Lil Hawthorne as she appeared in 1898 and 1899 singing ‘Take it Home and Give it to the Baby’

February 3, 2014

Lil Hawthorne (1877-1926), American-born British music hall star and pantomime principal boy, as she appeared in 1898 and 1899 singing ‘Take it Home and Give it to the Baby,’ a song by William Furst with words by C.M.S. McLellan which was sung by Pauline Hall of the Pauline Hall Opera Company in the comic opera, The Honeymooners, which was first produced in the United States in 1893.
(photo: unknown, UK, probably 1898)

The Oxford music hall, London, week beginning Monday, 12 July 1898
‘A highly popular favourite at the Oxford is Miss Lil Hawthorne, a beautiful American girl, one of the Three Sisters Hawthorne, who made such a hit in ”The Willow Pattern Plate” last year. ”Lil,” while singing her first song, creates a diversion by distributing a number of dolls among the audience. In her second item, ”Sweet Rosie O’Grady,” she is assisted in the chorus by a young standing in the circle, and is vociferously encored and recalled after an emphatic success.’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 16 July 1898, p. 16a)

The Alhambra, Leicester Square, London, week beginning Monday, 22 August 1899
‘Since our last notice of the variety entertainment at the Alhambra, the company has been reinforced by the enlistment of Miss Lil Hawthorne, who, attired as a doll-seller, songs ”Take it home and give it to the baby,” flinging some of her poupéesto the eager and delighted audience, who warmly applaud her. She Has a handsome appearance and a good voice, and sings with expressive earnestness.’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 26 August 1899, p. 18a)

The Granville music hall, Waltham Green, London, week beginning Monday, 30 October 1899
‘Miss Lil Hawthorne (formerly of the Three Sisters Hawthorne) is very popular with the Waltham-green folk, and her capital voice and charming appearance are largely responsible for her undoubted success. She gets at the hearts of the women-folk in her first song, ”Take it home and give it to the baby,” by a distribution of toy dolls, but takes admiration by storm in her second item, ”I’ll be your sweetheart,” the chorus of which is chanted from the balcony by a sweet-voiced youth.’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 4 November 1899, p. 19b)


  1. The doctor and author, Halliday Sutherland, was an admirer of Lil Hawthorne while he was a schoolboy at Merchiston Castle School in Edinburgh. In his 1934 book, “A Time to Keep”, he wrote that he and his friend George Munro “even shared our admiration for the same lady, Lil Hawthorne, Principal Boy in the Pantomime at the Empire Theatre. Here she sang a song entitled, ‘Take it Home and give it to the Baby,’ and threw dolls into the audience at the end of each verse. At out first visit we missed getting a doll and therefore saved our money until we had enough to book two first-row stalls at a Saturday matinee. In attending the matinee we committed the heinous crime of absenting ourselves from an inter-school “rugger” match, but fortunately our absence was not detected. To Lil Hawthorne, we had written a joint letter, telling her of our admiration and the Principal Boy, before beginning her song, came to the footlights, nodded, smiled, and threw to each of us a doll. On leaving the theatre we realised it was impossible to take these dolls back to Merchiston, Neither George nor I had any wish to die and early death, and in the street we saw two little girls to whom we gave our trophies”. http://www.hallidaysutherland.com

  2. […] recording of Lil Hawthorne here, and a biography which includes a picture of her dolls here.  If these were of the kind that she was handing out at The Empire, they are indeed […]

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