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278 A CENTURY OF BALLADS
"The song would have a very large sale with us were it not for the fact that many singers complain that they cannot sing the above at our local 'chapel teas ' ! " Perhaps the fact that the word was printed "devil" had something to do with it, for between "devil " and "divil " there is a great gulf fixed, I don't know why. In a like way the sales of "The Corporal's Ditty" are said to have been affected by the inclusion, not of the "too-frequent damn," because it only occurred once, but by the circumstance that it occurred at all.
While on the subject of these humorous ballads two other examples of the kind which have had a considerable success may just be noted, "Young Tom O'Devon," by Kennedy Russell, sung by Charles Tree, who is also associated with Hermann Lohr's " Dumbledum Day"; and "Stone-cracker John," by Eric Coates, sung by Harry Dearth. It may be noted by way of contrast that the last-named composer is responsible for some delightful settings of Shakespeare songs, which were produced by the late Mrs. Henry Wood at the promenade concerts last year.
Another popular ballad of this type is "The Drum Major," by Ernest Newton. Newton is well known as the composer of two of the most popular songs of their day, "Ailsa Mine," which