10 Comments

  1. This song was certainly around in my childhood. But I don’t think I understood that “tea for two” was not just the liquid beverage, but probably the English afternoon light meal. Or it might be what you say to the hostess as she seats you, if it’s not “two for lunch please”.

    Oh and, notice that the man sings “a boy for you, a girl for me”. This nicely flies in the face of what later in the century seemed to be an American movie/television belief, that men want their child to be a boy, and will bravely disguise their disappointment when told it will be a girl.

  2. So the guy at the end (with the mild moustache), when he speaks French is that a noticeably English accent?

  3. It seemed very social-isolation-appropriate to me: “Nobody near us to see us or hear us, No friends or relations on weekend vacations. We won’t have it known that we own a telephone.” While the man is going to take a sugar cake, baked by the woman, for all the boys to see, I assume that means he’s sharing on social media.

    Although I believe I’ve heard this sung with the boy for the man and the girl for the woman, this is supposed to be the original version, which was written in 1925. My understanding is that the United States is unusual in actually having a net preference for girls: Apparently American men are genuinely neutral on sons versus daughters, but many women are desperate to have a daughter.

  4. Are you familiar with Billy Bigelow’s “Soliloquy” from Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carrousel? That dates from 1945, though this clip from the movie says it was 1956. Full of gender stereotypes and socioeconomic assumptions, all somewhat weird to us today.

    But even though he moves on from imagining his son to imagining his daughter, still favorably, you can probably see a preference for a boy.

    By the nineties, TV writers could indicate that a guy was progressive if he seemed sincere in saying the child’s sex didn’t matter, and he might even prefer a girl.

    (Spoiler for those who don”t recall the musical, his posthumous child is a daughter, who grows up to walk around alone with her head held high while the full chorus sings ” You’ll Never Walk Alone”)

  5. The best arrangement of this piece was made by, of all people, the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich.

  6. Mitch4 – considering he is Terry Thomas, a British comic/actor, the accent is not surprising.

  7. guero == thanks. I was unfamiliar with the movie but had read a summary, so with this clip was just trying to match it to the plot as described. It seemed the two clean-shaven men were separately each trying to find a Brit and mistook each other for him until they realized they were both French. Then the right guy shows up, and regardless of passwords is identifiable by his accent. I don’t know if that was a part of the joke.

    MiB — Cool photo-montage … but where is the one in the Leningrad fire-spotter hat?

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