Thursday, 25 March 2010

The Ballad of Bethnal Green

"I'll tell a tale of a jealous male and a maid of sweet sixteen. She was blonde and dumb and she lived with her mum on the fringe of Bethnal Green. She worked all week for a rich old Greek for her dad was on the dole. And her one delight was a Friday night when she had a rock 'n' roll ..." Paddy Roberts' Ballad of Bethnal Green is a late '50s number that captures I suppose what was a bit of a vogue for mixing musical revue with a bit of Cockney colloquialism to spice up the form. Paddy was a South African born songwriter, who had a bit of a success with shall we say slightly suggestive songs for the adult audiences. But he was an accomplished all-round songwriter, and among those who had hits with songs he had credits on were Lita Roza, Frankie Vaughan, Eve Boswell and Ruby Murray. Ruby actually sang some duets with Norman Wisdom of songs bearing the name of Paddy Roberts, such as Boy Meets Girl. Ruby, rather inadvertently, has made a lasting contribution to the Cockney vernacular so as a tribute here she is singing in the heart of London ...

1 comment:

  1. By the 60s, Roberts was showing his true reactionary colours, pouring scorn on protesting students and sticking up for embattled white Rhodesians (see the album Funny World).