Laughing Gnome (Version 1)

(David Bowie)



I was walking down the High Street when I heard footsteps behind me
  (hiccup, hiccup, hic)
And there was a little old man
  ("Hello!")
In scarlet and grey, chuckling away
  (Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha... hoo hoo, Oh, cor! Oo yeah)

Well, he trotted back to my house and he sat beside the telly
  ("Cor!")
With his tiny hands on his stomach, smiling away, laughing all day
  (laughter)
I ought to report you to the gnome office!
  (Oh, gnome! [laughter])

CHORUS
   Ha ha ha, hee hee hee, I'm a laughing gnome and you can't catch me
   Ha ha ha, hee hee hee, I'm a laughing gnome and you can't catch me, said the laughing gnome

  ("'ere, you're standing on my foot!" [laughter])

Well, I gave him roasted toadstools...
  (laughter)
and a glass of dandelion wine
  (Blech, pardon?)
Then I put him on a train to Eastbourne...
  [Gnome does train sound effects]
and carried his bag and gave him a fag
  ("Have you got a light, boy?")
Here, little laughing gnome, where do you come from?
  ("Gnome man's land!" [laughter])
Oh, yeah!
  ([laughter] "Oh, yes!")

Then this morning, when I woke up, he was sitting on the edge of my bed
  (more laughter)
With his brother whose name was Fred -
He'd brought him along to sing me a song
  (La lee la lee la)
All right, let's hear it
  ("Okay.")
Here, what are you wearing that mask for?
  ("I'm a gnome in disguise!")

CHORUS
   Ha ha ha, hee hee hee, I'm a laughing gnome and you can't catch me
   Ha ha ha, hee hee hee, I'm a laughing gnome and you can't catch me

  (Gnome it, I'm a gnome anyway)

'Ere
  ("What?")
'Ere!
  ("WHAT?")
Haven't you got a gnome to go to?
  ("No, we're gnomads." Ha ha!)
Didn't they teach you to get your hair cut at school? You look like a Rolling Gnome!
  ("Not at the London School of Ecognomics!")

Now they're settled up me chimney, and we're living on caviar and honey
  (Hooray!)
'Cause they're earning me lots of money writing comedy prose for radio shows
It's the, uh...
  ("Go on!")
...it's the gnome service, of course!
  (laughter)

CHORUS
   Ha ha ha ha, hee hee hee hee, I'm a laughing gnome and you can't catch me
   Ha ha ha, hee hee hee, I'm a laughing gnome and you can't catch me

Gnome 1: "Look, here comes Fife Roberts Gnome! Whoopee!"
Gnome 2: "Eh, good evening! There has been an outbreak of gnomin' in the gloamin'... or has there?"
Gnome 1: "Oi! Did you come here on the metrognome?"
Gnome 2: "Oh, no, I came on a gnoming pigeon. Anyway, mind your own business!"
Gnome 1: "Gnome milk today?" [laughter]
Gnome 2: "Here, here, that's cheating, you rotten little man, you!"
Gnome 1: "Who's a rotten little man?"
Gnome 2: "You are!"
Gnome 1: "Anyway, I'm at least four inches high, and you're only three and a half"
Gnome 2: "So what? Stick that in your hat!"
Gnome 1: "I haven't got a hat"
Gnome 2: "Naah!"
Gnome 1: "Naah!"
Gnome 2: "I don't care, mine's green, with a bell on top"
Gnome 1: "I've got two bells on mine" [fade]


The first recorded version of The Laughing Gnome from 1966 on a 7" Decca Group Advance Test Recording two-sided acetate. The handwritten label stated 'Laughing Gnome' with the song a radically different version that the one released in 1967 on the Deram label (DM 123). The B-side with the handwritten titled 'Gospel' is exactly the same as the normal released version of 'The Gospel According To Tony Day'. The acetate was sold on eBay on 24th December 2007 and realised $1,800.