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.
Copla del viudo del submarinoJuan Antonio Cantaes1996From the last Andalusian avant-gardist: En el fondo del mar tengo yo / Una novia en silencio / Un poquito de pescaito frito / Me trae su recuerdo
EmigrantenWillem Wilmink / Harry Banninknl1990Veel emigranten over zee / nemen al hun gewoontes mee / naar de overkant.
In 't kleine café aan de havenPierre Kartnernl1975
Inland WaterwayJohn Betjeman / Ben Sawyeren1974On the opening of the Upper Avon Navigation by the Queen Mum in 1974, part of the irresistible rise of the Inland Waterways Association: The lock you have reopened will set free / The heart of England to the open sea.
Veerpont / The Floating BridgeDrs. P (Heinz Polzer)nl en1973The proprietor of a tropical floating bridge tells of the good times and the bad: We stand here on the shoreline of a river swift and hot / The other shore is over there and this one here is not.
Las tetas de María GuevaraPerucho Aguirre / Quinto Criolloes1970Absurd song about an absurd pair of Caribbean peaks: navigational and erotic aids.
Puff, the magic dragon (Puff, el drac màgic)Leonard Lipton / Peter Yarrow / Peter, Paul and Maryen ca1960
ZuiderzeeballadeWilly van Hemert / Joop de Leur / Oetze Verschoor / Sylvain Poonsnl1959
The hippopotamus songFlanders & Swannen1957Mud, mud, glorious mud, / Nothing quite like it for cooling the blood.
Aan de Amsterdamse grachtenPieter Goemans / Johnny Kraaijkamp / Wim Sonneveldnl1949Nostalgic waltz.
Capri-Fischer / Fishermen of Capri (Bella, bella Marie)Rudi Schuricke / Gerhard Winkler / Ralph Maria Siegelde en1949Wenn bei Capri die rote Sonne im Meer versinkt: Lola sings this tango in Fassbinder's Wirtschaftswunderbar, but the version by Gracie Fields is also rather special.
The blue DanubeSpike Jonesen1945It's green.
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?
Cool waterBob Nolan / Hank Williams / Sons of the Pioneersen1936Gloss on Psalms 42:1: I and my mule, Dan, are crossing the desert when we see a mirage: Can you see that big green tree / Where the water's running free / And it's waiting there for you and me?
Isle of Capri / C'est à CapriWill Grosz / Jimmy Kennedy / Lew Stoneen nl fr1934Now with lyrics featuring the River Lea / Lee in East London: Twas on the banks of the Lea that I met her / Under the shade of an old apple tree / Now I can still hear the sirens around me / As I lie bleeding in A and E.
ZuiderzeeLouis Davidsnl1932The consequences of the construction of the Afsluitdijk dam, which turned the Zuyder Zee from a North Sea inlet into a fresh-water lake.
Barnacle Bill the sailor Hoagy Carmichael / Bix Beiderbecke / Tex Morton / Betty Boopen1927It's only me from over the sea / I'm all dressed up like a Christmas tree. With interludes featuring Benny Hill alla turca and the Beautiful Blue Danube (it's brown). Virtual excerpt:
Don Pasquito at the seaside (Façade)Edith Sitwell / William Waltonen1920
Le pont MirabeauGuillaume Apollinaire / Léo Ferréfr en1912
Ya hemos visitado el AstilleroLos Moros Babucheroses1891Working conditions in the factory at San Severiano, Cádiz could certainly be improved
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.
The best of Tristan und IsoldeWagner / The Singing Organ-Grinder1880Wagner was a big country and western fan.
In een blauwgeruite kiel (Draaiersjongen)Anton de Ropnl1875
Waar de blanke top der duinenPieter Louwerse / Richard Holnl1870
De zilvervlootJ.P. Heije / J.J. Viottanl1870
Noi de la mareTrad.ca1866Best-known Catalan Christmas carol
A orillas del Llobregat (Flores de Estío)Josep Anselm Clavées1852Praise of the (industrialised) river south of Barcelona: A dar solaz al alma / Venid, niñas!... llegad! / Que aquí los céfiros / Agitan suaves / Las ramas fértiles / Donde las aves / Entonan cánticos, / Que alegran plácidos / Las ricas márgenes / Del LLOBREGAT!
Row, row, row your boatTrad.en1852
When Birmingham is a seaport townAndy Casserley / Trad.en1851?Set to a lively tune.
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.
The loving ballad of Lord BatemanWilliam Makepeace Thackeray / Charles Dickensen1839Parody of a popular ballad.
I saw three shipsTrad.en1833
London Bridge is falling downTrad.en1750ish (lyrics) / 1879 (tune)
La reina del placeresHabanera

Update: 2018/01/17