Wednesday, 14 May 2014

The extraordinary online success of a 1932 recording by Ambrose & His Orchestra

While trawling YouTube for some cheerful ditties to enjoy, I discovered that the 1932 hit recording of "The Sun Has Got His Hat On" has been listened to over 209,000 times. I wonder why. Certainly, it's fairly well known (though predominantly among the older set), and extremely entertaining, but, as it contains a racial epithet not normally employed in polite society these days, I'm surprised that so many people have sought it out. (To be honest, I've whistled along to the song on many occasions, without realising there was anything remotely untoward regarding its lyrics.)

If you'd like to be reminded of a more innocent age, and if you're sufficiently adult to grasp the fact that what was perfectly acceptable in 1932 might not be 82 years' later (autres temps, autres moeurs and all that), you might care to listen to the song here - but do keep the volume down, in case you inadvertently offend someone of a sensitive disposition (if you happen to have any Guardian readers or BBC executives in the house, I suggest you listen to it on headphones, just to be on the safe side - after all, you wouldn't want the poor little dears bursting into tears or having nightmares). 

I was surprised to discover that this particular version of the song, distinguished by the jaunty vocal stylings of Mr. Same Browne, is still available for 79p from the iTunes store. Just imagine - if enough people followed my example by downloading it, it could be a No.1 hit in no time, which would mean we would have the pleasure of hearing it once more on BBC radio! Of course, there might be one or two complaints, but I'm confident that the world's most eminent broadcaster wouldn't be craven enough to bow to the demands of a tiny handful of sad, obsessive, emotionally-retarded cultural Marxists.   

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