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July 1999 Edition
Just Good Old Music


We usually try to have a topical theme for our monthly updates but much of the music within our collection is not categorized by any particular topic. As such, it is difficult for us to put it into a category or theme that has continuity or that makes sense.

Much of this music is rich in its musical value and of course the cover art is well worth seeing and preserving. Therefore, for July we will simply celebrate music for its own sake. The titles we present to you this month are as yet unpublished rare songs from the past that we believe will make for a pleasant summers eve listening.

We also have a very special item this month, a guest submission. See the last featured item for a wonderful submission from one of our ParlorSong fans.

We are continuing our new feature for some of our featured covers; the availability of a full score image in PDF format. Try it out and let us know if you like the idea and want us to expand it by making full scores available for all our published music. We did not get much feedback on this feature last month, just two or three of you let us know how you felt about it so we are again only offering a couple of scores. You will need Adobe Acrobat to view it. If you don't have it, get it here (5.2mb download from Adobe.com).

Sheet Music Cover Tie Me To Your Apron Strings Again
1925
Music by: Larry Shay
Lyrics by: Joe Goodwin
Cover artist: unknown

This is one of those really cute songs from the twenties that were so prevalent during that time. Generally, this sort of work was called a novelty piece. The music for these works usually had a catchy tune and rhythm (like this one does) but it was the lyrics that made them so charming. In this case, I would like to share the complete lyrics for this song:

Why not sing along with the music and revive this old song?

(Eight bar introduction)
Like a kid who stays a-way from school,
I left to roam, played hook-ey from Home Sweet Home.
I've been like most an-y fool,
Who goes a-way to stay, that's why I say.

(Chorus)
Tie me to your ap-ron strings a-gain,
I know there's room for me, up-on your knee.
Bring back all those hap-py hours when,
you kissed my tears a-way, From day to day.
I thought that I was right, but I was wrong.
Please take me back to-night, where I be-long
Sing a cra-dle song to me and then
Won't you tie me to your a-pron strings a-gain.
(Repeats)

Enjoy this great old song.
Click the image to download a PDF file of the entire score of "Tie Me To Your Apron Strings Again". Let us know if you would like us to expand this feature! Sign our guestbook or send us an e-mail.

You'll need Adobe Acrobat to view the file


Sheet Music Cover Skylarking
1908
Music by: Harold Eastman
Lyrics by: none, piano solo
Cover Artist: Pfeiffer

During the early twentieth century and well into the twenties and thirties, there were not only novelty songs created but a number of novelty dances that were built around the popularity of a given song (such as the Charleston) or in some cases popular personalities (such as the Castle Walk or Lindy). In only a very few cases did these dances last for more than a few years. I guess we could call these dances, novelty dances. This piece is one that appears to be one which accompanied one such dance for the title states "A New Dance".

The music has no lyrics and therefore we can get no clue from them as to what the origin or style of dance the "Skylarking" might have been. I can find no reference to such a dance on the net or in any of my music references (except for a recent rock album called Skylarking by the group "XTC" and I am sure that is not it!) so have no clue as to this dance. If any of our more senior fans remember this tune or dance, please let us know about it. If you do know something about it, post it at our guestbook (see link at top of page). The music is rather sycopated and has an interesting, loping rhythm so I can only imagine what the dance may have been like. The cover art has some interesting halloween/masked ball sort of art, I wonder if it is a witches dance?

Hear this interesting old song.
Click the image to download a PDF file of the entire score of "Skylarking". Let us know if you would like us to expand this feature! Sign our guestbook or send us an e-mail.

You'll need Adobe Acrobat to view the file


Sheet Music Cover Old Pal (Why Don't You Answer Me?)
1920
Music by: M. K. Jerome
Lyrics by: Sam M. Lewis and Joe Young
Cover artist: Barbelle

Many of the ballads from the early part of the twentieth century were some of the most heartfelt and emotional music ever written. That is evidenced by the fact that so many songs from that period continue to stay in the everyday repertoire.

Of course, many of the songs faded away and have been lost for many years, some will be lost forever. Yet musically, these songs are beautifully written and express some of the greatest thoughts ever put to music. This song, in my mind deserves to be one that is remembered. You can hear the emotion in the music of this song about friends who have parted and a man's sorrow in losing his friend.

The artwork for this piece is also expressive and beautiful. It is another of the many splendid works by "Barbelle", Albert Barbelle. Mr. Barbelle also created many posters and other works of art during his lifetime but it is his contribution to sheet music art which has gained him his most lasting fame.

Listen to this beautiful old ballad.

Sheet Music Cover
Bye-Lo
1919
Music & Lyrics by: Ray Perkins
Cover artist: Barbelle

Now here is an interesting and somewhat curious work. The title, "Bye-Lo" doesn't seem to have much significance except for within the lyrics. The cover does not really offer a clue as to what the song is really about, except for the baby picture. The song is a lullaby of sorts, but one with racial implications.

As we have noted in past editions, some of the music from this era was racist in nature. Though at the time, the composers, singers and lyricists no doubt thought the song was cute, in today's world, they are far from cute. This particular song is about an African-American child who is sitting on mother's knee being sung to sleep. Here is some of the chorus:

"Bye-lo, Your eyes are clos-in' hon
Bye-lo, you'll soon be doz-in' hon;
Oh! my lit-tle stick of eb-o-ny your mam-my's by your side
Bye-lo you're tired of play-in' hon," etc.

The music is a lilting and happy tune.

Listen to this happy song.

Sheet Music Cover
Don't Go Flo
1913
Music by: Elwood Wolf
Lyrics by: Wolf
Cover artist: De Tacakcs

Here is another of the many mystery songs we have in our collection. The photo on the cover states "The Six Little Song Birds". The kids look like one family's answer to the Seven Little Foys (minus one). The question is, who were the Six Little Song Birds? A search of the net and other resources comes up empty.

It saddens me to see that much of this heritage could be lost forever, again, I'll make another appeal to any of our fans out there who might know who this group was to let us know about them. It is possible that some of the kids might still be with us.

The music to this song is typical of the period. It is an upbeat and joyful song melodically. However, the lyrics are another story. They tell the tale of a romantic breakup and unrequited love.

Listen to "Don't Go Flo".


Sheet Music Cover
Baby Shoes
1916
Music by: Al. Piantadosi
Lyrics by: Joe Goodwin, Ed Rose
Cover artist: Starmer

Here is another "baby" oriented song from the teens that just oozes with emotion. The song is one of remeniscence and a mother's aging and longing for her children who have long gone from the nest. The cover art here is from another of the giants of the cover art world, Starmer. He was perhaps even more prolific than Barbelle and produced hundreds of wonderful covers during the golden age of song.

The lyrics speak of the time when a mother took care of her children and her only memento of those days, a pair of worn baby shoes.The chorus is as follows:

Ba-by shoes, ba-by shoes, Moer will nev-er for-get them
You have for-got-ten when your feet were bare,
Moer re-mem-bers, she still has a pair,
of ba-by shoes, ba-by shoes, to keep them the world she'd re-fuse,
If she had to choose, her life she would lose,
Be-fore she'd part with her ba-by's shoes.

Listen to "Baby Shoes".

Guest Submission

This month we have a guest submission provided to us by Rob & Debbie, some of our fans from Wisconsin. They have submitted a companion piece to one we featured in May, The Robin's Return by Leander Fisher.
Sheet Music Cover
The Robin's Departure
1914
Music by: Leander Fisher
Lyrics by: (none, piano solo work)
Cover artist: Unknown

In May we featured a wonderful work by this composer, "The Robin's Return". What we did not know at that time was that the composer had also written a companion piece presented here. Fisher was quite prolific in composing a number of fine works that are in the British Library. Rob was kind enough to share with me a copy of the Fisher catalog from that library. Among them are these works and others including "The Meadow Lark" and "The Swallows Return". It seems he favored birds as theme material.

Through his research, Rob discovered that the Robin's Return and this work were actually first published as early as 1876 making them much older than I first thought.

Musically, again Fisher has created an artistic work more in the vein of classical piano than popular song. Though the cover is rather plain, the music is terrific. Thanks to Rob and Debbie for taking the time to submit this great work to us for inclusion in this months feature.

If you missed the May feature, go there now and listen to "The Robin's Return".
Otherwise, enjoy The Robin's Departure


Be sure to visit this month's gallery for more great songs, including "Cathedral Chimes" and a redeux of many of our favorite featured works you may have missed.


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