Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Three #LionelBart Numbers For the Big London Playlist #LondonSongs

With the launch of The Rolling Stones Walk on the 5th May 2016 and the return of the Rock'n'Roll London Pub walk on Wednesday nights from the 4th May 2016 the London Walks summer programme 2016 will feature no less than FIVE regular musical-themed walking tours.

To mark the occasion, April is Music Month on The Daily Constitutional!

DC Editor Adam writes… During Music Month I'm collecting London music to shape The Big London Playlist. Get in touch with your faves!

Adam writes…

In a follow-up to my Lionel Bart post this morning – catch up with that post HERE – I'm adding three Bart numbers to the Big London Playlist
Of the three pieces I have chosen, none mention London explicitly. But break them open and these songs have London written right through 'em like a stick of rock.

As Long As 'e Needs Me…

The showstopper from Oliver! And that's saying something in a show with such an embarrassment of riches in the score. Georgia Brown's version is from the original cast album. It's a voice that could knock yer hat off along the length of The Strand, true as an East End bell. 

Born Lillian Claire Laizer Getter Klot into an East End Jewish family in Whitechapel in 1933, at the audition for Oliver! in 1960, now going under the stage name of Georgia Brown, Bart immediately recognised her as a childhood neighbour from the East End and cried out, "Lilly Klot!"

Who's This Geezer Hitler?

Parody of a wartime comedy morale song – and a very funny one at that.

If 'e was much littler/'e would disappear

'E's a nasty little basket wiv a black moustache/And we won't 'ave 'im 'ere! 

In the same show Bart gives us The Day After Tomorrow, and Vera Lynn obliges on the vocal chores. Both songs are so faithful that they could easily have been written on Denmark Street as the bombs nearly hit St Giles Church on the night of the 9th October 1940. (Click HERE for a blog on what happened that night.)

Fings Ain't What They Used T'be…

More a play with music than an out-and-out musical, something more along the lines of Brecht and Weill than Rogers & Hammerstein, this title number from the show that transferred to the Garrick in the West End (with the rhyming slang lyrics translated in the programme notes!) was later covered by the wholesome entertainer Max Bygraves… with cuts made to the bits about hookers, criminal activity and barely-veiled threats of violence. What? Did he just whistle the tune, then? This version is the original cast recording (sorry, Max).

A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at

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