[Sheet music] Up from Somerset

Accession Number RC10922.017
Collection number Sheet Music Collection 437
Collection type Published Collection
Object type Sheet Music
Maker Sanderson, Wilfrid
Weatherly, Frederic Edward
Place made Australia: Victoria, Melbourne
Date made c.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

Sheet music for the song titled 'Up from Somerset', with lyrics written by Frederic Edward Weatherly and music composed by Wilfrid Sanderson. This copy was included in the album of sheet music titled 'Australian YMCA songs, Volume 1' that was published about 1915. Inside the front cover are the full set of typed lyrics for the song. The back page of this copy shows a list of 'new and standard songs' published by Boosey & Co. The original song appears to have been published in 1913.

The lyrics of this song are written from the perspective of a family from Somerset, England, who have travelled to see the review of the Army by the King and Queen. The family meet the monarchs during the visit and tells of the conversations each of the children have with the King and Queen.

In addition to being a proliferate lyricist who is said to have written the lyrics for 3000 songs, Weatherly was also an author and a lawyer. Some of his most famous songs include 'The Holy City', 'Danny Boy' and 'Roses of Picardy'.

Sanderson was a a British composer and organist who was based in Doncaster, England. During the First World War, he was a senior clerk at the Ministry of Works. From 1924 until his death, he was an examiner at the Trinity College of Music. During his career he composed approximately 170 songs.

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 was a popular song with Australian service personnel during the First World War with several mentions identified on programs for concerts organised by and attended by Australian soldiers. The first of these was a performance by 10873 Martin Wellington on Saturday 1 July 1916 aboard TSS Demosthenes. 2946 Cecil Morney Coppin also performed this song at the 28 Battalion Sergeants' Mess on 8 June 1917. Another performance was given by Second lieutenant John Lloyd Lorimer Roberts who performed this song with the Cubs of Neptune aboard HMAT Wiltshire on Saturday 9 March 1918.

This song was also popular with Australian service personnel performing in Australia before they left for the Front and upon their return. The Khaki Concert Party, a group of entertainers comprised of soldiers from the Blackboy Camp, Perth, performed at His Majesty’s Theatre on 25 March 1917. One of the performers was Gunner Archie Lewis who was a well-known baritone singer in the Perth and Fremantle area. During the evening, he performed ‘Up from Somerset’ as an encore following a performance of ‘King Charles’. Another group of entertainers also performed at Bridgetown, Western Australia on 18 August 1917. The group was entirely composed of returned soldiers. Sergeant Jim Boddiner performed ‘Up from Somerset’ during this concert with the report in the Blackwood Times describing his performance as ‘more than good’. A naval and army military concert featuring the Khaki Concert Party and the Mitcham Camp Band, was held at the Exhibition Building, Adelaide, on 27 November 1917. The concert proceeds were to be handed to the Cheer Up Society. Sergeant H Carne performed the song ‘Up from Somerset’ during the concert. Three men from Burnie, Tasmania, enlisted following a visit by a recruiting train consisting of recruiting staff and the Anzac Band on 19 November 1917. During the visit, the Anzac Band performed in the Burnie Theatre and were supported by local vocalists. Mr A H Marshall performed ‘Up from Somerset’ at this concert.

This song was also popular in Australia during the First World War period with professional and amateur entertainers. Peter Dawson, a popular baritone singer from Adelaide, performed this song during a concert with his concert company at the Lyric Theatre in Bendigo, Victoria on 21 August 1914 before travelling to other locations in Victoria and across to Adelaide before performances in Tasmania and New Zealand. This song featured in all of the subsequent concerts. This was a very popular piece performed by the Tramways Military Band, Adelaide, who performed it at numerous concerts during 1914. One of these included performances at Henley Beach on 18 and 21 November 1914, where the band accompanied Mr Wiiliam Roberts while he sang ‘Up from Somerset’ and other popular songs from the period such as ‘It’s a long, long, way to Tipperary’. The Adelaide Police Band also accompanied Mr Roberts while he sang this same song at a concert to raise funds for patriotic appeals on 19 November 1914. The Jackson-Nash party of entertainers performed for 6 nights at the Tivoli Theatre in Perth, commencing on 28 November 1914 where Randall Jackson himself opened his set with this song. The Perth performances marked the group’s debut in Australia before the group commenced touring around Australia. Mr Harry Carne, a member of the Merry Magpies Musical Costume Company performed this song during a concert at Broken Hill on 24 May 1915 to raise money for the Belgian Relief Fund. His performance of this song, according to the Broken Hill Barrier Miner, was ‘deservedly one of the most appreciated of the evening’. The Steele Payne entertainers appeared at His Majesty’s Theatre, Geelong, on 4 October 1915. The song ‘Up from Somerset’ was performed during the concert by John Stanley with what the Geelong Advertiser described as ‘the broad dialect of Southern England’.

This was also a very popular song at concerts that were organised specifically to raise money for appeals by the Red Cross, the Belgian Relief Fund, for sick and wounded soldiers and for battalions in the Austalian Imperial Force. A fundraising concert for the Belgian Relief Fund was held at Wilberforce, New South Wales on 31 October 1914. 19 items featured on the program, together with encore performances, where ‘Up from Somerset’ was performed by Mr Clive Pickup. Mr Hawse performed this song during a concert for the Belgian Relief Fund at Toolern Vale, Victoria, on 26 March 1915. The concert and associated auction raised a total of 70 pounds for the appeal. Mr E McAllister performed this song at a concert to assist wounded soldiers on 7 August 1915. The concert was held at the Beecroft School of Arts. Mr T Goodman gave a ‘spirited rendition’ of ‘Up from Somerset’, according to the Perth newspaper The Daily News on 27 September 1915 during a concert organised to raise money for the War and Unemployment Distress Relief Fund. The concert was the debut concert of the Red, White and Blue Musical and Dramatic Club. The Casino branch of the Red Cross Society organised a concert to raise money for Christmas comforts for the soldiers which was held in the Casino School of Arts building on 6 October 1915. Mr S Wayland’s performance of ‘Up from Somerset’ was described as ‘very successful’ by The Richmond River Express and Casino Kyogle Advertiser. Another fundraising concert where this song featured was to raise funds for the 40th Battalion at Devonport on 5 June 1916 where it was performed by Mr T Marsden.

Farewell and welcome home receptions for locals who had served during the First World War also featured this song as part of their musical programs. At a farewell reception for locals who had enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force, Mr Sheath performed ‘Up from Somerset’ which was rebadged as ‘We’ll all come up from Candelo’. The event was held on 1 March 1916 in Candelo to farewell R Schaefer, J Hyde, J Herffernan, F Moon, H Barrington and W Hammoud who were expected to depart from Sydney on 3 March 1916. Seven locals were also farewelled with a musical program that featured this song according to a report in the Windsor and Richmond Gazette on 24 March 1916. The song was performed by one of the guests of honour at the farewell, Clive Pickup. Another song, ‘The Deathless Army’ was performed by his brother, Frank Pickup, who was also one of the locals for which the event had been organised. Another farewell concert was organised at Kialla West, Victoria, where many locals who had enlisted and were back home on final leave before embarkation attended as part of the audience. The song ‘Up from Somerset’ was performed on this occasion by Mr Rogerson. Johnny Anderson and Cyril Sherren were the first two soldiers from Rosedale to return to Australia and they were welcomed home with a reception on 15 June 1916. Mr H L Keys sang ‘Up from Somerset’ during the musical program. The Beulah Progress Association decided early on that every returned soldier should have a welcome home reception. The first soldier to receive such a welcome was Jack Bell, who was wounded on 6 August 1916, Dr Morgan performed ‘Up from Somerset’ as part of the musical program and following this song, Jack responded to the welcome that had been tendered. A welcome home reception was tendered to returned service personnel at Dandenong on 13 August 1917. During the event, certificates were given to the returned soldiers and the musical program that followed featured performing artists from Melbourne. The song ‘Up from Somerset was performed by Mr Tress. A farewell was held in honour of Private Roy Brown prior to his departure to the Front on 20 May 1918 at Grenfell, New South Wales. Mr W H V Brown opened the musical entertainment during the event with ‘Up from Somerset’.

During events in Australia to mark the end of the First World War, this song also sometimes featured. On 12 November 1918, a procession marched down Sydney Road, Brunswick behind the Brunswick City Band to the Brunswick Town Hall in response to the news about the Armistice marking the end of the First World War. A meeting was held in the Town Hall which included a musical programme opening with ‘Up from Somerset’. The song was performed by Mr H J Drew.