[Sheet music] Forty-Nine and in the Army

Place Europe: United Kingdom, England, Greater London, London
Accession Number AWM2016.30.30
Collection number 367
Collection type Digitised Collection
Record type Item
Item count 1
Object type Sheet Music
Physical description 4 Image/s captured
Maker Lee, Bert
Weston, R P
Place made United Kingdom
Date made 1918
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918
Copying Provisions Copy provided for personal non-commercial use, permission from copyright holder must be sought for commercial use
Description

The song titled 'Forty-nine, and in the Army', was written and composed by Robert Patrick Weston, and Bert Lee. This copy was published in 1918 by the Australian representative, J. Albert & Son in Sydney for the British music publishers Francis, Day & Hunter. The song was performed by Miss Ella Shields. This copy of the music is marked as number 1565, and formed part of the sixpenny popular edition. The back cover shows the titles and songs included on several Francis & Day compilations featuring their ‘Song Annual’ and ‘Dance and Piano’ releases.

The lyrics of 'Forty-nine, and in the Army' describe a soldier who has satisfied the physical fitness standards for enlistment, despite being of older age and having a number of medical issues. It may be a satirical comment on the relaxation of physical standards applied to the enlistment of soldiers as the First World War progressed.

This copy of the sheet music originally belonged to Private Ernest Alfred Nicholls, and features his name at the top right 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.

Weston was born as Robert Harris at lslington, London, where his father ran a grocery shop. He collaborated with Bert Lee in the art of songwriting between 1915 until 1935 after meeting at the offices of Francis Day & Hunter. His son, Robert Harris Weston, subsequently collaborated with the two men in the production of 'Harmonica Dan' in 1936. The Weston and Lee duo also collaborated with Stanley Holloway and Gracie Fields. One of their earliest songs was 'Paddy McGinty's Goat' with later works including 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'.

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'.