Champagne Charlie

Album: Music Hall Classics (1868)
  • songfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • The advent of radio, and more importantly of television, led to the phenomenon of sponsorship and endorsements of products on a massive scale, but it would be wrong to think sponsorship began with the modern media. Joe Sanders (1842-84) was a Birmingham factory worker who, under his stage name George Leybourne, lauded the delights of champagne for a tidy sum.
    In the 1982 book Folksong & Music Hall, author Edward Lee says the song "Champagne Charlie" which he introduced in 1868 was sponsored by the champagne firms, was an instant success and boosted his income from 25 pounds to 120 pounds a week, an enormous sum for a working man in those days. On stage, Leybourne created the character of Champagne Charlie, and "His act was popular largely because of its appeal to the mixture of mockery and admiration which audiences of the time felt towards the type of rich man with a private income, who lived and dressed flashily, and spent his time wandering from one London entertainment to another."
    Leybourne's life mirrored his act; "he lived furiously, drank heavily, and died early". The music for "Champagne Charlie" was composed by Alfred Lee, and the words were written by Leybourne himself. The sheet music was also published in the United States - by S.T. Gordon of New York, and at San Francisco by Gray's Music Store, whose copy credits it "As sung with great success by Miss Ada Webb".
  • A contemporary play called Champagne Charlie was written about Leybourne, and in 1944 this was made into a film featuring Tommy Trinder and Stanley Holloway, with Trinder in the title role. In 1975, the English actor Edward Woodward released a single of the song backed by "How Good It Is To Know You". >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 2
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Comments: 1

  • Chris from Dullingham, United KingdomI have changed some of the words of Champagne Charlie and substituted some different verses. What do you think?

    CHAMPAGNE CHARLIE

    I've seen a deal of gaiety throughout my feckless life,
    Despite my grand connections I never found a wife.
    The thing in which I most excel is drinking champagne wine
    In bed all day, in bars all night and tipsy all the time!

    Champagne Charlie is my name, Champagne Charlie is my name.
    Good for any game at night my boys,
    Good for any game at night my girls.
    Champagne Charlie is my name, Champagne Charlie is my name.
    I'm good for any game at night boys,
    So come and join me in a spree.

    The way I gained my title's by a habit that I've got,
    Of never letting others pay, however long the shot
    Whoever drinks at my expense is treated just the same,
    From Dukes and Lords to cabmen down, I buy them all champagne.

    Champagne Charlie is my name, Champagne Charlie is my name.
    There is nothing like that fizz, fizz, fizz
    Yes, it really is the biz, biz, biz!
    Champagne Charlie is my name, Champagne drinking is my game.
    1.I'm the idol of the barmaids and Champagne Charlie is my name.
    2.I'll drink every drop there is, is, is! Champagne Charlie is my name.


    Some boffins like their Burgundy, Hock, Claret or Moselle,
    But only Moet Vintage satisfies my palate well
    What matter if I go to bed with head a-muddled thick,
    A glass or two when I awake will cure me in a tick.

    Champagne Charlie is my name, Champagne Charlie is my name.
    Good for any game at night my boys, good for any game at night my girls.
    Champagne Charlie is my name, Champagne Charlie is my name.
    I'm good for any game at night my boys, so come and join me in a spree.

    Perhaps you fancy what I say is nothing else but chaff,
    And only done like other songs to merely raise a laugh.
    So for each one a glass of fizz to prove I'm not in jest,
    I'll stand a round, yes that I will, and wish you all the best!.

    Champagne Charlie is my name, Champagne Charlie is my name.
    Drinking Champers is so cool, cool, cool!
    How those bubbles makes me drool, drool, drool!
    Champagne Charlie is my name, Champagne drinking is my game.
    Sign the pledge and you're a fool, fool, fool! Champagne Charlie is my name.

    If you would care to Google me I'm sure you'd find it's true;
    I only lived to 42 but nothing do I rue.
    From cafes on the internet to laptops on the Tube,
    Nowadays the girls would say, "Hey what a Champagne dude!"

    Champagne Charlie was my name, Champagne drinking was my game.
    There was nothing like that pop, pop, pop!
    Every night I used to bop, bop, bop!!
    Champagne Charlie was my name, Champagne drinking was to blame.
    1.Now I drink St Peter's home brew, and things will never be the same!
    2.I drank that stuff until I drop-, drop-, dropped and Champagne Charlie was my name.
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