George Formby’s song “When I’m Cleaning Windows” was originally banned by the BBC for its suggestive lyrics.

(They were sensitive souls in those days.)

So what was all the fuss about?

When I’m Cleaning Windows lyrics
George Formby
– written by George Formby, Harry Gifford and Frederick E. Cliffe
– as recorded September 27, 1936 by George Formby (1904-1961)

Now I go cleanin’ windows to earn an honest bob
For a nosy parker it’s an interestin’ job

Now it’s a job that just suits me
A window cleaner you would be
If you can see what I can see
When I’m cleanin’ windows

Honeymoonin’ couples too
You should see them bill ‘n coo
You’d be surprised at things they do
When I’m cleanin’ windows

In my profession I’ll work hard
But I’ll never stop
I’ll climb this blinkin’ ladder
Till I get right to the top

The blushin’ bride, she looks divine
The bridegroom he is doin’ fine
I’d rather have his job than mine
When I’m cleanin’ windows

The chambermaids’ sweet names I call
It’s a wonder I don’t fall
My mind’s not on my work at all
When I’m cleanin’ windows

I know a fella, such a swell
He has a thirst, that’s plain to tell
I’ve seen him drink his bath as well
When I’m cleanin’ windows

Oh, in my profession I’ll work hard
But I’ll never stop
I’ll climb this blinkin’ ladder
Till I get right to the top

Pyjamas lyin’ side by side
Ladies nighties I have spied
I’ve often seen what goes inside
When I’m cleanin’ windows

—— banjo ——

Now there’s a famous talkie queen
She looks a flapper on the screen
She’s more like eightie than eighteen
When I’m cleanin’ windows

She pulls her hair all down behind
Then pulls down her… never mind
And after that pulls down the blind
When I’m cleanin’ windows

In my profession I’ll work hard
But I’ll never stop
I’ll climb this blinkin’ ladder
Till I get right to the top

An old maid walks around the floor
She’s so fed up, one day I’m sure
She’ll drag me in and lock the door
When I’m cleanin’ windows

When I’m cleanin’ windows

————————————————————-

Glossary
——–

bob: an informal word for a shilling, a British coin
worth one twentieth of a pound

nosy parker: a person who pries into other people’s business

bill ‘n coo: “bill” means to kiss and whisper amorously;
“coo” means to murmur lovingly

swell: a fashionable person

talkie: an early film with a soundtrack; a “talking picture”

flapper: (in the 1920s) a young woman, especially one
flaunting her unconventional behaviour

old maid: a woman regarded as unlikely ever to marry;
a spinster