A 243rd GARLAND OF BRITISH LIGHT MUSIC COMPOSERS
We begin with a trio of ballad composers active around
the time of the Great War. George Buchanan’s titles included
Little Mother, Memory’s Home, M’Lady, The Ragman and Tinker
Tom. Examples of Donald Crichton's songs: The Grey Watch
and The Barefoot Maid. Of the three, Lewis Barnes
seems to have provided most responses to the prevailing patriotic need,
with songs like England Thy Name, The Soul of England, A Song of
Gladness and Comrade (he also penned marches, including The
Again from roughly the same period was W.G. James,
an Australian, whose popular choral songs included Five Australian
Christmas Carols, Australia, O Thou Favoured Isle and the Six
Australian Bush Songs: of which Stock Rider’s Song, featured
in the 1924 Pageant of Empire, achieved particular fame.
We wind up with three who contributed to musical comedies
in the first decade of the 20th Century. Ralph Nairn’s
part in this was a few numbers for Harold Samuel’s The Honourable
Phil in 1908. Evelyn Barker’s songs helped the success of
Herbert Haines’ revue-type musicals The Catch of the Season (621
performances, Vaudeville Theatre, 1904) and the less successful The
Talk of the Town (100 performances, Lyric Theatre, 1905). These
included Molly O’Halloran for the former and A Nice Young
Man for the latter, but after a few songs My Darling Hicks
in 1907, little more was heard of her.
Harold Austin was responsible for a complete
musical of his own, in the shape of The Purple Emperor, produced
at Hammersmith in 1909 with lyrics by T.C. and C. Austin, presumably
relatives. Harold also published many ballad-like songs - among them
I Have a Dream, In the Woods, Molly O’Donegal and Roses, Roses
All the Way.
Philip L Scowcroft
Philip's book 'British Light Music Composers' (ISBN 0903413 88 4) is
currently out of print.