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With Her Head Tucked Underneath Her Arm

by R P Weston and Bert Lee (1934)
Illustrations by Bill Tidy

Catching her death of cold
Catching her death of cold

With Her Head Tucked Underneath Her Arm tells of how Anne Boleyn's ghost haunts London Tower, seeking revenge on King Henry for having her beheaded. (See also Albert and the 'Eadsman.)

At BBC radio there was debate whether "She walks the Bloody Tower!" included a profanity. In the end, the consesus was that "Bloody" described a literal historical fact so broadcast of the word was permitted.

The final verse includes the phrase 'san fairy ann', used here as a mild expletive. In fact, the phrase comes from the French ca ne fait rien, which means 'It doesn't matter'.

San fairy ann.

In the Tower of London, large as life
The ghost of Ann Boleyn walks, they declare.
Poor Ann Boleyn was once King Henry's wife -
Until he made the Headsman bob her hair!
Ah yes! he did her wrong long years ago
And she comes up at 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 comes to haunt King Henry,
She means giving him 'what for'.
Gad Zooks, she's going to tell him off for having split her gore.
And just in case the Headsman wants to give her an encore
She has her head tucked underneath her arm!

With her head tucked underneath her arm
She walks the Bloody Tower!
With her head tucked underneath her arm
At the Midnight hour

Along the draughty corridors for miles and miles she goes,
She often catches cold, poor thing, it's cold there when it blows,
And it's awfully awkward for the Queen to have to blow her nose
With her head tucked underneath her arm!

Sometimes gay King Henry gives a spread
For all his pals and gals - a ghostly crew.
The headsman carves the joint and cuts the bread,
Then in comes Ann Boleyn to 'queer' the 'do';
She holds her head up with a wild war whoop,
And Henry cries "Don't drop it in the soup!"

With her head tucked underneath her arm
She walks the Bloody Tower!
With her head tucked underneath her arm
At the Midnight hour

The sentries think that it's a football that she carries in,
And when they've had a few they shout "Is Ars'nal going to win?"
They think it's Alec James, instead of poor old Ann Boleyn
With her head tucked underneath her arm!

At the Midnight hour
At the Midnight hour
With her head tucked underneath her arm
She walks the Bloody Tower!
With her head tucked underneath her arm
At the Midnight hour

One night she caught King Henry, he was in the Canteen Bar,
Said he "Are you Jane Seymour, Ann Boleyn or Cath'rine Parr?
For how the sweet san fairy ann do I know who you are
With your head tucked underneath your arm!"

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