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198 A CENTURY OF BALLADS
to be followed by work for Molloy and Stephen Adams ; and none of my musical friends will be surprised when I speak of those three as my first, dearest and best in my world of music.
' 'Working for Molloy meant collaboration in the fullest sense, and it was by that collaboration that I learnt my trade. True I wrote the words and he the music, but in most of our work discussion and suggestions always, or almost always, preceded completion.
"I wish there was more of this as far as artistic success is concerned, though of course it took time, and now, after years of practice, discussion is not so necessary. I finish a song, and as I finish it it is set—or rejected as unfit.
"The first song of mine to attract any attention was 'When we are old and grey,' set by Miss Dolby, Madame Sainton as she then was, and from that followed a large number of domestic songs culminating in 'Auntie' (Behrend) and ' Darby and Joan ' (Molloy).
"But times change and I have changed with the times, for I have learnt how tastes change also. No more songs of beggar children going to heaven on triplets—no more golden gates. As dear Sterling said to me, ' You've taken them to heaven so often, you must find another place for them !' And now the poor have become so