Tuesday, October 13, 2009

An Old Feller's Thoughts (Updated)

This post was sparked by Emily.
Here's what she commented on my last post.
"Blogger Emily said...

Ah, come on, you don't have anything to post about if the grandkids are away? I missed you!
The kids look adorable as always. And the flowers look lovely. Nice job!"

Anyway, I thought I would take her cue and blab a little.

As I walk the dog each night I often think about old times. It think about my brother Ken and how he walked Petra (and the previous dog)diligently every day. I sing songs to myself (aloud sometimes) that are unfamiliar to most of you.

I think about my old Dad...and Mum.

And my sisters and brother who were still at home then and the songs that were sung in our house.

My sister Rene loved to belt out With 'er 'ead tucked underneath her arm.
It was a vaudevillian type song about Anne Boleyn. At the time in the 1940s Stanley Holloway was a top performer. Here is his rendition, You don't need to listen to it all. It is very interesting to me that Stanley seems to use a Northern accent in this song although he was born in Essex. He was a major player in the 1956 Broadway production of My Fair Lady. He played Alfred Doolittle in the NY play, the London play and the 1964 film.

One night he and Rex Harrison were leaving the London playhouse in the rain through the stage door. Harrison was known as a snot to his fans. An old lady waiting in the rain asked Rex for his autograph and Harrison said "sod off'
The old woman rolled up her programme and swatted Rex on his noggin. Stanley astutely said "this was the first I'm aware of when the fan had hit the shit!

When people gathered for a pint or two at our house there would always be singing.
My Mum would croon a few notes in those happy times and she would sometimes mix up the lyrics.
'Where'd you get that Hat?' was a song that my Mum confused with another song popular at the time that was 'On Ilkley Moor Ba' Tat' ( on Ilkly moor without yer hat)
Still the titles made for a nice rhyme but they really were two different songs.

Usually the family group gathered for a nightcap and singing after having been at the local. My uncle Charlie, Uncle Wilf, Auntie Lillian, and Mum and Dad and all the kids. Everyone had a song that they would sing on these get-togethers. Uncle Wilf's was 'I met her in Monterrey' My Mum loved Lily of Laguna. I don't know why. She sang it often. Here it is.
My sister Norma was perhaps the biggest talent. She and sister Olive had routines that they would do. Norma would do 'Down Forget me not Lane' and Olive would attempt 'I never knew anyone like you' and there was a little soft shoe action too.
I wish I had my video camera then. Dad would always do 'You are everywhere' and 'I'm going back to 'im as has' Oh the memories.
Oh, I could go on and on....................enough already.

Here's Danny Kaye covering Reg Dixon's song Confidentially.


Anonymous said...

Ahhh,those really were the days and you posting this,Eric, gives me the chance (being your older Sister) :) to just put you right on a couple of songs..Rene thought that as Olive was the only one who hadn't got a 'signature tune' she would teach her to sing "Put your arms around me Honey hold me tight" and Mum's favourite was 'Around the World' .,,please write some more I had forgotten the 'family' gatherings..oh, and I sing ALL the time,Eric, and everyone hears ME! hahaha I wake up singing :( have even got Noel believing he can sing too! :) so more memories please..'Lily of Laguna' was a piece of music Dad bought for me to play on the old piano..oh,wow, memories flooding back now. GREAT STUFF. x


Anonymous said...

Apologies,Eric, for my previous post re: Ol's song..you are correct that was one of the lines in the song.Put your arms etc' SORRY.:)


Vetmommy said...

That is a great post. It makes me sad to think of those happy times that are gone, and I wasn't even there! You keep them alive when you remember them and write them down.

You gave us all a love for singing and the family sing-song. Anna would have fit right in! She's always singing.

Emily said...

See, I knew you had stories in ya! This is great.

I love hearing stories about your family, it does bring them to life in my mind, as Jenn said.

What was your song, Daddy?

get2eric said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
get2eric said...

Well, Norma is correct, Ol's song's title was Put your Arms Around me. The last line was as I said, I never Knew Any Girl Like You.
And Mum's favourite song was indeed Around the World. Thanks Norma.

As to my song, well I don't think the group cared to hear a little snotty 8 or 9 year old at that time. Olive and Norma got the big play.

Colin and I would egg them on and laugh at the soft shoe done in the corner where there was a little square of lino by the door to the stairs. We would drain the last dregs of the brown ale out of the bottles while no-one was looking.

My Dad was always pushing me to sing Underneath the Arches or Imazas but I think my prowess was girdled by the females.

But I do seem to remember an old Reg Dixon song that me Mum taught me. She liked it a lot too. It was Confidentially. You may know it.....

Anonymous said...

Hahahahaha wow ,what a memory you have ,Eric!! you are so lucky to remember all that stuff and I thank you 'most sincerely' (Hughie Green slogan)for bringing it all back to me.. 'Confidentially' WAS a popular song in our house too. :)I am now going to sit here and wallow in nostalgia whilst I listen to it sound turned up so that Noel can hear it...Thank-you,thank-you..and greedy,greedy MORE please. (the little bit of lino I am amazed at you remembering you were so young! )and by the way I was supposed to be 'tap dancing' hahahaha


Anonymous said...

...well I just listened with sound turned high as it would go and heard Danny Kaye singing the Reg Dixon song..could imagine our Dad sitting there singing it...lovely. Now ,Eric, can we hear of any memory you have of 'Ferry 'ut' ? our wonderful playground near the Bridgewater Canal...ahhh, so clear now in my mind so hope you can add some new memories for me.:)


EdamameMommy said...

Well, you should be pleased as punch with your efforts at posting your other thoughts, musings and hummings! What a response.

We listen to the Broadway station on Sirius in the car in the mornings often, and Paige and Graham loved hearing that you were in My Fair Lady and sang with the gang for "I'm Gettin Married in the Morning" so it is ironic that we talked about that as you were posting this about the same singer/actor.

I think it is safe to say the singing bug has been passed down to the next generation. The other day, we were trying to lighten the mood, and Graham asked Ev if she'd like him to sing "Grandad's Ants with Pants Song"? ;)

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