Please note:

  • 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 has multiple registers and percussion, and sounds ... real), and someone needs to sing!
  • Lyrics or translations can be displayed live on a screen, karaoke-style.
TitleArtistLaYearComments
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.)
Concerto for Barrel Organ and Orchestra / Brass Band / Wind Band / Piano etcBernie Green1957The organ-grinder has at last got a serious classical gig but can't throw off the habits of a lifetime. With bleeding chunks of Tchaikovsky (1st Piano Concerto), Rachmaninov (2nd Piano Concerto), Greig (Piano Concerto), Fučik (Entry of the Gladiators) and Waldteufel (Les Patineurs). Virtual excerpt:
Second Sonata, The Airplane, fragmentoGeorge Antheil1916Everything's back to front: The Singing Organ-Grinder is the plane.
Toccata No. 2George Antheil1916
My old tunesEdward Elgaren1915From Elgar's incidental music for The Starlight Express, a children's play by Violet Pearn based on the imaginative novel A Prisoner in Fairyland by Algernon Blackwood: My old tunes are rather broken / And they come from far away, / Bring just a little token / Of a long-forgotten day.
Video, possibly from another time or person:
Mashup: Petrushka + My old man's a dustmanIgor Stravinsky / Lonnie Doneganen1915Portrays on the organ the orchestral imitation by Stravinsky of a barrel organ and a musical box. The video shows the Bolshoi dancing my arrangement. Ends with one of my favourite children's songs.
Video, possibly from another time or person:
Sports et divertissementsErik Satieen1914A selection, in English.
Zwei blaue Augen / Twee blauwe ogen / The two blue eyes of my sweetheart (Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen)Gustav Mahler / Dutch translation: Jan Rot / English: T.E. Clarkde nl en1885Auf der Strasse stand ein Lindenbaum, Da hab' ich zum ersten Mal im Schlaf geruht!
Ride of the ValkyriesWagner1880Kazoo special.
The best of Tristan und IsoldeWagner / The Singing Organ-Grinder1880Wagner was a big country and western fan.
Softly awakes my heartSaint-Saensfr1880With Swanee whistle.
Ballet of the unhatched chicksModest Mussorgsky1874Edited from an early piano roll. Virtual excerpt:
Cantata nacionalJosep Anselm Clavées1864In his collection, Flores de Estío, the Catalan master utters Hispanophile sentiments which many prefer to forget: ¡Gloria á ESPAÑA! dó en paz hoy florecen / Con las ciencias, la industria y las artes; / Dó el progreso derrumba baluartes / Que en talleres se ven transformar.
Ave MariaBach-Gounod1830With Swanee whistle
Der Leiermann (Winterreise)Wilhelm Müller / Franz Schubertde1827The owner of a hurdy-gurdy, which is not the same as a barrel organ.
Ode to Joy / An die FreudeSchiller / Beethoven / Rowan Atkinsonde en1824Bremain would have won if they'd featured this in their ads. Perhaps.
Das Grab ist tief und stille (The grave is deep and silent)Salis / Nägelide1822Accompanies the story 'Diogenes with his barrel-organ.'
Marmotte (Das Jahrmarktsfest zu Plundersweilern / Op. 53 no. 7)Goethe / Beethovende en1805Parody of a Savoyard organ grinder and his marmot at a fair: It's many a land I've travelled through, / Avecque la marmotte, / And I always found some thing to chew, / Avecque la marmotte.
Guter Mond du gehst so stille, durch die Abendwolken hin (Oh, dear Moon, you go so quietly, / Through the evening clouds away)Anonde1800Accompanies the story 'Diogenes with his barrel-organ.' Based on the version from Ludwig Erk's 1838 folksong collection.
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.
O du lieber Augustinde1799
Gott erhalte unsern Kaiser! (God save our Kaiser!)Joseph Haydn / Freiherr v. Zedlitzde1797Austrian imperial anthem with lyrics in use around 1813 during the reign of Franz I. Accompanies the story 'Diogenes with his barrel-organ.'
Die Gedachte sind frei / De gedachten zijn vrijde nl1780sFreiheitslied from SW Germany (?)
La rejouissance (Music for the royal fireworks)Handel1749With kazoo. How can you rejoice wihout kazoos?
La poule (Suite in G major/G minor)Rameaufr1726?With added chicken noises
O Jesulein süss! O Jesulein mild!Georg Christian Schemellide en1620O little one sweet, O little one mild, thy Father's purpose thou hast fulfilled.
Een kindelien zo lovelik / Ein Kindelein so löbelichTrad.nl de1618My favourite Low German carol.
When that I was and a little tiny boy (Hey, ho, the wind and the rain)William Shakespeare / John Harle1601Feste the Fool's closing song from Twelth Night. Version of Elvis Costello's version of the traditional version sung by Alfred Deller.
Sweetest love, I do not goeJohn Donne / Ralph Steadman / The Singing Organ-Grinderen1600?It cannot be / That thou lov'st me, as thou say'st, / If in thine my life thou waste, / That art the best of me.
Es ist ein Ros' entsprungen / Lo, how a rose e'er bloomingMichael Praetoriusde en1599My favourite Marian hymn.
Het WilhelmusTrad.nl1570?Naar de versie voor Dubbele Biphone die door de Leidse politie in 1940 in beslag werd genomen en in 2012 voor het eerst opnieuw werd uitgevoerd.
Coventry CarolRobert Crooen1534 (lyrics) 1591 (tune)Herod is slaughtering the Innocents: Then woe is me, poor Child, for Thee, / And ever mourn and say; / For Thy parting, nor say nor sing, / By, by, lully, lullay.
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.'
In dulci jubiloHeinrich Seuse / Robert Pearsallen de la1328I do both the German-Latin original and the popular Pearsall Anglicisation
Sumer is icumen inAnon. / Ezra Pound / Peter Firmin / Oliver Postgateen1250Round progressing from Wessex Middle English (The bullock stirs, the stag farts, / Merrily sing, Cuckoo!) via miseryguts' Ancient Music (Winter is icumen in, / Lhude sing Goddamm) to the Bagpuss mice (We will fix it).
Video, possibly from another time or person:
SederuntPérotinla1200sGreat example of organum (ca. 1200) from the master of Notre-Dame. Tenor here. Bi ther grete criyng of song, as deschaunt, countre note and orgene, thei ben lettid fro studyinge and prechynge of the gospel.
Sabre danceAram Khachaturian / Andrews SistersenPure Orientalism: Drums are booming, cellos zooming, / Cymbals crashing, sabres flashing in a willy nilly sort of way,.
Das Lied vom braven Manne (The song of the goodly man)deAccompanies the story 'Diogenes with his barrel-organ.'

Update: 2020/01/03