A barrister by profession, Fred Weatherly was one of the most prolific and successful writers of ballad lyrics. (He wrote, among many other things, the words to ‘Danny Boy’.) As for ‘Stephen Adams’, that was the pen-name of Liverpool-born Michael Maybrick, who also pursued a career as a singer under his real name. For the final twenty-five years of his life Maybrick lived at Ryde, Isle of Wight, where he was elected mayor five times. In 1889 he had been a witness in a sensational trial following the murder of his brother James, a Liverpool cotton-broker, and the case has recently attracted renewed attention with the publication of a Victorian diary supposedly identifying James Maybrick as the serial-killer, Jack the Ripper.
from notes by Andrew Lamb © 2002