Fred Godfrey & H. Worton David — London: Bert Feldman; Melbourne: Stanley Mullen, 1914.
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One of Fred Godfrey’s biggest hits, and a marvellous tune it is, too, though the lyrics grate on the modern ear with their reference to “darkies shuffling along.” The Stage enthused:
Florrie Forde is now completing the second week of her engagement at Douglas [Isle of Man], and the island can be said to be ringing with her chorus songs. The cosmopolitan crowd at this favourite resort are unanimous in their verdict as to the winning hits, and no matter which way one turns the chorus of...‘It Takes An Irish Heart To Sing An Irish Song’ [and] ‘I’m Off To Kelly’s Isle’ [by Mellor, Gifford & Godfrey]...can be heard. These are the songs which Miss Forde has made her own, and the people in turn have decided that they cannot do better than follow their idol’s lead in this regard. The publishers, Messrs. B. Feldman and Co., are being kept busy supplying the public demand for the...songs..., and it is easy to prophesy that pantomime time will find them in the front rank of musical attractions.1
Above all, this was Florrie Forde’s song, but other artists sang it with success, too, including Harry Wilson, who performed it before audiences at Walham Green, in London,2 and Madge Clifton, who wrote to The Stage from the Grand, Birmingham, that the song was “still a raging success.“3
Florrie Forde (Zonophone 1348, 1914)
——— (Rex 8189, 1933)
Stanley Kirkby (Jumbo A70, 1914; Scala 651, 1915)
Stanley Read (The Winner 2720, 1914)
Thompson (Clarion 912, 1915) [cylinder]
Terence O’Connor (Starr Gennett 4598, 1920)
1 “Song Notes,” The Stage, 30 July 1914, p. 17.
2 “Song Notes,” The Stage, 15 April 1915, p. 9.
3 “Song Notes,” The Stage, 295 April 1915, p. 21.