Upstairs, Downstairs

I am often asked for the lyrics to various songs used within Upstairs, Downstairs, so hopefully this will plug a few gaps. Various audio versions of these are on my Sounds page.

(Music: Alexander Faris, Lyrics: Alfred Shaughnessy)

This song is Sarah's bawdy music-hall song that she sings several times in the series (most notably in For Love of Love). The tune is the faster, polka part of Alexander Faris' theme tune set to words by script editor Alfred Shaughnessy.

Pauline Collins, who played Sarah, also released the song on a Decca single in 1973.

What are we going to do with Uncle Arthur?
A blinking stallion, is Uncle Arthur.
When he goes a-strolling in the park,
Watch your step, girls, especially after dark.
Any old skirt's a flirt to Uncle Arthur,
He's over eighty, but how he can run!
"Give us a kiss, my dear," he'd say,
And tickle you up the boom-di-ay,
And say it was just an 'armless bit of fun.

What are we going to do with Uncle Arthur?
Have him doctored like a tomcat?
You'd have thought by now he'd has his fill,
But my aunt can't bloody well keep him still,
Saturday night'll find him at the boozer,
A couple of pints there, then off he will pop,
Straighten his hat and up the street,
As light as a feather on his feet,
A dirty old man who don't know when to stop.

What are we going to do with Uncle Arthur?
A public nuisance, is Uncle Arthur.
Though he's bald, deaf, dirty and decayed,
He's the uncrowned king of the esplanade.
Nothing on earth can seem to damp his ardour,
He's trying harder, the older he grows.
One of these days he'll have to die,
What will he get up to in the sky?
Well heaven and Uncle Arthur only,
You can be sure he won't be lonely,
Heaven and Uncle Arthur only knows.

1 For this line, some versions substitute these lines instead:
And say it was just an 'armless bit,
A nice bruise on you, where you sit,
A "Let me go, Uncle Arthur," kind of fun.

2 For this line, some versions substitute this line instead:
Having a quick one, then off he will pop,

3 For this line, some versions substitute this line instead:
An eighty-year-old who's indiscreet,

(Music: Neil Gow, Lyrics: Trad, from a poem by Robert Burns)

This is the song Captain Hammond sings to Lady Marjorie in Magic Casements. Actor David Kernan sings live to a pre-recorded piano backing track by Harry Rabinowitz (a well-known theme tune composer for LWT).

O, my luve is like a red, red rose,
That's newly sprung in June;
O, my luve is like a melodie
That's sweetly played in tune.
As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till all the seas gang dry.
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till all the seas gang dry.
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till all the seas gang dry.
Till all the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands of life shall run.
But fare thee weel, my only luve!
O, fare thee weel awhile!
And I will come again, my luve,
Tho' 'twere ten thousand mile.
Tho' 'twere then thousand mile, my luve,
Tho' 'twere ten thousand mile,
And I will come again, my luve,
Tho' 'twere ten thousand mile.


This is the sad Irish folk song sung by Emily in I Dies from Love. Parts of the song were spread throughout the episode, all sung solo by actress Evin Crowley herself. As with most traditional songs, various versions exist. The lyrics that follow are a composite of the – nominally – Irish versions. Yet another version is listed as originating in a Lincolnshire. A further version (about a railroad boy) seems to be an American (Irish-American?) slant on the original. Across all these, only the last verse seems (more or less) constant.

The song was later recorded by Sinéad O'Connor for the soundtrack of Neil Jordan's 1997 film of the same name. It also appeared on the B-side of Kirsty MacColl's 1995 single Caroline. Assorted other recorded versions are by Buell Kazee, Damien Jurado, Peggy Seeger, Frank Proffitt, Joseph Taylor, Shirley Collins, Isla Cameron, Jeannie Robertson, Martin Carthy/Dave Swarbrick, Tommy Makem, and Rachel Unthank & The Winterset.

The railroad-boy variant appeared on Joan Baez's second album, and has been performed live by Elvis Costello.

In More Street where I did dwell1
A butcher boy I loved so well.
He courted me my life away,
But now with me he will not stay.

I wish, I wish, I wish in vain
I wish I were a maid again!
But a maid again I'll never be,
Till cherries grow on an apple tree

I wish my baby it were born
And smiling on its daddy's knee
And me, poor girl, to be dead and gone,
With the long green grass growin' over me.

She went upstairs to go to bed
And calling to her mama said:
"Give me a chair till I sit down.
And a pen and ink while I write down."

And every word she dropped a tear
And every line cried, "Willie dear!"
Oh what a foolish girl was I
To be lead astray by a butcher boy.

He went upstairs and the door he broke.
He found her hanging from a rope.
He took his knife and he cut her down,
And in her pocket, these words he found:

"Oh make my grave large, wide and deep,
Put a marble stone at my head and feet.
And in the middle a turtle dove
That the world may know I died for love

1 Sometimes this line is:
In Dublin town where I did dwell

2 Sometimes this line is:
Till apples grow on an ivy tree.

3 Crowley actually seems to sing: I died from love, despite this contradicting the episode's title.

(a poem by George Macdonald)

The strange title of the episode Out of the Everywhere can be explained by this charming poem written by George Macdonald in 1871.

Where did you come from baby dear?
Out of the everywhere into here.

Where did you get those eyes so blue?
Out of the sky as I came through.

What makes the light in them sparkle and spin?
Some of the starry spikes left in.

Where did you get that little tear?
I found it waiting when I got here.

What makes your forehead so smooth and high?
A soft hand stroked it as I went by.

What makes your cheek like a warm white rose?
I saw something better than any one knows.

Whence that three-cornered smile of bliss?
Three angels gave me at once a kiss.

Where did you get this pearly ear?
God spoke, and it came out to hear.

Where did you get those arms and hands
Love made itself into bonds and bands.

Feet, whence did you come, you darling things?
From the same box as the cherub's wings.

How did they all just come to be you?
God thought about me, and so I grew.

But how did you come to us, you dear?
God thought about you, and so I am here.

(Music: Alexander Faris, Lyrics: Benny Green)

On the B-side of her 1973 single, Pauline Collins recorded this vocal version of the slow, waltz part of Alexander Faris' theme music. These lyrics – written by jazz musician-writer-broadcaster Benny Green – have never turned up elsewhere.

With every passing day,
I close my eyes and say,
"Here it comes, that happy ending,
Sending me on my way."

It's just a game I play,
Dreaming my life away.
Though I know my day is passing,
With every passing day.

When I was naive I wore,
My heart upon my sleeve.
They told me,
"Love's a game that doesn't last for long."
Then love came and showed me they were wrong.
Love, it seems, reserves its rules for all the fools.

There is one thing I've discovered,
Little something I've uncovered.
No one knows what lies around the bend,
Just suppose my luck is on the mend.
Hope is high,
That is why...

Daydreams that fly so far,
Melt all my fears away.
Though I know my day is passing,
With every passing day.

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