manx celtic music and dance

Frank Dean 
The Manxman who wrote the most famous song in the World
by Maurice Powell

The song in question is A Bicycle Made for Two, popularly known as Daisy Bell, one of the best-known music hall songs ever written, and for many, the song that defines the music hall era. There can be few people over the age of forty who cannot hum, whistle or sing the first line of the chorus: Dai-sy, Dai-sy, give me your answer do.

Frank Dean, who, under the pen-name Harry Dacre, wrote the words and music of Daisy Bell, was born in Douglas in 1857, ‘the son of a Douglas hotel keeper’,3 and baptised on 6th September at St. Thomas’ Church. However, despite the world-wide fame of his song, and his successful career as a song-writer and music publisher, he cannot be regarded as a true ‘Manx Musical Worthy’. His parents came to the Island from Manchester; he lived here for barely four years as a small child, and I have uncovered no evidence that he ever returned to the place of his birth, either for business reasons or for a holiday. 


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