All the Boys in Khaki Get the Nice Girls

Title:
All the Boys in Khaki Get the Nice Girls
Category:
NFSA ID:
229599
Year:
1915
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This light-hearted recruitment tune composed in 1915 by Tom Mellor and Harry Gifford was a British wartime hit and claimed a uniform was all it took to attract 'nice' girls

All the Boys in Khaki Get the Nice Girls was recorded in 1915 by F.W Ramsey, the pseudonym of Fred Douglas, who was also the lead singer in a comedy duo called the ‘Two Gilberts’. The song exemplifies what the great British lyricist Herman Darewski said about songwriting; ‘The opening sentence of the chorus should form a catchphrase…every word must be simple, childish in its simplicity in fact’. 

The lyrics are set to a distinct marching beat punctuated by an instantly recognizable military-sounding trumpet interlude.

 

All the Boys in Khaki Get the Nice Girls – lyrics

Little Johnny Brown was a dandy in the town

Wore a stuck up collar and spats and every latest tie

All the girls were crazy over Johnny for years and years

Until there came a day when all of them passed him by

He wondered why they passed him by

When they always used to give him a beautiful glad, glad eye

He stood on the corner in sweet meditation and looking so terribly sad

Till a lady recruitment sergeant said, ‘Look here, young fellow, my lad,

All the boys in khaki get the nice girls

And the boys in blue get the nice girls too

Maidens by the score

Flappers galore

Every time you give them a kiss they shout ‘Encore!’

All the boys in khaki get the nice girls

Eyes of grey, eyes of brown, eyes of blue

So John, John, John put a bit of khaki on

And you’ll get the nice girls too!’

She said, ‘Johnny Brown, say goodbye to the life in town

Get up, boy, at boy at five in the morning with the rising sun

All the little girls you know will follow you everywhere

When once they see you boy, shouldering up your gun

Twill be such fun, to use a gun

And your mother will be ever so proud of her great big son’

Johnny went off and he very soon came back with khaki and everything on

Kissed the lady recruiting sergeant shouting, ‘This is the life for John!

All the boys in khaki get the nice girls

And the boys in blue get the nice girls too

Maidens by the score

Flappers galore

Every time you give them a kiss they shout ‘Encore!’

All the boys in khaki get the nice girls

Eyes of grey, eyes of brown, eyes of blue

So John, John, John put a bit of khaki on

And you’ll get the nice girls too!’

Repeat chorus

Performer:
F.W Ramsey
Composers:
Tom Mellor and Harry Gifford