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Marie Lloyd


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Matilda Alice Victoria Wood (12 February 1870 – 7 October 1922) was an English music hall singer, best known as Marie Lloyd. Her ability to add lewdness to the most innocent of lyrics led to frequent clashes with the then guardians of morality. Her performances articulated disappointments of life, especially for working-class women.
Born in Hoxton, London, her early interest in the music hall was fostered by her father John, who worked part-time in the nearby Royal Eagle Tavern. Marie formed her sisters into a singing group called the Fairy Bells Minstrels, singing temperance songs in local missions and church halls, costumed by their mother Matilda Mary Caroline Wood. In her teens, the younger Matilda Wood adopted the name Marie Lloyd, the surname taken from Lloyd’s Weekly Newspaper, and quickly became one of the most famous of English music hall singers and comediennes. Her first major success was The Boy I Love Is Up in the Gallery. She was the eldest of nine siblings, seven of whom had theatrical careers, the most successful being Daisy, Rose, Grace and Alice. All but Daisy performed under the name Lloyd in honour of their eldest sister.

Scandalous reputation:

Lloyd’s songs, although perfectly harmless by modern standards, began to gain a reputation for being “racy” and filled with double entendre, (“She’d never had her ticket punched before” for example) largely thanks to the manner in which she sang them, adding winks and gestures, and creating a conspiratorial relationship with her audience.

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