I Answer Your Music Questions: “I’m Henry The VIII, I Am”
Q: How old is the Herman's Hermits song I'M HENRY VIII I AM? I mean, how far back does it go before Herman did it?
A: I'M HENRY THE VIII, I AM is sung in a very distinctive Cockney accent by all who have recorded it. Even though the Hermits version is spelled as “Henry,” the original spelling was “Henery,” just as it is pronounced in the song. Originally titled “I'm Henery The Eighth, I Am," it goes way back to 1910. It was written/composed by Fred Murray and R. P. Weston and became the theme song for British music hall star Harry Champion. In the Hermits' version, Herman sings the line “she wouldn't have a Willie or a Sam” - but when Champion made his recordings of the song, the line was altered to “WILLIAM or a Sam” because the name “Willie” was also a slang term for the male......well, you know. The version that the Hermits based their rendition on was a 1961 recording by British performer Joe Brown. Herman's Hermits' version went all the way to #1 in America during the summer of 1965.