Take Me Back to Dear Old Blighty

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"Take Me Back to Dear Old Blighty"
Song by Florrie Forde
Published 1916
Writer Arthur J. Mills, Fred Godfrey and Bennett Scott

"Take Me Back to Dear Old Blighty" is a music hall song written by Arthur J. Mills, Fred Godfrey and Bennett Scott in 1916. It was popular during the First World War and tells a story of three fictional soldiers on the Western Front suffering from homesickness and their longing to return to "Blighty" - a slang term for Britain.

Composition[edit]

Fred Godfrey wrote the song with Bennett Scott and A.J. Mills after passing a music hall in Oxford where a show called Blighty was showing. He recounts: "One of us suddenly said “What an idea for a song!” Four hours later it was all finished, and the whole country was singing it soon afterwards. I got — not very much."[1]

The chorus lyric "Take me back to dear old Blighty/Put me on a train to London town" was included in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations.

Recordings[edit]

Recordings by Florrie Forde and Ella Retford are the most commonly heard versions, though Dorothy Ward first sang it. British blues singer Kevin Coyne also released a version on his 1978 LP Dynamite Daze.

Use in other media[edit]

Noël Coward used the song for his 1931 stage production Cavalcade, about British life in the first two decades of the twentieth century and in the 1944 film This Happy Breed. It was also used in the Errol Flynn film Let’s Make Up in 1956. A recording of the song by Cicely Courtneidge from the 1962 film The L-Shaped Room was sampled at the beginning of the title track of The Queen Is Dead by The Smiths.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "He wrote the songs Britain sang". The Bulletin. 23 February 1953. Retrieved 22 April 2011.