Fred J. [James] Barnes (d. 1917)


Fred J. [James] Barnes, not to be confused with singer Fred [Jester] Barnes, usually wrote with R.P. Weston, the two of them supplying a number of songs to Billy Williams during Billy’s pre-Godfrey days, including Tickle Me Timothy (1907); It Jolly Well Serves You Right (1907); The Hobnail Boots That Father Wore (1907); Little Willie’s Woodbines (Weston, 1908); and When Father Tried To Kill The Cock-A-Doodle-Doo (1911). Barnes also wrote Ellaline Terriss’s I’ve Got Rings On My Fingers (Mumbo Jumbo Jijiboo J. O’Shea) (with Maurice Scott and Weston, 1909). He was killed in World War One.

Barnes teamed up with Fred Godfrey to write Jim’s A Funny Fellow When He’s Had A Few; John Bull’s Daughters (with Orlando Powell, 1910); Miles O’Smiles (with R.P. Weston); and Oh, You Italian Opera Man (with R.P. Weston, 1913). Barnes, Godfrey, and Billy Williams wrote the delightful You’re The One, which Billy recorded in 1911; and around the following year, the three of them wrote Hurrah For Baden-Powell, a song that Billy never got around to recording. Barnes is also generally credited with writing Billy Williams’s greatest hit, When Father Papered The Parlour (with R.P. Weston, 1910), a song that Godfrey claimed to have written.