Don't Put Your Daughter On The Stage, Mrs. Worthington

  • The title of this humorous and extremely well-crafted song can also be rendered "(Don't Put Your Daughter On The Stage,) Mrs. Worthington" or simply "Mrs. Worthington." The punctuation also varies.
  • In his biography, A Talent to Amuse, Sheridan Morley said that in 1933, when Coward was at the height of his powers, he received a constant stream of letters from women begging him "to find parts for their respective daughters in whatever he happened to be staging next". He wrote the song as a general refusal to all these ambitious mothers. According to Morley, it remained "one of the lastingly popular Coward songs that did not have its origin in one of his shows" but although it sold well enough and "served him admirably for cabaret appearances during and after the war", it had the opposite effect from intended; most women took it as a joke.
  • Another version of this song's origin is given in Noël Coward: The Complete Lyrics. As related by the actress daughter of a producer, the writer was visiting her father, who tossed aside a letter he had been reading, clearly upset, and when Coward asked, he replied: "Oh, it's just a letter from some maddening woman called Mrs. Worthington, asking me if I can put her daughter on the stage..." Coward went straight upstairs and wrote it.
  • Amusing as the song is, there is an additional verse which was never recorded because it would not have got past the censor.
  • The sheet music was published by Chappell of London in 1935 at two shillings. Coward recorded the song with piano and orchestra; the music follows the words very closely.
  • "Mrs. Worthington" was also Prime Minister Winston Churchill's favorite Noël Coward song bar "Mad Dogs And Englishmen." The song's title has found its way into the Oxford Dictionary Of Modern Quotations, and has also been hijacked for a comedy thriller (1943) and an autobiography (1972). >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for all above


Be the first to comment...

Ralph Casale - Session ProSongwriter Interviews

A top New York studio musician, Ralph played guitar on many '60s hits, including "Lightnin' Strikes," "A Lover's Concerto" and "I Am A Rock."

Joe Elliott of Def LeppardSongwriter Interviews

The Def Leppard frontman talks about their "lamentable" hit he never thought of as a single, and why he's juiced by his Mott The Hoople cover band.

Michael Sweet of StryperSongwriter Interviews

Find out how God and Glam Metal go together from the Stryper frontman.

When Rock Belonged To MichelobSong Writing

Michelob commercials generated hits for Eric Clapton, Genesis and Steve Winwood in the '80s, even as some of these rockers were fighting alcoholism.

They Might Be GiantsSongwriter Interviews

Who writes a song about a name they found in a phone book? That's just one of the everyday things these guys find to sing about. Anything in their field of vision or general scope of knowledge is fair game. If you cross paths with them, so are you.

Michael Glabicki of Rusted RootSongwriter Interviews

Michael tells the story of "Send Me On My Way," and explains why some of the words in the song don't have a literal meaning.