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The Songlines
Great Songwriting
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I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside

 
 
 
 

Song: I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside

Songwriter: John A. Glover-Kind

Singer: Mark Sheridan (and many others)

Nothing captures the hey-day of the Great British seaside resort quite like songwriter John Glover-Kind's wonderfully chirpy I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside. You can almost hear the seagulls, smell the seaweed, and taste the ice cream.

Originally written as a music hall song in 1909, I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside was very naturally adopted as the seaside anthem for carousel organs and promenade brass bands around the country, and it's still the song that comes to mind on family sandcastle-building outings.

The song is in a triplet time (12/8) with an anacrusis, which gives it an irresistibly jaunty feel. Or to put it in the songwriter's less technical terms:

Tiddley-om-pom-pom!

But the real hook of the song is in it's marvellous play on the words “beside”, “seaside”, “be” and “sea”. In an inspired climax, Glover-Kind uses three distinct meanings of the word “beside” to hilarious effect:

So just let me be beside the seaside,
I'll be beside myself with glee;
And there's lots of girls beside,
I should like to be beside,
Beside the seaside, beside the sea.

I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside may be a song from a bygone era, but it has stood the test of time. Its punchy, comical word-play could teach a thing or two to even the most streetwise rapper.

 
 
 
 
 

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