Another Author’s Insight: Robert Graves (1895-1985)

gravesMy mother told [my father] at once that she liked Father O’Flynn, the song for writing which my father will be chiefly remembered. He had put the words to a traditional jig tune ‘The Top of Cork Road’, which he remembered from his boyhood. Sir Charles Stanford supplied a few chords for the setting. My father sold the complete rights for one guinea. Boosey, the publisher, made thousands. Sir Charles Stanford, who drew a royalty as the composer, also collected a very large sum. Recently my father has been sent a few pounds from gramophone rights. He is not bitter about all this, but has more than once impressed upon me almost religiously never to sell for a sum down the complete rights of any work of mine whatsoever.
~ Good-bye to All That, Chapter I

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