The troubadour of Empire
Peter Dawson
in Imperialism and music
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Peter Dawson was the great exemplar, being able to be simultaneously Australian, Scottish and British and to express these identities both separately and within the overall context of a truly imperial patriotism through the medium of song. Dawson made his first recordings for the Edison Bell Company in 1904, his first record being a song called Navajo which was attributed to Leonard Dawson. He recorded songs from popular stage and film successes, shows such as Maid of the Mountains, A Southern Maid, Sally, Our Miss Gibbs, Showboat and Chu Chin Chow. Dawson was a convinced monarchist, recalling with pride his meetings with members of the royal family and the fact that both King George VI and the Prince of Wales had collections of his records. The Protestantism underpinning the Empire found a full expression in Dawson's repertoire, as he recorded both hymns and sacred songs.

Imperialism and music

Britain 1876–1953


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