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
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
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.'
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.'
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.
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.'
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
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:
'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.
'Not, for Joe' &c.