I'm Going Back Again to Yarrawonga - Ella Shields

I'm Going Back Again to Yarrawonga - Ella Shields
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Leonard Hubbard recorded I’m Going Back Again to Yarrawonga, a song written by Neil McBeath, a corporal in the AIF, in the war years and published in 1919. The original sheet music noted that it had been part of an ‘Anzac Coves’ pantomime performed in France. The Anzac Coves were an entertainment unit established in France as part of the AIF and described by war correspondent C E W Bean as ‘essential as big guns’ to the Australian troops on the Western Front in an article published in several Australian newspapers in 1918.

It is hard to know how popular the song was back in Australia in the immediate post-war years but the English/American musical hall entertainer Ella Shields included it as part of her show on her first trip to Australia in 1921-22, when she toured the Tivoli circuit. Shields was a male impersonator who appeared as three male characters in her shows and whose biggest hit was Burlington Bertie from Bow. She recorded I’m Going Back Again to Yarrawonga in late 1923 in London after her return to England from her Australian tour.