Monday, 3 February 2014

A Right Royal Wartime Cockney Knees Up

As we forge forever forward towards new and exciting musical frontiers, we are establishing new genres and forms of music constantly.  This rate of discovery is occurring faster than we're unearthing tropical skin diseases in the rainforest. But as we create Dubstep, Grime, Crunk, and other various forms of high art, we are in danger of forgetting older genres.
For example, when was the last time anyone wrote a really good Cockney music hall song?  You know, those jaunty jigs about your old man working as a dustman and losing a cabbage under the wheel of a moving train.  Well, no one seems to have created a new music hall song for many years, so I thought I'd give it a try.  Someone needs to try and revitalise this dying genre and make it relevant again.  Here are my attempts:
When I were but a growing lad,
I played with me threpenny bits,
Me father clipped me round me tabs,
And said that job was his,
One day I held me toilet,
From Kings Cross to Waterloo,
But when we got to Charring Cross,
I did a big fat poo,
I said uppers, downers, stick 'em down your trousers,
Royal Britannia,
Broiled sheep and figs,
The Bosch came over 'ere and bombed our pigs.

As you can see, not only is this song relevant, it also has a hint of racism in there.  This can be forgiven in music hall songs because we were getting pelted with explosives by those very same people, which tends to provoke a grudge.  On those lines, I wrote a couple more:
One day me ration book got wet,
It fell into a puddle,
Me father went to get some bread,
And got into a kerfuffle,
Corned beef hash on Tuesday,
And on a Wednesday too,
When Thursday and Friday come round,
I'll have a corned beef poo.

As you can see, dysentery is a recurring theme in music hall, and I tried my utmost to reflect that.  let's have another:
Me uncle liked to wear a dress,
And call himself Mable,
But when he heard propellors overhead,
He'd join us under the table,
Nothing is funnier than a man in a dress.  Nothing.

Slap your knees at Aintree,
But try not to look queer,
If your father's back from t'war,
He'll probably give you a fat ear,
Then he'll batter your brother in an alcoholic stupor while reliving the horrors of battle,
Domestic abuse is an absolute goldmine for cockney songs,
Der der der der der HEY!
Some cockneys, for your enjoyment

Someone nicked me bucket,
Now what am I to do?
I went off down the cop shop,
And reported it to Stu,
He said "Son, there ain't no hope
of capturing this rum 'un,
but you want some vigilante justice,
then borrow my truncheon"
So I went round all me mates,
While pulling up me britches,
And if I found they had a bucket,
I kneecapped those sons of bitches,
Have a banana!

Oooh, he lives in a house a very big house in the country,
I feed the pigeons, I sometimes feed the sparrows too, it gives me a sense of enormous well being,
WOO HOO, when I feel heavy metal,
There's no other way, there's no other way,
Always should be someone you really love,
As I'm sure you'll agree, I have made this genre of music relevant to kids today.  Move over Miley Cyrus, the cock-er-knees are coming through.  'Ave a banana!


  1. Why do I suddenly feel like I should have a giant flagon of mead that I should be swinging back and forth as I sing along? Also, do you have to dress like an old timey chimney sweep when you perform such tunes?

    1. Yes, chimney sweep garb is a must. You also need to get your knees up so high that you kick your own chin, knocking the jam sandwiches out of your mouth.

  2. Is this the type of music that you start off singing in unison with your chaps, and then as the song progresses, singing turns to shouting and everyone progressively gets more violent?

    1. You usually start off with the violence, then progress to singing, then back to violence again. Oh, and there's a slither of violence inbetween.

  3. I actually do kinda miss cockney shanties now. While we're at it, let's not forget good old fashioned sea shanties. The death of piracy did far more than just lower the coolness factor of sailing; it robbed us of a valuable music genre.

    1. Now all we have to sing about is BitTorrent... YAARRRRRRR!

  4. Cor blimey, guv'na, I can't believe me wonky minces! You knocked me off me plates and got me feelin' all quiggley up me bumpers!*

    *this music was so good it has me speaking in Cockney rhyming slang

    1. That's not real speak. You're not speaking real words. GUARDS! Arrest that man!

  5. Isn't the Star Spangled Banner based on an old Cockney music hall (tavern) song? I've heard this is true.

    1. I've no idea if that's true, but I'm sure it would score highly on QI. Thanks for the interesting snippet!

    2. I believe it was based on The Anacreontic Song, an old Irish drinking song..... wait should I have buzzed in???

    3. Only if you have a silly buzzer sound.

  6. DAMN IT! I'm too northern and couldn't help but sing that in a George Formby voice. Curse my northern twang.

    1. I would enjoy listening to you sing in a George Formby voice, preferably while cleaning windows.

  7. Ah yes the old days I remember them well Chas & Dave singing . . . .Rabbit rabbit iPhone iPhone chat chat chat chat chat iPhone iPhone chat chat . . . . . . .Text.

    As me old mate Charlie (cut throat) Frazer used to say . . . . . . Twenty big ones in used notes every Thursday or me n Harry will pop in to see you in hospital . . .nasty broken legs . . . . if ya know what I mean. . . . . . .

    1. He doesn't sound like much of a friend. I think you're in with a bad crowd.

  8. It was that damned "Pygmalion" that did in the Cockney shanty. Pretty soon everybody was rain in Spain this, and mostly on the plain that.

    1. Wait, are Spanish people cockneys now? I'm all confused.


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