Egyptomania #3


Sheet music for ‘Old King Tut (Was A Wise Old Nut) (Source: The Telegraph).

Beneath the tropic skies King Tut-Tut-Tut was very wise,

Now old King Tut-Tut-Tut was always gay,

Cleopatra she sat upon his knee,

Pat! that’s where she sat.

This week’s instalment looks at the musical compositions influenced by Egyptomania.

Egyptomania hit its peak following the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb by Howard Carter.

These songs weren’t always entirely accurate – we know that Tutankhamun was not an old king as he died when he was just a boy. The lyrics above, taken from Billy Jones and Ernest Hare’s ‘Old King Tut’, do not contain any historical accuracy at all but, at the time, accuracy wasn’t the primary concern – it was about entertainment.

King Tut wasn’t the only Egyptian to attract musical tributes.

Cleopatra features in many songs (Source: History Extra).

Recently, ‘Old King Tut’ has featured in the television show ‘Boardwalk Empire’ but you can hear a vintage version here:


2 comments on “Egyptomania #3

  1. Apparently the song was written upon the immediate discovery of the tomb. According to Dr. Brier’s book they didn’t learn of Tutankhamen’s young age of ruling until they got further into the tombs yield.

  2. […] a look at some old-timey songs that owed their success to Egyptomania. (Egyptiana […]

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