My Old Man's a Dustman

Album: My Old Man's a Dustman: The Singles A's & B's 1954-1961 (1960)
Charted: 1


  • This comic number was written by Lonnie Donegan, his road manager Peter Buchanan and Beverly Thorn. It was based on "My Father Was a Fireman", a song sung by British troops during World War I.

    Lonnie Donegan recalled in 1000 UK #1 Hits: "'My Old Man's A Fireman (on the Elder Dempster Line)' became a student's union song in Birmingham, and then it was picked up by the troops in World War 1 as 'My old man's a dustman, he fought in the Battle of Mons. He killed ten thousand Germans with only a hundred bombs.' We used it as a joke on stage and then the A&R department at Pye told me to write it… We performed new verses every night until we had ones that would work well on record."
  • The single release was a live recording from Donegan's show at Gaumont Cinema, Doncaster in Yorkshire. It broke a UK record with 250,000 advance orders mainly due to Donegan's performance of the song on Sunday Night At The London Palladium.

    "Dustman" became the first UK record to go straight in at #1 on the singles chart and was also the first comedy tune to top the chart. It also reached #1 in Australia, New Zealand and Canada.


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Bob Dylan Lyric QuizMusic Quiz

Think you know your Bob Dylan lyrics? Take this quiz to find out.

Stephen Christian of AnberlinSongwriter Interviews

The lead singer/lyricist for Anberlin breaks down "Impossible" and covers some tracks from their 2012 album Vital.

Boz ScaggsSongwriter Interviews

The "Lowdown" and "Lido Shuffle" singer makes a habit of playing with the best in the business.

Classic MetalFact or Fiction

Ozzy, Guns N' Roses, Judas Priest and even Michael Bolton show up in this Classic Metal quiz.

Emmylou HarrisSongwriter Interviews

She thinks of herself as a "song interpreter," but back in the '80s another country star convinced Emmylou to take a crack at songwriting.

Hawksley WorkmanSongwriter Interviews

One of Canada's most popular and eclectic performers, Hawksley tells stories about his oldest songs, his plentiful side projects, and the ways that he keeps his songwriting fresh.