Sing, everybody – we’ve found the song!

Music1 loresMusic2 loresMusic3 loresPics: Ray Hepner

This blog’s good friend Ray Hepner has turned supersleuth, and had an incredible result. I wrote last week about the music which is heard in a short scene in the film, ‘The Dam Busters’. This shows the actors Richard Todd and Basil Appleby, playing Wg Cdr Guy Gibson and Flt Lt Bob Hay, watching a chorus line perform a song at a London music hall. Neither the song nor the performers are listed in the film’s credits.
Ray has now tracked down the sheet music for the song, which is in fact called ‘Sing Everybody Sing’. The words and music are by John P Long, and it was published in 1942. Long had several hits in the first half of the 20th century, the most notable of which being ‘Oh, It’s a Lovely War’, written in 1915 with Maurice Scott. This of course later provided the title song for the 1960s musical play and film ‘Oh What a Lovely War’.
According to this listing (scroll down), ‘Sing Everybody Sing’ was recorded during the war by Jenny Howard with Victor Silvester and his orchestra. It is not yet known who were the singer and orchestra featured in ‘The Dam Busters’, which was not released until 1955. More may follow.

Update: 5 February 2016
Ray Hepner has sent a new, slightly earlier, piece of sheet music, which shows that the original artistes associated with the song were Ernest Binns’ Arcadian Follies.

Music4 lores
Thanks to Ray Hepner.


7 thoughts on “Sing, everybody – we’ve found the song!

  1. William Schroeder February 1, 2016 / 3:33 pm

    Wow! That’s amazing! A mystery solved. Thanks for digging this up and posting it.

  2. Laurie Edward. February 24, 2016 / 10:20 pm

    The musical item may find its way to YouTube. Mmmm?

      • Geoff January 13, 2019 / 10:19 am

        This song is a great favourite with banjo-uke players and has been performed for a number of years at meetings, sometimes the words are changed slightly to “Sing neighbour make a cheerful sound, sweet music makes the world go round”

  3. Laurie Edward. March 21, 2017 / 4:06 pm

    Great news re Everybody Sing as I have said. Although a fabrication it doesn’t do any harm at all to the great movie. A good, normal human scene.
    What I would most like is to find out if there many out-takes left on the cutting room floor. I think I may have seen one relating to the game Polish pilot flying one of the ‘Lancs/Lincs’.during movie rehearsal.
    I worked on the RAAF Lincolns at Townsville Queensland in the ’50’s and travelled a lot in them.
    A collection from the movie making would be marvellous.

  4. Tim Powell March 18, 2022 / 8:01 pm

    The singer was my late Aunt, June Powell.

    • William Schroeder March 18, 2022 / 10:03 pm

      Very cool! Always love how she sings the song.

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