Thursday 27 May 2004

Cultural Treasures

George Formby CentenaryAs promised some while ago, may I present...

The inspirational, astounding, awefulsome Lyrics of George Formby's Greatest Hits.

Having heard it once, who can forget (however hard one might try), 'Imagine Me in the Maginot Line'?George Formby
Now imagine me in the Maginot line, sitting on a mine in the Maginot line.
Now it's turned out nice again, the army life is fine.
At night myself to sleep I sing, to my old tin hat I cling.
I have to use it for everything, down on the Maginot line.
And to go with them, the tunes in Midi format.

And here's the Great Man himself, performing 'Auntie Maggie's Remedy'.

Ah, they don't write them like that any more. More's the pity, say I, and I don't mean just Michael.

Some of the Immortal George's words from a 1938 Radio Programme:
I think the funniest thing that happened during the run of the show was when we were doing a scene showing the Sultan's palace. The man playing the role of the Captain had to propose to my wife. And she had to be very coy about it.
In the middle of his proposal, the scenery suddenly began to fall down
I made frantic efforts to keep it up, and I shouted as I did so : "Go on, fall for him, the scenery is!"
That sums up the man, and his career. You see, he performed at his height during the Dark Days of 1940-1941, when Britain stood alone against Hitler, and for the rest of World War 2. From a short biography :
He continued to entertain throughout the war as part of ENSA throughout Europe and the Middle East and was one of the first entertainers into Normandy after the invasion, where he was personally invited by General Montgomery to entertain the front line troops.
ENSA, by the way, was officially the 'Entertainments National Service Association', but was universally known as 'Every Night Something Awful'.

It is altogether fitting and proper that in the year that commemorates the centenary of his birth, and the 60th anniversary of the D-Day landings, that he be remembered, and with affection and respect.

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