Wednesday, 2 June 2010

There's No Place Like London

"English songs are now forgotten. Everyone I know sings the tune The Land Of Cotton he must go. Some for Dixieland are sighing. Some for Alabam are crying. Others want to live and die in Ohio. I don't want their Dixieland nor their Alabam. I don't know where either are and I don't care a ... " sings music hall star Whit Cunliffe in the number There's No Place Like London. In Whit's London "the girls are young and pretty and the boys are gay hip hip hooray" which he why he claims "I don't want to go to USA". So more than 60 years before The Clash sang about being so bored with the USA having a bit of a go at the Yanks was a familiar music hall line. This particular number was written by R.P. Weston who has a special place in the London/Great British songbook. He had a hand in goodness knows how many songs/monologues in his day, including What A Mouth, I'm Henery The Eighth, Brahn Boots, Hobnailed Boots That Father Wore, With Her Head Tucked Under Her Arm, Paddy McGinty's Goat, and indeed Goodbye-ee. Now Goodbye-ee is an interesting one, because it mentions "nah poo" and Kew in certain versions. Among his writing partners were Bert Lee and Fred Barnes. If R.P. Weston songs may seem to have a bit of a tendency towards the cockney persona, then this little tongue twister might make you think again ...

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