Dam Busters composer Eric Coates' new songs rediscovered

Three songs written by Dam Busters theme tune composer, Eric Coates, are to be heard for the first time next month.

Eric Coates

Eric Coates, light music composer, is famous for his recognisable theme tunes, including the catchy Dam Busters melody. Three of his unperformed songs were given to the Eric Coates Society, and will be heard in his birthplace on 6 October.

Ann Parsons inherited the three pieces from her mother, and donated them to the society. All three were written in 1906-7, before Coates studied at the Royal Academy of Music aged 20.

The three hand-written pieces, entitled Love's Philosophy , To a Maiden, and Tit for Tat , are dedicated to Sybil Walsh. The third carries a note from the composer himself: "To dear little Celia with best love from Eric April 11 1907".

Peter Butler, secretary of the Eric Coates Society said he received an offer from Ms Parsons, who asked if the society could offer the music a good home.

"Naturally I accepted the offer not knowing quite what to expect," he said. "When they arrived at our chairman Geoff Sheldon's house, he rang in great excitement to say that they were indeed originals."

The pieces, confirmed as being unperformed and unpublished by the Performing Rights Society, will be played for the first time at the Central Methodist Church in Hucknall. A bound copy will be presented to Nottinghamshire County Council's Hucknall Library, adding to their collection of Coates' work.

Eric Coates: The Dam Busters March

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