Run Rabbit Run

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"Run Rabbit Run" is a song written by Noel Gay and Ralph Butler. The music was by Noel Gay and the song was originally sung by Flanagan and Allen.

Background[edit]

This song was written for Noel Gay's show The Little Dog Laughed, which opened on 11 October 1939, at a time when most of the major London theatres were closed. It was a popular song during World War II, especially after Flanagan and Allen changed the lyrics to poke fun at the Germans (e.g. Run Adolf, Run Adolf, Run, Run, Run........)

On the farm, every Friday
On the farm, it's rabbit pie day.
So, every Friday that ever comes along,
I get up early and sing this little song
Run rabbit – run rabbit – Run! Run! Run!
Run rabbit – run rabbit – Run! Run! Run!
Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!
Goes the farmer's gun.
Run, rabbit, run, rabbit, run.
Run rabbit – run rabbit – Run! Run! Run!
Don't give the farmer his fun! Fun! Fun!
He'll get by
Without his rabbit pie
So run rabbit – run rabbit – Run! Run! Run!

The lyrics were used as a defiant dig at the allegedly ineffectual Luftwaffe. On 13 November 1939, soon after the outbreak of the Second World War and also soon after the song was premiered, Germany launched its first air raid on Britain, on flying boats that were sheltering in Sullom Voe, Shetland. Two rabbits were supposedly killed by a bomb drop, although it is suggested that they were in fact procured from a butchers' shop and used for publicity purposes.[1][2]

Walter H. Thompson's TV biography I Was Churchill's Bodyguard rates the song as Winston Churchill's favourite as Prime Minister; also, Jock Colville, Churchill's private secretary during much of the war, mentions the Prime Minister singing part of this song.[3]

In popular culture[edit]

References[edit]