AS28: On board the ‘Kangaroo’

A silly, frivolous song of love and loss, which was originally a music-hall number by Harry Clifton (who also wrote The Calico Printer’s Clerk and Polly Perkins, among many others). Since escaping into the wild, it’s lost some of the class markers which originally made for broad comedy (e.g. cockneyisms and the use of trademarks); the effect is to give the character singing a degree of dignity which he can’t originally have had. The song is still pleasantly daft, though.

I got this from Tony Rose’s album Bare Bones and recorded it on a whim – it was a spur-of-the-moment decision this morning. Tony Rose gave this a jolly and rather beautiful accompaniment on concertina; this wasn’t an option for me, so I reached for the melodica, plus a whistle or two. The arrangement just sort of grew.

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Filed under folk song, Tony Rose, traditional

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