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The Songs

“Harry lived and breathed music; when not rehearsing, writing, designing, acting or at work on business management, he was composing.”

                                                                                     Fay Compton

Harry was a self-taught composer, whose mind whirred with so much music that he had a piano in every room of his Hampstead home. He sang at the piano when he first performed his German parody, Mien Faderland and when he sang his first big hits, parodies of Wagner and ‘Take-offski.


He loved the piano so much that he had one specially designed with two keyboards, so that wherever he was on stage the ivories were in reach. Naturally, he proposed to Fay by playing an improvised comic love duet. 

Harry composed over 60 songs and the variety of his output was extraordinary. It ranged from savage pastiche to witty satire, anarchic whimsy to rag-time dance and poignantly romantic love ballads. Many have stood the test of time, pre-figuring some of the silliness of The Goons, the sardonic charm of Noel Coward and the melodies of Ivor Novello.


The 2020 Pélissier’s Follies Song Book has 12 songs. 

Sung by Mitch Feral and Paula Sides.

Music Arranged & Orchestrated by Paul Smith (Opera Tottie).

Produced by Anthony Binns & Jaudy Pélissier

Recorded at Heavy Entertainment.

Copyright Pélissier Communications Ltd.


Song Categories and Opening Lyrics 




(Lyrics by Heinrich Heine)

And if the little flowers could see how pierced my heart with grief

Then surely they would weep with me to bring my heart relief


I Want Somebody to Love me

I’ve searched the world, where can I find

A lover who’s constant, never unkind

Lovers' Laughter

There is a land where dreams come true

A land that only lovers know

My Moon

When love is in the making, lover’s far and wide

Day’s garish light forsaking, sing at eventide

Music Hall

Welcome to The Follies

Bring your friends to see the Follies

Wheel ‘em round on trucks and dollies

Nonsense / Comedy

The Dog Song

There once was a mangy little terrier, petted by a family of three;

There never was a sharper or a merrier or a yappier little mongrel than he!

The Toothbrush and the Sponge

A toothbrush sat on a washstand, and tear stood in his eye

As he gazed a lot at a beautiful sponge, that hung in a bag nearby.

American Minstrel (Cakewalk)

The Dandy One Step

Say kid are you up for dance?

Why, Harry I’m waiting the chance.

Well, hun, can you wag time

Well sure, if it’s ragtime.

Social Satire

Jane from Maiden Lane 

When our country cousin Jane, first arrived in Maiden Lane

She’d a naughty little twinkle in her eye.

All on the Road to Brighton

The noble horse has had its day and so has the bicyclist

This is the fin-de-siècle age of the automobiliste

Political Satire

Oh, What a Happy Land is England!

Oh, what a happy land is England. Envied by nations near and far

Though William Shakespeare’s dead, we’ve got Game of Thrones instead.

The first ever biography of H.G. Pélissier, satirist, composer and bohemian – one of the most famous Edwardians before WW1. A visionary forerunner of The Goons and Monty Python.

Recommended in The Times Writers' Favourite Books of 2022 by Quentin Letts.

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