I just added the idiom “To have the upper hand” on the body idioms page. Then I remembered this song and found it on YouTube. Enjoy:-

The Lyrics:-

Lord Elderley, Lord Borrowmere,
Lord Sickert and Lord Camp,
With every virtue, every grace,
Ah what avails the sceptered race,
Here you see-the four of us,
And there are so many more of us
Eldest sons that must succeed.
We know how Caesar conquered Gaul,
And how to whack a cricket ball;
Apart from this, our education lacks co-ordination.
Though we’re young and tentative,
And rather rip-representative,
Scions of a noble breed,
We are the products of those homes serene and stately
That only lately
Seem to have run to seed!


The Stately Homes of England,
How beautiful they stand,
To prove the upper classes
Have still the upper hand;
Though the fact that they have to be rebuilt
And frequently mortgaged to the hilt
Is inclined to take the gilt
Off the gingerbread,
And certainly damps the fun
Of the eldest son.
But still we won’t be beaten,
We’ll scrimp and screw and save,
The playing fields of Eton
Have made us frightfully brave-
And though if the Van Dycks have to go
And we pawn the Bechstein Grand,
We’ll stand
By the Stately Homes of England.

Here you see
The pick of us.
You may be heartily sick of us,
Still with sense
We’re all imbued.
Our homes command extensive views,
And with assistance from the Jews
We have been able to dispose of
Rows and rows and rows of;
Gainsboroughs and Lawrences,
Some sporting prints of Aunt Florence’s,
Some of which were rather rude.
Although we sometimes flaunt our family conventions,
Our good intentions
Mustn’t be misconstrued.


The Stately Homes of England
We proudly represent,
We only keep them up for
Americans to rent.
Though the pipes that supply the bathroom burst
And the lavatory makes you fear the worst,
It was used by Charles the First
Quite informally,
And later by George the Fourth
On a journey north.
The State Apartments keep their
Historical renown,
It’s wiser not to sleep there
In case they tumble down’.
But still if they ever catch on fire
Which, with any luck, they might
We’ll fight
For the Stately Homes of England

The Stately Homes of England,
Though rather in the lurch,
Provide a lot of chances
For Psychical Research.
There’s the ghost of a crazy younger son
Who murdered, in thirteen fifty-one,
An extremely rowdy nun
Who resented it,
And people who come to call
Meet her in the hall.
The baby in the guest wing,
Who crouches by the grate,
Was walled up in the west wing
In fourteen twenty-eight.
If anyone spots
The Queen of Scots
In a hand-embroidered shroud
We’re proud
Of the Stately Homes of England.