Ellen Loudon

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gus elen

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I have managed to upload some music hall footage – this is the first one I will share with you here.

It is Gus Elen and this is a performance of It’s a Great Big Shame, words by Edgar Bateman, Music by George LeBrun. It was recorded in a small studio on Water St, London 1932 when he was 70. Elen had been performing this song for over 25years and by this point and was nearing retirement. He would reprise this and other songs for the Royal Variety Performance in 1935. Elen Died on 17 February 1940.



If you’d like to sing along then here are the words:

It’s a Great Big Shame
Words by Edgar Bateman, Music by George LeBrun

I’ve lost my pal, ‘e’s the best in all the tahn,
But don’t you fink ‘im dead, beco’s ‘e ain’t.
But since ‘e’s wed ‘e ‘as ‘ad ter ‘nuckle dahn.
It’s e-nuf-ter wax the temper of a saint!
‘e’s a brewers dray-man, wiv a leg o’ mutton fist,
An’ as strong as a bullick or an ‘orse –
Yet in ‘er ‘ands ‘e’s like a little kid –
Oh! I wish as I could get ‘im a divorce.

It’s a great big shame, an’ if she belong’d ter me
I’d let ‘er know who’s who.
Naggin at a feller wot is six foot free,
And her not four foot two!
Oh! they ‘adn’t been married not a month nor more,
When underneath her fumb goes Jim –
Isn’t it a pity as the likes ov ‘er
Should put upon the likes ov ‘im?

Now Jim was class – ‘e could sing a decent song,
And at scrappin’ ‘e ‘ad won some great renown;
It took two coppers for to make ‘im move along,
And annuver six to ‘old the feller dahn.
But today when I axes would ‘e come an’ ‘ave some beer,
To the door-step on tip toe ‘e arrives;
“I dare-n’t,” says ‘e – “Don’t shout, ‘cos sh’ll ‘ear –
I’ve got ter clean the winders an’ the knives.”


On a Sunday morn, wiv a dozen pals or more,
‘e’d play at pitch an’ toss along the Lea;
But now she bullies ‘im a scrubbin ‘o the floor –
Such a change, – well I never did see.
Wiv apron on ‘im, I twigged ‘im on ‘is knees –
A rubbin’ up the old ‘arf stone;
Wot wiv emptyin’ the ashes and a shellin’ of the peas,
I’m blowed if ‘e can call ‘is self ‘is own!



Written by ellenloudon

June 22, 2007 at 9:47 am

Posted in PhD

2 Responses

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  1. What about ‘If it wasn’t for the ‘ouses inbetween?’


    August 12, 2007 at 5:43 pm

  2. This is my maternal great great grandfather Gus Elen! Thankyou so much for finding and posting this footage! you have made my day! I grew up hearing all about him and managed to find a record or 2 on Ebay. But Oh my! what a rare pleasure to see him perform in person! Thankyou so very much!Oona Snoeyenbos-West


    April 5, 2009 at 2:05 am

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