Bert Lee

Bert Lee (11 June 1880 – 23 January 1946) was an English songwriter. He wrote for music hall and the musical stage, often in partnership with R. P. Weston.

Lee was born 11 June 1880 in Ravensthorpe, Yorkshire, England.[1]

He and Weston became partners in 1915. They were prolific songwriters thanks to their workman-like attitudes. They reportedly wrote a song a day.[2] Ultimately, they wrote more than 2000 songs including 75 skits, pantomimes, and sketches.[3] They worked together in Weston's house in Twickenham, Middlesex.

The duo also wrote music for film, including the book and lyrics for O-kay for Sound, a 1937 film.[4] Much of their music was written specifically for actors Sydney Howard and Stanley Holloway both noted comedians of the 1920s and '30s. These included Splinters in the Air for Howard and Squibs for Holloway.[3] Among Lee's most endearing tunes is Knees Up Mother Brown!, which is traditionally associated with Cockney culture. This was written in 1938 in collaboration Robert Weston's son, Harris, after Robert's death in 1936. In 1938 Lee and Harris Weston co-wrote the hit stage revue These Foolish Things which starred The Crazy Gang and the Sherman Fisher Girls. The same year Lee contributed to the musical The Fleet's Lit Up.

Lee died 23 January 1946 in Llandudno, Wales.[1] He is interred at Great Orme, Llandudno. [5]

Select filmography (as writer)

Songs (partial list)

  • 1910 "Joshua" w.m George Arthurs & Bert Lee
  • 1912 "Hello, Hello, Who's Your Lady Friend?" w.m. Harry Fragson, Worton David & Bert Lee
  • 1915 "Lloyd George's Beer Song" with R. P. Weston
  • 1916 "At Finnigan's Ball" w.m. Bert Lee
  • 1916 "Blighty, the Soldier's Home Sweet Home" w.m. R.P. Weston & Bert Lee[6]
  • 1917 "Paddy McGinty's Goat" w.m. R.P. Weston, Bert Lee & The Two Bobs
  • 1917 "Good-bye-ee" w.m. R. P. Weston & Bert Lee
  • 1919 "It's Hard to Settle Down to Civilian Life Once More" w.m. R.P Weston & Bert Lee[6]
  • 1920 "The Gipsy Warned Me" w.m. R. P. Weston & Bert Lee
  • 1921 "You're Well Dressed If You're Wearing a Smile" w.m. R. P. Weston & Bert Lee
  • 1922 "My Word You Do look Queer" w.m. R. P. Weston & Bert Lee
  • 1926 "The Tears Shed In London Tonight" w.m. R. P. Weston & Bert Lee
  • 1926 "What I Want is a Proper Cup of Coffee" w.m. R. P. Weston & Bert Lee
  • 1928 "All Mine" Douglas Furber, R. P. Weston, Bert Lee m. Jack Waller & Joseph Tunbridge from the Musical Virginia
  • 1932 "Sing, Brothers" w. Bert Lee & R. P. Weston m. Jack Waller & Joseph Tunbridge from the Musical Tell Her the Truth
  • 1932 "Horrortorio" w. Bert Lee & R. P. Weston m. Jack Waller & Joseph Tunbridge from the Musical Tell Her the Truth
  • 1934 "With Her Head Tucked Underneath Her Arm" w.m. R. P. Weston & Bert Lee
  • 1936 "And The Great Big Saw Came Nearer And Nearer" w.m. Robert E. Harris, Dwight B. Latham, Bert Lee & R. P. Weston
  • 1938 "Knees Up Mother Brown" w.m. Harris Weston & Bert Lee
  • 1940 "Brahn Boots" w.m. R. P. Weston & Bert Lee


  1. Bert Lee (I)
  2. Russell, Dave. Popular Music in England, 1840-1914: A Social History, Manchester University Press, 1997, p 109. ISBN 0-7190-5261-0
  3. Halliwell, Leslie. Halliwell's Who's Who in the Movies, 15th edition, HarperCollins, 2003. ISBN 0-06-053423-0
  4. screenonline: O-Kay For Sound (1937)
  5. Music Hall and Variety Artistes Burial Places
  6. Parker, Bernard S. (2007). World War I Sheet Music - Volume 1. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 53. ISBN 0-7864-2798-1.
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