Lloyd George Knew My Father (song)

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"Lloyd George Knew My Father" is a 20th-century English schoolboy folk song. The simple lyrics consist of the phrase "Lloyd George knew my father/Father knew Lloyd George"[1][2] sung to the tune "Onward, Christian Soldiers".[A][3] In the song, the two lines referring to Lloyd George are repeated incessantly, typically by groups of swaying drunks in a pub or similar setting,[3] until boredom or consequences of the drink set in.[4] There are no lyrics other than those two lines. The song gains much of its notoriety from the irony inevitable in the clash between the song's flippant lyrics and Sabine Baring-Gould's classic hymn from which Arthur Sullivan's tune is inextricable.[original research?] It is also commonly sung to the tune of "Land of Hope and Glory".

The origin of the song is not known[5] but there are several theories, one that it began as a music hall song making an oblique reference to David Lloyd George's supposed womanizing proclivities[5][6] (with the right timing and intonation and a well-placed wink, "mother" could be taken to mean that the singer was the product of a liaison between his mother and Lloyd George). The Oxford Dictionary of Political Quotations attributes the song to Tommy Rhys Roberts QC, the son of a former law partner of Lloyd George.[5] According to David Owen, it was a World War I marching song.[5]


  1. ^ Arthur Sullivan's version of the tune. (Sabine Baring-Gould had written the hymn in 1865 but had used a theme from the andante movement of Joseph Haydn's Symphony 53 in D major as the music. Sullivan composed a new tune (which he named "Saint Gertrude") in 1871 to go with Baring-Gould's lyrics, and it is this version which is commonly used since.[7]


  1. ^ "Wee Sing Lyrics: Lloyd George Knew My Father". Lyrics Time. Retrieved April 3, 2011.
  2. ^ Taylor, A. J. P. (1965). English History 1914–1945. Oxford University Press. p. 73. ISBN 978-0-19-821715-2. Retrieved April 2011. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  3. ^ a b "England, 1900-24". History on the Web. Sempringham eLearning Resources. Archived from the original on December 31, 2010. Retrieved April 4, 2011.
  4. ^ Lucas Miller (March 16, 2009). "William Douglas Home's Lloyd George Knew My Father". Berkshire Review. Retrieved April 3, 2011.
  5. ^ a b c d "Lloyd George knew my father....but what's the origin of the famous song?". Lloyd George Society. January 31, 2009. Retrieved April 3, 2011.
  6. ^ "Llanystumdwy, Gwynedd". Wales Directory. Retrieved April 3, 2011.
  7. ^ Jack Boyd, ed. (1986). Great Songs of the Church, Revised. Abilene, Texas: ACU Press., No. 412.
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