The Gay Gondolier

Words by Michael Flanders.
Music by Donald Swann.



Song Menu




(Valsa placida)
Ho, lo, lo, lo, lo   lo, lo, lo, lo, lo,   lo, lo, lo, lo, lo,   lo, lo, lo, lo, lo,   lo________
Gon – do – li – er________ Ha, ha, ha, ha.   Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. Ha:

A Gon–do-la owner in Ven-ice
I had been since the age of dis-cre-tion (thirteen)
But to-day gon-do-lier-ing in Ven-ice
Is a most ov-er crowd-ed pro-fes-sion
You can't swing a cat-sa a-round the Pi-az-za;
The Pal-ace of Dog-es is full of old fog-ies,
And by the San Mar-co, there's no-where to Par-ko!

(A Tempo)
It wasn't for me. So I went out to sea__________and
Caused a co-mo-tion by cross-ing the o-cean. Now
I am the on-ly or-ig-in-al Gon-do-lier,________ Gon-do-lier,________
On the Man-ches-ter Ship Ca-nal!

(Alla Valse Tempo 1)
On boaed my gon-do-la, I serve Co-ca Co-la-, in flag-ons which once held Chi-an-ti,
And for five bob a night I will sing or re-cite from a bast-ard-ized ver-sion of Dan-te.
The Trans-port Com-mission gave me their per-mis-sion, One Gon-do-la, Canal, or Tham-es-es
And when I made o-be-zands, they threw in a li-cence, for vi-no con-sumed on the pre-mis-es.
When I sing un-so-ber-ly "La Donnae mo-li-le" peo-ple in house boats com-plain.
Of my gay Bar-ca-rolle, so I stick in my pole, and sing it a-gain and a-gain.

(Dolce ma non troppo)
Ho, lo, lo, lo, lo   lo, lo, lo, lo, lo,   lo, lo, lo, lo, lo,   lo, lo, lo, lo, lo, lo,   lo,
Bar-ca-rol-la___He, he, he,    he.   Ho, ho, ho, ho   ho

A gay gon-do-lier as I shot, ev'-ry weir, and I shout as I did in Ven-ez-ia____
Oh, who wants to fond-le a girl in my Gon-do-la up come the river Po-li-zia
Oh while all un-seen-a in-side-a the cab-in-a
The Eng-lish man travels in style.
With a young Si-gno-ri-ta my Gon-do-la met-or, is tick-ing up three pence a mile

So, tied to a jet-ty I eat my spag-het-ti, and drink 'till I'm pro-per-ly plast-ered
Shout-ing "Dog of Mon-tar-gis" to bar-gers on bar-ges, Who shout in re-ply:
"You're a…"   What? It's a lie______.

Oh it's ev-er such fun you will find on my Ang-lo Ve-ne____(tian)tian blind.____
(a tempo al fino)

My thanks to Tom Barnes from Ottowa, Canada, for contributing the lyrics, directly from a printed copy of the score, to a thread on the Mudcat Discussion Forum. Also to the Mudcat members who had previously helped in the transcription of this song.

Recorded by Ian Wallace with Donald Swann on the piano on a Parlophone EP (GEP 8642), 1960