Please note:

  • All these street organ arrangements for my modifed Topsy 3 are home-made. Contact me if you want a custom arrangement - whether a modification of a number below or something new - for your own street organ, musical box, barrel piano, or whatever.
  • The MP3s below use Virtual Studio Technology: this is NOT the real sound, and someone needs to sing!
  • Lyrics or translations can be displayed live on a screen, karaoke-style.
The Eddic Poem of the Vikinges Who Do Go BerserkLe Vostre GCen2014Nyne vikinges and a mightye troll / Joyne eight moore for sea patrol.
Estoy tocando fondoViudas e hijas de Roque Enrolles1984Where the fondo may be the International Monetary Fund.
Ik ben GerritGerrit Dekzeilnl1973My name is Gerrit and I steal like the ravens, / I am a rogue in the eyes of the goody-goodies. / But what can you do if you have nothing / In this world where everything's a con.
Video, possibly from another time or person:
Ernie (the fastest milkman in the West)Benny Hillen1970
The bare necessities (The Jungle Book)Terry Gilkysonen1967
Ballad of Sigmund FreudChad Mitchell Trioen1960Well, Doctor Freud, oh Doctor Freud / How we wish you had been differently employed / But the set of circumstances / Still enhances the finances / of the followers of Doctor Sigmund Freud
Inflation calypsoET Mensahen1958?Pidgin English highlife from post-independence Ghana, now with extra verse about deflation. Useful for introducing basic economics to small beings.
Video, possibly from another time or person:
The country's in the very best of handsGene De Paul / Johnny Mercer / Al Cappen1956From the 1956 Broadway show, Li'l Abner: The Treasury says the national debt is climbing to the sky / And govermnent expenditures have never been so high. / It makes a feller get a gleam of pride within his eye, / To see how our economy expands, / The country’s in the very best of hands…
Che sarà, sarà / Qué será, será / Whatever will be, will beDoris Day / José Feliciano / Pink Martini / The Jukebox Sisters / Dave Cashen es it nl yi1956Waltz
The old dope pedlarTom Lehreren1953When happiness is a powder, from the well-known Harvard mathematician.
How much is that doggie in the windowBob Merrill / Patti Pageen1953The one with the waggly tail. Lita Roza's version was Maggie Thatcher's favourite song.
I'm no communistCarson Robison / Scotty Wisemanen1952Cold War country alla Ronald Reagan: I'm no communist, I'll tell you that right now / I believe a man should own his own house and car and cow / I like this private ownership, I wanna be left alone / Let the government run its business, and let me run my own.
BananasMachitoen nl ca1950The mambo king indulges in a bit of self-parody. Available in English, Catalan or Dutch.
Video, possibly from another time or person:
Unemployment Compensation BluesLes Pine / Barbara Dane / George Browneen1949And when I'm through with my weekly routine, / I spend my money on Benzedrine. / I've got those 'By the time I get my check, / I become a nervous wreck' blues.
Enjoy yourself (it's later than you think)Guy Lombardo / Prince Buster / Specialsen1949Because when you kiss a dollar bill, it doesn't kiss you back.
Jolly BankerWoody Guthrie / Wilcoen1940My name is Tom Cranker and I'm a jolly banker, / I'm a jolly banker, jolly banker am I. / I safeguard the farmers and widows and orphans, / Singin' I'm a jolly banker, jolly banker am I.
In the big rock candy mountainsHarry Kirby McClintocken1940Utopia vagorum.
Pennies from heavenArthur Johnston / Johnny Burke / Bing Crosbyen1936You'll find your fortune falling all over the town / Be sure that your umbrella is upside down.
The Spring (Arrangements) BillA.P. Herbert / The Singing Organ-Grinderen1936Universal basic income, old style: If any person feels he must get out of London now or bust, because the Spring is in his bones, but he must work for Mr. Jones, it shall be lawful for the same to give the Treasury his name, and say 'Upon sufficient grounds I want about a hundred pounds': and there shall not be any fuss concerning sums expended thus.
A tale of the tickerFrank Crumiten1929I bought an elevator stock, / And thought that I'd done well. / Then the little bears all ran downstairs, / And rang the basement bell.
Mackie Messer / Mack the KnifeBertolt Brecht / Kurt Weillde en1928Originally intended for performance with barrel organ.
I can't give you anything but loveMcHugh-Fieldsen1928
Sheik of ArabySmith-Wheeler-Snyder / Mr. Goon-Bones / Ted Baxteren1921I'm the Sheikh of Araby, this sand belongs to me. Foxtrot
El dilluns jo no treballoValencianoca1920Song in Valencian lists the days of the week on which I don't work. Their number is lucky.
Video, possibly from another time or person:
El nuevo FordCubanoes1920
Panpipe call used by an itinerant French pot-mender and pig-gelder in 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.)
Had je me maarLouis Davidsnl1916Song that provided the nickname for the Dutch anarchist politician, Cornelis de Gelder.
La violeteraJosé Padillaes1914Early Raquel Meller hit: Como aves precursoras de primavera / En Madrid aparecen la violeteras / Que pregonando parecen golondrinas / Que van piando, que van piando.
Crits del carrerJoan Amades Cançoner / English C17th canonca1910Audience participation required in this canon consisting of the cries (in Catalan) of the vendors of potatoes, hats and chocolate. As good in its way as Clément Janequin, Voulez ouyr les cris de Paris
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.
Manantiales de nitroglicerina (Nitroglycerin springs)Anónes1873Anarchist song: Nivelacion social!... Rota la valla / No más habrá, no más ladrones; / Partirémos sus bienes, sus millones / Cuando llegue su hora á la canalla.
De zilvervlootJ.P. Heije / J.J. Viottanl1870
Per fi ya enarbolat / veyem lo san pendó, / quens diu Societat, / Fraternitat y Unió.Societat de Teixidós de Barcelonaca1840Himno del primer sindicato en España, la (barcelonesa) Sociedad de Tejedores / Anthem of the first trade union in Spain, the (Barcelona) Society of Weavers
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall Trad.en1797Riddles and nonsense. Some busts are for ever.
Budget dayJohn Freeth1790Government debt and a spendthrift establishment, but will posterity pay?
La locura más discreta que se dice executó la villa de Níjar del obispado de Almería, el día trece de septiembre de este presente año de 1759Diego Ventura Rejón y Lucases1759Vía Ortega y Gasset, a tale of popular madness: Con aquestos desbaratos / toda casa esta assolada, / no dejando tales tratos, / cazos, sillas, platos, nada, / ni aun la nada entre dos platos.
London Bridge is falling downTrad.en1750ish (lyrics) / 1879 (tune)
Sing a song of sixpence Trad.en1744
Chanson nouvelle sur les cris de Paris / New song on the cries of ParisAnonfr en1738Translated excerpt, featuring organ-grinders and their marmots.
Baa, baa, black sheepTrad.en1731
Villançico contrahaziendo a los mocaros que sienpre van ynportunando a los peregrinos con demandasJuan del Encinalf1520ishA beggars' song: the poet was in the Holy Land in ±1520 and tried to reproduce the lingua franca of the hordes of fake amputees and saints who plagued poor pilgrims there and at home: 'Benda ti istran plegrin: / benda, marqueta, maidin. / Benda, benda stringa da da / agugeta colorada. / Dali moro namorada / y ala ti da bon matin.'

Update: 2023/03/06


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