Friday, 16 April 2010

In praise of Frank Crumit

In my youth we used to dig out the old 78 records that were once my grandparents and play them with fascination. A particular favourite was Frank Crumit, whose humorous songs seemed hilarious to a five-year-old. I think he sang My Grandfather's Clock and one about a fish that swam (and it swam) right over the dam. But one song became embedded in family sayings. (Will this happen with Coldplay? I can't see it, somehow.)

The song in question is the Pig Song. The main character is drunk, and slips into a gutter, where he is soon joined by a pig. (Funnily, I remember a line about 'not a mutter did he utter, as he slipped into the gutter' which doesn't seem to exist.) The classic lines from this, much repeated through my growing up, said by a passing lady of our man in the gutter with the pig are:

"You can tell a man that boozes by the company he chooses,"
 Then the pig got up and slowly walked away.


They are words that became a sort of mantra, whenever someone did something wrong. So here for your delectation is Mr Crumit in his glory:

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