Oh I do Like to Be Beside the Seaside

Oh I Do Like to Be Beside the Seaside

‘Oh I do Like to be Beside the Seaside’ was made famous by the music hall performer Mark Sheridan who first recorded the song in 1909.

The release of “I Do Like to Be Beside the Seaside” in 1909 helped popularise seaside-themed songs and contributed to the rise of the British seaside holiday.

Train travel for the masses had only really started in the 1870s and ordinary working people in Britain flocked to the coast in their thousands by train to resorts such as Blackpool and Morecambe in the North of England for daytrips and their first proper holidays.

It became a hugely popular British music hall song. It was written in 1907 by by John Glover-Kind but was made famous when music hall singer Mark Sheridan first recorded it in 1909.

Its catchy melody and lyrics celebrating the joys of strolling along the promenade and listening to brass bands playing resonated with the British public. The song’s popularity coincided with the boom in seaside holidays, making it a cultural touchstone.

What happened to Mark Sheridan

It was to become Sheridan’s biggest and best-known hit. His early life was at Sunderland docks, until moved to amateur dramatics, then to professional theatre in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Sadly Sheridan, who was born in the North East of England in 1867, never managed to find the same level of success with his later work and committed suicide at the age of 53 in 1918, after a show of his was poorly received.

The Blackpool Sound 

The song endured and became deeply ingrained in British cultural identity. Its prominence grew when Reginald Dixon MBE, who served as the resident organist at Blackpool’s Tower Ballroom from 1930 to 1970, adopted it as his signature tune. This connection further strengthened the melody’s association with British seaside resorts.

It has been recorded many times since in both vocal and instrumental versions, from old black and white films with Basil Rathbone performing the song, to modern day tributes.

Iconic rock band Queen even included in the introduction to Queen’s “Brighton Rock” and mixed it into the the ending of the 1974 song ‘Seven Seas of Rhye’!

Original Lyrics

Everyone delights to spend their summer’s holiday
Down beside the side of the silvery sea
I’m no exception to the rule
In fact, if I’d my way
I’d reside by the side of the silvery sea
But when you’re just the common Smith or Jones or Brown
At business up in town
You’ve got to settle down
You save up all the money you can till summer comes around
Then away you go
To a spot you know
Where the cockleshells are found.

Chorus:Oh I do like to be beside the seaside
I do like to be beside the sea
I do like to stroll upon the Prom, Prom, Prom
Where the brass bands play
Tiddely-om-pom-pom
So just let me be beside the seaside
I’ll be beside myself with glee
And there’s lots of girls besides
I should like to be beside
Beside the seaside, beside the sea.

Timothy went to Blackpool for the day last Eastertide
To see what he could see by the side of the sea
Soon he reached the station there, the first thing he espied
Was the Wine Lodge door stood open invitingly?
To quench his thirst, he toddled inside, and called out for a ‘wine’
Which grew to eight or nine
Till his nose began to shine
Said he “What people see in the sea I’m sure I fail to see”
So he caught the train back home again
Then to his wife said he.

Chorus:

William Sykes the burglar, he’d been out to work one night
Filled his bag with jewels, cash and plate
Constable Brown felt quite surprised
When William hove in sight
Said he “The hours you’re keeping are far too late”
So he grabbed him by the collar
And lodged him safe and sound in jail
Next morning looking pale
Bill told a tearful tale
The judge said, “For a couple of months I’m sending you away”
Said Bill “How kind, well if you don’t mind
Where I spend my holiday.”

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