Sleepy Seas

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Performed 1929 Hoyts Regent

"Sleepy Seas" was a hit song which was first published 1920 by Private Reginald Stoneham while he managed the Melola Salon music store.[1] It was an instant popular success with dance halls.[2] The following year sales expanded to other music publishers.[3] This vocal waltz was used to accompany silent movies, in the era before talkies.[4][5]

Australian audiences found the song lifted their spirits in times of crisis[6] and "Sleepy Seas" achieved astonishing sales.[7] By 1928 it was universally known across Australia[8][9][10] and enjoyed some global success.[11] The song was frequently revived in musical theatre and variety entertainment, more than ten years after publication.[12][13] The romantic overtones perhaps reflected gender relations in War-time Australia.[14] It was sometimes performed in Islander style with ukulele and grass skirt.[15][16]

Fortunately, the song escaped the scandals of producer Jack De Garis.[17] Stoneham founded his own music publishing business and sold copies alongside those of fellow Australian composers.

Australia sighed with relief in 1950, as a copy of the music became the singular clue that solved a murder investigation.[18]

The song was erroneously attributed to famous Australian pop successor Jack O'Hagan.[19] Indeed some felt the song was an emblem of Australia.[20][21][22]

Recordings[edit]

  • 1924 Kenneth Walters in ragtime style[23]
  • 1927 Metro-Gnomes Dance Orchestra Zonophone Record ‎– 3642
  • 1935 Johhny Wade in South Sea Islander style - 78 rpm recording audio online preserved at Australian National Film and Sound archive title number 156344
  • 1946 the 2FC radio dance orchestra (arranged by Harold Arlen)[24]

Arrangements[edit]

Alan Rattray's Australian silent movie orchestra
  • Big Band Swing style[25]
  • Brass Band[26]
  • Jazz Sextet[27]
  • Violin trio[28]
  • Symphony orchestra[29]
  • Piano, Accordion and violin trio[30]
  • Piano, cello, violin trio[31]

Performances[edit]

  • 1921 Geelong Victoria[2]
  • 1921 Haymarket Cinema, NSW[32]
  • 1922 Albany, Western Australia[33]
  • 1922 Majestic Theatre, Adelaide[34]
  • 1922 Grafton, NSW[35]
  • 1922 Sydney, NSW[5]
  • 1922 Perth Western Australia[36]
  • 1922 Forbes, NSW[37]
  • 1922 Brisbane, Qld[38][39]
  • 1922 McKay, Queensland[40]
  • 1923 Camperdown, NSW[41]
  • 1923 Launceston in community singing[42]
  • 1923 Adelaide, South Australia[4][26]
  • 1923 Cairns, North Qld[43]
  • 1923 Perth Wester Australia[31]
  • 1924 Tingha, Northern NSW[28]
  • 1924 Sydney, NSW[14]
  • 1924 York, Western Australia[44]
  • 1926 Rockhampton, Queensland[6]
  • 1926 Ireland[45][46]
  • 1926 Tasmania[47]
  • 1927 Perth, Western Australia[48]
  • 1929 Hoyts Regent, Melbourne[13][49]
  • 1930 Cairns, Qld[50]
  • 1932 Broken Hill, NSW[12]
  • 1932Mount Gambier, South Australia[51]
  • 1934 Lithgow, NSW[16]
  • 1942 Kempsey NSW with accordion trio and ballet[30]
  • 1953 Fairfield, NSW[15]
  • 1993 Canberra, ACT[52]
  • 1946 Armidale New South Wales[25]
  • 1946 Bowen, North Queensland[53]
  • 1945 Lithgow, NSW[54]
  • 1951 Dubbo, NSW[55]

Lyrics[edit]

While the wind sang a melody tender,
as it sways through the palms by the shore,
there she drooped in my arms,
with her smiles and her charms
that I'll worship forever more.

Her lips are like the heart of a rose bud,
and their sweetness is waiting for me.
Though now far away
I'll go back some day,
To a bride who waits beside,
the sleepy sea.[56]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Advertising". The Herald (14, 149). Victoria, Australia. 20 July 1921. p. 10. Retrieved 11 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  2. ^ a b "Palais de Danse". Geelong Advertiser (23, 112). Victoria, Australia. 22 June 1921. p. 4. Retrieved 11 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  3. ^ "The Communist Experiment". Tweed Daily. IX (3). New South Wales, Australia. 4 January 1922. p. 4. Retrieved 11 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  4. ^ a b "'Pay Day' at West's". The Register (Adelaide). LXXXVIII (25, 800). South Australia. 5 September 1923. p. 12. Retrieved 11 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  5. ^ a b "Jackie Coogan Stars as My Boy". Sunday Times (1907). New South Wales, Australia. 13 August 1922. p. 3. Retrieved 11 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  6. ^ a b "'Sleepy Seas'". The Daily Mail (7600). Queensland, Australia. 9 July 1926. p. 7. Retrieved 11 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  7. ^ "Rollicking Marching Song". The Advertiser. South Australia. 26 July 1932. p. 9. Retrieved 11 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  8. ^ "Come to Tasmania". The Examiner. LXXXVI (199). Tasmania, Australia. 22 August 1928. p. 11 (DAILY). Retrieved 11 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  9. ^ "What of Australian Composers?". The Sydney Morning Herald (31, 718). New South Wales, Australia. 28 August 1939. p. 7 (Women's Supplement). Retrieved 12 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  10. ^ "Through Smiths Private Projector". Smith's Weekly. XIII (51). New South Wales, Australia. 30 January 1932. p. 8. Retrieved 12 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  11. ^ "A Woman's Letter from London". Sunday Times (Perth) (1465). Western Australia. 7 February 1926. p. 12 (Second Section). Retrieved 11 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  12. ^ a b "Black Cat Revue Company". Barrier Miner. XLV (13, 354). New South Wales, Australia. 24 March 1932. p. 1. Retrieved 11 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  13. ^ a b "Hoyts Regent Theatre". The Age (23, 279). Victoria, Australia. 16 November 1929. p. 28. Retrieved 11 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  14. ^ a b "Laughter and Tears". Smith's Weekly. VI (29). New South Wales, Australia. 6 September 1924. p. 19. Retrieved 14 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  15. ^ a b "Pensioners' Dinner". The Biz. New South Wales, Australia. 15 January 1953. p. 10. Retrieved 11 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  16. ^ a b "Concert and Sketches". Lithgow Mercury. New South Wales, Australia. 2 November 1934. p. 7. Retrieved 12 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  17. ^ "Kendenup Estate". The Advocate (Australia). Tasmania, Australia. 12 January 1922. p. 6. Retrieved 11 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  18. ^ "Half a burnt rosary head and a piece of sheet music helped solve this bridal night murder". The Mail. 40 (2, 003). South Australia. 21 October 1950. p. 17 (SUNDAY MAGAZINE). Retrieved 12 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  19. ^ "Notes from the Stations". The Register (Adelaide). XCIII (27, 062). South Australia. 10 May 1928. p. 12. Retrieved 11 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  20. ^ "Letters To the Editor". The Age (26102). Victoria, Australia. 14 December 1938. p. 12. Retrieved 12 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  21. ^ "Beside the Sleepy Sea". The Herald (17, 670). Victoria, Australia. 2 January 1934. p. 10. Retrieved 12 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  22. ^ "The 'Song-Smith''s Anvil". The Mail (Adelaide). 11 (896). South Australia. 27 July 1929. p. 10. Retrieved 12 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  23. ^ "Gramophone Notes". The Herald (14, 566). Victoria, Australia. 22 January 1924. p. 12. Retrieved 11 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  24. ^ Stoneham, Reginald A. A; Rose, Billy, 1899-1966; Harburg, E. Y. (Edgar Yipsel), 1896-1981; Skinner, Frank, 1897-1968; Arlen, Harold, 1905-1986 (1946), Sleepy seas : song waltz, Chappell & Co, retrieved 11 February 2019CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  25. ^ a b "Band Concert in Capitol Theatre". The Armidale Express And New England General Advertiser (3440). New South Wales, Australia. 30 September 1946. p. 16. Retrieved 12 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  26. ^ a b "Tramways Military Band". The Register. LXXXVIII (25, 596). South Australia. 10 January 1923. p. 8. Retrieved 11 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  27. ^ Stoneham, Reginald A. A; Rose, Billy, 1899-1966; Harburg, E. Y. (Edgar Yipsel), 1896-1981; Skinner, Frank, 1897-1968; Arlen, Harold, 1905-1986 (1946), Sleepy seas : song waltz, Chappell & Co, retrieved 11 February 2019CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  28. ^ a b "Grand Concert". Tingha Advocate And North-western Journal. 11 (31). New South Wales, Australia. 25 April 1924. p. 2. Retrieved 11 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  29. ^ "B.B.B. SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA". Barrier Miner. XXXV, (10, 595). New South Wales, Australia. 30 October 1922. p. 2. Retrieved 11 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  30. ^ a b "Further Nonsense". The Macleay Chronicle (3290). New South Wales, Australia. 29 April 1942. p. 1. Retrieved 11 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  31. ^ a b "Entertainments". The West Australian. XXXIX (6, 471). Western Australia. 17 February 1923. p. 10. Retrieved 12 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  32. ^ "Right Off the Reel". The Sun (976). New South Wales, Australia. 11 December 1921. p. 21. Retrieved 14 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  33. ^ "Mt Barker Notes". The Albany Despatch. 5 (354). Western Australia. 10 July 1922. p. 2. Retrieved 11 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  34. ^ "At the Play". The Critic. XXXIII (1288). South Australia. 1 November 1922. p. 8. Retrieved 12 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  35. ^ "Presbyterian Concert". Daily Examiner. 13 (2154). New South Wales, Australia. 5 October 1922. p. 4. Retrieved 11 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  36. ^ "Shafto's So and So's". The Daily News. XLI (14, 818). Western Australia. 14 October 1922. p. 9. Retrieved 11 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  37. ^ "Hospital Ball". The Forbes Advocate. 11 (485). New South Wales, Australia. 2 May 1922. p. 2. Retrieved 11 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  38. ^ "Band Concerts". The Daily Mail (6371). Queensland, Australia. 10 September 1922. p. 7. Retrieved 11 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  39. ^ "Entertainments". The Telegraph (15, 424). Queensland, Australia. 5 May 1922. p. 9. Retrieved 14 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  40. ^ "'The Waratahs'". Daily Mercury. 56 (461). Queensland, Australia. 19 June 1922. p. 7. Retrieved 11 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  41. ^ "Sunday School Anniversary". Camperdown Chronicle. XLI (1844). Victoria, Australia. 25 September 1923. p. 4. Retrieved 11 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  42. ^ "Community Singing". The Examiner (Tasmania). LXXXI (147). Tasmania, Australia. 20 June 1923. p. 4 (DAILY). Retrieved 11 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  43. ^ "Gordonvale Social". The Northern Herald. XLI (533). Queensland, Australia. 20 June 1923. p. 36. Retrieved 11 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  44. ^ "South Caroling". Eastern Districts Chronicle. XLVII, (30). Western Australia. 25 July 1924. p. 3. Retrieved 11 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  45. ^ "A Woman's Letter from London". Sunday Times (Perth) (1465). Western Australia. 7 February 1926. p. 12 (Second Section). Retrieved 11 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  46. ^ "Eve's London Letter". The Daily Mail (7482). Queensland, Australia. 20 February 1926. p. 13. Retrieved 11 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  47. ^ "Mangana". Daily Telegraph. XLIV, (46). Tasmania, Australia. 22 February 1924. p. 3. Retrieved 11 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  48. ^ "Farewell Week". Westralian Worker (1094). Western Australia. 14 October 1927. p. 7. Retrieved 12 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  49. ^ "Pantomime for 'Great and Small Children'". The Herald (16, 381). Victoria, Australia. 16 November 1929. p. 20. Retrieved 14 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  50. ^ "Gordonvale Presbyterian Church". Cairns Post (8807). Queensland, Australia. 18 April 1930. p. 18. Retrieved 12 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  51. ^ "Christ Church Concert". The Border Watch. 72 (7478). South Australia. 10 December 1932. p. 4. Retrieved 12 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  52. ^ "Library displays treasures". The Canberra Times. 67 (21, 307). Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 16 August 1993. p. 2. Retrieved 11 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  53. ^ "State School Play". Bowen Independent. 43 (4174). Queensland, Australia. 28 June 1946. p. 3. Retrieved 12 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  54. ^ "Oberon". Lithgow Mercury. New South Wales, Australia. 22 June 1945. p. 5 (TOWN EDITION). Retrieved 12 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  55. ^ "Methodist Church Concert". The Dubbo Liberal And Macquarie Advocate. 41 (234). New South Wales, Australia. 24 August 1951. p. 4. Retrieved 12 February 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  56. ^ Stoneham, Reginald A. A., 1879-1942 (1920), Sleepy seas [music] : waltz song / words and music by Reginald Stoneham, Melola SalonCS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)

External links[edit]