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First World War, 1914-1918
Here's to the–! (Toasts to the Untoasted)
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.