Services des Archives - Fiches biographiques

Vesta Tilley


Vesta Tilley, née Matilda Alice Powles (1864-1952) fut une artiste anglaise de music-hall qui devint la travestie masculine la plus connuee de son époque, en Angleterre et aux États-Unis, particulièrement entre plus ou moins 1884 et 1920. 

Elle est surtout connue pour une chanson écrite pour elle par Harry B. Norris en 1915 qu'elle interprétait sur scène vêtue en dandy du nom de Burlington Bert.

En voici les paroles :

I'm Bert
P'raps you've heard of me
You've had word of me,
Jogging along 
Hearty and strong
Living on plates of fresh air

I dress up in fashion 
And when I am feeling depressed 
I shave from my cuff all the whiskers and fluff
Stick my hat on and toddle up West

I'm Burlington Bertie I rise at ten thirty 
And saunter along like a toff
I walk down the Strand with my gloves on my hand 
Then I walk down again with them off
I'm all airs and graces correct easy paces 
Without food so long I've forgot where my face is
I'm Bert, Bert, I haven't a shirt 
But my people are well off you know. 
Nearly everyone knows me from Smith to Lord Rosebr'y, 
I'm Burlington Bertie from Bow.

I stroll
With Lord Hurlington,
In the Burlington
Call for Champagne
Walk out again
Come back and borrow the ink
I live most expensive 
Like Tom Lipton I'm in the swim
He's got so much 'oof' he sleeps on the roof
And I live in the room over him.

I'm Burlington Bertie I rise at ten thirty 
And saunter along Temple Bar
As round there I skip 
I keep shouting 'Pip Pip!'
And the darn'd fools think I'm in my car
At Rothchilds I swank it
My body I plank it 
On his front door step with 'The Mail' for a blanket
I'm Bert, Bert, and Rothchild was hurt
He said ' You can't sleep there' I said 'Oh'
He said 'I'm Rothchild sonny!' I said 'That's damn'd funny
I'm Burlington Bertie from Bow'

I smile
While they're extending me 
Cheer upon cheer
When I appear 
Captain with my polo team
So strict are my people
They're William the Conqueror's strain
If they ever knew I'd been talking to you
Why they'd never look at me again

I'm Burlington Bertie I rise at ten thirty 
And reach Kempton park around three
I stand by the rail, when a horse is for sale
And you ought to see Wooton watch me
I lean on some awning while Lord Derby's yawning
Then he bids two thousand and I bid Good Morning
I'm Bert, Bert, I'd buy one, a Cert
But where would I keep it you know
I can't let my man see me in bed with a gee-gee
I'm Burlington Bertie from Bow!

My pose,
Tho' ironical 
That my monocle
Holds up my face, keeps it in place,
Stops it from slipping away.
I smoke thousands, 
I usually deal in The Strand 
But you've got to take care when you're getting them there 
Or some idiot might stand on your hand.

I'm Burlington Bertie I rise at ten thirty 
And Buckingham Palace I view.
I stand in the yard while they're changing the guard 
And the queen shouts across "Toodle oo"!
The Prince of Wales' brother along with some other
Slaps me on the back and says "Come and see Mother"
But I'm Bert, Bert, and royalty's hurt, 
When they ask me to dine I say no.
I've just had a banana with Lady Diana 
I'm Burlington Bertie from Bow.

Le film qui suit, tourné vers 1915 donne un aperçu de sa prestation en scène. Elle y chante le dernier couplet : «I'm Burlington Bertie I rise at ten thirty...

(Le son, pré-enregistré sur disque fut ajouté par la suite.)

Madame Vesta Tilley :

Note : il se peut que votre fureteur n'accepte pas les vidéos.

Notes supplémentaires :

Madame Tilley fut, en 1919,  nommée chevalier (Dame) et fut dorénavant connue sous le nom de son mari, Lady [Walter] de Frece, député à la Chambre des Communes. 

Liens : 

Pour l'édition courante du Castor™ de Napierville, cliquez ICI

Pour revenir à notre page initiale, cliquez ICI .

Autres options (liens temporaires) :

Retour, si vous êtes venu par là, à : cette page

Sinon voir à : cette autre

Ou encore à : celle-ci.

© - Université de Napierville - Les auteurs et ayants-droits respectifs
(Lorsque non du domaine public)
(cités en conformité avec la loi canadienne sur le droit d'auteur)