Mr Flotsam and Mr Jetsam: Is 'e an Aussie, is 'e Lizzy (the Thirties?)

 |   |  2 min read

Mr Flotsam and Mr Jetsam: Is 'e an Aussie, is 'e Lizzy (the Thirties?)

This is one of those songs which, once heard, is never forgotten: how can you ever erase lines like "seems this digger likes my figure" or "he being well-born, lived in Melbourne".

Mr Flotsam and Mr Jetsam (not to be confused with the metal band of similar name, of course) were a UK-based comedy duo of the Twenties and Thirties. Flotsam was Bentley Collingwood Hilliam (the songwriter, pianist and tenor voice, 1890–1968) and Jetsam was Malcolm McEachern (bass voice, 1883–1945, and a New Zealander in fact).

They did the straight stuff under their own names too, but their comedy songs and "sentimental favourites" is what they remain best known for . . . especially this piece of witty rhyme.

You could perhaps make the case for this as being modelled on Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner in its clever use of various voices and twisting narrative . . . but that would be as silly as the song.

Enjoy. And here are those lyrics to memorise and sing along to.

Take it away Mr Flotsam and Mr Jetsam . . .

Learn how Lizzie met an Aussie

Told her girlfriend Mary-Anne

"Mary-Anne I've met a man who says he's an Austray-ee-an"

"Falling for him have your Lizzie?"

Lizzie blushing shook her head

Said Mary-Anne "don't think you can fool me" and then she said:


"Is he an Aussie, Lizzie, is he?

Is he an Aussie, Lizzie, eh?

Is it 'cos he is an Aussie that he keeps you busy Lizzie?

'as he jazzy ways and does he make you go all fuzzy wuzzy?

Got you dizzy, 'as he Lizzie?

Is he an Aussie, Lizzie, eh?"


Is he an Aussie, Lizzie, is he?

Is he an Aussie, Lizzie, eh?

Is it because he is an Aussie that he keeps you busy Lizzie?

Has he jazzy ways and does he make you go all fuzzy wuzzy?

Got you dizzy, 'as he Lizzie?

Is he an Aussie, Lizzie, eh?"


"Seems this digger likes my figure"

Lizzie then told Mary-Anne

"Likes my ways and claims to think-U'm what these Aussies call fair-dinkum"

"Throws a fond eye, talks of Bondi

And he's tried to kiss me twice

When I said 'No' he said 'Good-oh'"

Said Mary-Anne "How nice"


Is he an Aussie, Lizzie, is he?

Is he an Aussie, Lizzie, eh?

Is it because he is an Aussie that he keeps you busy Lizzie?

Has he jazzy ways and does he make you go all fuzzy wuzzy?

Got you dizzy, 'as he Lizzie?

Is he an Aussie, Lizzie, eh?"


Soon this wonder from Down Under

Got himself right down to biz

Lost no time in coaxing Liz

To promise that she would be his


He being well-born, lived in Mel-bourne

So they sailed at once for there

Poor Mary-Anne without a man

Repeats this maiden's prayer:


"Is he an Aussie, Lizzie, is he?

Is he an Aussie, Lizzie, eh?

Is it because he is an Aussie that he keeps you busy Lizzie?

Has he jazzy ways and does he make you go all fuzzy wuzzy?

Got you dizzy, 'as he Lizzie?

Is he an Aussie, Lizzie, eh?"


(he's a bonza bloke)


Is he an Aussie, Lizzie, is he?

Is he an Aussie, Lizzie, eh?

Is it because he is an Aussie that he keeps you busy Lizzie?

Has he jazzy ways and does he make you go all fuzzy wuzzy?

Got you dizzy, 'as he Lizzie?

Is he an Aussie, Lizzie, eh?"


Is he an Aussie, Lizzie, is he?

Is he an Aussie, Lizzie, is he?

Is he?

Is he an Aussie, Lizzie, is he?

Is he an Aussie, Lizzie, is he, eh?

For more one-offs, songs with an interesting backstory or just plain oddities see From the Vaults

Share It

Your Comments

Elizabeth - May 24, 2014

Fantastic song just found it

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

Ann-Margret: It's a Nice World to Visit But Not to Live In (1969)

Ann-Margret: It's a Nice World to Visit But Not to Live In (1969)

The actress Ann-Margret wasn't much such great shakes as a singer, but she had other . . . attributes? She certanly had a decent movie career for a while (she even wasn't bad in one of Elvis'... > Read more

Death Trash: Death Trash Rock and Roll (1988)

Death Trash: Death Trash Rock and Roll (1988)

For their 1988 album The 10000 RPM Groove Orgy, the band Death Trash didn't hide their ethic. Tracks include Liquor Whore, Sexbeast, Now I Wanna Make Some Noise, Mind Trashed and Loaded, True and... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Willie Nelson, Wynton Marsalis and Norah Jones: Here We Go Again (Blue Note)

Willie Nelson, Wynton Marsalis and Norah Jones: Here We Go Again (Blue Note)

This cross-generational/cross-genre superstar triumvirate isn't as unusual as it appears on paper: There are two or fewer degrees of separation between the protagonists. Jones has toured and... > Read more

Gary Numan, The Studio, Auckland. May 23 2014

Gary Numan, The Studio, Auckland. May 23 2014

Many many years ago, I interviewed the British musician Thomas Dolby who had enjoyed a big hit with She Blinded Me With Science in '82. It was notable for having spoken word samples from the... > Read more