring to a song called AS LARGE AS LIFE IN THE HAREM, which was indeed recorded by Harry Champion. Songwriting is credited to "Collins,Shepherd" according to Columbia 10" Records, 1904-30 by Frank Andrews (London: City of London Phonograph and Gramophone Society, 1985). That would probably be Charles Collins and E. A. Shepherd, who wrote other songs for Champion.

The British Library lists a song by that title (which it truncates to "AS LARGE AS LIFE IN THE HARE").

I can't find any online lyrics, sheet music, or recordings for this song, so I can't confirm that it is the same song as that recorded by Chas 'n' Dave under the title HAREM, but it seems plausible that it is.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Harem (Chas 'n' Dave - music hall song?)
From: GUEST,Bob
Date: 11 May 18 - 02:29 AM

My favourite 'Harem' song:

Oldham Tinkers - Oldham's Burning Sands

Youtube - Oldham's Burning Sands

Lyrics


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Harem (Chas 'n' Dave - music hall song?)
From: Senoufou
Date: 11 May 18 - 04:28 AM

I've just listened to this on Youtube (Chas and Dave Harem, and it says 'rare copy'; it's recorded by someone using the original disc) and it's very funny. Especially when the audience has to shout 'Harem!" every time the word occurs)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Harem (Chas 'n' Dave - music hall song?)
From: Long Firm Freddie
Date: 11 May 18 - 12:13 PM

Good spot from Jim Dixon. As Large As Life In The Harem appears to have been the B side of Hot Meat Pies, Saveloys and Trotters, which Chas 'n' Dave have covered, crediting it as Traditional.

Harem as sung by Chas 'n' Dave certainly sounds like a Harry Champion song.

Alas one can't buy the individual track from Windyridge to check for certain if it's the same song, you have to buy the whole album.

LFF


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Harem (Chas 'n' Dave - music hall song?)
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 12 May 18 - 07:21 AM

Mudcatter Steve Parkes is a Harry Champion buff- try PM-ing him.

RtS


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Harem (Chas 'n' Dave - music hall song?)
From: Senoufou
Date: 12 May 18 - 11:48 AM

I've listened to this many times now (it's very catchy!) and I think the chorus is:

'In came the Rajah, took off 'is sword and said...'

And I don't think 'the guests went out', I reckon it's 'the gas went out'.

Rather dodgy lyrics about 'tying a bit of rag around his head' when he went to Turkey... Oh dear!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Harem (Chas 'n' Dave - music hall song?)
From: GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 12 May 18 - 02:11 PM

gas is correct, but drew forth his sword. From Chas 'n' Dave - Harem (Rare B-Side) (Jim's link fails for me).

Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Harem (Chas 'n' Dave - music hall song?)
From: Senoufou
Date: 12 May 18 - 02:16 PM

Ah Mick, that makes more sense. This song has got into my head; I've been singing it all day!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Harem (Chas 'n' Dave - music hall song?)
From: GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 13 May 18 - 08:47 AM

I know that feeling - I've had bits of The Belle From Barnstaple running round my head all day; a song I hadn't thought of in years!

Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Harem (Chas 'n' Dave - music hall song?)
From: Long Firm Freddie
Date: 15 May 18 - 04:24 AM

I finally succumbed to my curiosity and got the download from Windyridge. As suspected, this is indeed a Harry Champion song and this is my transcription of the track (main differences from Chas 'n' Dave's version are starting with the verse rather than the chorus and no repetition of "Old Bald Head" in the chorus. Oh, and no audience shouting Harem!). I've written out the choruses in full as there are slight variations.

AS LARGE AS LIFE IN THE HAREM
As sung by Harry Champion

Once I thought I’d spend a holiday where the Turkey rhubarb grows.
I put a little bit of rag around my head.
"I'm off to Turkey," to the wife I said.
I had a laugh when I got there, straight I had to do a little grin,
For as soon as the rajah popped from his house, your humble he popped in.

And there was I as large as life, sitting in the middle of the harem.
All the girls got clinging on to me.
Tickling my whiskers, sitting on me knee.
In came the rajah, drew out his sword and said:
"My word! If I catch you bending,
Off'll go your old bald head."

Into the harem once again I went, as soon as ever nighttime fell.
One little lady chased me all around the place,
Dressed in a little bit of flimsy lace.
Out went the gas so I thought, “Wow-wow! Now we're gonna be all right.
There's gonna be a lot of foggy weather at the old crossroads tonight.”

And there was I as large as life, sitting in the middle of the harem.
All the girls got clinging on to me.
Tickling me whiskers, sitting on me knee.
In came the rajah, drew forth his sword and said:
"My word! If I catch you bending,
Off'll come your old bald head.”

I came back to London very soon, thought I'd like to see my wife.
I went in the kitchen and the missus said to me:
"I've got a photograph for you to see.
I've had it sent from Turkey there. You've enjoyed yourself, not half!"
I had a look at it and nearly had a fit, for upon that photograph—

There was I as large as life, sitting in the middle of the harem.
All the girls got clinging on to me.
Tickling me moustache, sitting on me knee.
In came the rajah, drew out his sword and said:
"My word! If I catch you bending,
Off'll go your old bald head.”

(Let’s sing then)

There was I as large as life, sitting in the middle of the harem.
All the girls got clinging on to me.
Tickling me whiskers, sitting on me knee.
In came the rajah, drew out his sword and said:
"My word! If I catch thee bending,
Off'll go your old bald head."

LFF


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Harem (Chas 'n' Dave - music hall song?)
From: Senoufou
Date: 15 May 18 - 07:37 AM

I've been playing this a lot on Youtube, it's so catchy and funny. I love old music hall songs. My Irish mother and aunt were great ones for knowing all the words, and as a little girl (early fifties) I learnt dozens of them.
But my dad was rather dubious - some of the stuff was a bit...er...unsuitable for a child of five or six!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Harem (Chas 'n' Dave - music hall song?)
From: Senoufou
Date: 15 May 18 - 12:52 PM

By the way, aren't Rajahs to be found in India, not Turkey? I'd have thought it would have been a Sultan or something?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Harem (Chas 'n' Dave - music hall song?)
From: Long Firm Freddie
Date: 16 May 18 - 04:13 AM

Indeed, Rajahs are in India but from the notes below from Mainly Norfolk, it appears that anything vaguely eastern used to get attributed to Turkey.

Turkey Rhubarb
[ Roud 1073 ; trad.]

Tim Hart and Maddy Prior sang Turkey Rhubarb in 1969 on their second duo album Folk Songs of Old England Vol. 2. Their record's sleeve notes comment:

Another Bedfordshire song from the collection of Fred Hamer this one being from the singing of Harry Scott. Fred describes this as a “cross between a signature tune and a street call used by a hawker who carried rhubarb in season as part of his stock-in-trade”. Although rhubarb in fact came from the mountains between Turkey and Siberia, in the last century anything with a vaguely Eastern origin was attributed to Turkey.

Turkey Rhubarb seems to have deeper roots than this in Cornish tradition, see the description of the St Ives Guise Dance on the Federation of Old Cornwall Societies Christmas Web Pages:

The Turkey Rhubarb dance always marked the finale to the evening’s proceedings, after which the exhausted participants at last gave up and went home. This dance was also associated with the Christmas Mummers play, where a concertina, sometimes referred to as a ‘cordial’, would provide the music. The dancers performed in heavy shoes fitted with scoots, metal pieces attached to the soles.

They commented further:

The name ‘Turkey Rhubarb’ is itself a delightful enigma. There might obviously be some connection or confusion with the Turkish knight in the Mummers Christmas play. However, Turkey Rhubarb was not the common garden rhubarb, parts of which are highly toxic. It was rather a Chinese herb, ‘Rheum Palmatum’. Apothecaries used its root as a cure for diarrhoea, but its use can cause intense cramping. Larger doses were employed as a laxative. Morton Nance’s Cornish Dictionary gives ‘Tavol Turkey’ is an alternative Cornish word for Rhubarb. Perhaps the antics of the dancers were akin to the cramps effect on the body and someone made the humorous [?] connection.

Jon Boden sang Turkey Rhubarb as the March 19, 2011 entry of his project A Folk Song a Day.

Lyrics
Tim Hart and Maddy Prior sing Turkey Rhubarb
Turkey Rhubarb, Turkey Rhubarb, Turkey Rhubarb I sell
I come here from Turkey to make you all well
Don't you all know me, oh my name it is Dan
For I am the celebrated Turkey Rhubarb man

LFF


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Harem (Chas 'n' Dave - music hall song?)
From: Senoufou
Date: 16 May 18 - 05:39 AM

Freddie, that's absolutely fascinating! I did wonder what Turkey rhubarb might be (we're keen gardeners and grow lots of it, but ours is Norfolk rhubarb!)
I'm sure you're right about anything 'foreign' being attributed to Turkey (and also China or France)
Thank you so much for all that information.


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