Countdown to Christmas – Day 8

adams_star_of_bethlehem_jul0920A recording courtesy of the Norwegian Institute of Recorded Sound’s 2009 Advent Calendar. The Star of Bethlehem by Stephen Adams was hugely popular in the early twentieth century.

Less well known is Stephen Adams’ connection with a notorious murder case – the Maybrick poisoning. Adams was the brother of the victim, James, who was also a suspect in the Jack the Ripper murders. An unexpectedly ghoulish connection for a composer, who was best loved for his religious songs. Adams’ lyricist, Fred E. Weatherley is probably best known for his lyrics, Danny Boy, and for the wartime classic Roses of Picardy.

About mj263

Music Collections Supervisor at Cambridge University Library. Wide musical interests. Often to be found stuck in a composer's archive, or enthusing about antiquarian music.
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