Saturday, November 20, 2010
At the Music Hall: “Forty-Seven Ginger Headed Sailors,” 1928-9
On her home trip,
Up and down she's bobbin'
So the crew's pretty tough.
The weather's so rough.
They're all fed up and say
That they've had more than enough.
I've got a brother
He's an able seaman
And they call him Redhead Tom
I wire to say I'll meet you
And with your pals I'll treat you
So who do you think I've had a message from?
Forty-seven ginger-headed sailors
Coming home across the briney sea
When the anchor's weighed
And the jouney's made
Then they'll start the party
With a heave-ho, me-hearty
This comedic foxtrot about precisely forty-seven auburn-haired sailors is best known to modern audiences because of Hugh Laurie’s rousing performance of the song as Bertie Wooster in Jeeves and Wooster. The song, however, was popular long before Mr. Laurie’s enjoyable performance.
Written in 1928 by British entertainer, singer and songwriter Leslie Sarony, the song became a hit in 1929. The song was popularized in the 1930’s by Jack Hylton and his Orchestra. It’s a delightful tune with humorous lyrics and a goofy foxtrot flare that’s sadly missing these days.
For your listening and viewing pleasure, I’m including two videos. The first is the 1929 version by Jack Hylton, the second is Mr. Laurie as Bertie Wooster which I’m posting mostly for the entertainment of my own Bertie Wooster who enjoys fellow-Westie MacIntosh’s barked interruptions.