“My Old Flame” (1934)

“My Old Flame.” Composed by Arthur Johnston (who also wrote “Pennies from Heaven”), with lyrics by Sam Coslow. Elsie Carlisle with Ambrose and His Orchestra (Embassy Club, London, November 1, 1934). Decca F 5293.

My old flame – Ambrose and his orchestra with Elsie Carlisle

“My Old Flame” – Ambrose and His Orchestra with Elsie Carlisle

Video by Julian Dyer (YouTube)

“Please Leave My Butter Alone” (1940)

“Please Leave My Butter Alone.” Recorded by Elsie Carlisle on December 27, 1940 in the context of war rationing:

“Everybody pinches my butter;
They won’t leave my butter alone!
And nothing is better than butter
For keeping the old man at home.

Everybody says I’m old-fashioned
To sit on the things that are rationed, etc.”

Please leave my butter alone – Elsie Carlisle

Please Leave My Butter Alone – Elsie Carlisle

Video by hawkmoon03111951 (YouTube)

It must have seemed obvious to have Miss Carlisle express herself with such double-entendre, but the song had actually been first recorded that year by Elsie and Doris Waters (a.k.a. Gert and Daisy). There was even a version by the comedian Arthur Askey:

Arthur Askey – Please Leave My Butter Alone

Arthur Askey – Please Leave My Butter Alone

Video by Andrew Oldham (YouTube)

All of which raises the question: in wartime, if you were inclined to pinch someone’s butter, whose butter would you pinch?

"The Idol of the Radio." British dance band singer of the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s.