As I was saying the other day, the tradition of music hall lives on in English popular culture - even the Kinks were part of it, in a way. There is a particular kind of delight that is take in the silly, and it comes out in things looking or sounding silly or just being silly. England is famous for its puns. Its double entendres are also famous (Benny Hill, anyone?), and I already touched on rhyming slang. All these things get used in poetry that draws on indigenous (as it were) culture. A richly suggestive seam, largely of suggestion itself.
Harry Champion was a music hall entertainer born in 1866, who died in 1944 and performed well into his seventies. If you can, listen to the words to this first song, all the way through. It was recorded in 1915 - in the middle of the First World War - to an audience desperate to have some fun. Champion was known for singing songs about food (!). Listen to what he manages to extract from this one.
And here's one that may sound familiar... recorded 98 years ago, in 1911.
Here's a bit more information on the Champion Harry:
"Harry Champion also seems to have run a cab/taxi business for most of his life. Even at the height of his fame he is reported as saying 'I have not made a fortune out of it. That story got about in the old days when I used to let broughams out on hire to my brother pros! I never went into the business for profit. I started it because I like to see a bit of the country myself and I went on with it to keep off the drink'."