With Her Head Tucked Underneath Her Arm

from by Broadside Electric

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Weston and Lee were a popular songwriting team, active in the early 20th century. They composed music initially for the English music hall repertoire, and eventually for films and certain show-biz luminaries of the time. This song was most likely written for Stanley Holloway, who recorded it in 1934. Jim first heard it on the "'Ere's 'Olloway" album, and thought it would make an excellent Klezmer vehicle.

Helene learned the Ternovka Sher from an Andy Statman album. It is by the marvelous American Klezmer clarinetist and band leader Dave Tarras.

Decapitation is not endorsed by Broadside Electric.


In the Tower of London, large as life
the ghost of Anne Boleyn walks, they declare
For Anne Boleyn was once King Henry's wife
until he had the axe-man bob her hair
Ah yes, he done her wrong long years ago
And she comes back each night to tell him so


With her head tucked underneath her arm
she walks the bloody tower.
With her head tucked underneath her arm
at the midnight hour.

She's gonna find King Henry, she's giving him what for
Gadzooks she's gonna tell him off for having spilled her gore
And just in case the axe-man wants to give her an encore
She's got her head tucked underneath her arm


Along the drafty corridors, for miles and miles she goes
She sometimes catches cold, poor dear, it's chilly when it blows
And it's awfully awkward for the queen when she has to blow her nose
With her head tucked underneath her arm


Now sometimes old King Henry throws a spread
For all his pals and gals, the ghostly crew
The axe-man carves the joints and cuts the bread
When in walks Anne Boleyn to spoil the do
She holds her head up with a wild war whoop
And Henry cries, "Don't drop it in the soup!"


One day she found King Henry, and he was in the castle bar
And he said, "Are you Jane Seymour, Anne Boleyn, or Catherine Parr?
"Well how the heck am I supposed to figure who you are,
"When you've got your head tucked underneath your arm?"

Chorus (2x)


from With Teeth, released August 17, 1999
R. H. Weston and Bert Lee; with Ternovka Sher (Dave Tarras)

JD: drums; AK: oboe, additional vocal; TR: vocal, acoustic guitar; JS: Chapman stick®, bass clarinet; HZ: violin



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Broadside Electric Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Broadside Electric is a five-piece electric folk band from Philadelphia, PA (US). They have earned a reputation for thoroughly original arrangements and painstaking research into traditional English, Celtic and Eastern European music. Broadside Electric has been at turns called “Pennsylvania’s answer to Steeleye Span” and “folk music’s answer to death metal.” ... more

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