“The Bridge on the River Kwai”🎢


On 2nd October 1957 the epic film “The Bridge on the River Kwai, directed by David Lean, premiered in Britain.

One memorable feature of that famous World War II drama is the tune whistled by the prisoners when they enter the camp.
The piece (“Colonel Bogey March”) was originally written in 1914 by Kenneth Alford. a pseudonym of Lieutenant Frederick J. Ricketts (1881–1945) a British Army bandmaster. It was accompanied by a counter-melody (known as β€œThe River Kwai March”) written by the film composer, Malcolm Arnold, who won an Academy Award for the film’s score.

While no original lyrics were probably written to this famous tune, many versions were subsequently penned, above all a bawdy text about Hitler, which British viewers may have known well enough to mentally sing it while listening to the melody:

Hitler has only got one ball,
Goering has two, but very small;
Himmler is very sim’lar,
And Goebbels has no balls at all.

37 thoughts on ““The Bridge on the River Kwai”🎢

  1. I never knew about the lyrics. I’ll have to forward them to my cousins. This was the tune we always whistled as we hiked through the woods in the summer. Even now, it brings back such fond memories of my childhood. (It’s probably just as well I didn’t know the lyrics. πŸ˜‰ )

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I found out that some of the other versions were:

        Cheer up, and the same to you!
        Good luck, in every thing you do!
        Cheer up, the skies will clear up!
        And Britain’s boys will come home once again!

        Here’s a health to the boys in Navy blue!
        The Army and the Airforce, too!
        Here’s a health to the Women’s Volunteers,
        They all deserve three hearty cheers!

        This one was probably familiar with children:

        Comet! It makes your teeth turn green
        Comet! It tastes like gasoline
        Comet! It makes you vomit
        So get some Comet, and vomit today.

        Enjoy yourself!!!!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi, apparently the whole score for the film is highly regarded as ground breaking.

    The movie, like all good historical fiction was based on an actual event. Which is even more stranger than the film’s story.
    Few people were aware of Burma railway till the film was released.

    Liked by 3 people

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