Tell Them You’re A Londoner



Letter dated 3 February 1911 from
Fred Godfrey assigning the rights to Tell Them You’re A Londoner (and several other songs) to Billy Williams. Interestingly, Williams had already recorded the song for the Zonophone Twin label when this letter was written.

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

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A song of working-class London pride that must have gone over well in the Metropolitan Halls, complete with the obligatory reference to that hoary thoroughfare, the Old Kent Road:

Tell them you’re a Londoner,
Just an ordinary little Londoner.
You don’t come from the best end, boy
But you’re as good as anybody in the West End, boy.
Your mother, too, was a Londoner,
Proud of her tiny abode.
So when they ask you where you come from,
Tell them you were born
Somewhere in the Old Kent Road.



Zonophone Twin 786-BCinch 5133-B


Billy Williams recorded two versions of this song: 26 January 1912 for Zonophone Twin (reissued on Cinch and Australian Zonophone), and ca. April 12 for Edison Amberol.1



1  For comprehensive discographies of recordings by Billy Williams, see Brian Rust, British Music Hall on Record (Harrow, UK:
    Gramophone, 1979); and Frank Andrews and Ernie Bayly, Billy Williams’ Records: A Study in Discography (Bournemouth, UK:
    Talking Machine Review, 1982).