[Sheet music] Ev'ry Little While

Accession Number RC10791
Collection number Sheet Music Collection 306
Collection type Published Collection
Measurement Overall: 33 cm x 26 cm
Object type Sheet Music
Location Main Bld: Research Centre: Reading Room (Tier 2)
Maker James William Tate
Harris, Clifford
Place made Australia: New South Wales, Sydney
Date made 1916
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918
Copying Provisions Recording provided for personal, non-commercial and commemorative use. Permission from copyright holder must be sought for commercial use. Attached digital images provided for personal non-commercial use

Sheet music for the song titled, 'Ev'ry little while', with lyrics written by Frank Clifford Harris, also known as Clifford Harris, and music composed by James William Tate. The lyrics of this song are written from the perspective of someone who has been separated from their sweetheart and reveals the extent to which they are missed.

This copy of the song has been published by J Albert & Sons, a music selling company in Sydney, under special arrangement with the original publishers Francis Day & Hunter of London and New York. The back page features an incomplete, advertising preview of a song titled 'They made it twice as nice as paradise and they called it Dixieland', which was performed by Vera Pearce in J C Williamson's Christmas show 'Dick Whittington'.

The song, 'Ev'ry little while' featured in the vaudeville revue titled 'Some' as well as J C Williamson's revue 'The Bing Boys are Here'. The latter show began playing on London's Westend on 19 April 1916. Minnie Love performed this song in the production and her name is recorded on the front cover of the music. This copy of the song was published by J Albert & Sons under special permission from Francis, Day & Hunter publishers of London and New York.

Frank Clifford Harris was a British lyricist who often collaborated on musical works with Tate. Tate was a songwriter, composer, accompanist and producer of musicals and plays. He married Lottie Collins who introduced the song 'Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay' to Britain. He also worked with Herman Darewski and Irving Berlin. Many of the lyrics to his songs were written by Frank Clifford Harris and Archibald Thomas Pechey, also known as Valentine.

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

Australian soldiers would have attended performances of the revue 'The Bing Boys are here', whilst on leave in London. The song, 'Ev'ry Little While', was also popular in its own right at concerts in England during the war. This included performances at Winter Gardens, Blackpool from 17 August 1917. Recordings of the song were also popular with Frank Reinhardt Fischer reporting a gramophone playing 'Ev'ry Little While' in the mess one evening during March 1918.

'Ev'ry Little While', also became popular with concert parties of the AIF. Hector Arthur Roberts performed this song as a member of the Anzac Coves at Jubilee Hall, Weymouth, England on 21 February 1918. Approximately six months later, it was performed by Private Charles Thomas Holt, a member of the Smart Set Concert Party, at a concert with the 13th Battalion Band at the Theatre des Arts, Rouen, France on 24 and 25 June 1918. It was also performed by Mrs Vetter and Mr Nobbs, members of The Norman Troupe, aboard HMT Norman on 13 August 1919.

Advertisements for 'Ev'ry Little While', first started appearing in Australian newspapers around January 1918. One advertisement, in the Sydney Morning Herald, believed that hearing this song resulted in being 'fascinated by its haunting melody.' The same advertisement continued to say 'No song during the last ten years has struck the public fancy like this one.'

In Australia, newspapers reveal several performances occurring in June 1918. One of these, at Her Majesty's Theatre in Ballarat, featured Minnie Love singing this song.