[Sheet music] The Appeal: song

Accession Number RC10775
Collection number Sheet Music Collection 290
Collection type Published Collection
Measurement Overall - closed: 25 cm x 35.3 cm
Object type Sheet Music
Maker Brookes, Charles R
Date made 1917
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918
Copying Provisions Attached digital images, content and recording are protected by copyright. It is reproduced here for research and study only. If you wish to use or quote from this recording and images, please contact the Memorial’s Research Centre via info@awm.gov.au or 02 6243 4315.

Sheet music for the song titled 'The Appeal', with lyrics and music composed by Charles R Brooks. This is a recruitment song dedicated to the Defence Department and is described as 'a national recruiting song'. It was written by an Australian composer from the Melbourne suburb of Murrumbeena. The lyrics are a recruiting appeal to Australian men with an emphasis that they need to respond to the call to enlist.

The cover features a classical soldier on a horse below an unfurled banner. This copy of the sheet music was published by Loebel & Co music publishers, Melbourne, and sold for 2/-. The lyrics are typed in full inside the front cover and this copy has been autographed by the composer. Included in this copy are advertising previews for the song 'On the Cocos Coast' by Reginald Agrati Stoneham and 'The Charming Coat' by Sylvia Little and Reginald Agrati Stoneham.

A review of this song was published in The Winner newspaper, Melbourne, on 31 January 1917. The composer was described as possessing 'uncommon ability in his composition, and has reached from the musical point of view a high level.' The article continued to say that the criticisms of many patriotic songs could not be applied to this song as 'the melody is strong, rhythmical, tuneful and dignified.'

Towards the bottom of this page is a sound recording of this sheet music, or a parody, that was created as part of the Music and the First World War project. More information about this recording, including names of the performers, can be found on the catalogue record for the sound recording. A link to the catalogue record for the sound recording can be found at the bottom of this page, under the heading ‘Related objects’ where it can be identified with the prefix [sound recording].

History / Summary

The article reviewing this musical work that was published in 'The Winner' newspaper in early 1917, mentioned that this piece 'should certainly be sung at recruiting meetings for it is the very kind of thing needed.' The composer wrote to Donald McKinnon, Director General of Recruiting, advising him of the song and requested to be informed if it was thought that the piece could be used. A reply was sent by Mackinnon's secretary on 3 February 1917, advising the composer to forward a copy and that it would be considered for use 'should a suitable opportunity arise'.

The song was performed at the South Yarra Picture Theatre where it was accompanied by an orchestra and recruiting slides, with the composer in attendance, during March 1917.