With My Little Ukulele In My Hand

Album: Leaning on a Lamp Post (1933)
  • Thirty-nine years before Chuck Berry fell foul of Mrs. Mary Whitehouse with his Ding-a-Ling, George Formby caused a flim-flam playing with his little ukulele. In 1933 however, a song of this nature would not have got past the record company management; Decca pulled it and ordered the lyrics of the Jack Cottrell composition be rewritten, but as one Formby biography says, "There is no doubt that the original version is the better of the two, because of its larger orchestral accompaniment and a different uke solo."

    A few of the originals did fall through the net though, becoming collectors' items, and one made its way to The GRAMOPHONE, which in a review on page 106 of its August 1933 issue said: George Formby is naughty again in "With my little Ukulele in my hand" and mildly amusing in a song with the stupendous title "As the hours, and the days, and the weeks, and the months, and the years roll by."

    The reviewer recommended it to friends who drop in for a drink and to hear the latest on your gramophone.
  • Formby sung "With My Little Ukulele In My Hand" at the end of his 1935 film Off The Dole with no trace of double entendre because "He never did an audience's 'dirty work' for it."
  • According to the July 2014 BBC documentary Britain's Most Dangerous Songs: Listen To The Banned, this was the first song to be withdrawn from the BBC Playlist, until it was renamed "My Ukulele." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 3
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