APPENDIX 1 - SUBSIDIARY MUSICAL INDEX - Introduction

Works are in these lists either because a) they are not the sole work or not the work at all of Noël Coward, or b) because there is some ambiguity - or downright absense of musical material - in the documented  record of the work.  By far the largest number of Appendix items are music-less lyrics, which is perhaps unsurprising.  However, we have considered that music-less lyrics for numbers solely by Coward, which from documentary evidence (such as printed programme information) are known to have been professionally performed, should appear in the main index, even when all trace of the music may since have vanished. 

Among the material which survives solely as lyrics there is considerable ambiguity, not to say room for guesswork, as to whether or not the lyrics were ever set to music.   At least some such material will only ever have had words; but equally there must have been many occasions on which the invention of lyric and melody/musical structure were simultaneous, but only the lyric recorded.  It is obviously very much easier to make a written record of the lyric than of the music, especially if, like Coward, you don't write music down yourself; and we suspect that for much material the writing down of the lyric alone would have provided sufficient memory of its attached musical shape and structure, should the "song" have been required to be used at some future date.  An example from the horse's mouth that this would often be the case was provided on the rediscovery by Mander and Mitchenson in 1966 of the lyric for the Coward/Darewski song 'WHEN YOU COME HOME ON LEAVE', which they sent to Coward for authentication.  He wrote back that  "...certainly it is genuine, even the tune came back to me and I sang it all through to Coley when he brought me your letter."

Our criteria for deciding that numbers in subsection b) "probably" had music are twofold: either the written lyric shows clear indications of 'verse' and/or 'refrain' sections or the division of material between specified artists and/or chorus, or else there seems to be clear evidence (for example, from typewritten lyric sheets or the place of discovery of the lyric) that the number had progressed to the point of being planned for inclusion in a production.  Other reasons for inclusion are noted in the text.  Where there is an absence of any such supporting considerations, the title is in the following subsection c).

Click on the subsection that you wish to consult:

1a) Works with lyrics by Noël Coward and music by someone else.
1b) Works for which Coward most probably wrote music, but for which documentation of only the lyric survives (music lost)    
1c) Works surviving as lyrics for which there is no firm evidence of music having been set.
1d) Unpublished and unused fragments or incomplete works (without lyrics).
1e) Misattributed and unattributable performed works.