Leslie Sarony (1897–1985)

(World Records album cover)

Entertainer and prolific songwriter, active well into his eighties, Leslie Sarony was born Leslie Fry in Surbiton, a suburb of London. For his stage name, he took his mother’s maiden name. He was in the original West End London production of “Show Boat,” but became famous in the 1930s when he teamed up on radio with Leslie Holmes as The Two Leslies.1 He also appeared in the 1968 film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Among his songs are Don’t Do That To The Poor Puss Cat (with Frank Eyton, 1928); Forty-Seven Ginger Headed Sailors (1928); I Lift Up My Finger And I Say “Tweet Tweet” (1929); Mucking About In The Garden (as “Q. Cumber”, 1929); Jollity Farm (1930); Over The Garden Wall (with Cecil Harrington, 1930); Rhymes (1931); When The Guards Are On Parade (with Lawrence Wright, as “Horatio Nicholls”, 1931); and Ain’t It Grand To Be Blooming Well Dead (1932).2

Sarony wrote several songs with Fred Godfrey, most of which are of an unknown date and may not have been published. Songs known to have been published are: The Feller That Played The Pianner (1936; the British Library credits Godfrey alone) and Strolling Down The Strand (1949), which Sarony recorded for his 1980 LP “Roy Hudd Presents Leslie Sarony.” The others are: (from the 1920s?) That’s Just William and You’ve Got Nothing On Me; (from the 1930s?) Corned Beef; Did You Ever See?; I Do Like A Little Bit Of Jelly; In Early Victorian Days; and Miffikins, Where Have You Been?

Sarony also recorded two Fred Godfrey songs that he did not have a hand in writing: Oh Maggie! What Have You Been Up To? (1929) and If Everyone Did A Good Turn Every Day (1936).



1  Chris Wortman, “Leslie Sarony.” The Call Boy [British Music Hall Society] 22, no. 2 (1985): 5.
2  For more information on Leslie Sarony, see his entry in Peter Gammond, The Oxford Companion to Popular Music (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991), pp. 513–14.