I've danced with a man, who's danced with a girl, who's danced with the Prince of Wales

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"I've danced with a man, who's danced with a girl, who's danced with the Prince of Wales"
Composer(s)Harold Scott
Lyricist(s)Herbert Farjeon

"I've danced with a man, who's danced with a girl, who's danced with the Prince of Wales" is a 1927 song by Herbert Farjeon and Harold Scott written at the height of the popularity of Edward, Prince of Wales, later Edward VIII of the United Kingdom. It was inspired by a 1920s incident at the Ascot Cabaret Ball, at which Edward asked ballroom dancing champion Edna Deane to dance with him nine times.


Edward, Prince of Wales, was known to enjoy dancing, being both a patron and participant in many fund-raising dances and balls.[1] He often asked women from the lower classes to dance with him, which increased his widespread popularity.[1][2] According to Marriott in Downton Abbey: The Official Film Companion, women sought him out as a dancing partner and those who did share a dance with him earned instant celebrity.[3]

In the mid-1920s, Edward attended the Ascot Cabaret Ball, which also saw the presence of Edna Deane, a ballroom dancing champion.[4] Edward was reportedly "entranced" by Deane and asked her to dance with him nine times.[4][5] This incident inspired songwriter Herbert Farjeon to write the song in 1927, using the title words in the chorus, which proclaims "Glory, Glory, Alleluia! I'm the luckiest of females; For I've danced with a man, who's danced with a girl, who's danced with the Prince of Wales."[4][3]


According to the Oxford Dictionary of Modern Quotations, Farjeon originally wrote the song for Elsa Lanchester,[6] who sang it in a London music hall performance.[7] Lanchester regarded the song as her greatest hit.[7] The song was then sung at private parties.[6] Its popularity also spread to the United States and Canada.[8]

On 4 June 1928, the soprano Mimi Crawford sang it in the London revue Many Happy Returns—also written by Farjeon[9]—at the Duke of York's Theatre.[1][10] Several weeks earlier, the revue was privately staged at the Arts Theatre. Although this performance was not subject to censorship by the Lord Chamberlain's office, the Prince of Wales was a member of the Arts Theatre Club and the theatre's managing director therefore opted to submit the tune to the prince's secretary for his approval.[10] The prince—said to be "a good sport" with "a very good sense of humor"—gave his verbal assent.[10][11] The song was subsequently sent to the Lord Chamberlain for his approval before the public performance at the Duke of York's Theatre, and was approved without comment.[10]

The song was later chosen as the theme for the 1978 ITV television series Edward & Mrs. Simpson, scored by Ron Grainer.[12]


The song's title lyric is often quoted in the contemporary press, typically referencing the desire of ordinary people to forge connections with famous individuals.[13][14][15] In 2009 the journalist Tom Sutcliffe of The Independent quoted the lyric in the context of how an "exotic threat" like the swine flu epidemic suddenly came closer to home.[16]


  1. ^ a b c "Partner Twice Removed, But He is Prince". The Vancouver Sun. 28 July 1928. p. 38 – via Newspapers.com.Open access icon
  2. ^ Cahill, Lenore (30 August 1924). "St. Louis Girl, Prince's Dancing Partner, Speaks". The Times. p. 4 – via Newspapers.com.Open access icon
  3. ^ a b Marriott, Emma (2019). Downton Abbey: The Official Film Companion. Hachette UK. p. 238. ISBN 9781472267313.
  4. ^ a b c "Edna Deane, Dancer And Inspiration, 90". The New York Times. 26 November 1995. Retrieved 27 November 2009.
  5. ^ Thornton, Michael (27 November 1995). "Dancing Queen: Obituary of Edna Deane". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 March 2020.
  6. ^ a b Knowles, Elizabeth, ed. (2007). Oxford Dictionary of Modern Quotations (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 109. ISBN 9780199208951.
  7. ^ a b Quigg, Jack (16 October 1949). "Hollywood Gossip". The Hutchinson News. Associated Press. p. 26 – via Newspapers.com.Open access icon
  8. ^ Bousfield, Arthur; Toffoli, Garry (2016). Royals in Canada. Dundurn. p. 202. ISBN 9781459736740.
  9. ^ Watson, George; Willison, Ian R., eds. (1972). The New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature. Vol. 4. Cambridge University Press Archive. p. 489.
  10. ^ a b c d "Wales Approves Song That Takes His Name in Vain". Brooklyn Eagle. 24 June 1928. p. 15 – via Newspapers.com.Open access icon
  11. ^ "Prince Falls for Joke As Well as Off Horse". Reading Times. 28 July 1928. p. 3 – via Newspapers.com.Open access icon
  12. ^ "Edward and Mrs Simpson (1978)". Screenonline. British Film Institute. 2014. Retrieved 19 March 2020.
  13. ^ Green, David G. (2014). Of Ants and Men: The Unexpected Side Effects of Complexity in Society. Springer. p. 159. ISBN 9783642552304.
  14. ^ Thapar, Karan (17 April 2016). "How Prince William hit Sachin for a six and joked about it". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  15. ^ Anderson, Jock (11 October 2018). "Palace gossip for 'Compo' among the beaters, butlers and Billy Cokes". New Zealand Law Society. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  16. ^ Sutcliffe, Tom (5 May 2009). "Tom Sutcliffe: Still not scared after my brush with swine flu". The Independent. Retrieved 22 March 2020.

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