Songs and Verse by Sax Rohmer

Latest version: 10 October 2005

"Aboo Tabah.  A Turkish Episode.  The Whistling Sergeant of the Pasha's Guard."   By Sax Rohmer & T. W. Thurban.  London: Charles Sheard & Co., Anglo-American Music Publishers, 1909   (sheet music).

"Any Other Day Will Do."  By Sax Rohmer and Rosie Noel.  The Weekly Dispatch, 12 June 1909.   Sung by Marie Lorenzi.

"Bang Went the Chance of a Lifetime."   News of the World, 27 September 1908 (lyrics);  London: Francis, Day & Hunter, 1908   (sheet music).  Sung by George Robey.

This song sung by  Larry Barnes is included on the LP "EAMONN JONES PRESENTS AN EVENING WITH THE BEE & BUSTLE MUSIC HALL."

"The Camels' Parade.  A Desert Arabesque." By Sax Rohmer & T. W. Thurban.   London: Ascherberg, Hopwood & Crew, Ltd., 1910.    Partial reprint in The "Strand" Musical Portfolio of Copyright Songs & Music, No. 8.   Geo. Newnes Ltd., 1910(?).

"Charles II."   Several lines quoted by Rohmer in an interview, "The Doctor's Blade," in the Talk of the Town column, The New Yorker, 29 November 1947.   Comic song written for George Robey.

"Cold As Snow."   Written for the BBC radio adaptation of White Velvet, 29 April - 1 July, 1940.

"The Fenman"  (A Ballad of the Lowlands).   Perhaps written as a song lyric.

"Ferdinand of Finchley."   London: Francis, Day & Hunter, 19??.  (sheet music).

"It's a Lie."   News of the World, 28 March 1909 (lyrics); Francis, Day & Hunter, 19??.    (sheet music).   Sung by George Robey.

From the collection of Lawrence Knapp

"Kelly's Gone to Kingdom Come."   Charles Sheard & Co, 1910.   Music by T. W.Thurban.   Written for Lew Fields' stage review, "The Midnight Sons," in which it was sung by Maud Lambert. 

The song was a response to an earlier (and still popular) song about a missing soldier, "Has Anybody Here Seen Kelly?"  by C.W. Murphy, Will Letters, and William J. McKenna.

The song is mentioned by James Joyce in Ulysses:  "Yes, by Jove, Mr Dedalus said. That will be worth seeing, faith. As they turned into Berkeley street a streetorgan near the Basin sent over and after them a rollicking rattling song of the halls. Has anybody here seen Kelly? Kay ee double ell wy."

The song is also mentioned in Peter S. Beagle's The Last Unicorn:   "'They ride that horse you call the Macedonai,' he intoned absent-mindedly; and then, very clearly, 'Unicorn. Old French, unicorne. Latin, unicornis. Literally, one-horned: unus, one and cornu, a horn. A fabulous animal resembling a horse with one horn. Oh, I am a cook and a captain bold and the mate of the Nancy brig. Has anybody here seen Kelly?' He strutted joyously in the air, and the first fireflies blinked around him in wonder and grave doubt...."

"Mignon"  (The Lady's-Maid).   Words by Sax Rohmer, music by Alfred Glover. London: Price & Reynolds, 1911.   (sheet music). 

Included in Jokes, Jibes and Jingles by George Robey. London: Paxton, 1911.  Sung by George Robey.

From the collection of Lawrence Knapp

"Orange Blossom: A Chinese Tale." Musical Monologues: Recitations With Musical Accompaniments, No. 237.   Reynolds & Co., 62a, Berners Street, London, W.1. Price 2s, nett.   Performed by Bransby Williams.

From the collection of Lawrence Knapp

"The Pigtail of Li Fang Fu."  Musical Monologues, No. 199. London: Reynolds & Co., 1919. Transcription for piano arranged by T. W. Thurban.   Written for and performed by Bransby Williams.

"Quare tristis es, anima mea?"  Published anonymously.   Journal of the Great War   (edited by T. P. O'Connor), 1914.  Reprinted in many provincial and colonial newspapers.

"In 1942 Rohmer re-titled this poem 'From the Dead to the Living' and added an Author's Note.  This version failed to sell and remains unpublished." (R. E. Briney, e-mail, April 16, 1998)

"Shakespeare."    News of the World, June 1909.  Francis, Day & Hunter, 1909.   (sheet music).  

The News of the World Song Book, vol. 2, 1910.  
The Rohmer Review
#8, March 1972.

"Somebody's Got to Go Through It!"   Words by Sax Rohmer; music by Alfred Glover.  London: Price & Reynolds, 1911.   (sheet music). 

Included in Jokes, Jibes and Jingles by George Robey. London: Paxton, 1911.  Sung by George Robey.

"There's Always Time to Say 'How Do'."   By Sax Rohmer and Rosie Noel.    The Weekly Dispatch, 6 March 1910.  Sung by Charles Woodward.

"There is a Song My Heart will Always Sing" from the musical play "The nightingale, "lyrics by Michael Martin-Harvey & Sax Rohmer ; music by Kennedy Russell. London : Asherberg, Hopwood & Crew, c1947. 1 score ([5] p.) ; 28 cm. For voice and piano. Caption title. Pl. no. : A.H.& C. Ltd. 11942-3. "Lee Ephraim presents 'The nightingale'"--Cover.

"Twilight in Farmer Giles's Orchard."    Date unknown.  Written for Milly Lindon.

"Vain Regrets."  Words by Sax Rohmer; music by H. E. Pether.  London: Francis, Day & Hunter, 19??.   (sheet music).   Sung by Will Bentley.

"Well!  What About It?"   Written & composed by Sax Rohmer.  Arranged for piano by  Percy Ashdown.   The Weekly Dispatch, 8 January 1911.   Sung by George Robey.

Originally compiled by R. E. Briney

From Mrs. Elizabeth Sax Rohmer, Sussex England
The Rohmer Review, No. 9, August 1972

"A note on Sax's song-writing period: In those very early days I was busy keeping Sax and his father and myself alive on very little money, cooking and cleaning and getting Sax out of bed when he had been working all night. I wasn't too interested in what he was writing, so long as we sold it! I remember submitting twelve comic songs to a newspaper called The Sunday Dispatch. These terrible songs (with music by the author) were first turned down by various concert artists in those days, and so were quite useless. But I had what I thought was a brain-wave. We had sold one or two songs previously to the paper (and incidentally, I was the culprit who helped to pick the tunes out on a piano -- a red-nosed drunken musician we knew made the arrangements for five shillings each). I said, "Why don't we send in this bunch of twelve wash-outs and see if the editor will buy them at half price?" (The price was originally 1/10- each.) Sax as usual was not interested in business deals, and he just laughed and said, "He won't buy them." However, I sent them. They all came back on the mat! But I really did think that the editor was mad not to grasp this opportunity, so I sent them all back again with a letter pointing out that nobody who bothered to play those songs in newspapers knew anything about music, and he could be saving himself twelve weeks of bother. To Sax's amazement a cheque came back two days later for the lot. I think I bought a turkey for dinner!"

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Copyright 1999-2005 Lawrence Knapp & R. E. Briney. All rights reserved.

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