Sunday, 18 July 2010

Fab song - and a funny bit of musical history!

I've been enjoying the new album from Eliza Doolittle, not least for this song, "Pack Up".

As an inveterate reader of sleeve notes, I was surprised to find a full credit in there for the writers and publishers of "Pack Up Your Troubles In Your Old Kit Bag (and smile, smile, smile)". I'd have taken a flying guess that an old World War 1 marching song would be well and truly out of copyright by now, but not so.

It was published in 1915, the work of two brothers, George and Felix Powell (lyric and music respectively). Indeed, it won a competition in that year for Best Morale-boosting Song. UK copyright generally subsists for 70 years after the year in which the composer dies so, since George Powell stayed with us until 1951 (sadly, Felix committed suicide in 1942), the work is well and truly still in copyright.

It's an object lesson in never assuming you know the copyright position of an elderly work!

Happy Birthday to you, as frequently sung at family celebrations, is another problematic copyright case, as a few media outlets have discovered to their cost over the years. But let's not go there now!

Meantime, in another part of the forest....

.....regular visitors will know that I always enjoy oddities from the world of "Signage". Here's a recent sighting:

So many questions! Does this establishment have a particular problem with people fondling the signs? Are they only touching it because they are blind and that's how you read Braille? If they are, then how is an added sign in plain English going to resolve the problem?

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