L Titles

L

LADIES OF THE TOWN

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DISCOGRAPHY:

(1928)
Bitter Sweet, 1929 (Act 2 Sc.1) (Quartet)
publ. Vocal Score
Music-hall-type 6/8 comedy song, sung by the "ladies of the town" characters very much as a showy point number direct to the audience. Its lyrically nimble quaver passages can be hard to put across clearly, but there are strengths in a repeated two-note motif, unexpected key juxtapositions and good ambiguity of lyric and melodic phrase-lengths particularly in the verse section. The harmonisations are unusually un-straightforward, very precisely scored and worth taking note of. The main brassy rum-te-tum theme of the refrain is particularly striking on account of the first phrase of the melody starting (relative to doh) on the 9th of the scale and ending on a low 7th. The whole was designed to be delivered with "hands on their hips and sung throughout with great spirit", with flicks of the skirts and bustles and even a little whoop or two. The lyrics are excellently and succinctly witty.
ONR 04 is unnecessarily reorchestrated and sounds too much like good singers attempting a cockney veneer, and is easily outshone in clarity and intention by ONR 01.
ONR 24: Harry Acres Orchestra (1947)
ONR 02: The Linden Singers (1961)
ONR 03: Rita Williams Singers (1962)
ONR 04: John McCarthy Singers (1969)
ONR 01: New Sadler's Wells chorus + orch. (1988)

LADY
see Appendix 1.b

LADY AGATHA POLKA

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(1953)
After The Ball, 1954
Unpubl. MS
Dance. No lyrics. Very pleasing pastiche. Part of MAY I HAVE THE PLEASURE (q.v.)
(see OCR 15)

LADY BLESSINGTON
see MIDNIGHT MATINEE

LADY CLEMENTI
see Appendix 1.b

LADY FROM VIENNA
see Appendix 1.c

LADY GODIVA
see MIDNIGHT MATINEE

LADY JULIA'S THEME

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(1933)
Conversation Piece, 1934 (Act 1 Sc.6)
Publ.Vocal Score/Pno.Sel
This short waltz theme of 16 bars appears in the vocal score as ENTRANCE OF LADY JULIA (top of p.50). We list it here only on account of its subsequent inclusion in Fred Bentley's Pno.Sel arrgt. under this title.

LADY WINDERMERE'S ARIA
also known as I FEEL SO TERRIBLY ALONE

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(1953)
After the Ball 1954 (Act II, No.16) (Vanessa Lee)
Unpubl. MS
Soliloque aria. Impossible to categorize. Originally this was the 2nd Act opener.
Norman Hackforth says in his autobiography that he had “painstakingly and lovingly written down every single note” of this score, and this MS in particular breathes love and care. It is the outstanding example in this score of why the love and care was worthwhile, for this is a song with real operatic qualities.
It is an extended, moody piece of powerful emotion, passionate and yet restained, which has energy and direction and surprising staying power. The main theme of the piece is set (like a lot of the score) in Ab and there are two episodes in B (five sharps!*), with seamlessly-accomplished keychanges. In the second refrain, the orchestra plays the melody while the soloist sings melodic counterpoint embellishments. There’s a good deal more that could be said about why the music works so well, but one could easily get too technical and tedious.
*(for the technical and tedious: to quote NC: “The sight of two sharps frightens me to death” [NCSB]. Did he know he was composing in five sharps?)
I think it would be impossible for an uninitiated listener to imagine that the composer of this music could be the same person as the composer of, for example, ‘Any Little Fish’.
Vanessa Lee sings magnificently on OCR 15.
OCR 15: Vanessa Lee (1954)
ONR 00: Kristin Huxhold (2005)

LADYBIRD

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(1925)
On With the Dance, 1925 (Alice Delysia)
Sep.Publ.
also in Pno Sel. (arr. J.B.Hastings)
Vocal one-Step (or Foxtrot tempo): Revue love-song.
Although this piece was among the numbers from On With The Dance published as sheet-music, there is a large element of mystery as to its status. Extensive checking of contemporary programmes has failed to locate the title anywhere in variously dated published running orders. The programmes for the show were nothing if not generous in their scene and cast information and credits, and there does not even seem to be a place in the programme which could accomodate the song under some other sketch title. It could be a case of a drop shortly before the opening, and the sheet-music already ordered and printed before the drop.
The song itself is artless and winsome, well-constructed but of no outstanding originality of thought or musical material. It could explain a drop.

LAND, SEA AND AIR
see Appendix 1.a

LAST DANCE, THE

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(1928)
Bitter Sweet, 1929 (Act 1 Sc.3) (Chorus)
Publ.Vocal Score
Fast waltz. Concerted chorus dance number as the girls and boys at the 1875 dance flirt with one another in Mrs Millick's absence.
Things fairly soon settle into waltz tempo, and the main theme is an elegant fast waltz in four-bar phrases with melodic "lifts" in the rhythm of the fourth bar similar to that employed with the 'time may lie heavy' phrase of I'LL SEE YOU AGAIN.
A pleasing vehicle for the swirl of dancing which is the principal purpose of the drama at this point. The opening music is reprised towards the end of the Act 1 finale as Carl and Sarah elope with the connivance of the bridesmaids.
ONR 01 takes slight liberties with the scoring and original rhythmic layout, but is at least more or less complete, and the chorus give a good account.
ONR 01: New Sadler's Wells Ch. + orch (1988)

LAST WEDNESDAY ON THE PIAZZA
see Appendix 1.c

LATER THAN SPRING

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1959. (One assumes that on account of its title this number must have been among the first composed for Later Than Spring, before the show became Sail Away)
Sail Away 1961
Sep.Publ.
NCG2
NCR
This number suffered, like its fellow numbers in the show DON'T TURN AWAY FROM LOVE and GO SLOW JOHNNY, from the sugariness of James Hurst's performance (OCR 18); but quite apart from that, Coward seems to have taken momentary leave of his high critical faculties in allowing the verse section to present un-Cowardesque false stresses in the passage "For sweet compensation you may find". I think it's a question of having completely to ignore stresses implied by musical bar-lines. Hurst does not get this right, but NC himself glosses over it better in NCR’s 42 & 45.
The melody of the refrain presents a gentle and wistful mood of tempered passion, but its gentleness and wistfulness are not enough to counter an inherent uninterestingness of melody, in that its opening sixteen notes meander through just five neighbouring tones. There's a sideways chord-shift from G6 to Fmi under the words "fade away and die" which is perhaps harmonically unsatisfying despite its appropriately mordant quality. However, the song works as a whole, and has a certain appeal. Elaine Stritch said about it, "as I get older, it gets more and more pleasing and tender to listen to."
NCR 42: acc. Gamley? (Apr 1961)
OCR 18: James Hurst (Oct 1961)
NCR 45: + orch./acc. Peter Matz (Dec 1961)
OCR 19: David Holliday/Elaine Stritch (2 tracks) (1962)

LEGEND OF THE LILY
see BALLET - THE LEGEND OF THE LILY

LET MY DREAMS RETURN
see Appendix 1.c

LET THE ANGELS GUIDE YOU
(known in NCL and Vocal Score as MUSIC BOX)

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(1935)
Tonight at 8.30 : Family Album (UK 3.36, USA 11.36)
publ. Vocal Score
Also includes, in a later section, LOOK WELL BEFORE THE LEAPING.
The main theme “copies” what is first heard as coming from a musical-box, and is sung by various solo voices and groups in succession and in different keys. The key relationships are surprising and the harmonic settings become increasingly complex. Eventually it leads into a moderato Valse section for Jane in Db, whose second section is the wistful LOOK WELL BEFORE THE LEAPING. Further sections of the main theme follow, interspersed with waltz duets for Jasper and Jane.
Judy Campbell, who toured with NC (and Robb Stewart) in 1942/43 with TAET and other material (they also did troop concerts of all NC music) said that the "extraordinary shifts of key" she noted (quoted in PH) she thinks came from ‘Let The Angels Guide You’. She remarked to NC about the musical/harmonic complexity of the verses, and he was extremely pleased at the comment.
OCR 09/NCR 15 & 16: NC and Cast (1936)

LET'S BE SINCERE

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1960, for Later Than Spring (which became Sail Away)
unused
Unpubl. MSS
A duet for Skid and Tamarinda, moderato in 2/2 time. This consists of only a refrain of standard 32-bar construction. Two incomplete MSS exist, one showing melody and chord symbols, the other a rather shambolic sketch for a realised piano accompaniment. Of the two, the one with chord symbols alone is the better setting, as the second has some wayward and unnecessary harmonisations.
The conceit of the duet lies in Tamarinda’s interjections to correct Skid’s bad grammar, all of which lies within the 8-bar melodic phrase-structure. Although possessed of of a pleasant open-arched structure, it’s not really a particularly arresting tune.

LET'S DO IT
see Appendix 1.a

LET'S FLY AWAY
see Appendix 1.a

LET'S HAVE ONE MORE TRY
see Appendix 1.b

LET'S LIVE DANGEROUSLY

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(1932)
Words and Music, 1932 (Steffi Duna, John Mills & Doris Hare)
Vocal Score
+ in publ. Pno Sel (WAM)
This is a romp, in 6/8 tempo. There’s a built-in ambiguity in the phrase-lengths, partly because its first two notes - the entire first bar - feels rhythmically like an upbeat rather than a start. In fact the whole thing is in precise 4-bar musical sections, with concise and punchy lyrics and every inch of melodic space used for rhyming.
ONR 08: (in medley) Ray Noble orch. (1932)
ONR 22: Ann Hampton Callaway, Myvanwy Jenn & Barbara
Lee (1990)

LET'S SAY GOODBYE

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(1932)
Words and Music (Rita Lyle)
Sep.Publ.1932 and 1951
Vocal Score WAM
NCSB
NCG1
Waltz aria. This is an unusual revue song because its impact is entirely, straightforwardly sentimental, and it is a rare example in the revue genre of NC presenting such a song almost entirely on its own merits. The sketch containing the song does very little more than add a bit of detail and preparation. It is a ‘Private Lives’-style mediterranean balcony setting, and two temporary lovers parting. The song says it all, and I believe it to be a song where NC wears his own heart on his sleeve. It is all about holding best memories precious but being able to part from passion without regrets. It is an effective piece of slow-waltz writing in both verse and refrain sections, the melodic line flowing with touching openness that would not be out of place in the more lyrical love-duet moments of Bitter Sweet.
An improvement to the rhythmic setting of the third phrase of the refrain (at bars 11-12 with the words "fun that didn't quite last", and its later echo in the fourth phrase) established itself a little after the show opened; but the original rhythm is preserved in the vocal score, and also in the instrumental medley ONR 08. ONR 08 was recorded in the same session as NCR 10, which firmly shows the corrected version, so this is slightly odd. NC sings the piece with remarkable delicacy and intent, and explicitly confirms that this song works by pulling the sentimental heartstrings. It rather gives the lie to the verse lyrics, “Once we begin to let sentiment in,/ Happiness disappears.”
The little rhythmic change is what makes the song work really well, instead of being a touch creaky.
As well as confirming these changes in print, the publication of the song in NCSB also benefitted from a re-worked “accompaniment” underlay by Norman Hackforth, which is a considerable harmonic and pianistic improvement on the original sheet-music version. The piece already displayed one of NC’s more obvious repeated uses of his “favourite” progression - from a dominant 7th chord with a sharpened fifth into the tonic (homekey) major (the sharpened fifth resolves upwards to become the major third of the homekey chord). Hackforth’s NCSB underlay also strengthens existing 5#7 chords and adds one or two new ones to boot.
One would welcome the song to be more popularly known and performed than it is.
ONR 08: (in selection) Ray Noble orch. (Sep 1932)
NCR 10: +orch./acc. Ray Noble (20 Sep 1932)
ONR 74: Gertrude Lawrence acc. Claude Ivy (Oct 1932)
NCR 26: (in medley) + orch. cond. D. Broekman (1944)
ONR 75: Joyce Grenfell + Mantovani orch. (1945)
NCR 30: (in medley) + orch. cond. Mantovani (1947)
NCR 40: (in medley) pno. acc. Peter Matz (1956)
ONR 23: Ian Bostridge acc. Jeffrey Tate (2002)
ONR 00: Mary Illes acc. Mark Hartman (2005)

LETTER SCENE/LETTER SONG (Operette)
see MY DEAR MISS DALE

LETTER SONG (After The Ball)
(for number of same title from Pacific 1860 see DEAR MADAME SALVADOR)

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December 1953 (Jamaica) [NCD]
After The Ball, 1954 - originally sung by Lord Darlington in Act II, but the number was cut before London opening
Unpubl. MS
This is the male equivalent of ‘Lady Windermere’s Aria’: a very operatic sort of soliloquy aria. Its very lush harmonies in flat keys and repeated sideways slips into keys with yet more flats in them somehow manage to hold up in the air what is, by any standards, an uninspiring set of lyrics.
Part of the trouble with the pieces from this score is that the language is so mannered they do not translate well, if at all, into the mainstream. NC sensed that a musical manner was also appropriate, and although the vein was fluent, a lot of the romantic arias were composed in similar style. Actually, this is a good, effective piece of semi-operatic writing, but it is too much the same as some of the surrounding material to stick out much. One admires Coward the composer here while knowing that the piece is more than likely to remain, justifyably, obscure.
ONR 00: David Stalter acc. Mark Hartman (2005)

LIDO BEACH, THE

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(1927)
This Year Of Grace, 1928 (Act II opening chorus)
Publ.Vocal Score
This is an extended chorus number falling into several distinct musical sections including short blues-y passages, a pair of Wives (a mock-Neapolitan ballad), and a witty-lyric number for a pair of Husbands. The same sketch later includes LITTLE WOMEN (q.v.). The whole sketch sets up the “smart” template with which the squalidness of the following ‘English Lido’ scene is contrasted.

LIFE IN THE MORNING

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(1928)
Bitter Sweet, 1929 (Act II opening chorus)
Publ. Vocal Score
Concerted chorus number for waiters and cleaners readying the Schlick café for the action that lies ahead. Each sing their own chorus before the two are blended together, all set to a strongly-rhythmic marching 4/4 tempo. It's an unusual piece only in its key-structure, which changes in military fashion every four bars, e.g. from D straight into C then E then Gm, but no less arresting for that.
ONR 01 delivers a good touch of anger (which is appropriate) and is nice and clear, but it is not quite complete. There is also some unnecessary re-voicing and re-scoring, the Waiters' and Cleaners' lines are not merged, and the orchestrations are over-fussy and modernistic.
ONR 01: New Sadler's Wells ch. + orch (1988)

LIFE WITHOUT LOVE
see Appendix 1.b

LIGHT IS THE HEART

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(music of refrain) 1942, as THE HEAVENLY MOMENT (q.v.)
After the Ball, 1954 (Mary Ellis)
Sep.Publ.
Norman Hackforth once remarked to me that the key in which this song was published - Bb - was “totally ludicrous”, but I wasn’t smart enough at the time to ask why he thought so.  His memories of the After The Ball episode were apt to be clouded with (perhaps understandable) vituperation against Miss Mary Ellis.  This song, in particular, he thought she had “totally fucked up”. [His words, not mine.]
The melody is a bit reminiscent of LET’S SAY GOODBYE from Words and Music.  The verse is a bit meandery, much of a muchness with many other flat-key-with-a-rich-harmonic-setting-and-at-least-one-keychange verse sections of songs in this score, the refrain is a gentle waltz starting high, but displaying no great melodic direction. Mary Ellis (OCR 15) is really not very good, particularly in the verse section of this song, and the recording is a sad confirmation that her voice had indeed “gone”.
OCR 15: Mary Ellis (1954)
ONR 00: Mary Illes & ensemble acc. Hartman (2005)

LILAC TIME

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1928
This Year Of Grace, 1928 (USA production only)
MUSIC LOST
We know little about this song, apart from what NC himself tells us in NCA, that it was one of two new interpolated duets for himself and BL to do for the American production and that this was “an opéra bouffe burlesque”.
It became for a while the hit piece of the show, at least in a particular social circle. “Beattie and I ... appeared together everywhere. At large charity balls where we sang ‘Lilac Time’, at select Ladies’ Clubs where we sang ‘Lilac Time’, at fashionable nightclubs where our entrance was the signal for an immediate flood of requests for us to sing ‘Lilac Time', and at small convivial theatrical parties to which we were invited on the strict understanding that in no circumstances would we sing ‘Lilac Time’. [NCA, p.202]. Sheet-music both for this piece and its companion duet for the USA TYOG, ‘Love, Life and Laughter’, have so far failed to surface in any UK archive, but one lives in hope that a copy may emerge in time from some dusty vault in New York.

LISTEN TO ME
see Appendix 1.c

LITTLE BAGGY MAGGY
see Appendix 1.e

LITTLE BUNDLE OF DREAMS
see Appendix 1.c

LITTLE FRENCH LADY
see Appendix 1.c

LITTLE GIRL
see Appendix 1.b

LITTLE LACQUER LADY
see Appendix 1.c

LITTLE ONES' ABC, THE

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(1961)
Sail Away, 1961 (Elaine Stritch)
Unpubl. MS
Comedy list song. A strongly-built number which suited Elaine Stritch’s style of humour and its place and function in the show, but a piece with limited appeal outside its context. It is rather nice the way that the start notes of each music phrase in the refrain start one step further up the melodic scale, echoing the A - B - C. You could say the same about Rodgers’ ‘Doh, A Deer’.
NCR 43: pno. acc. ?Werner (Apr 1961)
OCR 18: Elaine Stritch, Paul O’Keefe and the Children (1961)

LITTLE SLUT OF SIX, A

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(1922)
Charlot's 1924 Revue (Maisie Gay)
Charlot's Revue of 1926 (New York) (Beatrice Lillie)
The archives hold an early MS (music only, without lyrics) titled simply SIX. This provided a match with the lyrics for LITTLE SLUT... found elsewhere by Barry Day [BD]. The dating is on account of the music MS hand being pre-Elsie April.
Part of the sketch After Dinner Music. The last three lines of lyrics had to be changed at the insistence of the Lord Chamberlain's office. To modern ears the lyric is almost heretical, since it pretends to be delivered by a very young, very knowing and extremely suggestive little girl.
The only recording of this song known to the authors is a brief recitation of part of one verse by Bea Lillie, made privately from a radio broadcast.

LITTLE WOMEN

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(1927)
This Year Of Grace, 1928
Publ. Vocal Score
CPA2 (1939) (not complete)
A sequence of music which includes:
(All): "We're little girls of certain ages..."
(All - refrain): "We're Little Women..."
(Violet): "I'm just an ingenue..."
(Ruth): "I'm not a type that is frequently seen..."
(Jane): "I waste no time on things..."
(Ivy): "I am a girl whose soul..."
(Refrain).
This is the second complex and sectional piece included in and which closes the sketch ‘The Lido Beach’ at the start of Act II. (See also OPENING CHORUS.) The four characters who perform are all “exquisitely dressed” and confess to various unworthy realities that lie behind their exquisite social poise and presentation.

LOCH LOMOND
see Appendix 1.e

LONDON
sometimes known as LONDON SEQUENCE
from The Girl Who Came to Supper, 1963

see separate entries for:
1: LONDON IS A LITTLE BIT OF ALLRIGHT
2: WHAT HO, MRS. BRISKET
3: DON'T TAKE OUR CHARLIE FOR THE ARMY
4: SATURDAY NIGHT AT THE ROSE AND CROWN
5: WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH A NICE BEEF STEW?

LONDON AT NIGHT

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(Autumn 1953)
After the Ball 1954 (Peter Graves, Shamus Locke, Graham Payn, Tom Gill)
Unpubl. MS
Vocal Score Cowardy Custard (in medley)
Atmospheric fast waltz (quartet).
This is an elegant waltz with a long-breathed melodic sweep. The refrain melody starts obviously enough, with four repetitions of the same three notes, but then moves on up the scale and in its seventh bar to a surprising chromatic falling away. “It's almost as if something sighted clearly enough in the first bars had suddenly been lost in the fog, only to come back into focus two bars later” [CP]. The continuation of this melody is later echoed in the melodic shape of another fast waltz, ‘I’ve Been Invited To A Party’ from The Girl Who Came To Supper, at the words “and before the night is through”.
In the three-act (post-revision) version of After the Ball this number closed the show; and one may say that it does not really possess enough of a hummable, memorable melodic line to fulfil this function, although the song demonstrates a good spinning out of the melodic line in its second half, and bears all the hallmarks of NC’s lyric facility. It is almost a "traditional” up-tempo NC number, but in context sounds perhaps rather a strange relation when compared with the more obvious melodic and harmonic romanticism of much of the rest of the score.
OCR 15: Chorus (two tracks) (1954)
ONR 22: Edward Earle & The Satisfactions (1968)
ONR 76: Steve Ross (1990)
ONR 00: Gentlemen’s Chorus (2005)

LONDON IS A LITTLE BIT OF ALL RIGHT

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Feb-Mar. 1963, Jamaica
The Girl Who Came to Supper, 1963 (Tessie O’Shea)
Sep. publ.
NCG1
Vocal Score Cowardy Custard (in medley)
Pastiche music-hall-type song. NCD, 10 March 63: “I have completed four numbers, all good ones. I did all four complete, words and music, in one morning, and I am very proud of them. They are really like old London pub songs and are funny without trying to be.”
Of the four songs, this one has the most genuine emotion and the best-worked structure. It is a beautifully-crafted and utterly convincing pastiche, right down to the “have a banana” interjections, but speaks throughout with a gently affectionate voice. It can certainly be considered an “autobiographical” song, which could not be said of the other three. Quite apart from that, it is a well-constructed and tightly-integrated melody-and-lyric.
NCR 46: accomp. unknown (Apr 1963)
OCR 20: Tessie O'Shea & ensemble (Dec 1963)

LONDON MORNING
(see separate titles for further details)

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Written 1958 (between September-December, in Bermuda and New York) [NCD]
Ballet. Produced July 1959 (London Festival Ballet)
(Orchestrated by Gordon Jacob)
Publ.1959 (piano transcription)
The NCD entry for 5 October 1958 records: “...music has been flowing out of me in a gratifying spate ... I have already done the main love theme, which I know is good, a duet for sentries ... a light waltz, a mazurka ... and several other bits and pieces which can be developed and utilized.”
The printed piano transcription, the record-cover sleeve notes and other sources all use their own titling and numbering systems for the constituent contents, added to which the printed piano transcription is in any case a slimmed-down and simplified version of the original score; so for the purposes of this index it was decided to list all the significant separate sections firstly by their musical descriptions, thereafter adding characters in brackets. We have also favoured a fuller numbering system in the quest for thoroughness.
Originally the notation and scoring was to have been undertaken by Peter Matz, but he was by then very busy with other things and did not have the single-mindedness or passion for the project that NC seemed to be demanding; and anyway he was in New York and the project was London-based. Finally PM found himself obliged to say clearly to NC that he didn’t think he could do it.
A manuscript in the Estate archives shows a different version of the 'Changing of the Guard' march; and there are also: 1) an UNPLACED THEME 1 for possible use in the 'Rain' sequence or Finale; 2) a second UNPLACED THEME; 3) TWO NUNS AND POLICEMAN; 4) music for GIRL, POLICEMAN AND SAILOR, which was to precede LOVE THEME 1 (whatever that may be).
Check under separate contents titles for any further notes.
Contents titles are:
1. PRELUDE (Allegro)
2. POLKA ALLA MARCIA (Sentries' duet)
3. INTRODUCTION (Allegro) &
4. MAZURKA (Businessmen)
5. INTRODUCTION (Allegro) &
6. HORNPIPE (Sailor)
7. ALLA MARCIA (The Sentries)
8. ALLEGRETTO (American Girl)
9. ALLEGRO VIVACE (Sailor)
10. PAS DE DEUX No.1
11. ALLEGRO (Schoolgirls and Nuns)
12. PAS DE TROIS (Nuns and Policeman)
13. ALLA MARCIA (The Changing of the Guard)
14. ALLEGRO (The Bathchair)
15. SLOW WALTZ (The Streatham Family) &
16. PAS DE DEUX No.2
17. ALLEGRO VIVACE (Juvenile Delinquents)
18. ANDANTE (Rain Music)
19. FINALE ('London Pride')
OCR 17: London Philharmonic Orch., cond. G. Corbett (1959)
ONR 11: City of Prague Phil., cond. Robin White (1995)

LONDON PRIDE

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London, June 2 - 24 1941 [NCD]
1st perf. NC acc. Hackforth, Hammersmith Palais de Dance,
13.7.41 [NCD]
In Revue Up And Doing (opened July 1941)
Also in Ballet London Morning 1959.
Sep. Publ. (1941)
NCSB
NCG1
Vocal Score Cowardy Custard (in medley)
Ballad-song. Impossible to categorize.  It is one of those rare songs which sounds so natural, it is as if it had always been there only waiting to be discovered. Norman Hackforth, who first rehearsed and performed the song with NC that June of 1941, loved it at once on first hearing, “and within minutes was playing it on the piano.  I still think it is one of the greatest patriotic songs ever written, gentle and understated, and, however cynical you may fancy yourself to be, you can’t send this one up!” [NH]
Unpublished entries in the Noel Coward Diaries give a very succinct account of the process of composition: June 2nd 1941; “Started composing new song – ‘London Pride. Feels good.” June 19; “After lunch, did another refrain for ‘London Pride’.”  June 21; “Spent morning with Lorn writing lyric of ‘London Pride’.” June 23; “Wrestled with verse of ‘London Pride.  Finally got it.  Carroll [Gibbons] came up and liked the whole song.  We shall record it in the near future”. [they did, on July 3] June 24; With Lorn, writhing over the effort of the last four lines of ‘London Pride’.  At last, success crowned our efforts ... Elsie April came at 5.30 and I dictated ‘London Pride’ – Elsie delighted with it.”
NC implied in the story of the song’s inspiration told in NCSB a rather more whole and instant genesis, while he was sitting waiting on a station platform the morning after a bad blitz.  This may well have been June 2nd, but the diary entries make it clear that it was a long and sometimes tortuous path between inspiration and the finished product.
The song became a hit on the strength of exposure in a “B-List” revue and NC’s own contemporary recording release.  It stands as possibly the single greatest musical contribution to the War.
The song’s harmonic underlay echoes the simple tonic-dominant, dominant-tonic structure of the Westminster chimes, in D major, with melodic overtones of an old London street cry which had earlier found its way into the slow movement of Vaughan Williams' London symphony and which Lionel Bart later incorporated into the Bloomsbury Morning scene in Oliver!  Yet another version is sung by the lavender woman in Act I of Coward's own Conversation Piece
The refrain’s middle section is a gay tripping release devoted to describing diverse aspects of London life.  The verse section (which bisects the refrains rather than introducing them) is in the relative minor key of F and is much more static and modally-coloured, but is turned into great art by an unexpected excursion into G flat major just before the end, an extraordinary ray of harmonic sunshine shafting through the grey, wistful heaviness of the start of the verse.  The whole composition adds up to being “a genuinely moving sentimental song which more than summed up the qualities of both place and people at an extraordinary moment in its history”. [CP]
Inherent quality lasts: The song still ranks about seventh in the list of top Coward royalty earners today (see Appendix 3).
NCR 22: + orch./acc. Carroll Gibbons (1941)
ONR 24: Joyce Grenfell + Harry Acres Orch. (Mar 1947)
NCR 30: + orch. Mantovani (Jun 1947)
OCR 16: Mary Martin (Together With Music 1955)
OCR 17: LPO Cond. Corbett (London Morning 1959)
ONR 79: Julie Andrews + orch. (unknown date)
ONR 15: The King's Singers (1977)
ONR 78: Steve Ross (Apr 1990)
ONR 80: Andrea Marcovicci acc. Mehrbach (Dec 1990)
ONR 25: David Kernan acc. Carr & Bateman (1994)
ONR 11: Prague Phil. Cond. White (London Morning, 1995)
ONR 18: Michael Law/Piccadilly Dance Orch. (1999)
ONR 09a: Michael Law (2002)

LONELY

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DISCOGRAPHY:

See I'M A LONELY MAN (1962)
cut from The Girl Who Came To Supper, 1963 (José Ferrer)
Sep.Publ.
I'M A LONELY MAN was changed to LONELY in rehearsal - and much improved the refrain in the process, athough the original introduction was reused. “I have rewritten – at Joe’s earnest request – ‘Lonely Man’ and made it a more schmaltzy tune” [NCD, 21 July 63]. Then this reworked number itself became a casualty after the NY opening, although the music was retained in the score and it had by then also been separately printed and recorded.
The music is moody and gentle, making much use of chromatic melodic sequences, especially in the refrain whose main theme is a long, sustained upwards chromatic scale. In fact, it is a refrain of real structural as well as emotional quality, and well worth its own weight. José Ferrer’s recording does not really do the song justice, and speaking personally I think it is a great shame that the song is not better-known or -exposed.
See also LIFE WITHOUT LOVE (Appendix 2.a).
OCR 20: José Ferrer (1963)

LONG AGO
see Appendix 1.b

LONG LIVE THE BOURGEOISIE
see Appendix 1.b

LONG LIVE THE KING

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DISCOGRAPHY:

(1962)
Cut from The Girl Who Came To Supper, during the Philadelphia tryout (José Ferrer)
Unpubl. MS
As the song dealt exclusively with the Balkan Prince’s attempts to avoid assassination, the number had to be cut following the assassination of President Kennedy on November 22nd 1963, and was replaced by MY FAMILY TREE. The NCD entry for 24 November reveals the horror he felt at having to write another comedy number at such a time, and it is hardly surprising that in the end he resorted to the rather lame tactic of borrowing heavily from an earlier existing work.
The song is practically unknown, but is nothing less than one of the tightest comedy songs NC ever wrote, with classic interior-rhyming lyrics in a well-phrased and rumbustious musical setting which is more than merely satisfactory. If you do not already know this song you should do something to correct the situation.
NCR 46: accomp. unknown (1963)

LONG LIVE THE PRESS

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(1932)
Words and Music, 1932 (Vocal Score No.8: Choral Finale of THE HALL OF FAME) (q.v.)
Publ. Vocal Score
A short little marching chorus in C to finish the sequence, which sums up a certain cynical attitude to the power and focus of the popular press - which still holds good today.
see HALL OF FAME on ONR 22 (ens. acc. Arthur Siegel, 1990)

LOOK WELL BEFORE THE LEAPING
see LET THE ANGELS GUIDE YOU

LORELEI

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(1927)
This Year of Grace, 1928 (Adrienne Brune & Sonnie Hale)
Publ.Vocal Score
A revue song which encapsulates a nice conceit, in that the two refrains present "before" and "after" versions of the same theme.
It is perhaps as close as NC ever came to expressing anti-modernism in his songs.
The opening refrain sets the mood of wistful nostalgia, with effective echoes of the sirens' calling in the rising and falling thirds and fourths from which the melody is constructed. The mood changes with a rhythmic Verse section, which starts, “All that is past,/ And now at last/ Everything’s altered and changed about”, and which announces the arrival of modern technological advances in sea-travel. The second Refrain remains strongly rhythmic and is a perfect satire of the first, syncopating the original tune and providing a wonderful vehicle for the lyrics, “All the sirens in these environs/ Are sorry they spoke,/ Coaling steamers are belching streamers/ Of horrible smoke - making them choke.” It also contains one of my personal favourite Coward lyric lines: “What could be more obscene/ Than vamping a submarine?”.
Carroll Gibbons' accompaniment on NCR 03 emphasises the differences by playing the first refrain on a celeste, changing to piano at the verse section. It’s also a lovely example of swing piano accompaniment in the second refrain.
NCR 03: pno. acc. Carroll Gibbons (1928)
ONR 80a: Graham Payn + Mantovani Orch. (1947)

LOUISA

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(1951-53?)
Café de Paris Cabarets (certainly by 1954)
(though Chappell & Co. only registered their interest in the song in 1957)
Orig. MS [NH]
Peter Matz MS transcription [private collection]
Vocal Score Cowardy Custard (in medley)
NCG2
Narrative comedy song. Norman Hackforth knew the song well, and while it did not appear in the CdeP cabarets until, he thought, the 1954 season, in later years he recalled his impression that it was a song pre-dating its 1954 use that NC had pulled out of the cupboard.
It would seem publication only followed the song’s exposure and recording at Las Vegas. It is not what one might call a “high comedy” song - the humour is more oblique, and there are almost no moments when big laughs are engineered. Nevertheless, the song is elegantly-crafted and has much of wit in its lyrics. Both internal and line-end rhymes are well-prepared, and the melodic lines of the refrain flow with reassuring length in a fast waltz tempo. It has parallels with ‘Alice Is At It Again’ - both pieces start with a sort of recitative Verse, both are gently melodic, and both do a sudden gearchange into a jazzed-up syncopated final Refrain - both of which build to a “big” ending on the word ‘again’.
The piece started life in G, with the refrain also in the same key, but for Las Vegas Peter Matz’s arrangement presents the Verse in F and inserts a little four-bar keychange link before launching the Refrain in Ab (as performed and recorded on NCR 40). In the Verse section in particular the original Hackforth MS (giving melody-line only) shows quite a number of small melodic variations from the printed version. The Matz MS is, unsurprisingly, closer to the notes NC sings in 1956, and one assumes a period of light adjustments, possibly also to the song’s original chording, in the rehearsal period for LV. The printed copy in NCG2 is identical in all respects to and clearly done from Peter Matz’s MS. A terrible omission from the printed copy is the entire second refrain lyrics: although PM’s MS showed quite clearly that there was a refrain repeat, with first- and second-time bars, he had felt no need to write in the second verse of lyrics. The publishers presumably gave up at this point and simply excised the repeat indications and four-bar vamp. (One has to say that such lack of thoughtfulness is distressingly common in the preparation of light-music imprints.)
NCR 40:+ orch./ pno. acc. Peter Matz (1956)

LOUISE
See Appendix 1.c

LOVE A LITTLE
See Appendix 1.c

LOVE AND WAR
See JOURNEY'S END

LOVE, LIFE AND LAUGHTER

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1924 [dated thus in CSL in which it's printed]
Charlot's 1924 Revue (Maisie Gay)
This Year of Grace (USA Prod.only), 1928 (NC & Bea Lillie)
MUSIC LOST
(Duet) We know only what NC tells us himself [NCA, p.201], that the piece was part of "a sketch and song of Paris night life in the [18]80's". It is a duet for Rupert (English) and "La Flamme" (Parisian courtesan), in the setting of a Montmartre café. The verses both end, "that's just the Bohemian way" - really a call to enjoy the immoralities of life! The music for both this song and the other then-new Duet number for NC & BL, LILAC TIME, have been lost.

LOVER OF MY DREAMS
Also known as MIRABELLE WALTZ

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(1931)
Cavalcade, 1931(Stella Wilson)
Sep.Publ.
AES
NCSB
Pastiche of a typical 1900 waltz song. The Refrain waltz itself flows away very pleasingly using phrases of repeated falling thirds, and is then contrasted well with passages of fast rising quavers, each of which starts off the beat and does a little upward flourish and “lift” before its close. The introductory Verse section, however, “is one of the loveliest things Coward ever penned” [CP], breathing openness, simplicity and poise. The melody is very reminiscent of Strachey's 'These Foolish Things', but then so are several other compositions of the period (a similar pattern can be found in the verse of Johnny Green's 'Body and Soul’).
NCR 07: (in medley) acc. Ray Noble (15 Oct 1931)
ONR 08: Jack Payne + BBC Dance Orch. (16 Oct 1931)
NCR 08: acc. Ray Noble (Oct 28 1931)
ONR 81: Victoria Campbell + Mantovani orch. (1947)

LULLABY

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(1950-53?)
Unused
Unpubl.MS [NH Estate archive]
Short piano piece, no lyrics. There is no indication whatever of possible use. Dating is on account of the careful Hackforth transcription in a very similar manner to that he used for the score of After The Ball.
A sixteen-bar theme in Bb, the first time with a short opening and the second time with an extended ending, sandwich a sixteen-bar episode in Gb. A 4-bar phrase rises through the notes of the relative minor arpeggio in minims and is then balanced by a 4-bar descending scale passage. This descending scale has a characteristic “Hackforth” harmonisation of parallel descending 6/3 chords (seen in his own compositions from the same period such as ‘Why Can’t I Forget?’), and which can also be seen in places in the score of After The Ball. It is not entirely clear who was feeding their harmonic language tricks to whom, but one suspects the traffic to have been from Hackforth to Coward. The piece is certainly presented quite pianistically, that is to say, it ”lies well under the hands”.
See also COMPOSER THEME from roughly the same period.