The Sounds of West London: No.5 – ‘Notting Hill’ or ‘The Dodger’s Lament for his Lost Love’

This Music Hall song was written by J. B. Geoghegan during the 1860’s and performed by Harry Liston:

‘Oh! I loved her & I love her still,

And her absence I bewail,

They caught her picking pockets in a bus at Notting Hill,

And carried her to Newgate Gaol’

(The above illustration was by popular artist, Alfred Concanen and possibly depicts Liston himself?)

Harry Liston was born in Stockport on 7th October 1843. He started work as a commercial traveller before becoming a Music Hall performer.

He was billed as being an eminent Mimic, Ventriloquist and Monologue Vocalist etc. The following review appeared in the Newcastle Chronicle in 1873:

“Undoubtedly Mr Liston is one of the cleverest exponents of the ludicrous extant – his wonderfully rapid change of dress, marvellous powers of mimicry, and excellent range and quality of voice, being qualifications rarely possessed by any one individual, and these last evening were put to a severe but successful test in the many humorous impersonations of character.”

Perhaps his most famous song was ‘When Johnny Comes Marching Home’, which was to become his signature tune.

Harry Liston passed away in Manchester on 12th April 1929.

Steve Russell

(David Fitzgerald mentioned this song on the ‘Old Notting Hill/North Ken History Facebook Group’. My thanks to him for unearthing it & also to Colin Woodley for his assistance)