Screenshot of Charlie Chaplin in Kid Auto Races at Venice (1914). Photo: Keystone Studios

In the spring of 1915, within days of a bungled British attempt to “knock Turkey out of the war” by an attack through the Bosphorous, World War I having not yet lasted a year, children in the streets of London were singing this song:

O the moon shines bright on Charlie Chaplin
Whose boots are crackin’
For want of blackin’
And his little baggy trousers...

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