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FOOTLIGHT NOTES
no. 453

updated
Saturday, 20 May 2006

'The Tanko'
written by Arthur Wimperis, composed by Max Darewski
and sung by
Regine Flory (1894-1926), French actress, singer and dancer,
in Vanity Fair, a revue produced by Alfred Butt
at the Palace Theatre, London, 6 November 1916

Regine Flory and chorus

Regine Flory and chorus performing 'The Tanko'
in Vanity Fair, Palace Theatre, London, 6 November 1916

(photo: Foulsham & Banfield, London, 1916)

'If you would like to learn a dance
That's absolutely new,
There's one they do "Somewhere in France"
I'd like to teach to you.
They do it in the army,
They dance it in the ranks,
It's just about
The last thing out,
They learnt it from the "Tanks."

'The Tanko', Regine Flory and chorus


the song sheet cover for 'The Tanko',
sung by Regine Flory and chorus in
Vanity Fair, Palace Theatre, London, 6 November 1916

(photo: Foulsham & Banfield, London, 1916;
published by Francis, Day & Hunter, London, 1916)

Regine Flory visited the HMV studios at Hayes, Middlesex, west London, on 16 January 1917 to record 'The Tanko' (HMV 2-3222; 680kb wav file). On the same day she also recorded 'Some Sort of Somebody' (with Nelson Keys) and 'A Little Love, A Little Kiss,' both from Vanity Fair.

Regine Flory


Regine Flory as she sang 'The Tanko' in
Vanity Fair, Palace Theatre, London, 6 November 1916

(photo: ? Foulsham & Banfield, London, 1916)

'BLIGHTERS'
Siegfried Sassoon

The house is crammed: tier beyond tier they grin
And cackle at the Show, while prancing ranks
Of harlots shrill the chorus, drunk with din;
'We're sure the Kaiser loves the dear old Tanks!'

I'd like to see a Tank come down the stalls,
Lurching to rag-time tunes, or 'Home, sweet Home,'
And there'd be no more jokes in Music-halls
To mock the riddled corpses round Bapaume.

From War Poems: 1915-1917

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