Brahn Boots – Stanley Holloway

Charles 8 Comments

Our Aunt Hanna’s passed away,
We ‘ad her funeral today,
And it was a posh affair,
Had to have two p’licemen there!

The ‘earse was luv’ly, all plate glass,
And wot a corfin!… oak and brass!
We’d fah-sands weepin’, flahers galore,
But Jim, our cousin… what d’yer fink ‘e wore?

Why, brahn boots!
I ask yer… brahn boots!
Fancy coming to a funeral
In brahn boots!

I will admit ‘e ‘ad a nice black tie,
Black fingernails and a nice black eye;
But yer can’t see people orf when they die,
In brahn boots!

And Aunt ‘ad been so very good to ‘im,
Done all that any muvver could for ‘im,
And Jim, her son, to show his clars…
Rolls up to make it all a farce,

In brahn boots…
I ask yer… brahn boots!
While all the rest,
Wore decent black and mourning suits.

I’ll own he didn’t seem so gay,
In fact he cried most part the way,
But straight, he reg’lar spoilt our day,
Wiv ‘is brahn boots.

In the graveyard we left Jim,
None of us said much to him,
Yus, we all gave ‘im the bird,
Then by accident we ‘eard …

‘E’d given ‘is black boots to Jim Small,
A bloke wot ‘ad no boots at all,
So p’raps Aunt Hanna doesn’t mind,
She did like people who was good and kind.

But brahn boots!
I ask yer… brahn boots!
Fancy coming to a funeral,
In brahn boots!

And we could ‘ear the neighbours all remark
“What, ‘im chief mourner? Wot a blooming lark!
“Why ‘e looks more like a Bookmaker’s clerk…
In brahn boots!”

That’s why we ‘ad to be so rude to ‘im,
That’s why we never said “Ow do!” to ‘im,
We didn’t know… he didn’t say,
He’d give ‘is other boots away.

But brahn boots!
I ask yer… brahn boots!
While all the rest,
Wore decent black and mourning suits!

But some day up at Heavens gate,
Poor Jim, all nerves, will stand and wait,
’til an angel whispers… “Come in, Mate,
“Where’s yer brahn boots?”


  1. Charles

    Indeed we did, with a pair of well loved, well worn brown boots on the coffin.
    It was an extremely poignant and beautiful funeral for a very special lady.

  2. Charles

    Intro to Brahn Boots at W’s funeral
    W died at home, in her own bed, with her slipper booties on, she’s still wearing them today – and you can’t go out in better style than that.

    The brown boots, you see on the coffin, she wore to the pub for a drink and a meal the night before she died– again this was W’s wish that they be with her today.

    The boots, with her ashes, will be buried, not scattered,
    so she will forever be in Alderney and not just on Alderney, another verbal distinction of W’s…..

    W insisted that this next song by Stanley Holloway be played at her funeral. Love it or loath it, this is W’s choice, and please feel free to join in if you wish. W will leave us as we listen to Stanley Holloway’s – Brown Boots

    (I wore my brown walking boots too – with my decent black and mournin’ suit!)
    It remains one of my favourite ceremonies.

  3. Charles

    How jolly wonderful. W sounded like a woman who knew what she wanted.

    Haven’t heard this one for a long long time – love it.

    I loved Holloway’s monologues and was only reciting The Lion and Albert yesterday to a youngster who had never heard of it. The Battle of Hastings is another favourite – ’til some wag in’t Conqueror’s ear said Let’s go put breeze up Saxons……’ fabulous.

  4. Charles

    I read this at the funeral of an old friend (literally – he was 90) on Wednesday. He had seen Stanley Holloway in the West End as Alfred Dolittle in MFL. To my surprise, given the average age of those attending, most people had never heard it.
    To me, cousin Jim WAS John: yes John was argumentative – cussed even – but if you ever needed a pound his hand would have been straight into his pocket. He will be missed.

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