The Boy I Love is Up in the Gallery

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"The Boy I Love Is Up in the Gallery"
Song by Nelly Power
Written 1886
Genre Music hall
Songwriter(s) George Ware

"The Boy I Love Is Up in the Gallery" is a music hall song written for the music hall star Nelly Power by George Ware in 1885, and made famous by Marie Lloyd. It is unusual in that it places the singer in the actual location of the theatre.

Lyrics[edit]

These are the lyrics in the sheet music published by EMI Music Publishing, London, 1977.

I'm a young girl, and have just come over,
Over from the country where they do things big,
And amongst the boys I've got a lover,
And since I've got a lover, why I don't care a fig.

The boy I love is up in the gallery,
The boy I love is looking now at me,
There he is, can't you see, waving his handkerchief,
As merry as a robin that sings on a tree.

The boy that I love, they call him a cobbler,
But he's not a cobbler, allow me to state.
For Johnny is a tradesman and he works in the Boro'[Note 1]
Where they sole and heel them, whilst you wait.

The boy I love is up in the gallery,
The boy I love is looking now at me,
There he is, can't you see, waving his handkerchief,
As merry as a robin that sings on a tree.

Now, If I were a Duchess and had a lot of money,
I'd give it to the boy that's going to marry me.
But I haven't got a penny, so we'll live on love and kisses,
And be just as happy as the birds on the tree.

The boy I love is up in the gallery,
The boy I love is looking now at me,
There he is, can't you see, waving his handkerchief,
As merry as a robin that sings on a tree.

In popular culture[edit]

The song is heard in the television detective series Cribb during the episode entitled "Abracadaver".

A version of the song using the word "girl" and female pronouns is heard in the movie Different for Girls.

Emma Amos portrayed Marie Lloyd singing the song in the final series of Goodnight Sweetheart. Lloyd is also portrayed singing the song in Edward the Seventh.

The song was sung by Charlene McKenna in the finale of Ripper Street.

Miss Piggy sings this song, accompanied by Rowlf on piano and with the audience joining in, during the UK Spot of the Rich Little episode of The Muppet Show.

A portion of this song is sung by the character Grace Burgess in the BBC Two Series Peaky Blinders in the first episode.

Georgia Brown as Marie Lloyd sings the song in the episode "The Reluctant Juggler" of the British miniseries The Edwardians.

In Gaslight (1940 film), the song was sung in the music hall scene and the lyics of the chorus prompted the character Paul Mallen (played by Anton Walbrook) to abort his date with the parlour maid to return home to see what his wife was doing.

The film version of John Osborne's 1957 play The Entertainer features the song, sung by Phoebe Rice, the wife of the main character, Archie Rice.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The Boro' or Borough (not borough) is presumably Borough Market in Southwark.