The Lambeth Walk is a favorite historic street location in England. This location was originally called the "Three Coney Walk" and later Lambeth Wells. In the early 18th Century, entertainment started arriving in the forms of music and dancing as well as food and taverns. Later many businesses would spring up from Mills, lodging to finally becoming a market place.
The dance was also hailed as England's dance to challenge the U.S.A.'s Big Apple (and it did).
The metropolitan Lambeth Walk dance was originally said to be from the Limehouse district of London called Lambeth and a historic street known as Lambeth Walk (Lambeth Walk is across the Thames, diagonally southeast from the British House of Parliament) and tailored after the jaunty walk that was taken from the "Cockney - Barra Boys" (Barrow) of said street by way of walking with their thumbs tucked into the sleeves of their waistcoats which Lupino said he copied.
In London, the dance of the Lambeth Walk immediately became the third great Dance Craze of inter-war Europe.
Miss England is said to have created the dance in England in 1938 while others say it was the London comedian Lupino Lane in England's stage production of 'For Me and My Gal'. Supposedly the dance was changed and brought to America by Arthur Murray although Prince Serge Obolensky might argue (and did) with him about that. However the 1938 Harvest Moon Ball program stated that Joseph Rines introduced the dance to the U.S.
The Lambeth Walk was basically a "Social-Mixer" type dance that is best done in a group as couples dance side by side forming a line but can be done solo a well. When done it is a walking dance done in a jaunty, swaggering, strutting, knee slapping style and occasionally you would here a dancer shout, raise their arms, snap a finger and cry out "Oi or Oy" (the Oy! being similar to the old Farandole.) This was supposedly Cafe-Society at its best and the second in group participation dances, the first being the Big Apple.
The earliest date of the Lambeth Walk that I have found is 1937. Also, the Champion Strut was a mixture of the Lambeth Walk, Cakewalk and Swing. The Lambeth Walk was also a featured dance in 1938 Harlem mainly at the Plantation Club where it was renamed the Lambeth Shuffle. The Palais Glide was an offshoot of the Lambeth Walk in 1939.
During the war this song is said to have really pissed off (made angry) many a Nazi and its leaders especially when in 1941 - Schichlegruber doing the Lambeth Walk was made. The Lambeth Walk is known in German as: "In Lamberts Nachtlokal." ... "While dictators rage and statesmen talk, all Europe dances — to The Lambeth Walk."
Some pattern names are the Hitch Hike, The Slap and the Walk Around.