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Arthur Lloyd's song 'Not For Joseph'

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Arthur Lloyd's 'Not For Joseph'. - kindly donated by John Moffatt.Arthur Lloyd began his Music Hall career at the Minerva Hall in Glasgow in October 1856 and rapidly became a hit with the City's public. Before long he had wowed the rest of the Provinces too. By 1862 he had broken into the Music Hall scene in London, and by 1867 he had written what would become his most celebrated song.

Right - Arthur Lloyd's 'Not For Joseph' - Kindly donated by John Moffatt.

Another version of 'Not For Joseph.'The song was inspired by a bus journey that Arthur took from Holborn.

Left - Another version of 'Not For Joseph.'

In his own words Arthur said, "On a very wet night I jumped into a bus at Holborn. The conductor was standing on his perch, talking over the top of the bus to the driver. Every now and then, in answer to some remark of the latter, I heard the conductor reply, ‘Not me, not for Joe.’ This caught my fancy and before I left the bus I had the chorus and melody complete.”

Another version of 'Not For Joseph.'The song was called 'Not For Joseph' and it would go on to sell an unprecedented number of copies and make Arthur Lloyd a household name both here and abroad.

Right - Another version of 'Not For Joseph.'

The 'Not for Joseph Galop.'In Harold Scott's 1947 book 'The Early Doors' he wrote about the song saying, 'It was based on a study of an individual character, that of a bus driver named Baxter (the full name is given in the first line of the song), a man who was in the habit of referring genially to himself in the third person.

Left - The 'Not for Joseph Galop.'

The 'Not for Joseph quadrille'.The idea was one in complete harmony with the music hall of the time, based as it was on a piece of familiar observation. The raciness of the subject and the richness of Lloyd's power of character impersonation render its success understandable.' Harold Scott.

Right - The 'Not for Joseph quadrille'.

'Not For Joseph' was so popular that the song sheet sold tens of thousands of copies and was imitated by numerous other Music Hall artistes of the period, some of which Arthur allowed, but many others without his permission, and on both sides of the Atlantic.

Johnny Mack's version of 'Not For Joseph'.Indeed Arthur regularly posted notices in the ERA informing people that this song and others he had made popular were his work and were not to be used without his permission.

Left - Johnny Mack's version of 'Not For Joseph'.

Troubled by people relentlessly copying his work for years afterwards, one notice of January the 9th 1873 said: 'No Comic or Serio-Comic Vocalist in London will be permitted to use Mr. A. Lloyd's Words of Melodies during his Engagements in Town. No parodies permitted. Mr A. Lloyd writes and composes for anybody who likes to pay for original ideas.'

Arthur Lloyd's 'Not For Joseph, a song sheet from the New York based 'Hitchcock's Half Dime' Series Arthur wrote and performed many hundreds of songs during his career and many of them would become extremely popular, such as 'Song of Songs', 'One more polka' , 'Immensikoff' , 'Constantinople' , 'One more polka' , and 'Married to a Mermaid' , but 'Not for Joseph' would be the most successful song he ever composed.

Right - Arthur Lloyd's 'Not For Joseph, a song sheet from the New York based 'Hitchcock's Half Dime' Series of 'Music For The Millions' - Click to see the whole Song Sheet.

Joseph Baxter is my name,
My friends all call me Joe -
I'm up, you know to ev'ry game,
And ev'rything I know;
Ah! I once was green as green could.be,
I suffer'd for it though:
Now, if they try it on with me,
I tell them 'Not for Joe:

Chorus.
'Not for Joe, 'Not for Joe',
If he knows it 'Not for Joseph',
No, no, no, 'Not for Joe',
'Not for Joseph, oh,dear no.

I used to throw my cash about,
In a reckless sort of way;
I'm careful now what I'm about,
And cautious how I pay:
Now the other night I asked a pal,
With me to have a drain,
'Thanks Joe' said he, 'lets see old pal'
'I think I'll have Champagne:'
Spoken. (Will ye, said I, oh, no,-)
`Not for Joe', &c.

There's a fellow call'd Jack Bannister,
He's a sort of chap is Jack,-
Who is always money borrowing,
And never pays ye back;
Now last Thursday night he came to me,
Said he'd just returned to town;
And, was rather short of cash,
Could I lend him half-a-crown.
Well. said I, if I thought I should get it back again I would with pleasure - but excuse me if say, - 'Not for Joe.'

A friend of mine down in Pall Mall,
The other night said, `Joe',
I'll introduce you to a gal,
You really ought to know;
She's a widow you should try and win,
'Twould a good match be for you -
She's pretty and got lots of tin,
And only forty-two.

(Fancy forty-two, old enough to be my grandmother, and you know a fella can't marry his grandmother, lots of tin though, and pretty, forty-two, No) 'Not for Joe,' &c.

I think you've had enough of Joe,
And go I really must:
I thank you for your kindness though,
And only hope and trust —
That-the favour you have shown so long,
I always may retain:
Perhaps now if you like my song,
You'll wish I'll sing again.

(But, — )
'Not, for Joe' &c.

 

 

 

 

Arthur Lloyd's 'Not for Joseph' and its Beethoven Connection

A short obituary for Arthur Lloyd, printed in the Playgoer of 1904, mentions how the reporter thought the melody for Not for Joseph actually came from one of Beethoven's works. I have included the obituary here and a video of Beethoven's work being played and it does indeed appear to be similar in parts. The obituary says:-

"Death has been very busy in theatrical and music-hall circles alike. The last of the "Lion Comiques," Mr. Arthur Lloyd, passed away at Edinburgh, the city of his birth, Sydney Smith's joke that it required a surgical operation to get a joke into a Scotchman's head did not hold good in the case of Arthur Lloyd, who overflowed with drollery that was appreciated by all classes - even by Royalty. If I could spare space to enumerate Mr. Lloyd's comic songs I should have to mention some of the most popular of modern ditties. They were taken from all sources, and I remember "Not for Joseph" as the principle theme in Beethoven's famous trio, op. 97, for piano, violin, and violoncello. It was singular how well the melody of the great German composer fitted the irresponsible verses of the music-hall song.

 

Above - Beethoven's Piano Trio op.97 archduke - 1st movement. The opening concert - felcino bianco festival and summer masterclasses 2009. Povilas stravinsky - piano. Elvira bekova- violin, alfia bekova (nakipbekova) - cello.

'Not for Joseph' Sung by Alfred Lee

Another rendition of Arthur Lloyd's song 'Not For Joseph'. This time sung by Alfred Lee

Above - Another rendition of Arthur Lloyd's song 'Not For Joseph'. This time sung by Alfred Lee, probably without permission. The song sheet even proclaims 'Arranged and partly composed by Alfred Lee, Sung every where by every body.'

 

A 'Not for Joseph' Pin

The Stick-pin held by the British Museum in London, with the words 'Not For Joseph' enameled on the side. - Photograph reproduced with the kind permission of Judy Rudoe, curator responsible for post-Renaissance jewellery at the British Museum. More information on the stick-pin can be found on the British Museum's own website here. An interesting find relating to Arthur Lloyd's song 'Not For Joseph' came to light recently when Judy Rudoe, the curator responsible for post-Renaissance jewellery at the British Museum, contacted me to say that the Museum held a small gold stick-pin with a mouse evading a mousetrap at the top, and enameled on the side were the words, 'Not For Joseph'.

After careful research Judy has told me that the words on the pin, and indeed the mouse evading the mousetrap, most likely refer to Arthur Lloyd's song 'Not For Joseph', both of which are from the same period.

A new book published by The British Museum Press called 'Jewellery in the Age of Queen Victoria - A Mirror to the World' by Charlotte Gere and Judy Rudoe will be published in June 2010. With 552 pages and 511 illustrations, mostly in colour, the book has a chapter in it called 'The Cult Of Novelty', in which the stick-pin and details of Arthur Lloyd's song 'Not For Joseph' appear.

Right - The Stick-pin held by the British Museum in London, with the words 'Not For Joseph' enameled on the side. - Photograph reproduced with the kind permission of the British Museum. More information on the stick-pin can be found on the British Museum's own website here.

 

Arthur Lloyd's song sheet for 'Not For Joseph'

Arthur Lloyd's song 'Not For Joseph' - kindly donated by John Moffatt.

 

Arthur Lloyd's song 'Not For Joseph'

 

Arthur Lloyd's song 'Not For Joseph'

 

Arthur Lloyd's song 'Not For Joseph'

 

Arthur Lloyd's song 'Not For Joseph'

 

 

Arthur Lloyd's song 'Not For Joseph'

 

Arthur Lloyd's song 'Not For Joseph'

Above - The complete Song Sheet for Arthur Lloyd's 'Not For Joseph' - Kindly donated by John Moffatt.