Jimmy Kennedy OBE (20 July 1902 – 6 April 1984) was an Irish songwriter, predominantly a lyricist, putting words to existing music such as "Teddy Bears' Picnic" and "My Prayer", or co-writing with the composers Michael Carr, Wilhelm Grosz (aka Hugh Williams) and Nat Simon amongst others.
Kennedy was born on Brookmount Road in Omagh, Ireland. His father was Joseph Hamilton Kennedy, a member of the Irish police force. However, Jimmy Kennedy grew up in Portstewart, an Ulster seaside resort located to the north in Derry. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin.
Kennedy taught for a while in England before applying to join the Colonial Service as a civil servant in 1927. His music career took off, though, while he was awaiting a posting to the colony of Nigeria. He embarked on a career in songwriting by joining the staff of Bert Feldman, a music publisher based in London's Tin Pan Alley. In a career spanning more than fifty years, he wrote some 2000 songs, of which over 200 became worldwide hits and about 50 are all-time popular music classics.
Until John Lennon and Paul McCartney, he had more hits in the United States than any other Irish or British songwriter. His first success...