• Gerald Hugh Tyrwhitt-Wilson
  • Dialogue between Tom Filuter and his man, by Ned the Dog Stealer (1921)

  • Chester Music Ltd (World)
  • voice/pf
  • 1 min

Programme Note

The Text of this single song appeared in a 1902 broadsheet, but Berners changed the name of one of the characters from ‘Flinter’ to ‘Filuter’ as an added double entendre, since ‘filouter’ in French means ‘to steal or swindle’. The title also has an obvious allusion to Satie, putting it in the category of works where the title is almost as long as the piece itself. However, Berners’ main target was the English folksong which, in 1921, was still undergoing the Cecil Sharp-inspired revival. Whether consciously or not, Berners’ piano introduction to the song bears an uncanny resemblance to The Star of the County Down. The text – trivial in the extreme with its backwards and forwards reported conversation about a debt – is tailored to serve Berners’ masterfully eloquent musical pastiche.

© Philip Lane