P, Q & R Titles

P

PADDY MACNEIL AND HIS AUTOMOBILE

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(1963)
The Girl Who Came To Supper, 1963 (From 'The Coconut Girl' sequence)
Unpubl. MS
See the entry for THE COCONUT GIRL for further details about the sequence.
This song is a pastiche novelty number as if from a 1911 American Musical Comedy show. The melodic/rhythmic setting is rather similar in feeling to ‘Rolling Along On The Crest Of A Wave’. Paddy’s car crashes at the end of the refrain. This seems to have been a favoured end for such NC scenes - for another example see POM-POM in the ‘Opening Chorus’ music for The Model Maid scene in Operette. One assumes his inspiration to have been drawn from one or more actual such scenes in musicals playing in London in the early years of the 20th century.
NCR 46: acc. unknown (1963)

PAGEANT

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(1945)
Act I Finale, Sigh No More 1945
MUSIC LOST
There is almost no mention of this item beyond its inclusion in the printed programme. Even BD draws a blank for lyric content. We assume that a revue finale must have had music.

PAGEANT OF BYGONE ENCHANTRESSES

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(1932)
Words And Music, 1932
Publ. Vocal Score (Music No. 19, as MIDNIGHT MATINEE)
Instrumental tableaux from the sketch MIDNIGHT MATINEE, which starts with the OPENING CHORUS sharing the joke to come with the audience, much in the spirit of the rest of the chorus-work in this revue. The sketch then shows first a pre-production meeting where the principals (a hopeless load of well-meaning amateurs) squabble over their roles and costumes. The sketch proceeds to the “performance” of the ‘Pageant’ itself, the music being a sequence of pastiche pantomimic mime miniatures, all of around twelve bars length and in various contrasting musical genres. The point of the sketch is that everything that can conceivably go wrong with the staging and constumes does go wrong.
The sequence includes:
DIANE DE POITIERS
NELL GWYNN
CLEO
SALOME
MARIE ANTOINETTE
JOAN OF ARC
LADY BLESSINGTON
LADY GODIVA
FINALE

PARIS
See I WANTED TO SHOW YOU PARIS

PARIS EST TOI
See FRENCH SONG

PARISIAN PIERROT

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December 1922 Berlin.
London Calling! 1923 (Gertrude Lawrence)
Sep.Pub.FD&H (1923)
NCSB
Vocal Score Cowardy Custard (in medley)
The piece was composed between 9th-18th December 1922, during a holiday in Berlin sandwiched between hothousing sessions on the formation of London Calling! at Davos with Lord Lathom, Molyneux, Gertrude Lawrence, Andre Charlot, etc. “The idea of it came to me in a night-club ... a frowsy blonde, wearing a sequin chest-protector and a divided skirt, appeared in the course of the cabaret with a rag pierrot doll dressed in black velvet. She placed it on a cushion where it sprawled in pathetic abandon while she pranced around it emitting gutteral noises. Her performance was unimpressive but the doll fascinated me. The title ‘Parisian Pierrot’ slipped into my mind, and in the taxi on the way back to my hotel, the song began”. [NCSB]
The song shows NC’s first obvious use of moody bluesy influences - in particular the Verse section sets a dark mood by use of chromaticism and shifting harmonies in minor keys. In fact the whole piece remains firmly in this mood, the sense of directionlessness helped by the dischordant element of the dominant seventh chord with sharpened fifth which graces the setting of ‘pierrot’, ‘hero’ and ‘zero’ in the refrain. The second main phrase of the refrain is particularly notable for its melodic shape, the falling sixth on ‘flatter’ being echoed four bars later on ‘shatter’, and which has an extraordinary harmonic accompaniment, landing straight on an augmented D chord above a Db bass and moving into C7.
It is not very far from this song to ‘World Weary’, though the latter has more rhythmic structure and lighter melodic elements in balance with the dark. The piece was later telescoped, together with ‘Poor Little Rich Girl’, into Sandy Wilson's 'Poor Little Pierrette' in The Boy Friend, there described as “an affectionate parody of the musicals of the 20's”.
NC thought that GL sang it “enchantingly”.  NCR 17, though recorded as a pairing with ‘We Were Dancing’ in 1936 at the time of Tonight at 8.30, sounds as if it uses the original orchestrations, and is one of only two complete recorded versions of the song, with two full verse sections preceding the two refrains; the second is Harry Noble on ONR 32a, which shows great clarity of tone and a well-judged restlessly rhythmic mood in the Refrains.  Twiggy on ONR 12 is also surprisingly good, with a bitter edge to the voice.
Back in the mid-seventies, Coley remarked that the song "stays today as immovably as ever in Noël's Top Ten." [CL] Actually, in terms of overall popularity and exposure, nowadays it ranks no higher than about twenty-fifth in the Coward music catalogue (see Appendix 3). NC himself, however, remarks in NCSB that the song “has always been one of my [own] favourites” Perhaps this explains the anomaly of the date of NCR 17.
OCR 01: Gertrude Lawrence (1931)
NCR 09: acc. Ray Noble (1932)
NCR 17: +Phoenix Th. Orch. cond. Greenwood (1936)
ONR 24: Joyce Grenfell + Harry Acres Orch. (1947)
NCR 34: (in medley) C de P Orch. acc. Hackforth (1951)
ONR 32a: Harry Noble acc. Stuart Ross (1953)
ONR 20: Patricia Hodge acc. William Blezard (1986)
ONR 98: Steve Ross (1990)
ONR 12: Twiggy + combo. acc. Tom Fay (1999)
ONR 23: Ian Bostridge acc. Jeffrey Tate (2002)
ONR 05a: Steve Ross (2004)

PARK YOUR FANNY
See Appendix 1.b

PARTING OF THE WAYS, THE

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April 1945
Sigh No More, 1945 (Cyril Ritchard and Madge Elliot)
Sep. Publ.
Unpublished Diaries extracts show the emergence of this song’s lyric first (April 3rd) with continued work noted on the 9th and the work being finished on April 11th.
Norman Hackforth thought that this was "...a terribly bad song, although in fairness one must remember that it was written as a sort of pastiche”. He was also anxious to disassociate himself from any responsibility for the preparation of the sheet music, which he thought “full of the most appalling musical faults!". [NH] It is not quite clear to me, however, what these “faults” may be, beyond the fact that there are places where the harmonisation is not explicitly given and others where “consecutive fifths” occur, neither of which are unique characteristics of this particular publication of NC’s song output.
Perhaps NH’s reservations were because the original orchestration had a great deal more harmonic colour and finesse than the publisher’s sheet-music version. Despite such reservations, the song is however not without its merits, despite oddly angular harmonic movement in places and the given bareness of harmony under the quaver movements in the refrain melody. As the song was never recorded and the orchestrations were never kept it is rather difficult to make any judgement on the matter.
The Verse section in particular has musical grace and charm, though it is clearly one of those passages demanding a freely-conversational parlando treatment by its singers and should not be attempted to be precisely sung. The Refain echoes a familiar theme of NC’s - love now past, more-or-less fondly remembered but with wistful resignation at its passing - but I feel the overall effect of the song is rather spoiled by its final line of lyrics. It narrowly misses being a “good song”.

PARTY'S GOING WITH A SWING, THE

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(1946)
Pacific 1860, 1946 (Graham Payn, Pat McGrath, Celia Lamb, Daphne Anderson)
Publ. Vocal Score
Also includes 'Dance' music sequence, with an extra half-refrain of lyrics, and a reprise (encore) full refrain.
This is a pretty typical rollicking 6/8 tempo comedy number, in which the youngsters comment on the frolicksome party foibles of their elders and betters. There are all sorts of backwards and forwards lyric and melodic resonances to other similar compositions, and one may detect elements echoing or presaging songs such as ‘Don’t Let’s Be Beastly To The Germans’, ‘That Is The End Of The News’ and ‘Don’t Take Our Charlie For The Army’.
My feeling is that this piece is rather stronger lyrically than it is musically.
I particularly like “Though dear Miss Scobie’s principles forbid her to carouse/ She’s apt to get flirtatious when the atmosphere allows/ But it’s hard to be seductive when there’s junket on your blouse.”
Because it is fairly specific to its setting, the song has not had the wings to transcend its origins and emerge into the mainstream of Coward’s known comedy material.
ONR 99: Graham Payn & Joyce Grenfell + Mantovani orch. (1947)

PARTY'S OVER NOW, THE

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(1932)
Words And Music, 1932 (Act II Finale) (various artists)
Set to Music, 1938/9
Sep. Publ. 1932
NCSB
NCG1
The piece was later used extensively as the closing item for the Café de Paris and other cabaret performances - understandably so, since there are few songs by any composer which more neatly, gently and approriately sum up the close of an evening of varied musical entertainment. The original setting, however, was much more specific, with various farewells being conducted on the steps of the party house in question, and even a final refrain which was a sort of “disagreable couple’s” slant on the rather romantically-inclined main refrain.
NC himself described it as "a pleasant little song without being startlingly original" [NCSB]. This ingenuous description hardly does the song justice, as it is much more than merely pleasant and with the right treatment can have quite a big effect. It works well partly on account of the very simplicity of its phrase-structure and lyric elements (“It’s time for little boys and girls/ To hurry home to bed”), which combine with NC’s favourite song-theme - letting go of love with gentleness and resigned wistfulness. There is no tortured theatrical word-painting here, but instead a strong feeling of openness and honesty.
Well-crafted lyric and melodic elements give satisfying interior rhymes and well-balanced phrases with varied endings throughout the piece, of which unquestionably the best of both come in the final refrain phrase (“The thrill is gone, to linger on/ Would spoil it anyhow...”), which is itself an important part of the Coward philosophy.
Following the song’s use in the Café de Paris cabarets, its accompaniment underwent considerable editing by Norman Hackforth for the 1953 Noël Coward Song Book sheet-music. Even certain underlying chords were changed - unquestionably (in my opinion) for the better, and one assumes these alterations were based on actual performance practice; but as there is no contemporaneous recording of their performance it is not possible to prove the point.
This song is among the top thirty Coward numbers in terms of current royalties earning potential (see Appendix 3).
ONR 08: (in selection) Ray Noble orch. (Sep 1932)
NCR 10: +orch./acc. Ray Noble (20 Sep 1932)
NCR 36: + C. Hayes Orch./pno. acc. Peter Matz (1955)
ONR100: Beatrice Lillie acc. Eadie & Rack (1955)
NCR 40: + orch./ pno. acc. Peter Matz (1956)
ONR101: Greta Keller acc. Walter Grimm (1972)
ONR 28: Barbara Lea acc. Keith Ingham (1999)

PAS DE DEUX
See BALLET - THE LEGEND OF THE LILY

PAS DE DEUX 1

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Sept/Oct 1958 (Bermuda)
London Morning (Ballet) (1959)
Publ.pno.score (No.10)
The date of origin given above is based on our assumption that this is the “main love theme” to which NC refers in his diaries [NCD, 5 Oct. 57].
The critic Christopher Palmer [CP] wrote that this theme “begins with a promise of a long-spanned arch of Tchaikovskian eloquence but falters after the first few bars”. I know what he means, though this description possibly expects a grander musical depth and breadth than NC’s style was, perhaps, capable of providing. All the same, the main theme is a charming and well-balanced arching passage of two four-bar phrases which, as a miniature, can hardly be faulted, and the mood is well maintained, with one repetition of the main theme, for 34 bars of elegaic music.
OCR 17: LPO Cond. Corbett (1959)
ONR 11: Prague Phil. Cond. Robin White (1995)

PAS DE DEUX 2

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(late 1958)
From London Morning Ballet, 1959
Publ.pno.score (No.16)
This is perhaps a less satisfactory theme than the PAS DE DEUX 1 above, having shorter phrases and less comfortable harmonic progressions. After its opening 8 bars, however, follows a 16-bar rising scalic piu mosso passage of some strength. A further 8-bar passage without much sense of direction or connection leads back to the main theme.
OCR 17: LPO Cond. Corbett (1959)
ONR 11: Prague Phil. Cond. Robin White (1995)

PAS DE TROIS
(NUNS AND POLICEMEN)

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(Late 1958)
From London Morning Ballet, 1959
Publ.pno.score (No.12)
A comfortable and pleasing waltz in three contrasting sections (in Bb, Gb and Eb and of which the second is repeated), with the first section returning at its end. The lack of development of any of these passages cannot hide the fact that NC had greater facility in composing neat and pleasing waltz themes than any other form. I suspect NC rather liked the conceit of nuns and policemen dancing waltzes together.
OCR 17: LPO Cond. Corbett (1959)
ONR 11: Prague Phil. Cond. Robin White (1995)

PASSENGER'S ALWAYS RIGHT, THE

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1960?
In draft script of Later Than Spring.
Sail Away, 1961(Charles Braswell)
Unpubl. MS
Vocal Score Cowardy Custard
The song THE CUSTOMER'S ALWAYS RIGHT later in the score is new words to the same music, although they have slightly different openings.
It is a piece in very “modern” musical style, but the song does not “travel” well beyond its context – the Verse section in particular, where the ship’s Pursar makes a roll-call of the stewards, is very much tied to its original mise-en-scene. The Refrain is set to a rollicking 6/8 in 8-bar phrases A-B-A, without much development and with the middle 8 being rather chromatically angular and unfulfilling – tunes using passages of descending semitones were very much a part of C’s melodic furniture at this time.
The lyrics are splendid, especially in the Refrain of THE CUSTOMER’S ALWAYS RIGHT where all sorts of possible foibles are touched upon, and the banter between the Pursar and crew in the opening Verse section is very neatly done.
NCR 43: acc. Werner? (Apr.1961)
OCR 18: Charles Braswell & Chorus (Oct 1961)
NCR 43: + orch./ acc. Peter Matz (Dec 1961)
OCR 19: John Hewer & Chorus (1962)
ONR 26: Cook, Cason & Ross (Oh Coward!, 1972)

PATTERSON, PENNSYLVANIA
See Appendix 1.b

PAVANE
See BALLET - THE LEGEND OF THE LILY

PEACE ENFOLD YOU
See EVERMORE AND A DAY

PETER PAN (THE STORY OF)
See Appendix 1.a

PIPE
See BALLET - THE LEGEND OF THE LILY

PLANTERS' WIVES

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(1932)
Words And Music, 1932 (chorus)
Publ. Vocal Score
This is an introductory passage to MAD DOGS AND ENGLISHMEN (q.v.), sung by a group of planters’ wives. TLONC gives separate listings for this and MD, but with MD first and PW second. The lyrics are quite amusing.

PLAY ORCHESTRA PLAY

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1935
Tonight at 8.30: Shadow Play (UK 3.36; USA 11.36)
Sep. Publ.
NCSB
NCG1
Vocal Score Cowardy Custard
NCR
This piece comes towards the end of Scene 1, shortly after Vicky and Simon have sung the reminiscent song THEN, when the scene actually shifts back in time. The arrival of the song is twice presaged by snatches of music intruding into the dialogue, to which Simon comments “there it is again”, which explains why those are the opening words of the Verse section of the song.
Like the other musical pieces written for Shadow Play (THEN and YOU WERE THERE), this is a song of high musical originality and elegant craftmanship. The opening phrase of the Refrain, starting in Ab, is written/printed with bold parallel chords which harmonise Ab-Gb-Cb with their straight major chords - and all on that imperious attention-getting triplet, which is nothing if not very original. But as a matter of fact the harmonisations as given in the printed sheet-music are not always elegant and shouldn’t be 100% relied upon: there are a few too many angular moments in what are, admittedly, very unusual modulations, of which that second bar setting mentioned above is a particularly angular example. Another moment of curious discomfort is the modulation from the first to second phrases of the Refrain middle section (“Let’s have an orchestra score” ⇒ “in the confusions...”). Hackie sorted this sort of thing out for the Café de Paris performances, but by that stage it was not considered important enough to make major revisions to the printed sheet-music.
The melody is a particularly tricky one to harmonise comfortably – for example, the “while our illusions” phrase is clearly in the key of Ab minor, but ends on a held A natural, and the following phrase (“in the confusions”) clearly falls into G minor. A “normal” dominant chord before G minor would be Dma7, but this can’t possibly sound right coming out of a phrase in Ab minor. Instead, NC does one of his sideways chromatic shifts, from Abmi ⇒ Gma7-9 ⇒ Gmi. This sort of harmonic sideways slipping down the semitones is also used at the end of the middle section (“serenade for us just once more”) in order to get from F7 to Eb7 – but maybe a composer with more training in harmony would never have started from F7 in the first place.
ONR 08: Robert Ashley + Carroll Gibbons orch. (9 Jan 1936)
OCR 09/NCR 15 & 16: G. Lawrence & NC (15 Jan 1936)
ONR103: Denny Dennis + Roy Fox Orchestra (24 Jan 1936)
NCR 34: (in medley) pno. acc. Norman Hackforth (1951)
NCR 38: +C.Hayes orch./acc.Peter Matz (1955) (& in medley)
NCR 41: (in medley) pno.acc. Norman Hackforth (1958)
ONR 25: Louise Gold & Liz Robertson acc.Carr (1994)
ONR 28: Barbara Lea acc. Keith Ingham (1999)

PLAY SOMETHING ROMANTIC
See THAT WONDERFUL MELODY

PLAY THE GAME

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1963
CUT from The Girl Who Came to Supper (Coconut Girl sequence)
Unpubl. MS
The context is Mary Morgan (the showgirl) describing a gambling scene – or, more precisely, singing a snatch of an American-musical-style song which describes a gambling scene. The music is not really very notable and unlikely to be much revived.

PLAYING THE GAME

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(1928)
This Year Of Grace
(USA prod. only) 1928 (Part of Finale)
MUSIC LOST
There was quite a bit of rewriting for the American production, and neither this Finale nor the song ‘Velasquez’ ever seem to have been kept in the UK archives.

PLUS DE COEUR DISCRET
See MELANIE'S ARIA

POLKA

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(1928)
Bitter Sweet, 1929 (opening Act I Sc.3)
Publ. Vocal Score - Music No. 5
No lyrics. A pastiche of an 1875 polka, which sets the mood and period of the ball at the Millick's house in London, from which Sarah elopes with Carl at the end of the scene. It consists of a repeated twenty-bar phrase with an interlude of sixteen bars in the dominant key, and there’s nothing wrong with it at all.
ONR 01: New Sadler's Wells Orch. cond. Reed (1988)

POLKA (also VALSE)
See TEACH ME TO DANCE LIKE GRANDMA

POLKA ALLA MARCIA (SENTRIES' DUET)
See ALLA MARCIA 1

POM-POM
See OPENING CHORUS - The Model Maid

POOR LADY IN THE THROES OF LOVE

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Early July 1946 [NCD]
CUT from Pacific 1860, 1946
Unpubl. MS (Vocal Score No.23, p.144)
The original MS for this piece, transcribed by Robb Stewart, emerged from Norman Hackforth’s archive, which in itself is intriguing. This number was replaced by another trio for the same combination of characters, ‘This Is a Night' (q.v.). NCD for 7 July 1946 says "finished lyric for trio”; then there is a further reference to writing a 'second act trio' in September. It is probable that these references actually involve more than one number.
Given that a full MS of the number was found among NH's music archive, it is possible that this was a song that was considered for inclusion in CdeP, although its original construction would have needed simplifying for that context.
The opening instumental introduction sets the mood with dreamy, shifting harmonies, and introduces the melodic pattern of the refrain that follows. It is typical lush, romantic Coward, with (for example) the first two-bar phrase in Ab immediately followed by its copy in C. On its second statement the keys are Gb and Bb. It is an interesting bit of writing, and the beginning of it was in fact retained in the score as an instrumental OPENING MUSIC for Act III.

POOR LITTLE RICH GIRL

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1924 or 1925
On With The Dance, 1925 (Alice Delysia)
Charlot's Revue, 1926 (Gertrude Lawrence)
Sep.Pub. 1925 and 1926
NCSB
(Billy Mayerl Swing Pno. Arr. Publ. (Asherberg, Hopwood & Crew) 1956)
Vocal Score Cowardy Custard
This is actually a very moralistic diatribe against wild socialite lives which had become a mess of drink and drugs and men.
In a 1925 magazine article NC said: "I thought of the tune of my latest success, PLRG, while I was having tea. The usual dash for the piano, and the thing was done. But for some reason I wrote this song in four flats [Ab Major], whereas I had always kept to three flats previously." The song was indeed originally published in Ab major. Later, elements of it and ‘Parisian Pierrot’ were telescoped into Sandy Wilson's 'Poor Little Pierrette' from The Boyfriend, which was described as “an affectionate parody of the musicals of the 20's”.
Along with ‘Parisian Pierrot’, this song is an early example of the American jazz influences C had by then picked up. In fact there's even a tiny musical quotation from Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue at the end of the “middle eight” in the published version (and it is recorded thus on OCR 02). BG remarked that it is "a song so difficult to sing in a flat, listless way that it must be included among those items where the composer has contrived somehow to build into the structure an invisible dynamo which impels the melody." It was a genuine hit at the time, and remains popular today (see Appendix 3).
ONR 104 is not helped by the lame lyric change to "ruled by sun and moon", which is meaningless, and I wonder what NC thought of that! NCR 37 has a nice restlessness helped by good orchestrations. Michael Law on ONR18 sings with crystal clarity and shows a self-accompaniment of much grace and lightness of touch; but it is NCR 20 which seems to me pretty definitive for pacing and mood, and it comes with a deft and scintillating swing piano accompaniment by Carroll Gibbons of exceptional grace and musical integrity. [For further details see DV.]
ONR 08: Debroy Somers + Savoy Orpheans (May 1925)
OCR 02: Alice Delysia (Jun1925)
OCR 03: Gertrude Lawrence (Nov1925)
NCR 09: acc. Ray Noble (1932)
NCR 11: acc. Leo Reisman (1933)
NCR 20: acc. Carroll Gibbons (1938)
ONR104: Judy Garland (1942)
ONR 24: Graham Payn + Harry Acres Orch. (1947)
NCR 32: (in medley) pno. acc. Norman Hackforth (1951)
ONR 32a: Harry Noble acc. Stuart Ross (1953)
NCR 37: + Wally Stott Orch. acc. Hackforth (1954)
NCR 38: (in medley) pno. acc. Peter Matz (1955)
NCR 39: (in medley) pno. acc. Norman Hackforth (1958)
ONR105: Tony Bennett + Count Basie orch. (date unknown)
ONR 05: Bobby Short (1972)
ONR 16: Carmen McRae (1974)
ONR106: Eric Parkin (Billy Mayerl pno. arrgt.) (1993)
ONR 18: Michael Law/Piccadilly Dance Orch. (1999)
ONR 28: Barbara Lea acc. Keith Ingham (1999)
ONR 12: Harry Groener acc. Tom Fay (1999)

PORTRAIT OF A LADY
See VELASQUEZ

PRELUDE
(ALLEGRO) and see ALLA MARCIA 1 (which follows)

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(1958)
London Morning (Ballet) 1959
Publ.pno.score No. 1
A very brief fanfare in Eb/Bb
OCR 17: LPO Cond. Corbett (1959)
ONR 11: Prague Phil. Cond. Robin White (1995)

PRENEZ GARDE, LISETTE

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late 1922
London Calling!, 1923 (Maisie Gay)
Sep.Pub. (Keith Prowse & Co.) (now EMI) 1923
The song was originally intended for Gertrude Lawrence (the source for this is a letter from NC to his mother dated 2nd December 1922 quoted by PH p.111) "with full chorus in lovely Victorian dresses, all very demure...”. In the end it was actually sung/performed by Maisie Gay – Gertrude Lawrence got CARRIE instead.
The two songs are a little similar in mood and style, and certainly in content – they’re both about young girls whose winsomeness at attracting male attention belies their age and/or apparent modesty. Lisette, though, was a French girl, and thus the refrain of this song includes a short quote from the Marseillaise. NC was rather into showing off his wider musical knowledge at this stage of his composition, and there are similar “quotes” from other peoples’ music in both POOR LITTLE RICH GIRL and RUSSIAN BLUES.

PRETTY LITTLE BRIDESMAIDS
(WE’RE SICK OF BEING...)

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(1946)
Pacific 1860, 1946 (girls’ sextet, Act III)
Publ. Vocal Score (music No.30)
(Also in publ. Pno. Sel.)
This is a well worked-out and pleasing piece, though of no great length, with all the harmonic characteristics (e.g. keychanges) which are the hallmark of this score. The opening of the Verse section is remarkably similar to that used later in LOUISA (early 50’s), and a melodic riff of descending thirds at the end of the refrain echoes a similar pattern used in the Verse section of HIS EXCELLENCY REGRETS (same score). There are three Refrains of sixteen bars.
OCR 13: (the daughters) (1946)

PRINCES AND PRINCESSES

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(1935)
Tonight at 8.30: Family album, 1936
Publ. Vocal Score - Music No.3
This is a very delightful, wistful number, full of the
Gentle eleganceand undemonstrative charm of the piece for which it was written. Emily reminisces about the “dressing up” plays which the family used to perform as children, in a short 24-bar episode, which starts in Bb but soon modulates deliciously into Gb and then stays there. The stage directions state that “they sing a foolish little tune”, which maybe is ingenuous. “They act a little too, fragments of the game they remember”, set to fragments of music, one of which represents a boyhood swordfight, before all reprise the first 8-bar phrase.

PROLOGUE
From Conversation Piece

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(1933)
Conversation Piece, 1934 (Heather Thatcher and Moya Nugent)
Publ. Vocal Score
There are Prologues to both Act I and Act II, using the same
semi-recitative musical format. Both are conversations between Sophie and Martha, set above a rhythmically-matching melody. The music does exactly what Sophie’s opening words say on the tin: “...we indicate, more by our presence than by what we say, the atmosphere and tempo of this play.”
ONR 06: with orch. cond. Lehman Engel (1951)

PROLOGUE
From Operette

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(1937)
Operette, 1938 (chorus)
Publ. Vocal Score (music No.1)
There are prologues to both Act I & Act II, and like those for Conversation Piece four years previously, they use the same musical format. The music and lyrics also do the same job, introducing the style of the presentation to follow: “We implore you to surrender to a mood of gay and tender sentiment ... tho’ we wish our words were clearer/If they’ve brought your memory nearer/to the light Edwardian Era/We’re content.” The style of this curtain-raiser piece is really very similar to the “chorus-direct-to-audience” pieces that were such a feature of Words And Music in 1932.
The music is light and undemonstrative, an 8-bar phrase consisting of a repeated two-bar melodic motif that is interestingly varied and provides melodic as well as harmonic growth and direction.

PUBLIC GARDENS

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(1933)
Conversation Piece, 1934
Publ. Vocal Score (music No.7) (where it is titled simply THE GARDENS)
There is accompanying music for various Tableaux: Vocal Score Music No.7 (Act I Sc.6) also includes the main themes of 'Nevermore' and ‘I’ll Follow My Secret Heart’. Music No.13 (Act III Sc.3) includes snatches of music of 'I'll Follow...', 'Melanies Aria '(inst.oboe), 'Entrance of Children', ‘Nevermore', etc. ). The GARDENS theme itself is a waltz version of the more angular 2/4 melody used at the very opening (and elsewhere) of the score called BRIGHTON PARADE (q.v.).
ONR 06: orch. cond. Lehman Engel (1951)

PUT NOT YOUR TRUST IN PRINCES
See Appendix 1.b

PUT OUT MY SHOOTING SUIT, WALTERS
See Appendix 1.b

Q and R

QUADRILLE
(Incidental music for NC play of same name)

ORIGIN: 
SOURCE:

June 1952 (NCD)
MUSIC LOST
There is no indication in the script where the music actually comes - there is certainly no mention of any music as part of the drama/script, so one assumes it came between scenes and/or Acts. There are four such breaks (disregarding intervals): between Sc.1 & Sc.2 of Act I, between Sc.1 and Sc.2 and between Sc.2 and Sc.3 of Act II, and between Sc.1 and Sc.2 of Act III.
A note that the music was "under the direction of Leslie Bridgewater" is given on programmes. Extensive efforts were made during the 1990s to track down where such music might still exist, including contacting the UK production company who mounted a revival, apparently with music, in 1977, but to no avail.

QUARTETTE 
See OH WHAT A CENTURY IT'S BEEN

RAIN MUSIC
See ANDANTE

RASPBERRY TIME IN RUNCORN
See Appendix 1.e

REGENCY RAKES

ORIGIN:
USE: 

SOURCE:





NOTES:








DISCOGRAPHY:


(1933)
Conversation Piece, 1934 (George Sanders, Pat Worsley, Antony Brian, Sydney Grammer)
Sep.Publ.
Conversation Piece Vocal Score
CPA2
NCSB
STA
NCG2
Also see THERE WAS ONCE A LITTLE VILLAGE whose refrain shares the same music.
A fast waltz comedy song with a good sense of swagger about it. In musical feeling it is more like ‘Chase Me Charlie’ than anything else that springs to mind. The characters present themselves as vulgar, boorish drunkards, and the music has strongly unsubtle elements within it which echo this impression, e.g. three bars of repeated accented notes in the Refrain main phrase and the sforzando off-beat emphases on the words ‘orgy-Georgie’ etc. in the “middle 8” phrase. The Refrain in particular also shows good extensions of rhyming/melodic rhythmic tags, with occasional lyric line overlaps.
This is certainly one of the lesser-known NC comedy songs, but quite as good in its own way as ‘His Excellency Regrets’.
ONR 08: Henry Hall + BBC Dance Orch (20 Feb 1934) (includes DANSER, DANSER)
OCR 08/NCR 12: Sidney Grammar, George Sanders, Pat Worsley & Antony Brian (26 Feb 1934)
NCR 32: + orch. cond. Lehman Engel (1951)

REMEMBER ME
See ALL MY LIFE AGO

REVE DE PIERROT, LA
See Appendix 1.b

RIBBON IN HER HAIR, A

ORIGIN:
USE: 
SOURCE:

NOTES:

(1954?)
Graham Payn, in cabaret at the Café de Paris, 1955
Unpubl. MS
(Copyright registered at Chappell & Co. in 1955)
Miscellaneous revue-type song. NCL gives it as "1950's miscellaneous", but as it is Norman Hackforth's MS it must have been written down before 1955, by when his amanuensis work with NC had come to an end. We have guessed the composition date to be 1954 when after After the Ball there was a small spurt of comedy compositions at around the time of the last season at the Café de Paris.
This is a well-worked Verse and Refrain, celebrating the appearance of a great-aunt in an old photograph from her schooldays. In keeping with the nostalgic sentiment, the piece is graceful and not fast, and has the benefit of a precise and pleasing harmonic setting.
The song is so little known and of so little direct relevance to anything else that there would seem little chance of it now emerging from obscurity; but it would certainly be a deserving contender to be rescued and aired.

RIPPLE
See IN WHICH WE SERVE

ROOM WITH A VIEW, A

ORIGIN:

USE: 

SOURCE




:
NOTES:







































DISCOGRAPHY:

1927, Honolulu [NCSB]
(Originally intended for inclusion in an abortive 1927 musical, Star Dust ) 
This Year Of Grace, 1928 (Jessie Matthews & Sonnie Hale, and in US production by NC/Billy Milton & Florence Desmond)
Sep. Publ. - also Sep.publ. as 'Pianoforte Transcription'
AES
SA1
NCSB
NCG1
Vocal Score Cowardy Custard 
And see 'FINALE, This Year Of Grace' (London Production)
The song was parodied by Sandy Wilson in The Boy Friend - subtitled “an affectionate parody of the musicals of the 20's” - in the number 'Room in Bloomsbury' 
“[It] was originally conceived on a lonely beach in Honolulu where I was convalescing after a nervous breakdown. The title, unblushingly pinched from E. M. Forster’s novel, came into my mind together with a musical phrase to fit it and I splashed up and down in the shallows, searching for shells and rhymes at the same time. When I was singing it in the American production of This Year Of Grace the late Alexander Woollcott took a black hatred to it. The last couplet ... sent him into torrents of vituperation. He implored me to banish the number from the show ... when I refused to pander to his wicked prejudices he decided to make a more formal protest ... one evening he sat in a stage box with a group of ramshakle companions, including Harpo Marx, and when I began to sing the verse they all, with one acord, ostentatiously opened newspapers and read them ... with what I still consider to be great presence of mind, [I] sang the last couplet in baby talk, whereupon Woollcott gave a dreadful scream and, making sounds only too indicative of rising nausea, staggered from the box.” [NCSB]
It is a sign of NC’s extraordinary range as a composer that this sunny, apparently artless song could have been penned by the same person who also gives us the sophisticated dexterity of ‘Mad Dogs’ or ‘Mrs Worthington’. The whole has a touching openness of phrase, cadence and lyric rhyming which manages to add up to considerably more than the sum of its parts. The rhyming is well structured, with internal rhymes as well as line-end rhymes on the larger scale, and internal rhymes are well-matched with melodic patterns which exist within larger melodic phrases, and the lyric and melodic lines often overlap or extend themselves to accomodate their partners. This is a lyric which looks disjointed when written out on its own, but which makes perfect sense when married with its music. 
This song displays one of the most obvious uses in NC’s music of his “favourite” dominant chord with a sharpened fifth note, used at the cadence into the Refrain.
The sheet-music edition was “improved” for its inclusion in NCSB in 1954 by Norman Hackforth, where the accompaniment shows less “bounce” and slightly richer harmonisation at certain points, and some of the original accompaniment figurations were dropped. 
There are many recent recordings, but not many of which find their way on to the “recommendations” below. It’s an easy song to over-sing, which perhaps Bostridge does (ONR 23) while proving at the same time that it can be a song with considerable mileage for trained singers. Paul McCartney's recent recording (ONR 31) is one of the better ones - surprisingly reminiscent of the Beatles in 'Honey Pie', but none the worse for that, and you hear the words clearly and he sings beautifully in tune.
This song ranks about eighth in the list of top Coward royalty earners today (see Appendix 3).
NCR 01: acc. orch. cond. Carroll Gibbons (Apr.1928)
ONR 08: (concert arrgt.) Jack Jackson orch. (Sept 1928)
OCR 04: (in medley) orch.cond. Ernest Irving (1928)
ONR107: Dick Maxwell + Fred Elizalde orch. (1928)
NCR 09: (in medley) acc. Ray Noble (1932)
ONR108: Hildegarde + Ray Sinatra orch. (1939)
ONR 24: Graham Payn & Joyce Grenfell + orch. (1947)
NCR 34: (in medley) pno.acc. Norman Hackforth (1951)
ONR 32a: Harry Noble acc. Stuart Ross (1954)
NCR 37: Wally Stott Orch. acc. Hackforth (1954)
NCR 38: acc. Peter Matz (Las Vegas1955) (& in medley)
NCR 39: (in medley) acc. Norman Hackforth (1958)
ONR 07: Laurel Ford & Geoffrey Burridge (C Custard 1972)
ONR109: Irene Kral + Loonis McGlohon Trio (1977)
ONR 31: Paul McCartney (1998)
ONR 28: Barbara Lea acc. Keith Ingham (1999)
ONR 23: Ian Bostridge & Sophie Daneman (2002)

ROSES HAVE MADE ME REMEMBER, THE

ORIGIN:
USE: 

SOURCE:
NOTES:

(1924)
Charlot's Revue, 1924 (Maisie Gay) 
Charlot's Revue of 1926 (New York) (Beatrice Lillie)
MUSIC LOST
part of AFTER DINNER MUSIC (q.v.)
A pastiche whose model was a 1916 love song by Herman Darewski, of the same title; but Darewski's second line ran "All that I tried to forget", while the flavour of Coward's version may be implied from his second line, "What any nice girl should forget". Maisie Gay presented a trio of songs in this sketch in which she impersonated the stage performances of Norah Bayes.

RUG OF PERSIA

ORIGIN:
USE: 
SOURCE:
NOTES:

(1938)
Set To Music 1939 (USA) (Beatrice Lillie)
MUSIC LOST
This is a typical Lillie-esque comedy number – see the lyrics at BD p.194. The scene is a Persian harem, where a courtesan is found working at and singing about a large tapestry. At the end, and still singing madly, she catches her foot in a thread and the whole thing unravels behind her as she goes off. It is lyrically something of a direct ancestor of the deliberately silly number 'Spinning Song' which came into the Café de Paris cabaret shows in 1954

RUSSIAN BLUES

ORIGIN:
USE: 
SOURCE:

NOTES:


















DISCOGRAPHY:

1922
1923, London Calling! (NC)
Charlot’s 1926 Revue (Gertrude Lawrence & chorus)
Sep.Publ. 1923 and 1926
The song’s Refrain "middle 8" section is a direct quote of music taken from Borodin's 'Polovtsian Dances'. NC was doing this sort of thing a good deal at the time, and there are other obvious passages in other songs from the same show, e.g. designed to impart Spanish or French flavour with quotes from a Habanera and The Marseillaise. The presence of Russian refugees was, of course, still a strong and recent feature of life in 1922 London.
The song is well-worked, with good clear structure and melodic lines of pleasing openness. The contemporaneous sheet-music was the first music publication to bear the words “written and composed by Noël Coward” on the cover, and also has his picture on the front since it was himself who sang the piece in the revue. Most of this early published work also shows signs of the amanuensis’s input, and this piece in particular seems to bear some of Elsie April’s hallmarks, particularly in the little 4-bar introduction and her voicing of the dominant chord with a sharpened fifth, Coward’s most noticeable compositional hallmark, which makes an early and obvious appearance in this song.
The Verse section would have been fine at half its length, but is in effect completely repeated musically; the Refrain shows development of the melody throughout its four phrases and is not always set to entirely predictable harmonies. The “bluesiness” of the piece is provided by the melody’s final phrase, which passes through the Gb of the minor third on its way back to resting in Eb major.
ONR 08: Jack Hylton + orch. (1923)
ONR110: Gertrude Lawrence acc. R. H. Bowers (1925)