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'Allo 'Allo:
The Music

More so than almost any other sitcom in memory, 'Allo 'Allo is rich in music. From the show's theme to the recurring tunes of Under the Bridges of Paris and Louise, 'Allo 'Allo will take almost any opportunity for a character to break into song, yet remain thoroughly in character.

The excuse most often used is the "Cabaret at Cafe Rene", where Madame Edith (or occasionally some other character) will serenade the patrons of the cafe with some WW2-era piece. If it's Madame Edith, the customers wince and stick cheese in their ears. If it's someone else (notably Guy Siner's Lt. Gruber), it may be a rare musical treat.

Songs are never completed in 'Allo 'Allo - invariably we hear only a verse or two, or a snippet of the chorus. But the variety of tunes, the incredible attention to period detail, and the fun of the characters makes music an important feature of 'Allo 'Allo as a series.

The Music of 'Allo 'Allo:

Songs marked with (?) are ones about which I am unsure of the title/author. I've taken my best guess based on the verse or two you hear in the show, but my guess is probably wrong. Any assistance in identifying these songs would be greatly appreciated!

The Theme From 'Allo 'Allo

At last! The enduring mystery of the author of this catchy and misty tune has been solved. Thanks to Guy Siner and to a copy of "The Best of 'Allo 'Allo", we've found that the lovely theme song for 'Allo 'Allo was written and composed by David Croft and Roy Moore. David Croft, of course, is the producer and co-writer on the series, who apparently authors the themes to all his shows.

We still don't know the official title to the song (perhaps "'Allo 'Allo"?), but we do have some of the lyrics. Guy says the first line is:

	'Allo 'Allo, we meet again,
	And just as before...

For the last verse, we have the in-show evidence of the opening scene of Episode 1.3, where Madame Edith is seen just ending the tune which is unmistakeably the theme in a rising crescendo:

	We loved, we parted as fate had arranged;
	Now there you stand and nothing has changed.
	And so it goes, the same refrain, the final encore
	You are my love, my only love
	Once more! 

Now that we know the real lyrics (or some of them, anyway), the following seems fairly silly. But if we can't be silly on the Internet with thousands of people watching, when can we? Back when I was first watching this series here in America in the late 1980's, a friend and I came up with our own lyrics to the theme, which somehow seemed very appropriate. Therefore, presented here for your sing-along pleasure are:

(Not the) Lyrics to the Theme From 'Allo 'Allo
(by Mark Thompson & Dave Butler)
'Allo 'Allo, 'Allo 'Allo, 
How are you today?
'Allo 'Allo, 'Allo 'Allo, 
You're welcome!
'Allo 'Allo, and as you go
Along on your way
We'd love to see you at
The Cafe!

We're here to serve you a drink with a smile,
Although the Germans may be here a while.

'Allo 'Allo, 'Allo 'Allo, 
Oh please won't you stay
Another drink, another hour,
Another day?

'Allo 'Allo, 'Allo 'Allo, 
Yes Nighthawk is here -
But listen well, to what Michelle
Said only once!
M'sieur Leclerc is over there;
He's forging away.
The girls and Madame Edith
Run the cafe.

And there's Herr Flick, he's got Helga in tow
And Hans and Gruber with Colonel von Strohm

'Allo 'Allo, 'Allo 'Allo, 
There's no way to know
How things will go, and so we say, 
'Allo 'Allo.

We never know, and so we say
'Allo 'Allo!

Ave Maria

From time to time, the plot line calls for a religious observance. Invariably, the cast launches into an off-key rendition of an old Catholic hymn, "Ave Maria". This appears in: and shows up later in other episodes as well.

Boom! Why Did My Heart Go Boom?

This is the song "Boom" by E. Ray Goetz and Charles Trenet (1938), but Edith actually calls it by the seven-word title above. (Reference for lyrics: The Lyrics Playground).

A lovely little happy number, which is probably Edith's best song. She almost holds a tune for a note or two, though she still clears the room...

	Why did my heart go boom?
	Me and my heart go boom,
	Boom titty boom once I found you.

	(Rene sticks in with the line:) Edith, you've cleared the room!
	I can see love in bloom
	Boom titty boom all around you.

The Boys in the Back Room

From the movie "Destry Rides Again" (1939).
Music: Frederick Hollander
Lyrics: Frank Loesser

A rowdy rousing wartime number along the lines of "Roll Out the Barrel", originally sung by the incomparable Marlene Dietrich in the film "Destry Rides Again", in which she costarred with Jimmy Stewart. In 'Allo 'Allo, it's sung by Madame Edith in the Cabaret, and later by Gruber filling in for Madame Edith.

"Just ask what the boys in the back room will have, and tell them I cried - and tell them I sighed - and tell them I died of the same!"

Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man

From the stage musical "Show Boat" (1927).
Music: Jerome Kern
Lyrics: Oscar Hammerstein II

Lt. Gruber treats the Cafe to a sweet rendition of this classic tune, seemingly for the express purpose of throwing a few double entendres Rene's way.

Cheek To Cheek

From the movie "Top Hat" (1935).
Music & Lyrics: Irving Berlin

The British POWs perform a song-and-dance number to this timeless standard, originally from the Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers film.


From the hit by Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians (1928)
Music by Carmen Lombardo and John W. Green.
Lyrics by Gus Kahn.

Carmen Lombardo (1903-1971) was the lead singer for his older brother Guy's band and wrote many of their hit songs, with this being one of their biggest hits. One source I found claims this was Guy Lombardo's theme song (!), though most sources refer to the more-well-known Auld Lang Syne. This naughty-themed song about a French girl trying to seduce you was apparently also used in a musical film, "Cockeyed Cavaliers".

Deutschland, Deutschland

Naturally, the show has many uses of the German national anthem... but the most frequently-used version is a burlesque stripper-sounding version!

Falling In Love Again

From the movie "The Blue Angel" (1930).
Music: Frederick Hollander
Lyrics: Sammy Lerner?

The famous song sung by Marlene Dietrich (long a favorite of "artistic men") in her American film debut, "The Blue Angel," and later recognized as her theme song. In 'Allo 'Allo, this standard is sung by Lt. Gruber in a lovely version bringing tears to the eyes of many German officers, Hans included.

Falling In Love With Love

From the stage musical "The Boys From Syracuse" (1938).
Music: Richard Rodgers
Lyrics: Lorenz Hart

This famous Rodgers & Hart tune gets sung by Madame Edith in the Cabaret - unfortunately she gets off a number of verses before the song ends.

Happy Feet

Edith gets her only real Cafe applause for her nice attempt at wild dancing to this 20's flapper standard.

He'd Have to Get Under, Get Out And Get Under

From the stage musical "The Pleasure Seekers" (1913).
(Also used in the musical "Hullo Tango")
Music: Maurice Abrahams
Lyrics: Grant Clarke, Edgar Leslie
Most famous recording: probably the one by Billy Murray (available on CD through Archeophone Records.

Mimi wows the audience by doing a full verse of this lively tune in full cabaret style, high kicking and tap-dance and all! She's offering to sing in the place of Edith while Edith is in hiding from Denise' death threat, but Edith's pride can't abide anyone else singing, so Mimi's lovely, lively voice won't sing this again.

	He'd have to get under,
	Get out and get under,
	To fix his little machine!
	A dozen times they start to hug and kiss, and then
	That darn old engine, it would miss again!
	He'd have to get under,
	Get out and get under,
	To fix up his automobile!

This song was featured prominently in the Ken Burns documentary "Horatio's Journey: America's First Road Trip" in 2003.

Hitler Has Only Got One Ball

A bit of anti-German doggerel that's sung to the World War I marching song "Colonel Bogey March" (more famous as the whistling theme from "The Bridge On The River Kwai"). In order to allay any suspicions that he might not be a British POW, Hans attempts to start singing this ribald and insulting song to the German General who comes to check on the POW camp. Hans only gets the first five words out before he is ordered into "SILENCE!", but here's the complete set of lyrics for your reading pleasure:

	Hitler has only got one ball!
	Goering has two but very small
	Himmler has something "simmler",
	But poor old Goebbels has no balls at all.

Thanks to Shelly Freauf for reminding me about this song, and providing the lyrics.

Hitler Is A S***

Another bit of anti-German doggerel that sounds like it came straight from wartime. It's sung by two rebellious German pilots, secure in the knowledge that the Gestapo can't find them up in the sky -- until Flick and Von Smallhausen show up...

	Goering is an idiot,
	Goebbels is a twit!
	Himmler is a pain in the bum,
	And Hitler is a...

(I Like New York In June) How About You?

From the film musical "Babes on Broadway" (1941).
Music: Burton Lane
Lyrics: Ralph Freed

This one isn't actually sung in 'Allo 'Allo, but Gruber and Helga do a spoken spin on the lyrics in Cafe Rene, when Helga has been assigned to come on to Gruber to worm information out of him. They do a cute Teutonic version of it:

	Gruber:	I like Berlin in June, how about you?
	Helga:	I like a Mozart tune, how about you?
	Gruber:	I'm mad about good books, I cannot get my fill.
	Helga:	And Adolf Hitler's looks?
	Gruber:	                           They give me a chill.

How'd You Like To Spoon With Me?

From the stage musical "The Earl and the Girl" (1915).
Music: Jerome Kern
Lyrics: Edward Laska

Madame Edith tortures the cafe residents (though Bertorelli applauds her) with this light little ditty - we get to hear the full last verse:

	How'd you like to hug and squeeze?
	How'd you like to dandle me on your knees?
	How'd you like to be my lovey-dovey?
	How'd you like to spoon with me?

I Could Care For You (?)

Another love song mangled by Edith in the Cabaret. This may be the song "If You Could Care For Me" (1918), music & lyrics by Herman Darewski, E. Ray Goetz, and Arthur Wimperis - though I cannot yet find corroboration.
	If you could only care for me, 
	As I could care for you!

I Want To Be Happy

From the stage musical "No, No, Nanette" (1924).
Music: Vincent Youmans
Lyrics: Irving Caesar

This lively little number from "No, No, Nanette" (made into the American film "Tea For Two") is the most ear-shattering tune Madame Edith has ever sung for the Cabaret - it even manages to shatter much of the glass behind the bar when she hits the final note:

	When skies are gray, and you say you want blue,
	I'll send the sunshine through.
	I want to be happy
	But I can't be happy
	'Til I make you happy too!

If You Ever Get Across The Sea To England

Lt. Gruber sings a verse of this jolly little number at the urging of Rene. This appears to be a funny little mini-parody of "If You Ever Get Across The Sea To Ireland" written for the show. I don't think this was an actual wartime parody, since I can find no record of it, but I could be wrong.

	If you ever get across the sea to England,
	Then maybe at the closing of the day
	The bars will all be serving German lager
	Which means we won the war - hip hip hooray!

If You Were The Only Girl In the World

From the movie "The Vagabond Lover" (1929).
Music: Nat D. Ayer.
Lyrics: Clifford Grey.

Only two years after the first musical motion picture (with the release of "The Jazz Singer" in 1927), musicals had already become staples of film. Radio stars were making their fortunes singing their way onto the screen, as in the case of singer/actor Rudy Vallee, who took his hit radio song "I'm Just A Vagabond Lover" and turned it into a feature film. In the film, he sang a number of other songs, including this duet (originally written in 1916 for the stage musical "The Bing Boys Are Here") describing what would happen "if you were the only girl in the world, and I were the only boy." This was the second revival of this syrupy tune (the first being a re-release in 1925) - and later followed Perry Como's hit version of it in 1946.

Madame Fanny and Roger Leclerc do a duet of this song for the Cafe while Rene & the gang are in the POW camp. Luckily, we only hear the last verse of the chorus; the cafe attendees are not so fortunate.

Nobody's Sweetheart (?)

Madame Edith grants us only the last two lines of this song for the Cabaret in Cafe Rene. This is not the song "Nobody's Sweetheart" found on the World War II Radio CD (listed on the Merchandise Page).

In The Mood

From the movie "Sun Valley Serenade" (1939).
Music: Joseph Garland
Lyrics: Andy Razaf

Rene and the staff, in disguise as the Excelsior Quartet, play an instrumental version of this number for a swanky party at the chateau.

It's a Long, Long Way to Tipperary

Popular wartime song of World War I - released in 1912.
Music & lyrics by Jack Judge and Harry Williams

Popular even after the war for which it was written (WW1), this British morale-booster has survived the test of time, though it doesn't make it through Edith's larynx unscathed. Edith butchers this classic war number in the Cabaret. Luckily, we only have to hear the final sentence!

It's Now or Never

(1960) Based on the 1901 Italian tune "O Sole Mio".
Music: Eduardo di Capua (original tune)
Lyrics: Wally Gold & Aaron Schroeder
Made popular by: Elvis

Capt. Bertorelli is singing this song to himself as he cooks up a wonderful post-wedding breakfast for everyone.

The only anachronistic song in all of 'Allo 'Allo is an unfortunate miscue. Although based on O Sole Mio from the turn of the century (which was then popularized in America by Tony Martin with his translation, "There's No Tomorrow", in the 1940's), the lyrics to Elvis' hit weren't written until he got out of the army in 1960. The actual translation was too morose for the King, apparently (see Bob Shannon's Behind The Hits page for more details). The use of this tune is probably just a mistake by the show's authors, making the understandable but incorrect assumption that Elvis' version of the song is the actual translation of O Sole Mio, and since Bertorelli is singing "in Italian", we hear an Italian-accented English translation. This flaw in the period detail probably slipped through due to the rush to get an amazing 26 episodes into Series 5.

I've Got You Under My Skin

Music & lyrics by Cole Porter

The song was first introduced in the 1936 MGM film, "Born To Dance," starring Eleanor Powell, Jimmy Stewart, and Buddy Ebsen. The film was, by the way, Cole Porter's first complete movie score. On screen the song was sung by Virginia Bruce (the film's femme fatale). Trivia: the song is notable for its unconventional length of fifty-six measures (in case you're curious).
Thanks to Marc Ostfield for the history of this song

Edith sings nearly the entire final verse of this classic in an ear-shattering version for the cabaret in the Cafe.

Lady of Spain

Music: Tolchard Evans
Lyrics: Erell Reaves

Alphonse and Leclerc sing this while disguised as Spanish accordion players and bringing the Enigma machine to the cafe.

La Marseillaise

Music & Lyrics: Claude Joseph Rouget de l'Isle

Any show set in wartime France will of course encounter the French anthem over and over. The song itself has an interesting history. Written by a French miltary engineer upon hearing that France had declared war on Austria in 1792, it quickly became the most popular French patriotic song of the era and was later adopted as their national anthem.

La Vie En Rose

Music: Louiguy (Louis Gugliemi)
Lyrics: Edith Piaf (original French lyrics)

Fanny does an Edith-style, but at least on-key, rendition of this teary classic tune (originally made famous by Marlene Dietrich) for the Cafe while Edith is away digging a tunnel. She actually gets through an entire verse before the Cafe completely empties.

Thanks to Louise Tirrell for helping identify this song!

Lilli Marlene

Popular wartime song of early 1940's.
Music by Norbert Schultze
Lyrics by Hans Leip
English lyric translation by Tommie Connor

Perhaps the favorite song of soldiers during World War II, Lilli Marlene (or in the original German, "Lili Marleen") became the unofficial anthem of the footsoldiers of both forces in the war. The lyrics were originally written as a poem by German soldier Hans Leip during World War I. Later published in a collection of his poetry in 1937, the poem's imagery and emotion caught the attention of fellow German Norbert Schultze, who set the poem to music in 1938. Recorded just before the war by Lale Andersen, the song was a mildly popular ditty until German Forces radio began broadcasting it (among other tunes) to the Afrika Korps in 1941. The soldiers made it their favorite tune, and British soldiers listening in heard the wistful romanticism catch heartstrings regardless of language. The immense popularity of even the German version had a hurried English version done and broadcast by the BBC for the Allied troops. Eventually, both sides began broadcasting the song in both versions, interspersed with propaganda nuggets, occasionally even blasting the song out of huge speakers mounted on trucks, intended to distract the enemy troops.

A German officer in the cafe requests this tune from Madame Edith in 2.1 Riddle of the Six Boobies. Unfortunately, the airmen are inside the piano, rendering it unplayable. But to escape notice they "fill in" for the piano with their own voices: "Plinky plinky plonk plonk, plinky plinky plonk!" etc.

The first verse in English is:

	Underneath the lantern by the barrack gate,
	Darling I remember the way you used to wait.
	'Twas there you whispered tenderly
	That you lov'd me,
	You'd always be
	My Lilli of the lamplight,
	My own Lilli Marlene.


From the movie "Innocents in Paris" (1929)
Music by Richard A. Whiting (1891-1938).
Lyrics by Leo Robin

A happy little ditty about singing birds and breezes whispering "Louise", this song was a huge hit in 1929. It was featured in the film "Innocents in Paris", which was the cinematic debut of Maurice Chevalier. He promptly became strongly identified with this popular tune (often called his theme song), written by one of the best movie songwriters of the era, Richard Whiting. (See also She's Funny That Way for more on Whiting). "Louise" pops up often in 'Allo 'Allo:

Love Divine All Love Extend

Edith and Fanny join together on this song, to remember how it goes, in preparation for Fanny's wedding. The resulting cacophony rouses the dogs outside, and covers the lyrics so much I can't tell what they're singing!

Love Is Where You Find It

From the movie "Garden of the Moon" (1938).
Music: Harry Warren.
Lyrics: Al Dubin, Johnny Mercer.

Warren and Dubin were probably the top movie songwriting team of the 1930's, writing such lasting classics as 42nd Street, Shuffle Off To Buffalo, I Only Have Eyes For You, Lullaby of Broadway, and Jeepers Creepers, as well as many others.

Madame Edith does an exceedingly off-key rendition of this Slavic-themed love song for the Cabaret in Cafe Rene.

Mad About the Boy

From the stage musical "Words and Music" (1932).
Music & Lyrics: Noel Coward

Noel Coward was one of the most prolific songwriters of the early part of the 20th century, writing songs for stage and screen.

Lt. Gruber does a beautiful version of this lovely tune - which brings tears to Leclerc's eyes - at Edith & Rene's request in the Cafe (though Rene is using it only as a distraction while he and Edith use Gruber's tank radio).

Ol' Man River

From the stage musical "Show Boat" (1927).
Music: Jerome Kern
Lyrics: Oscar Hammerstein II

Monsieur Leclerc mixes up the records for Madame Edith's gramaphone lip-synching debut and instead of "Love Is Where You Find It", she ends up singing this bass classic.

She's Funny That Way

Lieutenant Gruber loves to serenade people with this tune, though he fills the song with double-entendres by changing the leading pronoun to "he" and making the song about a boyfriend who loves the singer despite all the flaws...

(I Got a Woman Crazy For Me) She's Funny That Way was one of the bigger hits of 1928, with music by Neil Monet and lyrics by Richard Whiting. Interestingly, Whiting was well-known throughout the 20's and 30's as a popular songwriter - but for writing music, not lyrics. Teaming with a number of lyricists, Whiting wrote such classic songs as Ain't We Got Fun, On The Good Ship Lollipop, Hooray for Hollywood, and another song found in 'Allo 'Allo, Louise. "Funny" is one of the very few times Whiting wrote lyrics at all, and the only time I found listed where he wrote the lyrics for another man's song.

Frank Sinatra later made this song "his own" by singing it in his seminal feature film, "Meet Danny Wilson" (1952) and making it into a hit single.

Billie Holliday also recorded a classic gender-swapped version of this tune as "He's Funny That Way", in the mid-50's -- looks like Lt. Gruber was an innovator, since he's singing this other version a decade earlier in Nouvion!

Si, Mi Chiamano Mimi

This is the soprano aria from the opera La Boheme by Puccini. It immediately follows "Che Gelida Manina" in the opera. Fanny is singing it (in an operatic style) when the gang rushes in to use the radio:

	They call me Mimi,
	But my name is Lucia.
	My story is a short one...

Thanks to Kelly Heinen and Gabe Nahigian for at last identifying this song!

Spanish Flamenco Fandango

(Is this a real, published tune?)
No lyrics.
The Castilian song chosen by Rene and Edith to play for the Cafe (unfortunately, with Edith dancing and playing the castanets - but fortunately no words!) during "Carnival Night" for the setup with the fake prostitutes.

Sweet Sixteen

From the stage musical "Ziegfeld Follies of 1919" (1919).
Music: Dave Stamper
Lyrics: Gene Buck

Rene is at the piano singing a duet with Edith, since Leclerc has been arrested. He's getting maudlin and they sing this song as they once did before. Rene's voice is passable and gentle - Edith is harsh and offkey. So what else is new?

Under the Bridges of Paris

For some reason, one song in particular pops up over and over during the first series of 'Allo 'Allo. From Leclerc's jail reverie to Madame Edith's favorite song to butcher in the Cafe, the standard in the first year of 'Allo 'Allo is Under the Bridges of Paris.

Written in 1931 by Vincent Scotto, the tune became a popular song in the early 40's throughout France and England, with both French and English lyrics. This makes it a particularly apropos choice for 'Allo 'Allo where the French characters are speaking French-accented English.

Vincent Scotto (1874-1952) was one of the most popular and prolific French composers of the early 1900's. Credited with writing over 4000 songs, Scotto also scored a number of films. After fifty years, though, and outside of his native France, his fame is fading - references to Scotto are hard to find in American reference works - the most interesting and complete I've found is in the New Grove Dictionary of Music.

The English lyrics are by Dorcas Cochran. The French lyrics are by J. Rodor. The copyright on the song appears to be 1914 by "H. Delormel", and then is "Copyright renewed in 1948 by Vincent Scotto and assigned to H. Delormel", according to one version of the sheet music I found. This seems contradictory to the 1931 date listed in the New Grove Dictionary - your guess as to either's accuracy is as good as mine.

The complete English lyrics to Under the Bridges of Paris:

	My darling why I sing this song
	Is easy to explain.
	It tells what happens all along
	The bridges of the Seine.

	The vagabonds go there at night
	To sleep all their troubles away,
	But when the moon is shining bright
	My heart wants to sing it this way.

	How would you like to be
	Down by the Seine with me?
	Oh, what I'd give for a moment or two
	Under the bridges of Paris with you.

	Darling, I'd hold you tight,
	Far from the eyes of night.
	Under the bridges of Paris with you,
	I'd make your dreams come true!

The uses of this song in the show include:

Hear My Song Violetta


This song was recently used as the title song to the movie "Hear My Song", a fiction film about the real-life Josef Locke. Thanks to the film, Locke had his early recordings re-issued on CD, titled "Hear My Song."

	Hear my song, Violetta
	Hear my song, these...

Thanks to Barry & Muriel Wilkinson/Turner-Wilkinson for identifying this song!


From the Broadway musical "Sunny" (1925).
Music by Jerome Kern
Lyrics by Otto Harbach and Oscar Hammerstein II.

Another bouncy showtune, sung by Madame Edith in the Cabaret. If you can call it singing...

        Means my happiness?
        Would I answer yes
        Well, you oughta guess
        No one but you!

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