The Sounds of West London: No.3 – ‘Dear Old Shepherd’s Bush ’

Earlier in the year I purchased a CD collection of old Music Hall songs entitled: ‘Hullo! London Town’, which included one from 1916 about the Bush: ‘Dear Old Shepherd’s Bush.’

Performed by Nat. D. Ayer it was co-written and composed by Nat. and Clifford F. Grey.

‘I’m so delighted, I’m so excited,

With my folks I’m going to be united,

The train’s departing, we’ll soon be starting,

I’ll see my mother, my dad, and my baby brother,

And how I’ll meet them, how I’ll greet them,

What a happy, happy day,

You see that bustle, well I’d better hustle,

Good-bye, so long can’t stay.



‘I’m on my way back home to dear old Shepherd’s Bush,

That’s the spot where I was born,

Can’t you hear the porter calling,

Queen’s Road, Piccadilly, Marble Arch & Bond Street,

I won’t hesitate, I’ll reach that gate,

Through the crowd you bet I’ll push,

So find a seat please anywhere,

Crammed tube train but I don’t care,

My Mummy & Daddy are waiting there,

In dear old Shepherd’s Bush.


‘What joy I’m feeling, the tears are stealing,

Ten long years I had to slave in Ealing,

And I’m not joking, I’m sick of Woking,

And as we left Tooting with joy all my heart was shooting,

The Tram’s a packed ‘un, it goes to Acton,

My tuppence I must pay,

I cannot stick it, I’ve swallowed my ticket,

What joy, what bliss, hooray!’

He was born Nathaniel Davis in Boston, Massachusetts on 5thAugust 1887. Usually billed as Nat D. Ayer, Nathaniel was a composer, singer, pianist and actor and spent most of his career performing in England.

His first big hit was: ‘Oh, You Beautiful Doll.’ and: ‘If You Were The Only Girl In The World.’ was another famous one.

Despite his success, Nat was declared bankrupt in 1938. He passed away in Bath, in Wiltshire at the age of 65.

Steve Russell

(Thanks to Colin Woodley for his assistance. The postcard isfrom my collection)