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 “The 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.