Nota bene:

  • All these street organ arrangements are home-made. Contact me if you want a custom arrangement for your own street organ, musical box, barrel piano, or whatever.
  • The MP3s below use Virtual Studio Technology: this is NOT the real sound (my organ also has percussion, and sounds more natural), and someone needs to sing!
  • Lyrics or translations can be displayed live on a screen, karaoke-style.
TitleArtistLaYearCommentsLinks
The Eddic Poem of the Vikinges Who Do Go BerserkLe Vostre GCen2014Nyne vikinges and a mightye troll / Joyne eight moore for sea patrol.
Cats on MarsYoko Kannoen1998Quasi-Japanese shit for your miniskirt moods.
EmigrantenWillem Wilmink / Harry Banninknl1990Veel emigranten over zee / nemen al hun gewoontes mee / naar de overkant.
A Martian sends a postcard homeCraig Raineen1979Caxtons are mechanical birds with many wings / and some are treasured for their markings - / they cause the eyes to melt / or the body to shriek without pain.
Aan de Costa del Sol (tingelingeling)Trad. German-Italian / Johnny Hoes / Zangeres Zonder Naamnl1975?Waltz, apparently stolen from Trentino in the Tyrol - see the links.
An hini a garanTrad. vannetais / Alan Stivellbr1973Her man has emigrated in search of work.
Hungarian Goulash No. 5Allan Sherman / Johannes Brahmsen1963Do you like Hungarian food / They have a goulash which is very good. (Pumpernickel is also associated with Westphalia.)
De crocus en de hyacint Dorus / Tom Mandersnl1957
Nellie the elephantRalph Butler / Peter Harten1956Nellie the Elephant packed her trunk / And said goodbye to the circus / Off she went with a trumpety-trump / Trump, trump, trump
South of the borderGene Autry / Patsy Clineen1950Bolero
London is the place for meLord Kitcheneren1948Sung by Lord Kitchener as he came off the Windrush at Tilbury Docks on June 21, 1948
KetelbinkieAnton Beuving / Jan Vogelnl1940When we from Rotterdam departed / In the Edam, an ancient hulk. Tragedy of a Dutch (colonial) ship's boy who misses his mum but doesn't know how to tell her. Illegitimate offspring of Thackeray's maritime parody?
In the big rock candy mountainsHarry Kirby McClintocken1940Utopia vagorum.
Oh zwarte zigeuner / Oh, play to me gypsy (Cikánka)Harry de Groot / Karel Vacek / Melody Boys / Willy Derby / Willy Alberti / Johnny Jordaan / Gracie Fieldsnl en1931Slow foxtrot.
Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sunNoël Cowarden1931A masterpiece of rhythm and rhyme dealing with the importance of adjusting one's dress to circumstances: The toughest Burmese bandit can never understand it. / In Rangoon the heat of noon is just what the natives shun. / They put their scotch or rye down, and lie down.
Chinatown, my ChinatownJean Schwartzen1930Jackie Chan edition. Virtual excerpt:
Panpipe call used by an itinerant French pot-mender and pig-gelder in GaliciaTrad.es fr1920With humorous quotes from Spanish Golden Age theatre (inc Quevedo and Calderón), sketching the accent, appearance and behaviour of French castrators and pot menders in the 16th/17th centuries. (Ambulant moped-chain-powered knife-grinders in Barcelona and other Mediterranean cities still use panpipes as advertising medium, but with less sophistication.)
Mamma mia, dammi 100 lire che in America voglio andar (Mum, give me 100 lire cos I want to go to America)Anonit1890ish?About the great Italian emigration (late C19th - 1930s). Often used with children. Should 'America' now be replaced by 'London'? Cento lire io te le do, ma in America no no no! 100 lire I'll give you, but America, no no no!
Trenta giorni di nave a vapore (Thirty days in a steamship)Anonit1890?About the great Italian emigration to the Americas beginning in the late C19th.
De zilvervlootJ.P. Heije / J.J. Viottanl1870
We three kings of Orient areJohn Henry Hopkins, Jr.en1857
Little Billee aka Little Boy BillyWilliam Makepeace Thackeray / Bob Robertsen1845Cannibal shanty based on Thackeray's parody of La Courte Paille / Il était un petit navire (C16th?). There are also Catalan and Italian versions, but the best are the Portuguese Nau Catarineta, sung ceremonially in parts of Brazil, and the Dutch Ketelbinkie. I believe the latter is also based on Thackeray. The best-known English melody is that of Bob Roberts and has much in common with that in Harold Scott's English Song Book (1925). Ralph Steadman did a nice piratey version.
Aiken DrumTrad.en1820Riddles and nonsense.
Voici trois BohémiensProvençalfr1800Three gypsies read the palm of the baby Jesus: Tu es, c’est mon avis, Car je le lis, de Dieu le fils tout adorable.
Cuando salí de la HabanaValencianoesDe nadie me despedí, / Solo de un perrito chino que venía tras de mí/When I left Havana I said farewell to no one - except a little Chinese dog which came after me
La reina del placeresHabanera

Update: 2018/04/20