Long before Longfellow penned his verses about the village smithy, rural Englishmen were singing a hippety-hopping tune to the words:
Underneath the spreading chestnut tree
I loved her and she loved me.
There she used to sit upon my knee
'Neath the spreading chestnut tree.
Last year, when King George VI visited a boys' camp in England, the boys entertained him by singing it with gestures, and (before a battery of newsreel Cameras) the King himself joined in with a right royal will (see cut). Weeks later the newsreel reached a small cinema theatre at Juan-les-Pins...