The Soldier and the Music Hall

Looking up details of an old music hall in my locality, I chanced upon an image (thanks to Victoria & Albert Museum) of a song made popular by one Vesta Tilley with a title that caught my attention.
Songs about soldiers and soldiering were a staple of Music Hall - not just the rousing patriotic stuff like 'Soldiers of the King/Queen' (which started life as the Manchester Canal March) or the long-time Forces Favourites hit, Anne Shelton's 'Lay Down Your Arms' with the memorable couplet;
"The girl who loves a soldier
Is either sad or gay"

(later un-sportingly changed to ' either sad or grey')

But the song sheet below is a bit out of the usual; The subjects are TA soldiers for a change

Tilley1.png

and the song appears to be allegorical, John Bull Shop - the store
in the song represents the nation and its wares are the national assets - heavy industry, ship-building
linen production and so on.
Featured guarding the 'store' is a young tommy in his walking out dress.

But most interest to me of all is that tucked in front of the can of Rum and Religion is
is a carton labelled Dum-Dum, presumably seen as a British Asset at that time,
tilley5.png
 

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Helm

MIA
Moderator
Book Reviewer
Looking up details of an old music hall in my locality, I chanced upon an image (thanks to Victoria & Albert Museum) of a song made popular by one Vesta Tilley with a title that caught my attention.
Songs about soldiers and soldiering were a staple of Music Hall - not just the rousing patriotic stuff like 'Soldiers of the King/Queen' (which started life as the Manchester Canal March) or the long-time Forces Favourites hit, Anne Shelton's 'Lay Down Your Arms' with the memorable couplet;
"The girl who loves a soldier
Is either sad or gay"

(later un-sportingly changed to ' either sad or grey')

But the song sheet below is a bit out of the usual; The subjects are TA soldiers for a change

View attachment 632669
and the song appears to be allegorical, John Bull Shop - the store
in the song represents the nation and its wares are the national assets - heavy industry, ship-building
linen production and so on.
Featured guarding the 'store' is a young tommy in his walking out dress.

But most interest to me of all is that tucked in front of the can of Rum and Religion is
is a carton labelled Dum-Dum, presumably seen as a British Asset at that time,
View attachment 632680
I believe Dum Dum or similar, was a depot in India that produced munitions. Which is where the name for the rounds we now associate with dum dum came from.
 
Others just got bored with the waiting, and got 'camp fever'.
hence Doolally.

The problem was called the Deolali (or Doolally) Tap.

Dum Dum was the home of the characters in 'It Ain't Half Hot Mum'.
 
I stand corrected, or correct standing, or something....

Every day a school day.
 
Like Deolali was where they sent chaps due to take the trip back to Britain.
Many had cerebral malaria, or VD, and went a bit crazy.
Others just got bored with the waiting, and got 'camp fever'.
hence Doolally.

Morning @CaptainRidiculous,
Meet Aloo Doolally...
20220107_154521~2.jpg

...He's a street dog by the dhaba I drink in. He didn't have a name so I christened him Aloo(potato), he's bonkers, hence the 2nd name.
I bought him a dog bowl and feed him, when I'm there(every fckn night), and hung this on the wall of the dhaba.
20220120_170323~2.jpg

Now the locals call him Aloo and know what doolaly(Deolali) means:).
 
Looking up details of an old music hall in my locality, I chanced upon an image (thanks to Victoria & Albert Museum) of a song made popular by one Vesta Tilley with a title that caught my attention.
Songs about soldiers and soldiering were a staple of Music Hall - not just the rousing patriotic stuff like 'Soldiers of the King/Queen' (which started life as the Manchester Canal March) or the long-time Forces Favourites hit, Anne Shelton's 'Lay Down Your Arms' with the memorable couplet;
"The girl who loves a soldier
Is either sad or gay"

(later un-sportingly changed to ' either sad or grey')

But the song sheet below is a bit out of the usual; The subjects are TA soldiers for a change


View attachment 632669
and the song appears to be allegorical, John Bull Shop - the store
in the song represents the nation and its wares are the national assets - heavy industry, ship-building
linen production and so on.
Featured guarding the 'store' is a young tommy in his walking out dress.

But most interest to me of all is that tucked in front of the can of Rum and Religion is
is a carton labelled Dum-Dum, presumably seen as a British Asset at that time,
View attachment 632680
The “young soldier guarding the shop” is a depiction of Vesta Tilley, a very popular music hall performer, whose schtick was male impersonation - usually sailors or soldiers.
The TA didn’t exist as such until 1920. From inception in 1908 until 1920 it was known as the TF (. . . Force).

The song sheet appears to be late Victorian, and the subject would have been one of the Volunteer or Militia regiments which preceded the TF.
The “Dum Dum” box in the image might just date it to pre- 1899, as the first Hague Convention of that year attempted to prohibit the military use of expanding ammunition. This ammunition had been developed at Dum Dum in the mid/late 1890s as a means of increasing the wounding potential of .303 bullets, which many soldiers felt did not have the stopping power of the old Martini-Henry .577/.450 unjacketed round.

I did not know that “ Soldiers of the Queen” had originally been “The Manchester Canal March.” That’s very interesting, in context, as my great grandfather’s newspaper obit mentioned that he had been the standard bearer of a Volunteer company when Queen Victoria came to Manchester in 1894 to formally open the Ship Canal.
 
Morning @CaptainRidiculous,
Meet Aloo Doolally...View attachment 632915
...He's a street dog by the dhaba I drink in. He didn't have a name so I christened him Aloo(potato), he's bonkers, hence the 2nd name.
I bought him a dog bowl and feed him, when I'm there(every fckn night), and hung this on the wall of the dhaba.
View attachment 632923
Now the locals call him Aloo and know what doolaly(Deolali) means:).

When you bid him farewell I suppose it's Goodbye Mister Chips
 
I believe Dum Dum or similar, was a depot in India that produced munitions. Which is where the name for the rounds we now associate with dum dum came from.
Yes, indeed, my copy of Hobson-Jobson gives the following definition;
<<
Dumdum
The name of a military cantonment four and half miles north west of Calcutta which for seventy years (1783 to 1853) was the headquarters of that famous corps, the Bengal Artillery.
The name which occurs at intervals in Bengal is no doubt damdama. 'A mound or elevated battery'
At Dumdum was signed the treaty which restored the British settlements which were restored after the capture of Calcutta in 1757.
It has recently* given its name to the Dumdum or expanding bullet, made in the Arsenal there
>>

*Hobson-Jobson was first published in 1886
 

Helm

MIA
Moderator
Book Reviewer
Yes, indeed, my copy of Hobson-Jobson gives the following definition;
<<
Dumdum
The name of a military cantonment four and half miles north west of Calcutta which for seventy years (1783 to 1853) was the headquarters of that famous corps, the Bengal Artillery.
The name which occurs at intervals in Bengal is no doubt damdama. 'A mound or elevated battery'
At Dumdum was signed the treaty which restored the British settlements which were restored after the capture of Calcutta in 1757.
It has recently* given its name to the Dumdum or expanding bullet, made in the Arsenal there
>>

*Hobson-Jobson was first published in 1886
I'd never heard of that book sounds fascinating, can you elaborate please?
 
I'd never heard of that book sounds fascinating, can you elaborate please?

Hobson-Jobson: A Glossary of Colloquial Anglo-Indian Words and Phrases, and of Kindred Terms, Etymological, Historical, Geographical and Discursive
John Murray
Henry Yule, Arthur Coke Burnell (auth.), William Crooke (ed.)
Year:1903

available here:
 
Military songs in the musicals were often accompanied by the singer being in a uniform, adding words of command or actions like saluting.
I like the lyrics in this one (eyes like a lobster, on a stork !) which, though I can't be certain it was performed in music hall, Peter Dawson did tour UK with it
Sergeant Major would have been today's RSM of course.

WhenThr.png


When the sun is shining bright,
Dispelling all the dews of night,
With Sam brown belt and buttons bright,
Behold the sergeant major.

Batman makes my army bed,
And soon my boots a lustre shed,
He turns me out from foot to head,
A dapper Sergeant Major.

Then woe to them that meet my eye,
They never do, they turn and fly.
When I'm here on parade in the square,
How the folks passing by turn and stare.
For they say "This beats the band,
the way he handles the men is grand"

When I Shout, birds fly out, daisies fade,
I've a way that must be obeyed.
NCOs say I bite,
While recruits die of fright,
When the sergeant majors on parade.

Eyes as keen as sparrow hawk,
Or like a lobster on a stalk,
No nudge or wink or smile or talk,
escapes the sergeant major.

True I've got a fearful name,
And folks say it's a crying shame,
They'd like to kill or halt or maim,
"That fiend" the sergeant major,
But that's the proper army style,
and now and then they see me smile.
Chorus
Pick'em up! pick em up!
What the where, the who.
Pick'em up! pick em up!
Coal fatigue for you
Is that the way we won Waterloo?
Come along, come along
Jump to it my lad
If you don't you'll hear me call a spade a spade.
Party 'shun
The sergeant majors on parade.

 

Troy

LE
The “young soldier guarding the shop” is a depiction of Vesta Tilley, a very popular music hall performer, whose schtick was male impersonation - usually sailors or soldiers.
The TA didn’t exist as such until 1920. From inception in 1908 until 1920 it was known as the TF (. . . Force).

The song sheet appears to be late Victorian, and the subject would have been one of the Volunteer or Militia regiments which preceded the TF.
The “Dum Dum” box in the image might just date it to pre- 1899, as the first Hague Convention of that year attempted to prohibit the military use of expanding ammunition. This ammunition had been developed at Dum Dum in the mid/late 1890s as a means of increasing the wounding potential of .303 bullets, which many soldiers felt did not have the stopping power of the old Martini-Henry .577/.450 unjacketed round.

I did not know that “ Soldiers of the Queen” had originally been “The Manchester Canal March.” That’s very interesting, in context, as my great grandfather’s newspaper obit mentioned that he had been the standard bearer of a Volunteer company when Queen Victoria came to Manchester in 1894 to formally open the Ship Canal.
Indeed.

(Neo)Victorian Impersonations: Vesta Tilley and Tipping the Velvet​

Abstract: This paper examines the multi-layered adaptation and (re)presentation of the male impersonator on the Victorian music hall stage. It focuses specifically on the act of performing the performance of gender, the sexual titillation that ensues from such an act and how the format of delivery can impact audience reactions towards the cross-dresser. Particular attention is paid to the comparison between the male impersonation as performed by one of the most famous of Victorian and Edwardian male impersonators, Vesta Tilley (1864-1952), and the neo-Victorian (re)negotiations of the male impersonator as depicted in Sarah Waters's Tipping the Velvet (1998) and the subsequent BBC adaptation of Waters's novel which aired in 2002.

I recorded this to disc and re-watch it from time to time. Nice story.
 
Morning @CaptainRidiculous,
Meet Aloo Doolally...View attachment 632915
...He's a street dog by the dhaba I drink in. He didn't have a name so I christened him Aloo(potato), he's bonkers, hence the 2nd name.
I bought him a dog bowl and feed him, when I'm there(every fckn night), and hung this on the wall of the dhaba.
View attachment 632923
Now the locals call him Aloo and know what doolaly(Deolali) means:).
I say, does yon Aloo have a partially-crippled relative at King George Docks, Mumbai ... who I used to feed when I was there embarking India 1-5GR & 8JAK L.Inf for UNMIS onto m/vs Viktor Talalikhin and Ulusoy?
Mumbai - Big Night out.JPG

Mumbai's King George Docks broken-back guard/pi-dog ... some random contractor who fed him.

PC090077.JPG

PC090078.JPG

PC090085.JPG

It's not the loading and storage ... inasmuch as the trailer contents, and [not quite IMDG] Separation compliance!

And may I hazard a guess that your Dhaba dispenses "The Ancient Cleric", as well as Toddy?
Old Monk - Armed Forces Use only.JPG
 

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