“A LION HAS A TAIL AND A VERY FINE TAIL”: FIRST AMERICAN EDITION OF FOURTEEN SONGS FROM “WHEN WE WERE VERY YOUNG,” 1925
MILNE, A.A., SHEPARD, E.H., and FRASER-SIMSON, Harold. Fourteen Songs from “When We Were Very Young.” New York: E.P. Dutton, (1925). Slim folio, original half dark red cloth, pale blue paper boards, mounted pictorial cover label. $700.
First American edition of 14 companion songs for When We Were Very Young, with numerous illustrations by E.H. Shepard.
These 14 verses written by Milne and set to music by Harold Fraser-Simson were considered such a success that Fraser-Simson continued composing songs for Milne’s incomparable lyrics, ultimately writing 67 of them. Published just a year after When We Were Very Young, these songs are set to music in such a way as to make the verses still more irresistible. Among the songs are “Halfway Down,” “Buckingham Palace,” “Hoppity,” “The Three Foxes,” “Market Square,” and “Vespers.” “Fraser-Simson’s music so suited the poems that it came as no surprise to see this song book followed by five songs from Now We Are Six (1927) and in 1929 no fewer than 17 Hums of Pooh (from Winnie the Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner). The songs were illustrated with E.H. Shepard’s original drawings for the books” (P.L. Scowcroft). Fourteen Songs was first recorded for the gramophone by George Baker accompanied by Gerald Moore in 1930 (see Peter Gammond). See Cutler & Stiles, 166.
A near-fine copy, with minor soiling to covers and moderate rubbing to board edges.