Music sheet cover
Sung by Lottie Collins
Designed by W. T. Stannard, printed by Charles Sheard and Company, written by Richard Morton, music arranged by Angelo A. Asher
Museum no. S.4105-2009
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Music hall performer Lottie Collins became a household name thanks to the song 'Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay' and the dance that went with it. She would begin the song slowly and quietly and then at the end of the first verse she would leave a long pause, put one hand on her hip and launch into the chorus and a wild can-can dance. Her high kicks, accompanied by a big drum and 'an excited foam of lace petticoat' delighted or shocked audiences, depending on their sensibilities. The playwright George Bernard Shaw went to see her perform in 1892 while still in his 20s and described how she did three low kicks on the 'Ta-ra-ra' and then a high kick on the 'boom'. He added admiringly, 'Miss Collins appears to be in fine athletic training.'