O

OFFICE HOURS
See Appendix 1.c

OFFICER'S THEME
See IN WHICH WE SERVE

OFFICERS' CHORUS
(WE WISH TO ORDER WINE)

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(1928/29)
Bitter Sweet, 1929
Publ. VS
Full chorus number. The scene is the filling up of Schlik’s café for the evening with soldiery and attendant females. The men call for wine, the ladies flirt with them, and after a good deal of “them and us” the officers have their own chorus (‘We’re officers and gentlemen reliable and true’). There is then a four-part chorus to the same material. All the thematic material is, unsurprisingly, martial in character and in straightforward key relationships, based in Eb. It’s all fun music, unsurprising and showy. The song ‘Tokay’, which is more than merely showy, follows this scene.
A certain amount of rescoring was done for ONR 01, and it is not always successful.
ONR 01: New Sadler's Wells ch. + orch. (1988)

OH, BABY
See Appendix 1.c

OH, MISTER KAISER

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(1960)
Waiting In The Wings, 1960
WW folio 1962
NCG2
Mock World War I song. Apart from ‘Come The Wild Wild Weather’, this is the most substantial of the little pastiche pieces in this show. It’s a straightforward 32-bar refrain, but in classic NC 6/8 comedy vein, with a better-than-ordinary melody line and good rhymes. It is very close in character to ‘Don’t Take Our Charlie For The Army’ from The Girl Who Came To Supper - which was another pastiche of a semi-military song of the same era. Remember that this would have been among the sorts of music the 11-14-year-old NC would have heard for real.

OH WHAT A CENTURY IT'S BEEN

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September 1953 [NCD]
After The Ball, 1954 (No.2 + reprise, and No.23 for 'Season')
Unpubl.MS VS (Hackforth’s)
also redone MS for this song (Philip Martell's)
Chorus/quartet number. The title QUARTETTE was given at No.6 in the musical numbers list in the published libretto of After the Ball and is there stated to be a reprise of OH WHAT A CENTURY IT'S BEEN. The archives also show a MS (Hackforth’s) of a trio for women's voices of this number, with minor variants in the lyrics.
The music starts with a lyrical melody of sweeping lines; then moves into a rum-te-tum chorus slightly reminiscent (like ‘Creme De La Creme’) of ‘Regency Rakes’, with typical NC comedy lyrics.
OCR 15: (2 tracks) Chorus (1954)
ONR 00: Chorus of Irish Rep. Theatre (2005)

OH WHAT A SEASON THIS HAS BEEN
See OH WHAT A CENTURY... above (same music)

OLD SCOTTISH AIR
See appendix 1.b

OLD STORY
See Appendix 1.c

OLDEST POSTMISTRESS, THE

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(1932)
Words And Music, 1932
Publ. VS
No. 3 from THE HALL OF FAME(q.v.). Two sixteen-bar refrains sung by the incredibly well-preserved subject of the song. The piece is notable for its harmonic setting: the intro is in C, the opening of the refrain in Db, the second phrase in F minor, the third phrase in E, before coming home again to Db in the final phrase.
see HALL OF FAME on ONR 22: Barbara Lee acc. Arthur Siegel (1990)

ON THE PLAGE
See OPENING CHORUS - the Model Maid

ONE FINE DAY (1)
See Appendix 1.a under 'TAMARAN'

ONE FINE DAY (2)

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(1924)
Sung by Nora Bayes in variety season at New Oxford Theatre, London, Sept.1924
Sep.Pub. (FD&H) 1924
It may be that the version performed by Nora Bayes was NC’s improved version of ONE FINE DAY (1); much of the lyrics are the same in both versions, but apparently NC did not set the lyrics to music for version (1).
It is a classic early revue love-song, rather similar in style to ‘First Love’, all in steady 4/4 tempo, the 32-bar verse and refrain sections all falling into clear and rythmically simple four-bar phrases. This makes it sound rather plain, which in a way it is; certainly the lyrics are typical of the more anodyne of the genre. However, despite the song’s melodic simplicity, it has interesting features which lift it from mundanity. These include syncopated ‘Gershwinesque’ fills - exaggerated hemiola - in the accompaniment of the refrain, slight but significant lyric and melodic extension of its third phrase, and wide use of the dominant seventh chord with a sharpened fifth, particularly at cadences, which was to become recognised as NC’s harmonic hallmark. His use of the exaggerated hemiola here pre-dates ‘Rhapsody In Blue’ (which might be assumed to be its model) by at least a year.
There's another NC song also done by Nora Bayes at around the same time: HE NEVER DID THAT TO ME. Also see comments about Maisie Gay regarding AFTER DINNER MUSIC.

ONE, TWO, THREE

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(1946)
Pacific 1860, 1946 (Mary Martin)
Sep.Publ.
VS P1860
The song is the prelude to and the explanation of the dance which follows. The Verse section presents a short potted history of the origins of the dance itself...
It is an excellent pastiche Polka in both Verse and Refrain. The lyrics are elegantly incisive, with good extended rhyming structure in the Verse section and with two verses of lyrics for the refrain. The refrain music is exactly repeated for the dance, but in a new higher key.
OCR 13: Mary Martin (1946)
ONR 24: Joyce Grenfell + Harry Acres Orch. (Mar 1947)
NCR 29: acc. Drury Lane Orch. cond. Mantovani (Jun1947)

OPENING CHORUS
From Cochran's 1931 Revue

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(Goldenhurst, Kent, Christmas 1930)
Cochran's 1931 Revue
MUSIC LOST
We know of this piece only from printed programme records, as explained in M&M [p.569].
BD was able to trace the lyrics for this piece, which show that it was a “chorus-direct-to-audience” number, much in the style of the Opening Chorus for Words And Music a year later. The chorus poke fun at the conventions, and tease the audience: “If you’re really expecting a lavish display/ Far exceeding the price you’ve consented to pay/ You had better retreat/ And exchange your seat/ for Bitter Sweet”. Apart from this self-referential plug, NC has the chorus warn the audience that they “will find that the score is excessively weak”, which we may say was not exactly the case - it contained ‘City’, ‘Bright Young People’, ‘Any Little Fish’ and ‘Half-Caste Woman’ by NC as well as other peoples’ contributions.

OPENING CHORUS (FETE GALANTE)
See Appendix 1.e

OPENING CHORUS
From 'THE MODEL MAID' section of Operette, 1938

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(1937)
Operette, 1938 (Act I Sc. 2)
Publ. VS
The sequence of music used here includes ON THE PLAGE..., and the last part is POM-POM - the courturier's entrance.
The scene opens backstage at the Jubilee Theatre, 1906, where ‘The Model Maid’ is playing. The show is a pastiche of a musical such as might have been produced by George M. Cohan, that is to say “it is sprightly in tone with an elastic story providing opportunities for well-known London favourites ... and the famous “Hobson’s Choice” sextette of singing show-girls...” [from the stage directions in the script]
For this Opening Chorus, the ladies and gentlemen are attired in various light sporting costumes as befit a seaside hotel terrace at Trouville, and sing a ‘Mrs Worthington-style’ 6/8 refrain in their own praise, as it were, making elegantly witty jokes about chorus-girls and the Peerage. It leads straight into the four-part chorus ON THE PLAGE which is a 32-bar extension of the music in exactly the same style. Following the chorus there is a spirited dance, at the end of which some dialogue and a series of loud explosions announces the arrival of Monsieur Pom-Pom in his new car (remember this was 1906, hence the explosions). The car and its occupants slide onstage to another choral “Hurrah - Hurrah!”, which is a repetition of the opening refrain music. On arrival, the car promptly collapses.
(The original draft of Operette used later in this scene an interesting short section of comedy lyrics about the relentless and public musicality of the Austrians, which later found its way into Pacific 1860 - for which the MUSIC is LOST.)

OPENING CHORUS
from Words And Music

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(1932)
Words and Music, 1932 (Ivy St. Helier and Girls)
Publ. VS
The OPENING CHORUS includes the following:
1. WE SHAN'T BE ON TONIGHT
2. MAGGIE
3. HALLO, WE'RE ALWAYS ON THE TRIGGER
4. Foxtrot on SOMETHING TO DO WITH SPRING
and other dance music
The number pokes fun at the conventions of opening choruses – not just saying “send the sluts out” but setting it all to music.
The scene opens in the chorus-girls’ dressing-room, and they are all sitting in front of the mirrors in their undeclothes, making up. They start doing their vocal exercises to ‘La la la’, confess to being “paralysed with fear” (WE SHAN’T BE ON TONIGHT) and complain about the physical hardships and indignity of their job (“During the applause/ We rush and change our drawers”).
MAGGIE is the name of their dresser, who bustles about trying to organise them while they plague her with problems, in a faster section of music in 2/4 tempo. Maggie then has a separate refrain section of her own in the original 4/4 tempo before the chorus plague her again. The call-boy calls “Overture, beginners!”, and they line themselves up for their entrance.
We then see their “proper” entrance on stage, in front of a backdrop, obviously (“Good evening, Ladies and Gentlemen”, set to a sprightly 6/8). It’s all very self-referential stuff - in-jokes for a knowing audience and playing around with the conventions. The girls introduce themselves to the audience saying “We’re Mister Cochran’s young invincibles/ He much prefers us to the Principals.” Their main refrain is HALLO, WE’RE ALWAYS ON THE TRIGGER, which is a repetition of the music for ‘Maggie’. The Foxtrot follows, and then another dance to the ‘Maggie’ music.
ONR 08: includes MAGGIE in medley, Ray Noble orch. (1932)

OPENING MUSIC
From Act III, Conversation Piece

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Publ. VS
It is a re-run of the opening music for Act I - see under BRIGHTON PARADE.

OPERETTE

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(1937)
Operette, 1938 (Act 2 Sc.4) (Fritzi Massary)
Sep. Publ.
The piece is sung by the ‘Model Maid’ star, Liesl, and the ‘Sextette Girls’ while they are at home. It grows out of a scene where various music is being attempted at the piano. In response to their probing, Liesl tells the story of her emergence as a star operette singer.
The preamble is a series of quasi-recitative exchanges; Liesl then continues on her own in what is effectively a verse section, leading to the main waltz refrain.
And here we have the big point: this is in direct melodic and lyric celebration of the genre itself - romantic Viennese-style operetta waltz such as might be typical of Lehar or even one of those Stausses. The melodic and harmonic touches are all apt, but the lyrics alone say it all: “Melodies that call to mind forgotten laughter,/Songs that linger in the memory for ever after,/That was my start, that is my heart,/Life for me is ever orchestrated, Everywhere my scene is set...”. The refrain is then sung by all together, and then they dance to the waltz.
I wonder if NC ever wrote a more self-referential piece of music than this?
OCR 10: Fritzi Massary (1938)
ONR 22: Myvanwy Jenn (1990)

OTHER GIRLS

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(1923)
London Calling!, 1923 (NC & Chorus)
Sep.Publ. Keith Prowse & Co. (EMI)
Ballad-love-song. Solo-with-chorus revue number, placed at “6th call” in the running order. Coward clearly wrote the piece with himself as in mind as principal; the lyrics of the verse start “I've always longed to see/ Myself at twenty-three/ In some dramatic situation”.
it is a more than pleasant piece, in standard form of 32-bar verse and 32-bar refrain. The refrain contains the first example of a rhythmic/melodic “lift” and break, a characteristic which NC would continue to work into his compositions over the following years [e.g. in ‘Mirabelle Waltz’, ‘Sail Away’, etc.]. The introductory bars in the sheet-music retain one of the little flourishes that NC learned from Ivy St. Helier in Manchester in 1916 and which occurs in the same context in several of his early song compositions.
The publication of the sheet-music was the first instance of an issue bearing the words “written and composed by Noël Coward” with his own photograph on the cover. He looks rather wild-eyed and excited!
ONR 97: Graham Payn + Mantovani orch. (1947)

OVER THE HILL

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(not later than 1950)
Waiting In The Wings, 1960 (Act 3 Sc. 1) (Maidie Andrews)
WW Folio of Songs (1962)
On the original MS the song was titled OVER THE HILLS.
This original MS seems to have been done by Robb Stewart. As RS’s amanuensis work for NC terminated after his help with Ace Of Clubs the strong likelihood is that this song was an earlier composition “pulled out of the cupboard” for Waiting In The Wings. It was said by Graham Payn that this was the case with another number from WW, COME THE WILD, WILD WEATHER, and it may be that the same was true for this number, or that the provenance of the one was being confused with the provenance of the other.
Like the majority of the other songs in WW, this was a sort of pastiche of a piece from c.1910, sung by the elderly actress Bonita Belgrave in the champagne celebration at the start of Act 3 as “one of her successes”.
This is an excellent 16-bar Ballad refrain in gentle 4/4 tempo which is one of the simplest and most effective NC ever wrote. The melody, in arched two-bar phrases, has a very touching openness, and part of the success of the whole is that an expected modulation away from the home key halfway through the song does not in fact occur. A definitive settling in a new key - albeit briefly - is delayed until almost the very end of the song.

OVERTURE
From Bitter Sweet

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Bitter Sweet, 1929
The Overture is not published in the VS, but it is mentioned at start of playscript. This would have been put together after the rest of the score had settled, and was probably done by Bitter Sweet’s orchestrator, Ignatius A.E. de Orellana, a well-known and respected theatre musician of the period, and/or the show’s MD, Reginald Burston.
An overture is included on ONR 02, ONR 03 & ONR 04. ONR 04 is a rather over-soupy new medley rather than the “original”. (There is no guarantee that any of the others are Orellana’s/Burston’s “original” either.)

OVERTURE
From Conversation Piece

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Conversation Piece, 1934
The Overture is not published in the VS. But there definitely was one at the time, and one assumes that CBS got hold of it when making ONR 06 (below). Unless, of course, ONR 06 uses a new arrangement of the show’s principal tunes made at the time. Without checking a MS original there’s no way of knowing, and that has yet to be discovered.
ONR 06: Orch. cond. Lehman Engel (1951)

OVERTURE
From The Girl Who Came To Supper

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The Girl Who Came To Supper, 1963
A piano-conductor short-score overture is among the MSS for the show held by the publishers Warner/Chappell. All the MSS for TGWCTS were prepared in America, by a variety of different amanuenses/arrangers at different times, almost none of whom have been positively identified. This particular MS looks to date from later rather than earlier in the preparation process, on account of the indication “(revised)” under the title.
It is the usual sort of amalgam of principal tunes from the show, pasted together with orchestrator’s links and fanfare-y sort of stuff for the opening. The principal featured themes are ‘Here And Now’ and ‘Don’t Take Our Charlie For The Army’.

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