[Sheet music] Thora

Accession Number RC11255
Collection number Sheet Music Collection 770
Collection type Published Collection
Measurement Overall: 36 cm x 26 cm
Object type Sheet Music
Maker Adams, Stephen
Weatherly, Frederic Edward
Date made c 1905
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, 'Thora'. Lyrics written by Frederic Weatherly and music composed by Stephen Adams. This song was written in 1905 and published by the music publishers Boosey & Co, London. The cover of this copy of the music mentions that the song was performed by Mr John McCormack, Mr John Harrison and Mr Ivor Foster. The signature of Stephen Adams is also featured on the front cover, in the bottom right-hand corner.

The binding for this copy of the sheet music has been hand-stitched together and covered with linen. The lyrics of the song are typed on the inside cover of the sheet music, with the first page of musical notation for the song appearing on the page opposite. Inside the back cover, is a list of eight new and popular songs available from Boosey and Co that features the first 3-5 bars as well as the lyrics for each of these pieces. This list includes two works with lyrics written by Weatherly - 'If you were here' and 'As you pass by'. The back page features a list of songs and ballads available in sheet music form from the music publishers, Boosey & Co. This list mentions eleven works by Stephen Adams as well as works by Joshua Airlie Dix, Ivor Novello, Charles Marshall, Arthur Sullivan, and Wilfrid Sanderson.

Frederic Weatherly and Stephen Adams are sometimes described as the Lennon and McCartney duo of their time. 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'. Stephen Adams was the pseudonym used by Michael Maybrick, who composed many songs with Weatherly. Michael Maybrick was a music hall performer where he used his true name, and adopted the name of Stephen Adams for published musical works. As a child, his musical talents led to the role of a choirboy and he travelled to Leipzig and the Milan Conservatory when he became older. Adams possessed a baritone voice and started his career performing light opera before switching to ballads.

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

The song titled 'Thora' was a very popular song during the First World War period. The lyrics of this song appeared on a series of four postcards that were published by Bamforth & Co as part of their popular song postcard series. These postcards depicted scenes from the song and highlighted emotions and sentiments experienced by soldiers and loved ones during the First World War.

This song was also performed by members of the Australian Imperial Force during concerts organised aboard troopships and on the front during the First World War. Sergeant Frederick Handel Bowditch performed this song during a concert given by the 11th Battery of the 4th Field Artillery Brigade aboard HMAT A18 Wiltshire on Saturday 27 November 1915. Driver William Finding was another with his performance of the song taking place during a concert by 17 Ammunition (Australian) Sub-Park on 25 December 1915. Private Hawke also performed this song at a concert held by 125 concert party at Passchendaele on 25 June 1920. It is not known whether Mr Sharp, who performed this song on 24 December 1917, was a member of the Australian Imperial Force, but the performance would have been heard by Australian soldiers travelling aboard HMT Demosthenes to England.