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Origins: The Moon Shines Bright on Charlie Chaplin

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Lyr Req: Smile (Charlie Chaplin) (12)
Charlie Chaplin (1)


zoot1000 05 Dec 03 - 12:07 PM
Billy Weeks 05 Dec 03 - 12:28 PM
Acme 05 Dec 03 - 12:31 PM
Malcolm Douglas 05 Dec 03 - 12:36 PM
Sandy Paton 06 Dec 03 - 02:45 AM
Murray MacLeod 06 Dec 03 - 12:05 PM
Billy Weeks 07 Dec 03 - 05:35 AM
Billy Weeks 07 Dec 03 - 05:38 AM
Billy Weeks 19 Jan 04 - 03:47 PM
greg stephens 19 Jan 04 - 04:11 PM
Splott Man 27 Sep 13 - 06:55 AM
GUEST,Ebor_Fiddler 27 Sep 13 - 07:51 AM
MGM·Lion 27 Sep 13 - 02:37 PM
RoyH (Burl) 28 Sep 13 - 06:22 AM
MGM·Lion 28 Sep 13 - 06:15 PM
GUEST 06 Oct 13 - 03:53 PM
Jim Dixon 12 Oct 13 - 12:14 PM
Jim Dixon 12 Oct 13 - 01:19 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 12 Oct 13 - 01:55 PM
GUEST,Crys sharp 09 Dec 16 - 01:43 PM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 09 Dec 16 - 02:57 PM
GUEST 10 Dec 16 - 06:03 AM
Steve Shaw 10 Dec 16 - 11:23 AM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 10 Dec 16 - 12:46 PM
Snuffy 10 Dec 16 - 01:23 PM
Rusty Dobro 10 Dec 16 - 02:21 PM
Steve Shaw 10 Dec 16 - 03:14 PM
Rusty Dobro 11 Dec 16 - 03:26 AM
Steve Shaw 11 Dec 16 - 05:06 AM
GUEST,FloraG 12 Dec 16 - 03:42 AM
GUEST,Deligrrrl 27 Feb 18 - 12:26 PM
GUEST,Ewan McVicar 27 Feb 18 - 05:20 PM
GUEST,alan dixon 01 Jun 18 - 03:28 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 01 Jun 18 - 07:48 AM
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Subject: Origins: charlie chaplin in the Dardanelles
From: zoot1000
Date: 05 Dec 03 - 12:07 PM

Can anyone help a poor Suffolk tractorboy to find a song with these words in it? So that I can die unfrustrated.


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Subject: RE: Origins: charlie chaplin in the Dardanelles
From: Billy Weeks
Date: 05 Dec 03 - 12:28 PM

Oh the moon shines bright on Charlie Chaplin
His boots are cracking
For the want of blacking
And his little baggy trousers want a-mending
Before they send him
To the Dardanelles.

That's all I know. Presumably it originated in 1915, but it was still current in playgrounds in the 1940s. Was it used in the Chilton/Littlewood production 'Oh What a Lovely War?' I can't remember and I have lost my video of the film.


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Subject: RE: Origins: charlie chaplin in the Dardanelles
From: Acme
Date: 05 Dec 03 - 12:31 PM

That's one of those little ditties that has tons of words, and all are parodies. My Dad used to sing that verse and a whole bunch of others when I was a kid.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Origins: charlie chaplin in the Dardanelles
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 05 Dec 03 - 12:36 PM

I've only ever heard the one verse sung to the Red Wing tune, but the wording varies in places. See:

CHARLIE CHAPLIN -The Digital Tradition file. Taken from an Oldham Tinkers record. Only the first verse belongs to the Red Wing tune, the rest of it having been cobbled together from various children's playground rhymes that happen to mention Chaplin, and which are usually sung to the first part of In and Out the Windows.

Lyr Req: Redwing - East Anglian Song and Tune -Three slight variants and some discussion.


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Subject: RE: Origins: charlie chaplin in the Dardanelles
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 06 Dec 03 - 02:45 AM

I learned it from Jeannie Robertson in Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1958 and recorded it on my Elektra LP in 1959, in a medley of kids' songs.
    Sandy


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Subject: RE: Origins: charlie chaplin in the Dardanelles
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 06 Dec 03 - 12:05 PM

I think that to classify the verse above as merely a children's playground rhyme is to ignore a whole political can of worms.

Charlie Chaplin was vilified during the First World War and long after by the jingoistic bigots who considered it the duty of every able bodied Englishman to sacrifice himself in the trenches.

Chaplin, far from being able bodied, was in fact declared medically unfit for service but this mattered not a whit to the middle class nonentities who were filled with resentment at seeing a poor boy make good in Hollywood after forsaking the shores of a country which had treated his family abominably.

The verse above is an expression of this resentment. It is not something which I would particularly want to sing myself, although it is admittedly cleverly written.

Then again, it is part of folklore and history, , along with whaling songs, and blues songs celebrating male aggression to women, so maybe it should be perpetuated ...


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Subject: RE: Origins: charlie chaplin in the Dardanelles
From: Billy Weeks
Date: 07 Dec 03 - 05:35 AM

If it really was meant to be an attack on Chaplin, I'm surprised it wasn't more vicious. Subtlety was not a feature of anti- 'conchie and coward' sentiment in the Great War. Learning it in a working class family in the 1940s, nothing ever suggested to me that it was about anything but an affectionately regarded movie character. Now that I've been reminded I shall sing it to my grand daughter and I hope that, in time, she will pass it on.


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Subject: RE: Origins: charlie chaplin in the Dardanelles
From: Billy Weeks
Date: 07 Dec 03 - 05:38 AM

Come to think of it, if it had any political resonance at all in my family it would have been of the 'another poor sod for the slaughter' variety.


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Subject: RE: Origins: charlie chaplin in the Dardanelles
From: Billy Weeks
Date: 19 Jan 04 - 03:47 PM

I've just remembered that it had another verse, a couple of lines of which, are quoted in T S Eliot's "'The Waste Land".   

Oh the moon shines bright on Mrs Porter
On Mrs Porter
And on her daughter;
They wash their dirty feet in soda water
And so they oughter
To keep 'em clean.

For 'feet' in the third line I have also heard 'sox' or 'nicks'.   'Nicks' is short for knickers meaning drawers or, if you prefer the twee American term, panties.


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Subject: RE: Origins: charlie chaplin in the Dardanelles
From: greg stephens
Date: 19 Jan 04 - 04:11 PM

And the tune(credit where credit is due) was written by Kerry Mills.


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Subject: RE: Origins: charlie chaplin in the Dardanelles
From: Splott Man
Date: 27 Sep 13 - 06:55 AM

Here it is, verses an'all.


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Subject: RE: Origins: charlie chaplin in the Dardanelles
From: GUEST,Ebor_Fiddler
Date: 27 Sep 13 - 07:51 AM

I was playing in a session at Whitby this year and we swung into "Red Wing". To my surprise there were only two of us who burst into "Charlie Chaplin" on the least "B" turn!


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Subject: RE: Origins: charlie chaplin in the Dardanelles
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 27 Sep 13 - 02:37 PM

The Mrs Porter verses are differently quoted in Ernest Raymond's WW1 novel Tell England (1922), which is set [interestingly] in the Dardanelles, in which campaign he served as an infantry officer and apparently heard it sung by his men (or at least, the character in the book who obviously represents him does). His version is

The moon shines bright on Mrs Porter
And on her daughter
A regular snorter.
She has washed her feet in dirty water
She didn't oughter,
The dirty cat.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Origins: charlie chaplin in the Dardanelles
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 28 Sep 13 - 06:22 AM

This was a family song (verse) for me. We sang 'May the moon shine bright...

In his autobiography Chaplin commrnted that he knew of it but did not understand why he should be sent to the Dardanelles.
It was one of a number of snatches of song/parodies that were sung at our house,at any time just for the pleasure of giving voice. We had parodies for 'If I were a blackbird' (If I were a pigeon...), 'Molly Malone (Deaf and dumb bloaters...) 'Red sails in the sunset (Bloodstains on the carpet..) All our children heard of Jackanory (2 stories) and learned how to make their siblings say 'rude' words by quickly repeating 'I chased a bug around a tree, I'll have his blood 'e knows I will'. All our babies had 'Knock on the knocker' played on their faces, and the tickling game 'Round and round the garden.'


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Subject: RE: Origins: charlie chaplin in the Dardanelles
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 28 Sep 13 - 06:15 PM

... & I recall now that when I read Tell England the first time, long years [about 68!] ago, I didn't recognise the fragment as being related to the 'Redwing' tune, which I didn't consciously know at the time, and found myself mentally singing the words to the tune of "Birds in the wilderness, Down in Demarara"...

I don't have a copy of the book any more, so the above is from memory, but I think I have it substantially right; tho it might have been her neck rather than her feet that she washed in the dirty water.


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Subject: RE: Origins: charlie chaplin in the Dardanelles
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Oct 13 - 03:53 PM

My dad taught me this when i was a kid and we used to sing it when decorating the christmas tree along with another about the kaiser kicking his dog, much to my mums disgust,
The words i know are the same as Billy Weeks has posted :)


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE MOON SHINES BRIGHT ON CHARLIE CHAPLIN
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 12 Oct 13 - 12:14 PM

Here's my transcription from the recording at YouTube (Thanks to Splott Man for providing the link.) That video contains an image of the cover of the sheet music, from which I obtained authorship credits.

The sheet music says "Sung by Miss Lillie Soutter" but the accompanying recording is of an unidentified man's voice. Some comments have suggested it might be Murray Johnson or Stanley Kirkby.


THE MOON SHINES BRIGHT ON CHARLIE CHAPLIN
Words by Edward Slanning and Thurland Chattaway. To the melody of Kerry Mills' famous "Red Wing"

CHORUS: When the moon shines bright on Charlie Chaplin,
His boots are cracking
For want of blacking,
And his little baggy trousers they want mending
Before we send him
To the Dardanelles. REPEAT

VERSE: Some day there will come the time
To wind up "The Watch on the Rhine"
And Tommy and Jack
Will come marching back
And take a cup for the sake of auld lang syne,
But ere that happy day,
The Germans have got to pay.
When we march in
To capture Berlin,
We'll sing them this little lay: CHORUS TWICE.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Moon Shines Bright on Charlie Chaplin
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 12 Oct 13 - 01:19 PM

Spotify has a recording of WHEN THE MOON SHINES BRIGHT ON CHARLIE CHAPLIN, sung by Stanley Kirkby in 1915, from the album "Oh! It's a Lovely War: Songs & Sketches of the Great War, 1911-1918, Vol. 4." It has one opening verse that doesn't appear in the previously posted lyrics:

VERSE: You've sung of the boys in blue.
You've sung of their girls so true.
You've marched to the strain
Of the well-known refrain
Of "Who's Your Lady Friend?" and "Tipperary" too.
Our Tommies so brave and strong
Have sung every kind of song,
But what is the lay
They're singing today
As they go marching along?


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Moon Shines Bright on Charlie Chaplin
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 12 Oct 13 - 01:55 PM

I went looking for the sheet music. The few lyrics sources suggested that the author was Frederick Isaacs, so there may be two versions.

I stumbled on a list of the hundreds of books, etc. missing from the UCLA Library, which included sheet music for this song.

A few of the missing books caught my eye:

Shilappedikaram (ankle bracelets)
Hunting Horn; what to blow and how to blow it.
Sensuous Man; The first how-to book for the man who wants to be a good lover.
Plans for city police jails and village lockups.
Quacks of Old London.
Collected Works of Dugald Stewart- 6 copies!


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Moon Shines Bright on Charlie Chaplin
From: GUEST,Crys sharp
Date: 09 Dec 16 - 01:43 PM

My grandfather who was born in Ontario Canada in 1900 always sang us the song this way: oh the moon shines bright on Charlie chapman his boots are crackin where they need blackin and his old gray suit it needs a patchin where he's been scratchin mosquito bites.   Has anyone else ever heard this version?


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Moon Shines Bright on Charlie Chaplin
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 09 Dec 16 - 02:57 PM

It's likely that it got into the repertoire of 'traditional English' music as now played by massed melodeons at Whitby & such places via the LP made by Reg Hall & Mervyn Plunkett in Norfolk in the mid 1960s. It was an issue of 99 copies (I have one) later reissued by Topic.
It mainly featured one Walter Bulwer of Shipdham in Norfolk & was in the English repertoire at that time, along with Bluebell polka, Endearing Young Charms' and other English stuff,
Compulsory listening for anyone with any pretensions to being an 'English' musician.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Moon Shines Bright on Charlie Chaplin
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Dec 16 - 06:03 AM

I learned it traditionally, before I got involved in this folky business.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Moon Shines Bright on Charlie Chaplin
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 10 Dec 16 - 11:23 AM

I've known this ditty with the Charlie Chaplin words all my life. Heaven knows why!


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Moon Shines Bright on Charlie Chaplin
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 10 Dec 16 - 12:46 PM

yes, it was in the English musical tradition, last two posts confirm that...


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Moon Shines Bright on Charlie Chaplin
From: Snuffy
Date: 10 Dec 16 - 01:23 PM

My father (born 1922, Westmorland) learned it as a boy, but always sang "little fusty coat" rather than "little baggy trousers"


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Moon Shines Bright on Charlie Chaplin
From: Rusty Dobro
Date: 10 Dec 16 - 02:21 PM

If you're a tractorboy, Zoot1000, come along to the 'Eel's Foot' at Eastbridge, near Leiston, one Thursday night and you're pretty sure of a chance to join in with it.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Moon Shines Bright on Charlie Chaplin
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 10 Dec 16 - 03:14 PM

He did post 13 years ago, mind...😂


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Moon Shines Bright on Charlie Chaplin
From: Rusty Dobro
Date: 11 Dec 16 - 03:26 AM

That's not actually very long in Suffolk. We don't like to be rushed.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Moon Shines Bright on Charlie Chaplin
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Dec 16 - 05:06 AM

Heheh!


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Moon Shines Bright on Charlie Chaplin
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 12 Dec 16 - 03:42 AM

I heard the story that CC was the most shot at person in the war.
Soldiers had taken to stealing the cardboard cut outs outside cinemas, and popping them up from the trenches.
Good story or truth?
FloraG.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Moon Shines Bright on Charlie Chaplin
From: GUEST,Deligrrrl
Date: 27 Feb 18 - 12:26 PM

My mom used to sing this to me in the 60's in the US.

But the last lines were:
And his old big baggy pants
They need a patching
Where he'sbeen scratching
Mosquito bites!

Im in my 50's now and still sing the chorus occasionally to remind me of my mom!


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Moon Shines Bright on Charlie Chaplin
From: GUEST,Ewan McVicar
Date: 27 Feb 18 - 05:20 PM

I encountered a version - source not to hand but I think from North East Scotland- in which the last line was
We'll hae tae send him tae Alec Auld's.
The local draper I speculate.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Moon Shines Bright on Charlie Chaplin
From: GUEST,alan dixon
Date: 01 Jun 18 - 03:28 AM

oldham tinkers


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Moon Shines Bright on Charlie Chaplin
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 01 Jun 18 - 07:48 AM

The British Library has a copy of the sheet music, undated, giving the following attribution:



    Title: The moon shines bright on Charlie Chaplin. : [Song.] / Words by Edward Stanning and Thurland Chattaway. To the melody of Kerry Mills' 'Red Wing'.
    Author: Kerry Mills, 1869-1948.
    Subjects: Dewey: 780
    Publication Details: London : B. Feldman & Co., c.
    Language: English
    Uniform Title: Red Wing; arranged

Mick


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