Kim Dyer has written to let me know that a new album by Al Stewart, called A Beach Full of Shells (Appleseed Records, 2005), has just been released and it includes a tribute to “Mr Lear”.
Edward Lear has always been a favourite with song writers, as the sadly incomplete Edward Lear and Music page demonstrates, and appeared as a character in the Beatles’ “Paperback Writer”:
Paul wrote “Paperback Writer” as another of his “letter songs.” It is about a novelist who is begging a publisher to publish his thousand page book. In its literal sense, it’s about a paperback writer who has written a novel based on another novel, about a paperback writer. Lennon’s contribution to this song was the phrase “a man named Lear,” and the reference to “The Daily Mail.” The name Lear came from the Victorian painter Edward Lear, who wrote nonsense poems that Lennon loved, and the Daily Mail was the regular newspaper Lennon received. It was recorded on April 13 and 14, 1966.
Oh Look Out! Part 16, 1962-1966 – The Red Album by John T. Marck
BTW, you can listen to two very early recordings of The Owl and the Pussy-cat (Columbia Quartet, 1902, and Haydn Quartet, 1904) in the Sounds section of the site.