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.