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Comedy Songs

Comedy songs are probably one of the richest veins for popular songs from the creations of Jake Thackray to Music Hall, Flanders And Swann to The Charladies Ball and all shades in between.

Traditional songs often have humour but are not expressly comedic. Where the purley comedy song originated is unknown but is probably a product of the stage and revue or music hall artists of the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Another common form of the comedy song is the parody. A traditional song has its lyrics altered and sometimes becomes more popular than the original. Some are very inventive such as:

Others are simply laments at fine songs that have been ruthlessly butchered over the years:

Fields of Athenry:

By a lonely prison wall I heard a young girl calling
Michael they are singing it again
If I hear it one more time, I think I'll lose my mind
I'm so fed up with the Fields of Athenry

Willie McBride:

Did they sing the song badly? Did they sink their pints gladly?
Did the drunks fall asleep as they lowered them down?
Did the barmen shout 'Last drinks!' in chorus,
And did the punters say 'Thank Christ it's over'?