Lloyd George Knew My Father (song)

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This article is about the schoolboy song. For other uses, see Lloyd George Knew My Father.

"Lloyd George Knew My Father" is a 20th-century English schoolboy folk song. The simple lyrics consist of the phrase "Lloyd George knew my father/Father knew Lloyd George"[1][2] sung to the tune "Onward, Christian Soldiers".[A][3] In the schoolboy song, the two lines referring to Lloyd George are repeated incessantly, typically by groups of schoolboys on a bus or similar setting,[3] until boredom sets in.[4] There are no lyrics other than those two lines. The song gains much of its notoriety from the irony inevitable in the clash between the song's flippant lyrics and Baring-Gould's classic hymn from which Sullivan's tune is inextricable.[original research?] It is also commonly sung to the tune of "Land of Hope and Glory".

The origin of the song is not known[5] but there are several theories, one that it began as a music hall song making an oblique reference to David Lloyd George's supposed womanizing proclivities[5][6] (with the right timing and intonation and a well-placed wink, "father" could be taken to mean that the singer was the product of a liaison between his mother and Lloyd George). The Oxford Dictionary of Political Quotations attributes the song to Tommy Rhys Roberts QC, the son of a former law partner of Lloyd George.[5] According to David Owen, it was a World War I marching song.[5]


  1. ^ Arthur Sullivan's version of the tune. (Sabine Baring-Gould had written the hymn in 1865 but had used a movement from Joseph Haydn's Symphony No. 15 in D major as the music. Sullivan composed a new tune (which he named "Saint Gertrude") in 1871 to go with Baring-Gould's lyrics, and it is this version which is commonly used since.[7]


  1. ^ "Wee Sing Lyrics: Lloyd George Knew My Father". Lyrics Time. Retrieved April 3, 2011. 
  2. ^ Taylor, A. J. P. (1965). English History 1914–1945. Oxford University Press. p. 73. ISBN 978-0-19-821715-2. Retrieved April 2011.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  3. ^ a b "England, 1900-24". History on the Web. Sempringham eLearning Resources. Retrieved April 4, 2011. 
  4. ^ Lucas Miller (March 16, 2009). "William Douglas Home's Lloyd George Knew My Father". Berkshire Review. Retrieved April 3, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Lloyd George knew my father....but what's the origin of the famous song?". Lloyd George Society. January 31, 2009. Retrieved April 3, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Llanystumdwy, Gwynedd". Wales Directory. Retrieved April 3, 2011. 
  7. ^ Jack Boyd, ed. (1986). Great Songs of the Church, Revised. Abilene, Texas: ACU Press. , No. 412.