It was recently revealed, in an attempt to distract the British from more serious matters, no doubt, that one Elizabeth Windsor is a huge fan of Lancashire comic legend George Formby and can sing all his songs. Once keen to take up the invitation to be president of the George Formby Society, her stuffier advisers prevailed upon her to refuse on the grounds that it could undermine the dignitas of the monarchy, something most of her offspring have been doing successfully ever since.
I can’t help wondering what she’d make of my updating of his best-known ditty, The Window Cleaner, of which you can see various versions all over the web. It’s hard to believe some of these verses got the song banned in its day.
The blushing bride, she looks divine
The bridegroom, he is doing fine
I’d rather have his job than mine
When I’m cleaning windows
You can’t beat a bit of double entendre, but it’s hard to find some of his other verses all that amusing now. Not that I’m suggesting I can do any better (I can, but I wouldn’t dream of suggesting that).
Regular visitors may recall my recent ‘boast’ that I Can’t Play the Ukulele (see Poetic Ramblings, 11th May). Well, I’ve spent the time since then trying to rectify that, and the best part of a day last week trying to prove that I now can, by recording myself as Bert Crosby (the Smarmy Get) performing my updated version of that song. And I have less than a month to be able to do it in one go before a live and hopefully generously paying audience (the show is free to get in but a bucket will be thrust menacingly at the punters as they leave).
[For foreign or Southern readers, ‘smarmy’ means oleaginously smooth and ‘get’ or ‘git’ is a mildly dismissive word for a person, deriving from ‘get’ (as in beget), a child. And George Formby’s stage name came from his father’s birthplace. Crosby is a town not far from Formby, perhaps best known now for Antony Gormley’s art installation, Another Place
a Gormley figure with my accoutrements ]
Without further ado, then, we present Bert Crosby performing The IT Repair Man. Enjoy…