Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Marie Lloyd

Marie Lloyd (1870 - 1922) was a British Music Hall singer and comedienne.

One of the greatest Music Hall performers of all time. Born Maria Victoria Wood, on February 12th 1870 in Hoxton, London, she changed her name to Marie Lloyd for the stage whilst in her teens. Her first major success was The Boy I Love is up in the Gallery. She quickly became a major singing and comic star.

Lloyd's songs, although perfectly harmless by modern standards, began to gain a reputation for being "racy" and filled with double entendre, largely due to the manner in which she sang them, adding winks and gestures and creating a conspiratorial relationship with her audience. She became the target of Vigilance committees and other groups opposing Music Hall licenses. Although popular enough to command her own fees, Lloyd backed and supported the 1906 strike for better terms by music hall performers.

Her private life was also controversial. Her first marriage to Percy Courtenay was a stormy one, and ended in divorce in 1905. She married Alec Hurley the next year, and later married Irish Jockey Bernard Dillon. Appearing in the USA for the first time in 1897, she was refused entry in 1913 when she and Dillon arrived together, but unmarried.

Another setback came when, due to her reputation, she was not included on the roster for the first Royal Variety Command Performance before King George V in 1912. However she remained Britain's most popular female entertainer, travelling all over the world and performing until her death in 1922. Many of her songs became firm standards performed long after her death by other performers who tried to copy her style.

Selected Songs