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"Fings Ain't What They Used T' Be"

"Fings Ain't Wot They Used T'Be" is a play with music; a play, written by Frank Norman, himself a Cockney. Lionel Bart, who also grew up on London's East End wrote the music and lyrics. It was first produced by Joan Littlewood, in the Theatre Royal Stratford East at the Theatre Workshop. It opened at the Garrick Theatre in London's West End, on 11 February 1960. It ran for about two years.

Much of the rhyming slang translations were supplied in the programme.

The characters in the play were a selection of the low-life of London; a collection of gamblers, spivs, prostitutes, Teddy boys & girls and some not-too-honest police. The lead actors/singers were Toni Palmer, James Booth, Maurice Kaufmann, Wallas Eaton, Miriam Karlin, Bryan Pringle, Tom Chatto, James Dark, Glen Edwards, Paddy Joyce, Yootha Joyce & Barbara Windsor singing six of the show's songs.
The title song, "Fings ain't wot they used t'be", was recorded by Max Bygraves.

* * * * * * *
"Fings Ain't What They Used T' Be"
Sung By Max Bygraves.

Decca Records 1960

Starts off with backing singers (male) singing:

Hoi!! do me a favour

They changed our local Palais into a bowling alley
and fings ain't what they used t' be

There's Teds wiv drainpipe trousers
and Debs in coffee houses
and fings ain't what they used t' be
There used to be Trams not very quick
Gotcha from place to place
But now there's just jams 'alf a mile fick
Stay in the human race... I'm walking

They stuck parking meters outside our doors to greet us
Now Fings ain't what they used t' be

Corr! monkeys... flying round the moon
We'll be up there with 'em soon
Fings ain't what they used t' be

Once our beer was frothy
but now its frothy coffee... well
Fings ain't what they used t'be
It used to be fun Dad an' old Mum
paddling down Southend
But now it ain't done
Never mind chum
Paris is where we spend our outin's
Grandma tries to shock us all
Doing knees up rock 'n' roll
Fings ain't wot they used t' be

We used to have stars
Singers who sung a Dixie melody
They're buying guitars... plinkty plonk
Backing their selves wiv th(f)ree chords only
Once we'd dance from 12 to 3
I've got news for Elvis P
Fings ain't what they used taaa
There's a lot we used taaa
Fings ain't what they used taa beeeee

* * * * * * *
Big thanks to John for his input
And thanks to another John!!

Please email me if you know anymore

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