Harold C. Laptrap
Composer from the "Next Seasons Novelties" joke review in the Vol. 54, no. 846 (Aug. 1, 1913) of The Musical Times, by Harvey Grace.
"At the old convent gate." Semi-sacred song, by Harold C. Laptrap (Church & Co.).
Here we have this deservedly-popular song-composer in his most alluring vein. The poem, a tender lyric by Wotherspoon, tells us of an orphan child who, after two verses of cruel neglect, finds a resting-place on the steps of the convent gate-hence the title. There, with the gently-falling snow for a coverlet, she falls asleep, while the voices of the nuns are heard singing their vesper hymn. We quote the last verse-surely Wotherspoon at his very best:
"There in the dusk, at close of day,
Sleeping, but beautiful she lay.
The snow fell thick on hedge and field,
In cloisters dim the voices pealed-
'Homocea ! Homocea !'"
It remains only to add that Mr. Laptrap, with characteristic thoroughness and feeling for the, fitness of things, has written a part for harmonium or organ, which adds very materially to the effect. We note that Madame Sarah Summerbee and Mr. Roderick Manktelow are announced to sing the song at all their engagements. This recognition by leading English vocalists of the good work of native composers is a welcome sign of the times.
Homocea was a brand of cure-all at the turn of that century that went in for overly-dramatic ads, like this one. Also, his name is C. Laptrap, or claptrap, get it?