Okay Billy, Malcolm's blown your cover.
We should get together sometime and put together a presentation on the Clifton and Cowell/Robson stuff for TSF. I've already done one on the burlesques, but I'd love to do one on the music hall stuff at one of the London meetings, nothing too heavy. Distance might prove a problem, me in Hull and you in Kent.
We probably have a pretty representative coverage of Clifton sheets between us. Have you got a copy of Harry Clifton's Death? I've got it on a broadside but haven't seen sheet music if it exists.
One thing that puzzles me is why were there several similar but different portraits on different issues of the sheets. I have several copies of such as 'Paddle your own canoe/Polly Perkins' with slightly different sketches on.
Another thing that amused me about his songs is I think 'Rattling Old Black Mare' is a parody of his 'My Old Wife and I' It actually says in the chorus of ROBM 'It's not my wife upon my life but my rattling old black mare. (That he now loves) Did he fall out with his wife at some point? He also had a song 'My Mother-in-law!
He seems to have incorporated the names of the main towns he sang in. Our local one is 'Faithless Maria or The Land of Green Ginger'