All The Houses Were Going Round And Round



Billy Williams & Fred Godfrey, 1911; manuscript of lyrics in author’s collection.

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[T]he old, old story...of the Gentleman who, after dining not wisely but too well, steadies himself against a lamp-post and, with his latch key “En Garde”, waits until the key-hole of his residence bulks before him at the psychological moment when he can insert same into its innermost recesses....[A] record worthy of even Mr. Billy’s reputation.1



Billy Williams recorded four versions of this song: 26 January 1912 for Zonophone; ca. March 1912 for Pathé; ca. March 1912 for Edison Standard Cylinder; and ca. November 1912 for Homophon. Reissues appeared on several other labels.2



Advertising copy for Edison Standard Cylinder, quoted in Frank Andrews and Ernie Bayly, Billy Williams’ Records: A Study in
(Bournemouth, UK: Talking Machine Review, 1982), p. 51.

2 For comprehensive discographies of recordings by Billy Williams, see Brian Rust, British Music Hall on Record (Harrow, UK:
   Gramophone, 1979); and Andrews and Bayly, Billy Williams’ Records.