Wednesday 1 July 2009

Knocked 'em in the Old Kent Road

Surely everyone knows The Lambeth Walk. And the Music Hall tradition is a rich source for London songs. Colin MacInnes published a brilliant book on the subject in 1967. Sweet Saturday Night covers pop songs from 1840 to 1920, and if you can track down a copy it's a great read. Among the artists MacInnes mentions, often with mixed feelings, is Albert Chevalier. Known as the Costers' Laureate he was however a bit of a coster imposter, a well-to-do sort from Notting Hill way. Nevertheless MacInnes concedes he was an "astonishing lyric writer and composer". Knocked 'Em In The Old Kent Road deals with a favourite Music Hall theme of unexpected inheritance. But with a bit of a twist, if you know what I mean ...


  1. I like this very much - the song and the site. Shaping up proper nice. Reminds me of Vic Godard's 'Blackpool' which i'm sure you know but obviously wouldn't qualify here.
    Is Donovan's lovely 'Sunny Goodge St' not too obvious a choice for the site?
    Or Bowie's London Boys?

  2. Thanks Ian. Vic's a big music hall fan isn't he, so I'm sure he'd be flattered. There will definitely be Bowie and Donovan songs from that era, but there is an ongoing committee enquiry on whether it will be those particular songs.