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Never Mind the Food Controller

An uplifting music hall song, intended to provide comfort during wartime food rationing.

Year:c1918

Location:Recorded in the UK

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Never Mind the Food Controller

An uplifting music hall song, intended to provide comfort during wartime food rationing.


Year: c1918

Length: 3:16

Credits: Composers Lee and Weston / Performer: Florrie Forde

Source: National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

Catalogue Reference: NFSA title: 1216979


People: Composers Lee and Weston / Performer: Florrie Forde

Location: Recorded in the UK

Tags: popular music, Florrie Forde, food rationing

Subject: popular music


Two years into the war, sugar in England cost twice as much as it had in 1914, and even bread and potatoes had doubled in price. In Germany things were even worse due to a British naval blockade. Germans were quite literally starving to death by 1918, surviving on turnips and sawdust-filled sausages.

The British government introduced rationing and other wartime restrictions in early 1918. This gave rise to songs such as ‘Sugar’, which tells the antics of a man in desperate search for a bag of sugar, and ‘Never Mind the Food Controller’, in which a man comforts his wife, claiming that while food may be in short supply, they can survive on their love for one another. Songs about rationing expressed frustration but always in a comic tone which was comforting for audiences.

In this recording, ‘Never Mind the Food Controller’ is sung by Florrie Forde. Forde was a music hall artist born in Melbourne who performed all her life – literally. She collapsed and died from a cerebral haemorrhage after singing for troops in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1940.

Forde released 700 individual recordings between 1903 and 1936. She had a powerful stage presence and specialised in songs with memorable choruses in which the audience was encouraged to join. She was at the height of her fame during the First World War.


Never mind the Food Controller – lyrics (chorus)

Never mind the Food Controller

We’ll live on love

Just one kiss and a squeeze

Will be better than bread and cheese

Never mind my sugar ration

For your lips I’ve got a passion

They’re so sweet, they’ll sweeten all my tea and coffee

They’re as sweet as any toffee

Never mind the Food Controller

My turtledove

For breakfast and dinner

We can have a little cup of love, sweet love

You can warm it up for supper

Never mind the Food Controller

We’ll live on love