enidblytonbio.co.uk


HOW ENID BLYTON'S POEMS
 HAPPENED TO BE FEATURED AT A WORLD PREMIERE IN BECKENHAM

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One fine day in March, 2013 residents from all over London were flocking to the St George’s Church in High Street, Beckenham, located in the London Borough of Bromley, England. They were going there to witness the World Premiere – the first public performance – of three songs, two of which were based on poems by Enid Blyton, and the other, on a poem by one Maud Dyrenfurth.
The person who’s responsible for bringing them together for this auspicious occasion is Cliff W
atkins, a historian from the Beckenham Civic Society. It was he who came across the three poems while perusing several issues of the long since out of print 1917 Nash’s and Pall Mall Magazines.
In making the discovery, he must have been aware that he was not the first to do so. Barbara Stoney (1924 - 2009), Enid Blyton's official biographer, had already discovered the poems during her research and brought them to light in her remarkable book: Enid Blyton - The Biography, a book which he had already read.
However, what he was interested in was to have them set to music. To this end, he
commissioned Gordon Carr, a composer, to set them to music. Hence the world premiere at St George’s Church in Beckenham.
The two poems by Enid Blyton set to music are Have You –? and My Summer Prayer, publishe
d in the editions of March and August, 1917 respectively and the other, "I Have –" by a certain Maud Dyrenfurth, published in June, 1917.
Enid wrote the poems sometime in 1917, when she was about twenty-years-old and living in Westfield Road, Becken
ham.
During the process of setting the poems to music, it was thought that the poem: “I Have –” was also written by Enid Blyton, under the pseudonym Maud Dyrenfurth. But, in reality, Maud Dyrenfurth is the name of a female contributor to the magazine and it was she who sent in the poem "I Have –" in reply to Enid's poem: Have You –? 
So it didn't matter that one of them was not by Enid Blyton. They were all set to music anyway.
Ms Vassiliou, (pictured) a soprano, subsequently gave a splendid rendition of the three songs to the accompaniment of music by the 12 members of the Lewisham Concert Band.
Now as strange as this situation may be, it is not the first time Enid Blyton’s poems ha
ve been set to music. When you read chapter Six, Enid The Prolific Songwriter in my book: Enid Blyton – The Untold Story, you’ll be surprised to find that from time to time Enid commissioned composers such as Sydney Twinn, Alec Rowley and Cecil Sharman to set some of her poems to music.
She even selected
ten poems from the twenty-eight poems in her first poetry book: Child Whispers, first published by J Saville & Co Ltd in 1922, and commissioned Sydney Twinn to set them to music. They were subsequently published in 1924 by J. Saville & Co Ltd in a songbook with the title: Ten Songs from Child Whispers (see title page illustration on the left).
You’ll also find in the Appendices of this chapter a table of songs that are based on her poems, along with five other tables showing  songs she has written in different categories. 
Finally, if you would like to see the three delightful poems published in this website please click this link: Poetry
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NOTE: This story is drawn from Robert Fisk's short article with the caption: Enid Blyton's Poems Enjoyed at World Premiere in Beckenham, that was published in the News Shopper.co.uk website Tuesday, March 19th, 2013. To read the article and to see a photo of Cliff Watson with composer Gordon Carr, please leave this website  and type into the search box of any web browser - Google, Bing, Internet Explorer etc - the following words: www.newsshopper.co.uk and enid blyton's poems. Here you can also see a one minute video, with advertisements, of the Lewisham Concert Band in action as Ms Vassiliou gives a rendition of  one of the songs: "I Have -"
[Permission to reproduce the photo of Ms Marie Vassiliou performing one of the songs is pending.]

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