Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Enery The VIII

What inspired Herman's Hermits in the 1960's to sing "I am Henry the VIII, I am" on the Ed Sullivan Show? This is a 1910 British music hall song. There is an original recording of the music hall star Harry Champion singing it in 1911.  It is a delightful celebration of the British character - history, satire, and fun combined. 

What inspired them was the pop hit that British star Joe Brown had in 1961.  They followed in 1965.  The song got Herman's Hermits to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.  Who did they knock from number one?  "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" by the Rolling Stones.   Isn't that a telling statement of the diversity of popular music in the 1960's.

There are numerous versions of the spelling - Henery, Henry, Enery, etc. and there are more verses than this.  Herman's Hermits are known for the one verse version.

'm 'Enery the Eighth, I am,
'Enery the Eighth I am, I am!
I got married to the widow next door,
She's been married seven times before
And every one was an 'Enery
She wouldn't have a Willie nor a Sam
I'm her eighth old man named 'Enery
'Enery the Eighth, I am!

The British music hall performers produced thousands of songs.  Between 1900 and 1910 a single publishing company, Francis, Day and Hunter, published between forty and fifty British music hall songs each month. Most of them were comic in nature - the notables are at Wikipedia HERE.

I remember that the tradition was taken up by the Goon Show with Spike Milligan, Peter Sellers and Harry Secombe developing titles such as "I'm Walking Backwards For Christmas" "Tales of Men's Shirts" and on on.

So our picture today is a good distraction.  There's nothing like a bit of Lilycrest Garden's lily images on a snow day.

The snow came to Grimsby in the evening yesterday. It 'skirted' around us during the day and bestowed a snowfall record on Toronto.  It closed down Toronto and surrounding areas. The weather network this morning says that the overachieving snowfall is not giving up just yet.


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