George Formby Songbook

George Formby Songbook

A book of 22 old favorites. Includes: Chinese Laundry Blues, Leaning On A Lamp Post, Auntie Maggie's Remedy, and, of course, When I'm Cleaning Windows. Arranged for piano, with lyrics, ukulele chord boxes, and chord symbols.

Brit Wits

A History of British Rock Humor

Brit Wits

Humor, as much as any other trait, defines British cultural identity. It is “crucial in the English sense of nation,” argues humor scholar Andy Medhurst; “To be properly English you must have a sense of humor,” opines historian Antony Easthope. Author Zadie Smith perceives British humor as a national coping mechanism, stating, “You don’t have to be funny to live here, but it helps.” Sex Pistols frontman Johnny Rotten concurs, commenting, “There’s a sense of comedy in the English that even in your grimmest moments you laugh". Although humor invariably functions as a relief valve for the British, it is also often deployed for the purposes of combat. From the court jesters of old to the rock wits of today, British humorists—across the arts—have been the pioneers of rebellion, chastising society’s hypocrites, exploiters, and phonies, while simultaneously slighting the very institutions that maintain them. The best of the British wits are (to steal a coinage from The Clash) “bullshit detectors” with subversion on their minds and the jugulars of their enemies in their sights. Such subversive humor is held dear in British hearts and minds, and it runs deep in their history. Historian Chris Rojek explains how the kind of foul-mouthed, abusive language typical of British (punk) humor has its antecedents in prior idioms like the billingsgate oath: “Humor, often of an extraordinary coruscating and vehement type, has been a characteristic of the British since at least feudal times, when the ironic oaths against the monarchy and the sulfurous ‘Billingsgate’ uttered against the Church and anyone in power were widespread features of popular culture.” Rojek proceeds to fast forward to 1977, citing the Sex Pistols’ “Sod the Jubilee” campaign as a contemporary update of the Billingsgate oath. For Rojek, the omnipresence of British caustic humor accounts for why the nation has historically been more inclined toward expressions of subversive rebellion than to violent revolution. “Protest has been conducted not with guns and grenades, but with biting comedy and graffiti,” he observes. As an outlet for venting and as an alternative means of protest, Brit wit, not surprisingly, has developed distinctive communicative patterns, with linguistic flair and creative flourishes starring as its key features. Far more than American humor, for example, British humor revels in colorful language, in lyrical invective, in surrogate mock warfare. One witnesses such humor daily in the Houses of Parliament, where well-crafted barbs are traded across the aisle, the thinly veiled insults cushioned by the creativity of the inherent humor. Such wit is equally evident throughout the history of British rock, where rebellion has defined the rock impulse and comedic dissent has been a seemingly instinctual activity.

Hal Leonard Ukulele Method Book 2 (Music Instruction)

Hal Leonard Ukulele Method Book 2 (Music Instruction)

(Fretted). The Hal Leonard Ukulele Method is designed for anyone just learning to play ukulele. This comprehensive and easy-to-use beginner's guide by acclaimed performer and uke master Lil' Rev includes many fun songs of different styles to learn and play.

Alice in Sunderland

An Entertainment

Alice in Sunderland

Sunderland! Thirteen hundred years ago it was the greatest center of learning in the whole of Christendom and the very cradle of English consciousness. In the time of Lewis Carroll it was the greatest shipbuilding port in the world. To this city that gave the world the electric light bulb, the stars and stripes, the millennium, the Liberty Ships and the greatest British dragon legend came Carroll in the years preceding his most famous book, Alice in Wonderland, and here are buried the roots of his surreal masterpiece. Enter the famous Edwardian palace of varieties, The Sunderland Empire, for a unique experience: an entertaining and epic meditation on myth, history and storytelling and decide for yourself — does Sunderland really exist?

The Ukulele Handbook

The Ukulele Handbook

The ukulele has gone from strength to strength in recent years, undergoing a massive resurgence. You can hear the uke all over the place, from trendster indie rock to top ten pop songs, from unshakeable TV ads to YouTube megahits. And this obsession shows no sign of abating - all over the country people are picking up a ukulele and starting to strum, at home, in classes and down at the pub. Schools are even replacing the faithful recorder with a jazzy, inexpensive uke. Famous idlers Gavin Pretor-Pinney and Tom Hodgkinson have spent hours idling away on their ukuleles to produce the ultimate uke handbook: an illustrated guide to its history crossed with a how-to guide and songbook. This is the book that will bring the underground movement into the mainstream. The first half of the book delves into the rich history of this eccentric little instrument, from its birth in Hawaii to its popularity across the world, with a timeline from 1879 to today and a ukulele hall of fame that includes George Formby, Hawaiian legend Israel Kamakawiwo'ole and YouTube ukulele superstar Jake Shimabukuro. Then on to the practicalities: the anatomy of the ukulele, which uke to buy, how to play it, how to strum, pick, read chord charts and tune the strings. Once you know all this, you can get playing the songbook, which includes a wide spread of songs from medieval lays and nursery rhymes to blues and rock 'n roll. Beautiful presentation and tab notation make reading the music easy, even for beginners. With the highest production values, a light touch and an irresistible instrument at centre stage, this book is a must-have for all aspiring Formbys.

New Society

New Society


Contesting Home Defense

Men, Women, and the Home Guard in the Second World War

Contesting Home Defense

Offering a new contribution to debates about the British home front in WWII, this book addresses the way the Home Guard has been remembered in popular culture through examination of key films, as well as TV's Dad's Army. The authors also explore the personal memories of individuals who served in the Home Guard.