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Nellie Stratton as she sang ‘Give Us a Bit of Your Kilt,’ 1898/99

November 6, 2014

Nellie Stratton (1875-1947), English music hall comedienne, featured on the cover of the song for ‘Give Us A Bit Of Your Kilt,’ written and composed by A.J. Mills and Albert Perry.
(published by Francis, Day & Hunter, London, 1898; lithographic printing by H.G. Banks, London)

Chorus
‘Oh! Sandy, you’ve taken our hearts by storm,
There’s no mistake about it, we are mash’d up on your form:
Oh! McGregor, you look so finely built,
If you can’t give us a bit of your love,
Give us a bit of your kilt!’

The Granville Theatre of Varieties, Waltham Green, London, week beginning Monday, 13 March 1899
‘Miss Nellie Stratton is a neat little serio, her seaside story of ”The cosy little corner,” and her description of Sandy M’Gregor’s kilt and the havoc it wrought in the hearts of the fair sex, is highly popular and instructive.’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 18 March 1899, p. 18d)

The Bedford music hall, Camden, London, week beginning Monday, 10 April 1899
‘Miss Nellie Stratton, a pretty brunette, sings of ”Alice in Wonderland” – not Lewis Carroll’s little heroine, but a lass from the country, who visits Barnum and Bailey’s. In her song concerning a Highlander Miss Stratton puts Sandy in a quandary by asking ”If you can’t give me a bit of your love give us a bit of your kilt.” The hardy Scot, anxious to save that indispensable article of his wardrobe, buys a suit, hands it to his lady admirers in a parcel as a kilt, and then beats a judicious retreat.’
(The Era, London, Saturday, 15 April 1899, p. 18d)

* * * * *

Nellie Stratton, one of the daughters of John William Stratton (1841-1889) and his wife Esther (née Solomon, 1839-1911), was married to the comedian Wilkie Bard (William August Smith, 1874-1944) at St. George’s, Bloomsbury, London, on 29 July 1895. The witnesses at their wedding were Francis James Peers (1867-), a musician and one of the bride’s brothers-in-law, and the actor Herbert Arrowsmith (Bert) Monks (1872-1952).

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