12 August 2011

'Arf a pint of ale

Gus Elen (22 July 1862 – 17 February 1940) was a British music hall singer. He achieved success from 1891, performing cockney songs and sketches as a 'coster' comedian, dressed in the clothes of a poor East End costermonger, coming himself from a similar background.

Many of Elen's songs spoke of the living conditions of ordinary workers. The appeal to his audience, many of whom would be poor, was both to laugh at the difficulties of working class life, and to celebrate one's capacity for survival.

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