• frleetaylor

Let us therefore warble forth

I tuned in to the mystery music game show I can see your voice last week and was delighted to see that the show carries on the tradition of primetime gameshows/entertainment by allowing the audience to join in with its very own catchphrase; a kind of brand that allows the viewers to own, or at least feel part of, the proceedings. In this case,


Apparently, the perfect catchphrase is four words long, has to be heard at least four times to register in the brain and must be easy to repeat as well as funny.

Tony Thorne, language consultant at King’s College university, said: “Catchphrases are a key component of popular culture as they connect the world of entertainment and consumption with the everyday concerns of real people – their feelings and experiences, their shared pleasures and their struggles and frustrations, and especially their triumphs over adversity.”

All good music hall comedians had their own catchphrases or signature tunes.

Sandy Powell was an English comedian best known for his catchphrase "Can you hear me, mother?”; Arthur Askey: "I thank you" (pronounced “Ay-Thang-Yaw”); Ken Dodd: “How tickled I am!”; Hylda Baker: “She knows, you know”; Larry Grayson: “Shut that door”; Tommy Cooper: “Just like that”. The list goes on.

The Chairman at London’s Players’ Theatre (when it was situated beneath Chring Cross station) would always begin proceedings by whipping up the audience with this refrain (and they would lustily join in):

“So let's raise the roof and to hell with the London Chatham and Dover railway. Sleepers awake!”

'Let us warble forth’ has become the catchphrase of ‘From Mission Halls to Music Halls’ that begins proceedings on a Sunday night at 6pm.

It is taken from a line from a particular verse of a hymn that didn’t quite make it, apart from The Congregationalist Hymn Book of 1855, into the popular hymnals of today:

Let us therefore warble forth

His high majesty and worth:

For his mercies ay endure,

ever faithful, ever sure.

It is the well-known hymn, Let us with a gladsome mind, a paraphrase of psalm 136 and usually sung to the tune Monkland.

Hope you enjoy the pictures of fellow warblers and their pets!

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