Florrie Forde was the queen of the 'everybody sing along' type of
music-hall act. She was born in Australia in 1876, appearing for the
first time in London in 1897. Her most famous songs were 'Down At The
Old Bull And Bush', 'Hold Your Hand Out, Naughty Boy', and the First
World War favourites 'Goodbye-ee' (based on Harry Tate's
catchphrase), 'Pack Up Your Troubles In Your Old Kit bag' and 'It's A
Long Way To Tipperary'. (Incidentally, the capitalization of all the
initial letters in the song titles is in accordance with music hall
She had tremendous stage presence. About thirty years ago I was at a
show of music hall films at Londons National Film Theatre: one of the
clips was a sequence of songs by Florrie Forde. She not only got the
audience singing along, but also stopped them easily when she wanted
to change numbers - not bad for someone one film who had been dead
for forty years (she died in 1940).
chosen her recording of what is perhaps, with hindsight, the most
successful song of the Edwardian era - 'I Do Like To Be Beside The
Seaside' - everyone still knows the tune, even though few nowadays
have ever heard the verses. It was originally sung by
Mark Sheridan (1876-1918) (picture, right): he was much more of a
comic performer, complete with eccentric dress, than Forde.
So here is Florrie Forde: and do sing along with the chorus!
I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside
(Zonophone 223) rec. London, 29 November 1909.
mp3 file (1.5MB)
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