Lawrence Wright (1888–1964)


Regal G-8851

Founder of Lawrence Wright Music, Leicester-born “Lawrie” Wright was one of the most successful and prolific British songwriters of the first half of the twentieth century. In addition to using his own name, he wrote many songs under the pseudonym “Horatio Nicholls” and occasionally as “Everett Lynton” and “Gene Williams”. Given his role as a publisher, many songs likely bear his name as a condition of acceptance for publication. Nevertheless, he is credited with a great many hits, including:

Are We Downhearted? No! (with Worton David, 1914); Delilah (as “Horatio Nicholls”, 1917); Heart Of A Rose (as “Horatio Nicholls”, with Worton David, 1918); That Old Fashioned Mother Of Mine (as “Horatio Nicholls”, with Worton David, 1919); Playthings (as “Horatio Nicholls”, with Worton David, 1918); Wyoming Lullaby (as “Gene Williams”, 1920); Riviera Rose (as “Horatio Nicholls”, 1924); The Golden West (as “Horatio Nicholls”, 1925); Shanghai (as “Horatio Nicholls”, 1925); Sunny Havana (as “Horatio Nicholls”, 1925); The Toy Drum Major (as “Horatio Nichools”, 1925); I Never See Maggie Alone (as “Everett Lynton”, with Harry Tilsley, 1926); Among My Souvenirs (as “Horatio Nicholls”, with Edgar Leslie, 1927); Mistakes (as “Everett Lynton”, with Edgar Leslie, 1928); The Trail Of The Tamarind Tree (as “Horatio Nicholls”, with Edgar Leslie, 1928); Adeline (as “Horatio Nicholls”, with Joseph G. Gilbert, 1931); When The Guards Are On Parade (with Leslie Sarony, 1931); Let’s All Go To The Music Hall (as “Horatio Nicholls”, 1934); Delyse (as “Horatio Nicholls”, with Joseph G. Gilbert, 1937); The Badge From Your Coat (as “Horatio Nicholls”, with Annette Mills, 1940); and “V” Stands For Victory (as “Horatio Nicholls”, 1941). Some sources also credit him with co-writing William Hargreaves’s Burlington Bertie From Bow (1915).

Wright and Fred Godfrey collaborated many times, often with Worton David, with 1915 being a particularly productive year. The collaborative effort of these three was noted in The Stage (“Variety Gossip,” 18 March 1915, p. 20) under the heading “A Strong Song Trio” :

Fred Godfrey, Worton David, and Lawrence Wright are three well-known people in the song world who have during recent months been working in conjunction. Their compositions are published by Messrs. Feldman and Lawrence Wright and Co., and how busy and successful they have been of late is proved by the following list of songs:—“The Yiddisher-Irish Baby” (Shaun Glenville and Ella Retford), “What Do We Care, We Two” (Victoria Monks), “Blue Eyes” (Florence Smithson), “All North-Country Lads And Lasses (Ella Retford),... “On Our Happy Wedding Day” (Fred Barnes), “Some Little Girl Named Mary” (Lottie Lennox), “Oh! For The Sight Of A Girl” (Nora Delaney), “There’s A Little Baby Up In The Moon” (George Elliott), “Take Me Back To Your Heart” (Dorothy Ward),...“Nothing But Boys In Khaki By The Seaside” (Nora Delaney).

Their biggest hits were undoubtedly Blue Eyes (1915), and Way Down Home and While The Sahara Sleeps (both from 1926); in the latter two cases, Godfrey’s contribution seems to have been the lyrics. Their other songs are as follows:

Anything To Take Me Home; Dance Your Troubles Away (introduced by Florrie Forde at the Palace, Blackpool, on 14 May 1913); Just To Be Near You (with Harry Gifford, date is not confirmed); Oh! Those Ever Loving, Wonderful Beautiful Eyes (with Harry Gifford); On The First Dark Night Next Week; Someday! (with Harry Gifford); We’ll All Do The Same As The Children Do (with Harry Gifford); We’re All Getting Used To It (Harry Gifford)

In My Little Cabin Home Out West; With All Your Faults (I Love You Still) (with Harry Gifford); Somebody’s Boy (with David); The Yiddisher Irish Baby (Levi, Carney, Jacob, Barney, Michael Isaacstein) (with David)

Ah! Ah! Ah! There You Are Again (with David); Anywhere On Louisiana Bay (with David); Are Ye A’ Richt The Noo?; Back To Tipperary (with David); The Band Was Playing An Old Scotch Tune; The Garden Of Flowers; The Heart Of Molly Malone (with David, date is not confirmed); Here, There And Everywhere; Here You Are Again, It’s All Through The Wibbly-Wobbly Eye (with David); Little Rosalie, My Pretty Refugee (with David); Look Alive For The 9.45 (with David); Miss Crinoline (with David); My Bohemian Girl (with David); Oh For The Sight Of A Girl (Oh! Oh! Oh! For The Sight Of A Girl) (with David); On Our Happy Wedding Day (To That Little Church Just Over There) (with David); Pretty Patty’s Proud Of Her Pink Print Petticoat (with David); Some Little Girl Named Mary (Mary Was My Mother’s Name) (with David); Take Me Back To Your Heart (with David); Then He’d Waltz Her Around (with David); There’ll Be Nothing But Boys In Khaki By The Seaside (with Raphael Penso); There’s A Little Baby Up In The Moon (with David); ’Twas An Old-Fashioned Song He Was Singing (with David); A Wedding On A Gee Gee (with David); We’re All North Country Lads And Lasses (with David); We’re In, Meredith, We’re In! (with David); What Do We Care, We Two? (with David); What The-How The-Why The-Who The-Where Have You Been Tonight? (with David)
; When It’s Your Best Girl (with David)

There’s A Little Bit Of Irish Everywhere

Dismal Desmond, The Despondent Dalmation (Godfrey as “Eddie Stamper”; Wright as “Everett Lynton”; with Richard Ellett and Billie Grey); Do I Love You? Yes, I Do (Wright as “Gene Williams”; Godfrey as “Eddie Stamper”)

Because Of You; Mulligatawny (Where The Soup Comes From) (Wright as “Everett Lynton”; Godfrey as “Don Grahame”); Rhythm Is The Thing (Wright as “Everett Lynton”; with Johnny Raitz and Arthur Young); Ukelele Wedding (Wright as “Everett Lynton”; Godfrey as “Don Grahame”)

Janette (Wright as “Horatio Nicholls”; Godfrey as “Godfrey Williams”)

Loneliness (Wright as “Everett Lynton”; Godfrey as “Godfrey Williams”)

The Soul Of The Violets (Wright as “Horatio Nicholls”)

Rio Grande (Wright as “Gene Williams”)

Date unknown:
House Full O’ Love; If Only You Remember, The Rest Can All Forget (with David); If That’s What You Call Lovin’ (with David); Let’s Build A World Of Our Own (with David); Money Isn’t Everything (Wright as “Horatio Nicholls”); When You Wore A Tiny Pinafore (with David); Yes I Do (Wright as “Gene Williams”)


In the British Pathé archives is a fascinating 29 March 1928
newsreel clip of well-known British composers. One scene, at the very end, features Lawrence Wright sitting at the piano composing the “Nicholls & Williams” (Wright & Godfrey) song Janette. Too bad the clip is from the silent era.