Monday, March 18, 2013

English Music Hall

James and Texan99 suggested the book Three Men In A Boat (Not To Mention The Dog), a humorous book from the 1880's which seems to be a precursor to Wodehouse in style.

Yes they did, really, you just didn't notice.

That volume describes one of the three attempting to teach himself the banjo in the rain, playing "Two Lovely Black Eyes."  In the circumstances, the other two find this English Musical Hall number quite moving.  I had not heard of it.

It was written as a parody of an American tune, My Nellie's Blue Eyes, which the songwriter found appallingly sweet, sentimental, and trivial.  We can therefore suspect that the original would hang around here for decades after.

It did.  (The Sons of the Pioneers also did it).

The Brits would never stoop to such a thing, of course.

Well, at least when rock 'n roll came in we dropped all that nonsense.

Actually, I like that one.


james said...

When I read the book I read the title and figured it was about some Spanish lady, and missed the joke. Thanks for being more curious.

Texan99 said...

Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) is available for free download from Project Gutenberg.

And I would like to take this opportunity to lodge a complaint against James, who (as I recall) is the one who sent me over there a week ago. I noticed they were recruiting proofreaders from the public, and I've become completely obsessed. I've hardly done anything else all day long for more than a week now, which is entirely James's fault.

james said...

Guilty. Misery loves company--I've spent many hours I shouldn't have reading there, and getting to bed way too late.

BTW, I tried to offer them a re-factored HTML version of the Apocrypha, but so far nobody has answered. (Verse by verse is their default, a right pain to read and impossible to maneuver in. Ten minutes scripting fixed that.)

Texan99 said...

What does "re-factored" mean?