‘Dumble-Dum-Dearie or How Fra Newbery got his Cloak and Hat. The School of Art Song’: Part Two

Following Kiah Endleman Music’s blog here, you can read the full transcript of the song here:

Thirteen four-line verses typed across two pages of off-white paper, with the title "Dumble-Dum-Dearie or How Fra Newbery got his Cloak and Hat. The School of Art Song."

GSAA/DIR/5/38: ‘Dumble-Dum-Dearie or How Fra Newbery Got His Cloak and Hat; The School of Art Song’, unauthored [1916].






Oh! Mackintosh – he built a School

And Newbery – he filled it full

With Painters and Sculptors and Arkerytects

Of various ages and every sex

Singing Dumble-dum-dearie-cum-dumble-dum-day.


And how did he do it we’d like for to know

Why ­­– he promised to everyone who would go

A Fifty-Pound Travelling Scholarship

A Maintenance Bursary and the Dip;

And some Dumble-dum-dearie-cum-dumble-dum-day.


He got some Professors to show ‘em the way

To lay on the paint and to rough up the clay,

A Frenchman from France with a straightedge and rule

To build up an Arkerytectural School

Singing Dumble– etc.


The honours they had made a splendid array

From A.R.C.A. to full-blown R.A.

With Fra; at the top with his S.P.G.

And his Cav-a-li-er-e Uf-fic-i-al-ee

Singing Dumble– etc.


The first on his list was old Maurice Greiff,

There was no one like him who knew more about life

He never spoilt no one by sparing the rod

When he looked at our drawings he said – “O my God!”

“What a Dumble– etc.


There was Balthus the Belgian – the tempera toff

He could fresco the paint so it wouldn’t rub off

With yolk of egg, bee’s wax and lots of casein

Then wash it all down with a drop of dry gin

And some Dumble– etc.


There was Jimmy Dunlop – the anatomy bloke

He rattled his mastoids whenever he spoke

Sitting on his “gluteus” held speak for a week

Of his favourite form the ‘external oblique’

Singing Dumble– etc.


There were lots of small fry adorning the Staff

With some we would cry – with some we would laugh


All excellent Teachers of any old thing

And of Dumble– etc.


But who they all were we don’t need to tell

And the last one we’ll mention is old Anning Bell

He not only showed us to do a design

But got it accepted and hung on the line

With some Dumble– etc.


Fra: went to the Contiong every year

For plaster casts for his Students dear
France – Austria – Germany – Italy – Greece

Like Jason of old for his Golden Fleece

And for Dumble– etc.


He got up a lecture-scheme – lofty and grand

Artists to talk – the best in the land

He also invited James Whistler McNeill

To tell ‘em of Art – what was false – what was real

What was Dumble– etc.


Mr. Whistler inquired as to who he had had

To tell ‘em of Art – was it good – it was bad

Fra; answered – he’d had Walter Crane – Lewis Day

When Whistler heard those names he said – Go away –

With you Dumble– etc.


He said “Mister Fra; what a blizzard you’ve had

To what they have told you I’ve nothing to add”

So Fra: took his leave – said Good-bye and all that

But he borrowed his cloak and he purloined his hat

Singing Dumble- etc.

Caricature of man in large cloak and top hat, with text below image reading 'Suggested Costume Guide No. 1 Le Comte Frah Nooberrie'

GSAA/DIR/5/38/8/2 caricature of F H Newbery by Hugh Munro, in “St Mungo” 1897