The first hearing of this song is indelibly enshrined in my memory. In the late 1940's there was a wonderful early evening BBC radio programme series called "Journey into Space". The programme was always announced in a very dramatic way, thrilling stuff for myself, brother and kid sisters. This particular series dealt with the exploration of Mars and this particular episode dealt with the first contact between the explorers and the Martians. The "Martians" turned out to be Earthmen who had been abducted to Mars by some mysterious agents decades previously and the "Martians" believed themselves to be still on Earth. Complicated stuff for young listeners. Proof of the matter was that one of the "Martians" sang a snatch of "When it's night time in Italy". Any roud up, our father who for some reason or other also happened to be listening became quite agitated as this was a music hall song which he had last heard in the 1920's.
At the end of the programme he sang us the only verse he knew which from then on was one of our favourite nonsense songs. The next time I heard this song was many, many years later, quite out of the blue on Wally Whyton's Folk Music programme in September 1984 which I luckily taped and immediately transcribed. It's a wonderful nonsense song with a nice intro. (done twice with different lyrics) and four tongue-twisting verses.