Worton David (d. after 1950)


One of the few financially successful songwriters, astute enough to create his own music publishing company, Worton David wrote such classics as Wilkie Bard’s I Want To Sing In Opera (with Bert Lee, 1910); Clarice Mayne’s Nursie Nursie (with Bert Lee, 1911); Ella Retford’s They’re All Single At The Seaside (with C.W. Murphy, 1911); Florrie Forde’s Hello, Hello, Who’s Your Lady Friend? (with Harry Fragson and Bert Lee, 1913); and her Hold Your Hand Out, Naughty Boy (with C.W. Murphy, 1914). He also wrote Are We Downhearted? No! (with Lawrence Wright, 1914); Heart Of A Rose (with Lawrence Wright as “Horatio Nicholls”, 1918); That Old Fashioned Mother Of Mine (with Lawrence Wright as “Horatio Nicholls”, 1919); Playthings (with Lawrence Wright as “Horatio Nicholls”, 1918); and A Rose In A Garden Of Weeds (with R.B. Saxe, 1926).

David teamed up with Fred Godfrey for a large number of songs, mostly in 1914 and 1915, often in partnership with fellow writer/publisher Lawrence Wright, and again in the mid-1920s. Their biggest hit undoubtedly was It Takes An Irish Heart To Sing An Irish Song (1914), which Florrie Forde sang with great success.

In the 1920s, David, who had been associated with the Lawrence Wright Music Co. for many years, established his own music publishing company, and, as the ad below suggests, one of the writers he signed to the new venture was Godfrey. Another was Worton’s son, Hubert W. “Mickey” David (1904–99), who would have a long and illustrious songwriting career of his own. Godfrey wrote a few songs with the son as well, and even with both the father and son, leading to some confusion about the Davids’ collaboration with him.

David and Godfrey’s songs are as follows:

Georgie! I Like The Photograph!

The Eskimo (Zam Dammy, Zam Dammy, Zam Buk Joe) (with Fred E. Cliffe)

I’m A Member Of The Cuckoo Club; In Honeymoon Land; It’s An Old Scotch Tune They’re Playing; Oh! You Do Do A Lot Of Funny Things, You Do; Ride To Church On A Gee-Gee!;
They’re All After A Girl; Watching The Boat Coming In (introduced by Ella Retford); The Yiddisher Irish Baby (Levi, Carney, Jacob, Barney, Michael Isaacstein) (with Lawrence Wright), sung with great success by Shaun Glenville; You’re A Friend Of Mine — I’m A Friend of Yours

(all with Lawrence Wright except as noted) Ah! Ah! Ah! There You Are Again; Anywhere On Louisiana Bay; Back To Tipperary; The Heart Of Molly Malone; Here You Are Again, Miss Crinoline; It’s All Through The Wibbly-Wobbly Eye; Little Rosalie, My Pretty Refugee; Look Alive For The 9.45; My Bohemian Girl; Oh For The Sight Of A Girl; On Our Happy Wedding Day (To That Little Church Just Over There); Pretty Patty’s Proud Of Her Pink Print Petticoat; Some Little Girl Named Mary (Mary Was My Mother’s Name); Take Me Back To Your Heart; Then He’d Waltz Her Around; There’s A Little Baby Up In The Moon (featured by G.H. Elliott); ’Twas An Old-Fashioned Song He Was Singing; A Wedding On A Gee Gee; We’re All North Country Lads And Lasses (recorded by Ella Retford, among others); We’re In, Meredith, We’re In!; What Do We Care, We Two?; and What The-How The-Why The-Who The-Where Have You Been Tonight?; When It’s Your Best Girl; You Get More Like Your Mother Every Day (David, Godfrey, and A.J. Mills)

I Was A Fool (with Andrew Allen, collectively as “Manny Romanz”)

The Wonder Of Your Eyes (Godfrey as “Godfrey Williams”)

This Time Next Year
(with Hubert W. David)

Dates unknown:
(all with Lawrence Wright except as noted) If Only You Remember, The Rest Can All Forget; If That’s What You Call Lovin’; Let’s Build A World Of Our Own; and When You Wore A Tiny Pinafore.

Some sources also credit Godfrey as co-author, with David and C.W. Murphy, of George Formby Sr.’s I Parted My Hair In The Middle (1914), though this may be in error.