Thomas H. Lodge was born in Lymansville, Rhode Island, part of North Providence, to British father Edward Lodge and his wife Joanna Lynch, a Maryland native of Irish descent. He was the oldest of four brothers and one older sister. His siblings included Annie, Edward A,.Lyman Alfred and Walter. His father worked in the Providence Woollen Mill, as had many of his siblings since their own father died in the late 1860s. In spite of seemingly non-musical parentage, Thomas took well to the piano, and was able to find employment after high school demonstrating and selling pianos. By 1900 his father Edward had died and his mother Joanna was running their home as a boarding house. Within a few years Thomas had published a couple of his early pieces. As per the 1905 Rhode Island census, Thomas was still living with his mother and two of his brothers, Lyman and Walter. Lodge was married in 1906 to Sarah Agnes Mackie, and they had a child, Mary Frances, late the following year.

In 1909, Temptation Rag was published, and quickly became a hit in the stores and on the vaudeville circuit. It received accolades not only in the trades and the press, but from his peers as well. One such mention appeared in the New York Clipper in early 1910:

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