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Quiz about Music Hall Songs
Quiz about Music Hall Songs

Music Hall Songs Trivia Quiz

One of the historical music genres I love is Music Hall songs. They're funny, sentimental, loving, romantic, always entertaining and are often revived in later years. Here are ten of them for you. Pleasant memories.

A multiple-choice quiz by Creedy. Estimated time: 3 mins.
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3 mins
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
Dec 03 21
# Qns
Avg Score
8 / 10
Top 10% Quiz
Last 3 plays: Guest 103 (8/10), GLQuizmistress (8/10), Guest 88 (0/10).
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. Which song relates the tale of an old man who, many years previously at a function, saw his lover kissing another man, and wouldn't let her explain? Hint

During the Tango
Following the Waltz
After the Ball
At the Soiree

2. Does "Any Old Iron" refer to an old fob watch in that 1911 Music Hall song?


3. "The Boy I Love Is Up in the ..." Where? Hint

Hot Air Balloon

4. Revived by Herman's Hermits in the 1960s, what was the number of the much married 'Enery? Hint


5. This poor music hall girl was sad because Daddy wouldn't buy her which pet? Hint

Bow Wow

6. Why couldn't the singer's boyfriend meet her for her wedding in the song "Waitin' at the Church"? Hint

His wife wouldn't let him
He joined the army
He was killed by a horse
He went to sea

7. From whence did Burlington Bertie spring? Hint


8. Which kind of bicycle did Daisy get around on? Hint

A bicycle built for two
A Malvern Star
A three wheeler
A Roadster

9. Where was it a "Long, Long Way" to in 1912? Hint


10. How old was the girl in the song "When You Were Sweet ..."? Hint


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Most Recent Scores
Sep 16 2023 : Guest 103: 8/10
Sep 13 2023 : GLQuizmistress: 8/10
Jul 30 2023 : Guest 88: 0/10

Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Which song relates the tale of an old man who, many years previously at a function, saw his lover kissing another man, and wouldn't let her explain?

Answer: After the Ball

"After the Ball" was written in 1891 by Charles Harris for a production of a minstrel show during the music hall era. Following its success, it sold an astonishing two million copies of the sheet music by the following year. This lovely old number relates the story of an old man telling his niece why he never married. Many years ago he had been at a ball and spied his sweetheart kissing another man. When she tried to explain why this was so, he wouldn't listen to her, and broke off their relationship. He never married, but years later when he was an old man, he found out that his sweetheart had died. Then, to his deep regret and sorrow, he subsequently found out that the man she had kissed at the ball had been her brother.

This song has been revived several times since it was first introduced. Perhaps the most well known version of this can be seen in the 1951 musical "Show Boat" in which it is performed beautifully by the film's star, actress and coloratura soprano, Kathryn Grayson, in her role as the lead singer on a show boat on the Mississippi river.
2. Does "Any Old Iron" refer to an old fob watch in that 1911 Music Hall song?

Answer: Yes

"Any Old Iron" is a bright and lively music hall song that was written by Collins, Terry and Shepherd in 1911 for Cockney singer and comedian Harry Champion, who made a popular recording of it in the same year. It tells of a man down and out on his luck who is left a fob watch and chain by a recently deceased uncle in his will. He wears it from then on whenever he goes out because it makes him feel like a real swell, even though people make fun of him in his unaccustomed finery. The chorus they sing goes as follows:

"Any old iron? Any old iron?
Any, any, any old iron?
You look neat. Talk about a treat!
You look so dapper from your napper to your feet.
Dressed in style, brand-new tile,
And your father's old green tie on.
But I wouldn't give you tuppence for your old watch and chain,
Old iron, old iron."
3. "The Boy I Love Is Up in the ..." Where?

Answer: Gallery

"The Boy I Love Is Up in the Gallery" is a song that was written in 1885 by George Ware for a music hall singer named Nelly Power (1854-1887), but it would be a later music hall entertainer, Marie Lloyd (1870-1922), who made this number very famous. It's usually performed on stage with the singer pointing up, and singing to her imaginary lover in the cheaper seats up in the gallery. This song has been dusted off and performed by various artistes ever since, a few of which include a famous version that appeared in the 1940 film "Gaslight", and a biographical movie in 1969 of Barbara Windsor portraying Marie Lloyd singing the song, and even a 1977 comical version sung by Miss Piggy on "The Muppet Show".

The latest portrayal of this loved old number can be seen in the 2018 film "The Happy Prince", where Rupert Everett, in his role as Oscar Wilde, gives us the song once more. One of its most outstanding renditions, however, was in the 1954 stage musical "The Boyfriend", which is set in a concert hall in the roaring twenties. That musical itself has been performed by other musical groups, professional or amateur, ever since, and is still going strong well into the 21st century. The 1971 film version of same starred Twiggy in the leading role of Polly Browne.
4. Revived by Herman's Hermits in the 1960s, what was the number of the much married 'Enery?

Answer: Eighth

"I'm Henery the Eighth, I am" was written in 1910 by Fred Murray and R.P. Weston. With "Hennery" being pronounced "Enery" in typical Cockney fashion throughout, this was one of the hit songs most readily identified with music hall star Harry Campion. Campion recorded several versions of this number, but in later versions he made, he changed the name "Willie" in the song to "William" after he found out that "Willie" was a slang term for the male appendage. (And the ladies in their feathered hats swooned)

British entertainer, Joe Brown, recorded an immensely popular version of "I'm Henery the Eighth, I am" in 1961, as did Herman's Hermits later in the same decade. Here is the famous chorus, Willie and all, for your edification:

"I'm 'Enery the Eighth, I am,
'Enery the Eighth I am, I am!
I got married to the widow next door,
She's been married seven times before
And every one was an 'Enery
She wouldn't have a Willie nor a Sam
I'm her eighth old man named 'Enery
'Enery the Eighth, I am!"
5. This poor music hall girl was sad because Daddy wouldn't buy her which pet?

Answer: Bow Wow

"Daddy Wouldn't Buy Me a Bow Wow" was a music hall song written in 1892 by Joseph Tabrar for the British singer and comedian Vesta Victoria. She made this song particularly famous because of the dead pan expression she wore while delivering it - as well as the fact that she also held a kitten in her arms as part of the act. It was a huge hit both in England, and later when she toured the United States with the number featured in her show.

This song has appeared in several comedic movies since its release, including a brief rendition by Helen Mirren and Peter Sellers in the 1980 "The Fiendish Plot of Dr Fu Manchu". It's also been immortalised in an episode of the famous "Doctor Who" television series, and in the 1983 production of "Reilly, Ace of Spies", where one of Reilly's mistresses performs a strip tease to it of all things. Talk about your bow-wow-wow.
6. Why couldn't the singer's boyfriend meet her for her wedding in the song "Waitin' at the Church"?

Answer: His wife wouldn't let him

"Waitin' at the Church" was written by Fred Leigh and Henry in 1906 for music hall star, Vesta Victoria. It was another of her famous hit songs, and tells the story of a girl who has given all her money to her boyfriend, Obadiah Binks, to buy a house and then to meet her at the church to get married - only to find out he already has a wife. The cad! Boooooo, Hisssss! (I once sang this comical number in a music hall revival show when I was eight months pregnant. My stomach and I had great fun).

Another amusing thing about this song was that it first returned in a silent movie, with the actress miming the words. That's some revival. Several other silent movies of the time also featured this number. "Waiting at the Church" did make it into sound films, however, including the 1941 comedy "I Thank You", the 1943 drama "Millions Like Us", and the 1948 "Here Comes the Huggetts". Miss Piggy and Julie Andrews have also covered it at various times since then as well. Here's a taste of its lyrics:

"There was I, waitin' at the church
Waitin' at the church, waitin' at the church
When I found 'e'd left me in the lurch
Lor', 'ow it did upset me, (rather)
All at once, 'e sent around a note
'ere's the very note, this is wot 'e wrote:
"Can't get away to marry you today -
My wife won't let me!"
7. From whence did Burlington Bertie spring?

Answer: Bow

"Burlington Bertie from Bow" was originally written in 1900, but known then only as "Burlington Bertie". It would be the later parody which told of the same Bertie from Bow that became particularly well known, when it was written and released in 1917 by William Hargreaves. His wife, Ella Shields, made it popular everywhere she performed it. Dressed in the male attire of a once wealthy, but now down at heel gent, and wearing a top hat, she hammed it up beautifully.

Two of the follow up revivals of this song saw it appearing in Award winning movies many years later. These were the 1947 "Mother Wore Tights", starring Betty Grable and Dan Dailey, and the 1968 "Star!" with Julie Andrews. Both film were based around stories of vaudeville performers, which allowed the actors to give full rein to their renditions of this great old number.
8. Which kind of bicycle did Daisy get around on?

Answer: A bicycle built for two

"Daisy Bell" known more popularly as just "Daisy", was written in 1892 by Harry Dacre, well over a century ago, but still you'll hear this song sung in various spots today where groups of people have little get togethers and sing-alongs. The story behind this song's creation is interesting. When Dacre moved to the United States at one time, he took his bicycle with him and was promptly charged an import duty on it. One of his friends consoled the indignant Harry with "Well, it's just as interesting it wasn't a bicycle built for two, or you would have been charged double" - and that gave Harry an idea. He rewrote the words to an already existing song called "Daisy Bell" - and it subsequently became a world wide hit. One other belief associated with this song is that the "Daisy" featured in it was named after one of the naughty Edward VII's mistresses. There were quite a few of those!

A very interesting revival of this song took place in 1961 at Bell Labs in New Jersey when it became the first speech synthesis output of the IBM 704 computer. From that time, it was also used in other technical and scientific sound experiments. Then again, the song can be heard in the 1968 film "2001: A Space Odyssey" as the villainous computer HAL is dying down. Daisy Greville, the Countess of Warwick and mistress of Edward VII certainly got around on that bicycle built for two.
9. Where was it a "Long, Long Way" to in 1912?

Answer: Tipperary

This British Music Hall song was written by Harry Williams and Jack Judge in 1912, theoretically for a five bob bet, and performed the next night. Published before the First World War, it became immensely popular during that sorrowful time and has forever since been dubbed a war song. It tells the light-hearted tale of an Irishman visiting London where all the streets appeared to be paved with gold and everybody was happy, but in spite of everything he finds there, he declares that even though it's a long way to Tipperary in Ireland, the sweetest girl in the world lives there, and that is where his heart belong. Originally called "It's a Long, Long Way to Tipperary" (one of the lines in the song) the extra "Long" was dropped from the title when the song went to print. This bright and happy number with its rhythm perfectly suited for marching became popular with troops everywhere during the war and after, and achieved worldwide popularity after it was recorded by the fine Irish tenor, John McCormack.

The enduring popularity of "It's a Long Way to Tipperary" has seen it appearing in several movies over the years that followed its release. Just three of these include "For Me and My Gal" (1942) and "On Moonlight Bay" (1951) and "Darling Lili" (1970). It's also been revived in assorted television shows, in documentaries and even in "Snoopy" cartoons. More than anywhere else perhaps is its ongoing re-introduction in old music hall revivals and sing-alongs right into the 21st century, more than 100 years after it was first written.

If this song was ever sung in concerts when I was at school, and in spite of getting into trouble for it, the boys always shouted out "It's a Long, Long Way to Tickle Mary" with great gusto.
10. How old was the girl in the song "When You Were Sweet ..."?

Answer: Sixteen

I really, REALLY Love this old song. It was written in 1898 by James Thornton one night after his wife wistfully asked him if he still loved her. His ever so wise and loving reply was "I love you like I did when you were sweet sixteen" - and this exquisite old song that can brings tears to the eyes was given birth.

It sold over one million copies of sheet music when first published and has been sung by countless artists over the years ever since. These include renditions by Al Jolson (1947), the Mills Brothers (1950), the Ink Spots (1959), Etta Jones (1975), Glen Campbell (1985), Barry Manilow (2010), and Daniel O'Donnell (2011). With a melody that is haunting and sweet, that soars up to a truly magnificent crescendo, a fine tenor's rendition of this song can make the listener cry because of all the feelings it evokes in the heart, but it lends itself just as easily to a trained soprano to tug at the heart strings. James Thornton's wife, Bonnie, made this song her own when she performed this tribute to love with remarkable success on many occasions.

Just to finish off a quiz I've thoroughly enjoyed writing, may I conclude with the last verse and chorus of this beautiful old song?

"Last night I dreamed I held your hand in mine
And once again you were my bonny bride
I kissed you as I did in Auld Lang Syne
As to the church we wandered side by side

I love you as I've never loved before
Since first I saw you on the village green
Come to me ere my dream of love is o'er
I love you as I loved you
When you were sweet (a soaring exquisite note)
When you were sweet sixteen" (fading away to memories of long ago)
Source: Author Creedy

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