Clive Hooley has given us quite a treat: an Elsie Carlisle song recorded 73 years ago that was not previously on the Internet and is on no vinyl album or CD that I have ever seen. It is a wartime tune on the flip side of the album with the famous “Hut Sut Song.” Copyrighted in 1941, “She Had Those Dark and Dreamy Eyes” appears to have its roots in older sea shanties, and recurs in a truly filthy form in the doggerel of WWII airmen.1
“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.”
Video by Twenties Girl (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:
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?