[Sheet music] Here's to the–! (Toasts to the Untoasted)

Accession Number RC10862
Collection number Sheet Music Collection 377
Collection type Published Collection
Measurement Overall - closed: 35.9 cm x 26.3 cm
Object type Sheet Music
Maker David, Worton
Lee, Bert
Date made 1915
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
Description

Sheet music for the song titled, 'Here's to the–! (Toasts to the Untoasted)', written and composed by Worton David and Bert Lee. This copy was published by Francis, Day and Hunter in 1915, and sung by Whit Cunliffe.

The lyrics of 'Here’s to the—!' are humorous in tone and celebrate people who are implied to have less fortune in life. This version of the music is written in the key of D and is housed in a handmade cover of brown cardboard cover. The title has been cut out from the original copy of the sheet music used and pasted on the top half of the cover. Inside the cover, are typed lyrics of the song, complete with lyrics.

This copy of the music originally belonged to Private Ernest Alfred Nicholls and features his name at the top of the front cover. It is part of a collection of sheet music that was donated to the Memorial in 1971, and is symbolic of the concerts, theatre and other musical performances that Australian soldiers took in whilst on leave in London during the First World War.

Bert Lee collaborated with Robert Patrick Weston in the art of songwriting between 1915 until 1935 after meeting at the offices of Francis Day & Hunter. Robert Harris Weston, the son of Robert Patrick Weston, subsequently collaborated with the duo in the production of 'Harmonica Dan' in 1936. The Weston and Lee duo also went on to work with Stanley Holloway and Gracie Fields. One of their earliest songs was 'Paddy McGinty's Goat', while later works included several popular wartime songs such as the tongue twister 'Sister Susie's Sewing Shirts for Soldiers', the tribute to farewells 'Good-Bye-Ee' and the original song 'Hush here comes the dream man', that was later reworked by soldiers into the parody 'Hush here comes a whizzbang'.

Ernest Worton David, commonly known as Worton David, produced his first hit song at the age of 17. Around this time he started working in a solicitor’s office but dedicated his spare time to writing stories, and subsequently joined The Leeds Mercury. As his talents extended to illustrations, his job also involved attending the Leeds Empire Theatre to draw cartoons of the entertainers. After selling a few of his songs to the entertainers he moved to London with his wife and son. He collaborated with many other artists and produced songs for several music hall stars in London including Marie Lloyd and Florrie Ford. One of these collaborations involved the publisher, Lawrence Wright, who is reported to have described Worton David as the best writer of lyrics in Britain. Together they produced ‘Are we downhearted? – No!’ and the very popular ‘That old-fashioned mother of mine’. When the partnership ended, David started his own music publishing business.

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

This song appears to have been referred to with different names during the First World War. One of these shortened the title to 'Toasts to the untoasted'. This was the case with a group known as 'The Pink Dandies' who performed this song in Adelaide on 28 June 1917. Another group, believed to be the same group, referred to only as The Dandies, also performed this song over twelve months earlier, also in Adelaide, on 3 February 1916. The song was performed by a trio of three entertainers – Mr Lawrence, Mr Agnew and Mr Ford Waltham.

Within the circles of the Australian Imperial Force, there was a song referred to as 'The Toast'. This song appeared at two concerts during 1918 and 1919. The first performance was at a Christmas concert given by the 7 Australian Field Artillery Brigade at Hautmont, France, on 26 December 1918. During this concert, the song was performed by Driver Francis Jeremiah Westwood. The second performance occured aboard HMAT Port Napier on 25 May 1919, during a concert by the Napierrots concert party while returning to Australia after the war. The song was performed by Private Ernest Gittus during this concert.