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One of the reasons I’ll never have a hit record with Non, Je ne regrette rien is because unfortunately, I do have one big regret. Coming home in the car from Potton Hall after the recording session for Studio Series 5, the one with all the singalong tunes on, I realised we’d Oh I do like to be beside the seaside: picture of beach in Corsicacompletely forgotten to record Oh I do Like to be Beside the Seaside. It’s a beautifully silly song, but it’s not just that it makes people smile during class, it also happens to have a very useful rhythmic template. It works for those grands battements exercises that have a huge anacrusis and slow rumpty-tum rhythm that sounds turgid in music, but is fine for legs. You can slow down Oh I do like to be beside the seaside and it doesn’t sound too turgid, because the words are light.

When I was researching the album, I was amazed  – considering how popular and well known the song is – that I didn’t seem to be able to find the sheet music online. In the end, I had to get a colleague to bring me in his physical copy of the music. I still can’t find a scan of the sheet music anywhere, which makes me wonder whether there’s some odd copyright issue lurking there. But in the meantime, thanks to Tony Wilkinson for uploading a new typeset version of the song to the Free sheet music archive. He’s done the world a service.

Links to the sheet music for “Oh I do like to be beside the seaside”

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Jonathan Still, ballet pianist