You Gave Me A Rosary



Fred Godfrey, A.J. Mills & Bennett Scott — London: Star Music, 1916.

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A poignant song, and somewhat out of character for Fred, who wasn’t religious himself (and in any case not a Roman Catholic — he came from Welsh chapel stock, was married in an Anglican Church in Treherbert, Wales, and sent his two youngest daughters to St. Stephen’s, a private Anglican girls’ school in Windsor). But, in the spirit of writing popular songs for all purposes, he, Mills, and Scott came up with this one for the wives and sweethearts of the many Catholics, mostly Irish, who were fighting on the Western Front.

Although apparently worthy enough for Bamforth to issue a set of cards for it, no known recordings of this song exist. It was performed on stage, however, by Dorothy Hamilton, “with great charm and expression” (The Era, 9 August 1916, p. 16), in the Ray Brothers’ revue Something Doing, which played in numerous theatres in summer 1916. It was also sung by Daisy Dormer.