John Milton Hayes
(1884 - 1940), better known as J. Milton Hayes
, was an English
actor and poet
, best known for his 1911 dramatic monologue The Green Eye of the Yellow God
, much parodied by his contemporary Stanley Holloway
and later by The Goon Show
. He also wrote and performed many other monologues. Curiously little is known about Hayes, save that he was from the north of England
) and that he knew Alec Waugh
, who gave Hayes's explanation of the source of the poem in his book My Brother Evelyn and Other Profiles
- I wrote The Green Eye of the Little Yellow God in five hours, but I had it all planned out. It isn't poetry and it does not pretend to be, but it does what it sets out to do. It appeals to the imagination from the start: those colours, green and yellow, create an atmosphere. Then India, everyone has his own idea of India. Don't tell the public too much. Strike chords. It is no use describing a house; the reader will fix the scene in some spot he knows himself. All you've got to say is 'India' and a man sees something. Then play on his susceptibilities.
- His name was Mad Carew. You've got the whole man there. The public will fill in the picture for you. And then the mystery. Leave enough unsaid to make paterfamilias pat himself on the back. 'I've spotted it, he can't fool me. I'm up to that dodge. I know where he went.' No need to explain. Then that final ending where you began. It carries people back. You've got a compact whole.
J Milton-Hayes was the uncle or great uncle of my late grandfather Ron Lewis Breddy. I believe that he was originally from Germany and moved to Manchester in his earlier days although the family was spread between Manchester and Halifax. I actually have a photo of my Grandfather with J Milton-Hayes when my Grandfather was a young boy. He is said to have married a french actress (who exactly I'm not sure) and moved over there during world war one, his family is said not to have heard from him again.