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The Noël Coward Music Index

G & H - Titles

G

GARDENS (THE)
See PUBLIC GARDENS

GEORGIE
See Appendix 1.e

GERMAN PRISONERS' DANCE
See JOURNEY'S END

GET OUT THOSE OLD RECORDS
See Appendix 1.a

GINGER UP
See DUKE OF YORK'S

GIPSY MELODY

ORIGIN:


USE:
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DISCOGRAPHY:

(1937)
intended for Operette (1938), but cut in Manchester before the London opening
Then in Pacific 1860, 1946 (Sylvia Cecil & chorus)
Publ.VS (of P1860)
Pastiche zigeunerliede aria, the first main item in Act III.
The verse sections are an effective piece of writing, starting with the mordently exotic in C# minor and moving on to fine, long-breathed vocal lines in Db, with chorus decorations. The refrain (in E) is also a fine tune despite its obvious pastiche elements. It ends up sounding like a very real slow tango.
NCR 19 is an anomaly, since it (songs from the score of Operette) was all recorded even before the Manchester opening. By the time the show reached London not only had the song been cut but Benjamin Frankel replaced Collinson as MD.
NCR 19: + orch. cond. F.M. Collinson (1938)

GIRL I AM LEAVING IN ENGLAND TODAY, THE

ORIGIN:
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NOTES:

(1924)
Charlot's 1924 Revue (Maisie Gay)
Charlot's Revue of 1926 (New York) (Beatrice Lillie)
Part of the sketch AFTER DINNER MUSIC
MUSIC LOST
Lyrics in BD
BD notes a performance direction that "this should be sung with a decided English syncopation, jerky movements, generally off the beat". Maisie Gay presented the three songs in this sketch as a burlesque of a "third-rate music hall act", and this one in particular as "a slightly exaggerated impression of Norah Bayes".

GIRL WITH THE DULL BROWN EYE
See Appendix 1.a

GIRLS OF THE C.I.V. (THE)

ORIGIN:
USE:
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(1931)
Cavalcade, 1931 (Act I Sc.4 - chorus)
Unpubl. MS
This is a pastiche of a song "from a typical musical comedy of the period" (around 1900). (It is exactly the time of the relief of Mafeking.) This is the "opening number" of the play-within-a-play, Mirabelle, which features in Part 1 Scene 4 of Cavalcade. The C.I.V. girls, dressed "rakishly" and described as "bouncing", celebrate their inclusion in the Boer War with a sprightly little march refrain in 6/8 time. (Clearly NC felt there was something a little ridiculous in women in uniforms parading about, not to mention the missionary instinct of imperial womanhood.)
Other parts of Mirabelle which follow are: LOVER OF MY DREAMS, FUN OF THE FARM [sic, in playscript] and FINALE (q.v.)

GIVE ME THE KINGSTON BYPASS

ORIGIN:
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DISCOGRAPHY:

(1952)
The Globe Revue, 1952 (Graham Payn)
Sep.Publ.
Solo ballad. The Kingston Pypass was one of the first new dual-carriageway roads to be built in Britain, and the song celebrates an ordinary man's lust for the open road in a variety of swish automobiles. Like TIME AND AGAIN from the same era, it is a mature song of elegant construction with dovetailing lyrics and melody. The trouble is that both title and lyric contents are so much of their precise time that the song is a bit irrelevant beyond.
Was it ever going to be popular enough a song as to merit its separate publication? Or is this perhaps an instance of NC knowing that it was a well-constructed song and wanting it to be published regardless of sales?
ONR 16a: Courtney Kenney (2001)

GO SLOW JOHNNY

ORIGIN:
USE:
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NOTES:







DISCOGRAPHY:

(1961)
Sail Away, 1961 (James Hurst)
Sep.Publ.
VS CC (in medley)
Solo ballad. Johnny sings this after a brush-off from Mimi. But dramatically it is perhaps a little too upbeat a number to swing into quite so boldly after the emotional tension of what has happened in the play. Therefore it doesn't come across in context as a very strong number, and the relative lack of melodic movement at the start of the main theme does not help engage ones interest. However, it has life and energy and a certain pleasing melodic development as it progresses.
OCR 18: James Hurst (Oct 1961)
NCR 45: + orch./acc. Peter Matz (Dec 1961)
OCR 19: David Holliday (1962)

GO, I BEG YOU GO

ORIGIN:

USE:
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NOTES:

(melodic theme) partly from 1943/44 (see below)
otherwise 1953/54
After the Ball, 1954 (Mary Ellis)
MS VS
Duet aria for Mrs Erlynne and Lady Windermere, Act II Sc.1 of the original pre-London (pre-revision) touring production; Lady W & Mrs E meet each other at Lord Darlington's house, and Mrs E urges Lady W to go back to her husband.
The start of the refrain sets the title words to the opening notes of the earlier-written but not then otherwise used THERE WILL ALWAYS BE (qv), and the note-pattern is then raised in pitch and extended twice to create a lengthy arioso phrase. The original was slow and serene; here the music is developed into restlessness, if not turbulence. In fact it becomes rather a good flowing romantic number. There are hints of NEVER AGAIN in the recit-like middle section.
In the second part of Mrs E's song the dropping 7th is effective; but the duet as a whole is very operatic, and goes on rather too long for dramatic success in this context.
This number provides the second example of NC recycling material written during the war years into this show (the other is LIGHT IS THE HEART).
A later section of this same musical scene is titled DEMAND NO PITY (q.v.)

GOLDENEYE CALYPSO
See Appendix 1.b

GONDOLA ON THE RHINE (A)
See JOURNEY'S END

GOOD EVENING, LADY WINDERMERE

ORIGIN:
USE:
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DISCOGRAPHY

(1953)
After the Ball, 1954 (Act II No.9b)
Unpubl. MS (not in the MS VS)
The item was cut before the show reached London, but 14 bars of music remained in the revised version which was known as MRS ERLYNNE'S ENTRANCE . Twelve bars of the same music were used at the conclusion of the original Act II Sc.1 for an unsatisfactory MEN'S GOODNIGHT SONG, which came after the denouement regarding the fan, and which was dropped (the number, not the fan) before or during the run of the original version.
The upwards and downwards pattern of the melody is pleasing, but by this stage in the show one desperately wants a thumping good tune, and this piece, though pleasing, does not supply anything terribly memorable.
This piece leads into LIGHT IS THE HEART, which originates from 1942. NC's 5#7 cadence chord is much in evidence here.
ONR 00: Mary Illes + ensemble (2005)

GOODBYE, OLD FRIEND
See Appendix 1.b

GRAND TOUR, THE

ORIGIN:
USE:
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DISCOGRAPHY:

Various - Music by NC, adapted and orch. Hershey Kay
A ballet for the Royal Ballet of London (1971)
"Based on a number of famous Coward songs"
(HK also did a similar Gershwin show)
There are discrepancies between the CD printed details and what one hears. The constituent titles are mostly called things like "Pas de Deux". As this was someone else's work we have not considered that this index needs the details; but, for example, the Opening is 'Rule Britannia' followed by 'Mad Dogs'.
ONR 10: City of Prague Philharmonic cond. Robin White (1995)

GRASS IS GREENER, THE

ORIGIN:
USE:
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NOTES:

early June 1960
Music for Sound Film, 1960
Theme music publ. as piano solo to coincide with film's opening
NCG2
The music combined a new theme with various existing NC items which were used as background. The film continues to generate respectable royalty returns (see Appendix 3)

GREEN CARNATION (WE ALL WEAR A ...)

ORIGIN:
USE:
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DISCOGRAPHY:

(1928/29)
Bitter Sweet, 1929 (Act III, boys' chorus)
Publ.VS
Oscar Wilde habitually wore a green carnation, and this floral affectation had been adopted as a badge by the Parisian homosexualists. 'Green Carnation' was also the title of a novel published in 1894 whose chief protagonists were based on the characters of Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas. Despite the fact that Coward's song was a clear lampoon of the manners of the Uranian decadents rather than any current endorsement of their style, the number was cut from both film versions of Bitter Sweet presumably for being too openly camp. This is odd, given that Gilbert and Sullivan had been able to get away with precisely the same thing throughout Patience. Perhaps it was the lyric at the end of the second refrain that did it: "And as we are the reason for the 'nineties' being gay,/ We all wear...".
It is an elegantly-crafted comedy song in swinging 4/4 tempo. ONR 01 sometimes shares the material out between singers, which seems apt. They are also better at finding apt parlando than the singers of ONR 04 and have greater rhythmic integrity in ensemble passages. They also include the full third verse.
NCR 10: (in medley) + Reisman Orch. (1933)
ONR 02: Linden Singers + orch (1961)
ONR 04: John McCarthy Singers (1969)
ONR 01: New Sadler's Wells chorus + orch. (1988)

H

HAIL PIONEERS
See YOU'RE A LONG, LONG WAY FROM AMERICA

HALF-CASTE WOMAN

ORIGIN:
USE:

SOURCE:



NOTES:
















DISCOGRAPHY:

Christmas 1930 (Goldenhurst, Kent) [NCA]
Cochran's 1931 Revue (Ada-May)
Ziegfeld Follies of 1931(Helen Morgan)
Sep.Publ.
AES
NCSB
NCG2
Revue ballad in slow 4/4 tempo, very close in sentiment to Cole Porter's 'Love For Sale', first exposed in the US show The New Yorkers in December 1930, though not a hit in UK till August '31. NC was playing Private Lives for the three months immediately prior to composing this, and didn't travel to the States until after Christmas 1930, so it looks as though this is a genuine case of the two composers having the same sort of idea coincidentally at the same time.
This is an unusual and effective song in a rather mordent mood. The sheet-music specifies 'Blues Tempo', and it is indeed a more restrained variation of the character of 'Twentieth Century Blues'. As well as the introductory verse section there's a 24-bar episode in the middle before the refrain is repeated. The refrain itself heightens the impact of each succesive melodic phrase by extending the pitch range of each resolution. (Rodgers does the same with 'There's A Small Hotel'.) The harmonisation of the melody employs effective whole-tone shifts, from D - C - D - E majors, echoed in whole-tone melody patterns, e.g. E-F#-E-D-C (to the words "living a life apart"). There's a delicious keychange in the middle of the Episode (from F# minor through F7 to Bbma7) to the words "losing my dreams in its wake", whose melody is a further extension of the refrain melody resolutions. The song as a whole exeplifies NC's mature bluesiness and unorthodox but effective chordal progressions and juxtapositions.
NCR 06: +orch./acc. Ray Noble (Jan 1931)
ONR 08: Sam Browne + Ambrose orch. (Feb 1931)
ONR 48: "Hutch" (Apr 1931)
ONR 49: Graham Payn (1947)
NCR 40: +orch./acc. Peter Matz (1956)
ONR 18: Michael Law/Piccadilly Dance Orch. (1999)

HALL OF FAME, THE
(from Words and Music, 1932)

See separate entries for the constituent titles:
1) *ANNOUNCEMENT
2) THE MAN WHO CAUGHT THE BIGGEST SHRIMP
3) *THE OLDEST POSTMISTRESS IN ENGLAND
4) THE MAN WHO ROWED ACROSS LAKE WINDERMERE IN AN INDIARUBBER BATH
5) THE HOLIDAY MERMAID
6) *THE CLERGYMAN WHO'S NEVER BEEN TO LONDON
7) *MY LIFE STORY
8) *CHORAL FINALE (LONG LIVE THE PRESS)

DISCOGRAPHY:

(*These songs were recorded on ONR 22 under HALL OF FAME title)

HALLO, WE'RE ALWAYS ON THE TRIGGER
See OPENING CHORUS (Words and Music, 1932)

HARRIET MARRIED A SOLDIER
See DRINKING SONG

HAS ANYBODY SEEN OUR SHIP?

ORIGIN:
USE:



SOURCE:




NOTES:












DISCOGRAPHY:

(1935)
Tonight at 8.30: (Red Peppers)
(NC & Gertrude Lawrence - UK tour and Phoenix Th. 35/36)
(NC & GL - USA tour & National Th. 11.36)
(Vic Oliver & Beatrice Lillie - touring prodn. Oct. 1940)
Sep.publ.
STA
VS CC (in medley)
NCG1
NCR
Pastiche music-hall point number.
The stage ending of this number, where the music goes too fast and leads to Lily Pepper fumbling her steps and dropping her telescope and the subsequent furious backstage bickering between the Peppers, was inspired by Coward's stepping into the breach at short notice to conduct the orchestra for a performance of Words and Music in 1932, when his choice of an inappropriately fast tempo for ‘Something To Do With Spring’ meant that the performers, Joyce Barbour and John Mills, "staggered off the stage cursing and exhausted."
This is such a good pastiche that it could well be mistaken for the real thing. And for a little pastiche song, it does not do too badly, being among the top thirty most-performed Coward numbers today (see Appendix 3).
OCR 09: Gertrude Lawrence & NC + orch.(Jan 1936)
NCR 18: Gertrude Lawrence & NC + orch.(Dec 1936)
ONR 20: Lewis Fiander & Patricia Hodge (1986)
ONR 12: Twiggy & Harry Groener (1999)

HE NEVER DID THAT TO ME

ORIGIN:
USE:

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DISCOGRAPHY:

1924
Sung by Nora Bayes, in Variety Season,
New Oxford Theatre, London, Sept. 1924
Lyric orig. publ. in NCSL
CPA1 (1938)
NCG2
A rather risqué point number, for a woman, about a western movie-hero met in real life, and how despite his villainous reputation echoing his screen image, "he never did [any of that] to me".
NC clearly felt the piece unjustifyably to have sunk without trace after 1924, or why else would a more or less unknown song have been included in the 1938 CPA publication? Then another wait of forty years for re-exposure in NCG. It is a neat enough piece, the 28-bar verse beginning to a snatch of 'Girls and Boys Come Out to Play' and the 20-bar refrain a (short but) lyrically pleasing 6/8 tempo rum-te-tum, ending each time with the title line.
It was the second of two songs NC wrote for the American artist Norah Bayes, the other being ONE FINE DAY. Maisie Gay thought Norah Bayes "brilliant", and she was to lampoon Bayes' performance in NC's sketch 'After Dinner Music'.
ONR 22: Hermione Gingold (1968)

HEARTS AND FLOWERS

ORIGIN:
USE:
SOURCE:
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DISCOGRAPHY:

(1935)
Tonight at 8.30: (Family Album) 1936 (NC & GL)
Publ.VS (Music No. 8)
A low, slow waltz song, a pastiche of mid-19th century style. The characters (setting is 1860's) reminisce about their "first experience" of the song in between Jasper and Jane singing it as "their" love song to one another: "The man who wrote those words certainly had a sweet tooth."; "I remember father humming it between his teeth when he was whacking me with a slipper."; "The loveliest song in the world.". It does not quite live up to this hyperbole, but is certainly romantically evocative.
OCR 09/NCR 15 & 16: Gertrude Lawrence & NC (1936)
ONR 05: Bobby Short (1972)

HEAVENLY MOMENT (THE)
(See also notes for In Which We Serve on Appendix 1.e)

ORIGIN:

USE:


SOURCE:

NOTES:

(refrain only) ?during composition of score for
In Which We Serve, 1942
Intended for Samolan Operette - unused
The music reappears substantially unaltered as refrain of LIGHT IS THE HEART (After the Ball, 1954)
Lyrics: Samolan Operette draft (c.1942?) [see BD]
Music: among Elsie April MSS for In Which We Serve (NC Estate archives)
The development of the original to the published version of LIGHT IS THE HEART shows additional touches of Norman Hackforth-ish harmonies. A slow-ish waltz aria, it was originally a high song in Eb. Though discovered among the MSS for In Which We Serve we advance no connection.

HERE AND NOW

ORIGIN:
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DISCOGRAPHY:

(by April 1963) [NCD]
The Girl Who Came to Supper, 1963 (Florence Henderson)
Sep.Publ.
NCG1
NCR
Love-song waltz aria. This is a well-constructed fast waltz with flowing, long-breathed phrases in both verse and refrain sections. The piece would not be out of place in the score of Bitter Sweet. Its outstandingly memorable characteristic is the interval of the rising seventh which starts the refrain, and this is nicely balanced by a falling seventh on the last two notes of the "middle 8".
NCR 46: pno. acc. unknown (Apr 1963)
OCR 20: Florence Henderson (Dec 1963)

HERE IN THE SUMMERTIME
See Appendix 1.c

HERE'S A TOAST
See DRINKING SONG

HEY NONNY NO

ORIGIN:
USE:
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NOTES:

(1962)
Cut from The Girl Who Came to Suppper (1963)
Unpubl. MS
The piece was cut after the Boston leg of the tryout tour. It appeared early in Act I, and is a discussion between some of the Carpathian royals and their retinue about the relative merits of German and English music. Unfortunately one of the retinue's parts was cut completely, so the song had to go too. It is a complex bit of musical writing with dialogue over piano-playing and singing, pauses for other bits of diologue, and some disparaging comments from the characters about the featured bit of "English folk-music" and its playing.

HIS EXCELLENCY REGRETS

ORIGIN:
USE:
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DISCOGRAPHY:

(1944-45)
Pacific 1860, 1946 (double sextet)
Publ.VS
NCSB
Comedy chorus song in 6/8 time. The second music item in Act II. It consists of the girls asking the boys (all ADC's to the British Governor of Samolo) about the delicate protocol of their jobs. The first refrain presents 'polite' excuses why His Excellency declines to attend this or that function, and is closely followed by a second in which His Excellency's responses are couched in "plain, unvarnished truth".
Genesis of the song seems to be linked with NC’s early-40s plans for a Samolan Operette, whose early working title was, confusingly, Sigh No More. See BD p.223 for further details.
The refrains have long lines with an unusual but elegant rhyming scheme, with particular rhymes each having their own melodic and rhythmic "handles". One could say a great deal more about the helter-skelter but extremely logical way in which these rhythmic/melodic handles are repeated in succession.
The song is relatively unknown on account of being a difficult piece to perform beyond its original context; I have, however, known one performance in a British Ambassador's Residence in the Middle East! Its inclusion in NCSB clearly shows NC's own recognition of its quality. It is worth getting to know.
OCR 13: Pacific 1860 cast (1946)
NCR 29: + Drury Lane orch. cond. Mantovani (Jan 1947)
NCR 30: + orch. cond. Mantovani (Jun 1947)

HOLIDAY MERMAID, THE

ORIGIN:
USE:
SOURCE:
NOTES:
DISCOGRAPHY:

(1932)
Part of THE HALL OF FAME (Words and Music 1932)
Publ.VS
An innocuous little 48-bar waltz comedy refrain.
(ONR 22: Has some of the other constituent titles, but not this one!)

HOME

ORIGIN:
USE:
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DISCOGRAPHY:

1959 (intended for Later than Spring)
unused
Unpubl. MS
A fast-waltz comedy song in which the eternal polyglot traveller relates his rootlessness - and obvious wealth, since he has homes all over the world. A melodically simple verse reminds one in its lyrics of "My father was Hungarian,/ My mother came from Spain" from 'Countess Mitzi', and the lyrics are strong from the start, with rhymes found (including internal ones) for unlikely place-names, which excite the imagination. The lyric excitement is maintained throughout three refrains (and another verse) that follow. There are definite elements of Cole Porter about this song - indeed, it is another case of them both having written similar songs, even in this instance using the same rhyme - Home-Nome (the latter being a place where igloos can be built).
There's a real feel of the autobiographical behind the piece, and a clear delight in its creation, with nothing forced and everything fitting to a melody with a strong sense of form and direction. This is a piece which should rise from obscurity and start to feature in 'Travel' sections of compilation shows.
NCR 42: acc.?Douglas Gamley (1959/60)

HOME AGAIN
see Appendix 1.a

HOME SWEET HEAVEN
see Appendix 1.a

HOUSEMAIDS' KNEES

ORIGIN:
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DISCOGRAPHY:

(1932)
Words and Music 1932 (Effie Atherton & chorus)
Publ.VS (Act II Opening)
Chorus comedy song. The explanation for the title comes in the refrain lyrics: "Our clothes are lighter/ Our skirts are shorter too/ When there's the slightest breeze/ You'll see these Housemaid's knees." A glimpse of female leg, they say, is enough to bring extra brightness into anyone's life; it's as good a way as any of opening the second half of a revue.
The principal merit of the refrain lies in its lyrics, but the music is a more than adequate foursquare support, using phrases of descending scales repeated and raised step by step, and showing coherent phrase endings. It is a piece which one feels should have had a second (and naughtier) refrain.
ONR 22: Hemione Gingold (1968)

HOW DO YOU DO, MIDDLE AGE?
(also known as MIDDLE AGE)

ORIGIN:
USE:
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DISCOGRAPHY:

(1962)
The Girl Who Came to Supper, 1963 (José Ferrer)
Unpubl. MS
Slow, rhythmic soliloque ballad for the Prince Regent in response to finding himself in love with the showgirl Mary, whom he describes as "a feather-brained, garrulous small-part minx,/ Who never draws breath and seldom thinks", and who in all other respects infuriates him. This is a taut and elegant piece of writing on the whole, but the refrain melody isn't quite strong enough to match the crisp neatness of the lyrics. Certainly worth getting to know
NCR 46: pno. acc. unknown (Apr 1963)
OCR 20: José Ferrer (Dec 1963)

 

 

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