“They’re Changing Guards at Buckingham Palace”

by Johnny Foreigner

Anytime I see a photo of the “Changing of the Guards” in London, I’m reminded of the children’s song “Changing Guard at Buckingham Palace,”  inspired by Winnnie the Pooh author A. A. Milne and made into a hit song by young Ann Stephens in 1941.
 

London-born Ann Stephens (21 May 1931 – 15 July 1966) was the first to record “Changing Guard at Buckingham Palace.” Stephens  was a British child actress and singer, popular throughout the 1940s.

Like most many American baby boomers, I first heard this song on the Captain Kangaroo Show. That version was made in 1959 by late British variety performer Max Bygraves.

Max_Bygraves

Bygraves’ onstage catchphrase “I wanna tell you a story,” is only slightly better than Marty Allen’s “Hello Dere!” – but Bygraves is a much better singer. Another well-known phrase of Bygraves was “That’s a good idea, son!” 

Give a listen to each version and comment which version you like better, young Ann’s or Max’s?

Max Bygraves’ 1959 version “They’re Changing Guards at Buckingham Palace”

ann-stephens-record


“Buckingham Palace” (lyrics by A. A. Milne, music by Harold Fraser-Simson)

They’re changing guard at Buckingham Palace
Christopher Robin went down with Alice
Alice is marrying one of the guard
“A soldier’s life is terrible hard” – says Alice

They’re changing guard at Buckingham Palace
Christopher Robin went down with Alice
We saw a guard in a sentry box
“One of the sergeants is after their socks” – says Alice

They’re changing guard at Buckingham Palace
Christopher Robin went down with Alice
We looked for the King but he never came
“Well, God take care of him, all the same”. – says Alice

They’re changing guard at Buckingham Palace
Christopher Robin went down with Alice
They’ve great big parties inside the grounds
“I wouldn’t be King for a hundred pounds” – says Alice

They’re changing guard at Buckingham Palace
Christopher Robin went down with Alice
A face looked out, but it wasn’t the King’s
“He’s much too busy a-signing things”. – says Alice

They’re changing guard at Buckingham Palace
Christopher Robin went down with Alice
“Do you think the King knows all about me?”
“Sure to, dear, but it’s time for tea.” – Says Alice


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