Music by: ET Paull
Lyrics by: None
Cover artist: Starmer
Paull could and did sometimes pull himself away from the militaristic
and patriotic marches and compose some interesting and unique works. Silver
Sleigh Bells, though still within the confines of the Paull formula
for mass appeal, is a truly delightful piece that Paull termed a "Novelette."
Still, Paull has used the descriptive method where the music is full of
text that describes the events the music is depicting, he still manages
to present a nice work here that is descriptive of a winter sleigh ride
and a race between two sleighs. Musically, I enjoyed this piece and I
think it is one of my favorites. Certainly the cover is special and perhaps
is the closest thing to a "Christmas" work that Paull ever published
under his own name. (The Paull publishing company often published works
by other composers, including many songs that had more traditional covers
and music.) Once again, let's turn to Paull's own "Explanatory",
to fully understand this delightful work.
Silver Sleigh Bells
Believing that it increases the interest of the performer,
to a greater or less extent in a descriptive musical composition to
know just what the author had in mind, is why this explanatory article
is written. The idea embodied in the "Silver Sleigh-Bells"
March-Novelette is a description of a sleigh-ride, including the possible
occurrences that take place during the trip. The following explanation
will give the various incidents that the author wishes to describe during
the ride. In the first place, it is to be supposed that every one taking
the ride is ready, and waiting, and that there are several sleighs in
the party. The first descriptive heading, therefore, contained in the
pieces is "All Aboard!" which is followed by the "Crack of
the Whip," spurring the horses into action. The first strain of
the piece represents the "Sleigh-Ride." The performer will notice
that there is a waved line placed before nearly all the chords throughout
the entire piece. We shall designate these as "arpeggio chords," and
they should be played correctly, to get the best effect. The lower note
of the chords should be struck first, then the next note above, then
the next, one after the other in quick succession. It gives a much better
bell-effect to play the chords in a roll, so to speak, and not to play
all the notes in the chord at the same time. The first incident that
occurs in the ride is "Passing the Church Chimes," which heading
will be found at the beginning of the 2d strain. This strain should
be played slower than the first, and care taken to follow the pedal
markings correctly, so as to make the tones distinct and resonant. After
the Chimes, comes a repetition of the first strain under the heading
"Continuation of Sleigh-Ride." Then follows the introduction
to the Trio, under the heading "Warning--Railroad Crossing!"
followed by "Slowing Up." The sleighs are practically supposed
to come to a stop; and while waiting, the "Song of the Sleigh-riders"
is heard. Then follows "Continuation of Song, with Silver Bells,"
the supposition being that the sleigh-ride has been resumed at this
point, and the song and the bells are intermingled. Then follows "Challenge
to a Race," then comes "Challenge Accepted," then follows
"The Race," in which all are supposed to take a part. This strain,
with the repetition of the same, an Octave higher, should be gradually
increased in velocity until the end of the Trio, which also has the
heading "End of the Race." This part of the piece has been so
arranged that the notes all lay under the fingers well, and are easy
to play. The time has been broken just enough, so as not to weary the
finger execution; at the same time the characteristic effect of "The
Race" has been increased. Then follows "Homeward Bound," which
is a repetition of the first and second strains, representing the "Sleigh
Ride," "Passing the Church Chimes, Etc.," until toward the
end of the piece, when the next heading, "Finale--Arriving at Home"
will be found, which is followed by "All Out!" which completes
the ride, and is in keeping with the spirit of the occasion that is
The performer will notice that the above named Headings
are printed in the music, showing just where the various movements begin
and end. The unusual number of complimentary comments that have been
received on the explanatory articles that were written for the "Burning
of Rome," and "Paul Revere's Ride," descriptive marches, has been an
additional incentive to the author to write this article, which, he
trusts, will meet with the approbation of a generous public.
Music by: Harry J. Lincoln, arr. Paull
Lyrics by: None
Cover artist: A. Hoen, Lithography
Harry J. Lincoln was a very popular composer during the late 19th - early
20th century and wrote a number of Marches, Rags and songs that were major
hits. He wrote a number of "fire" related works including
The False Alarm, The Fire Master and this piece. Here again,
we have an existing work, reworked by Paull and republished in the Paull
colors and manner of playing. Though this work was not written by Paul,
not published till 1906, it carries the odd headline; "Companion
Piece to The Celebrated Ben
Hur Chariot Race March." Since Ben Hur was written in 1894
and this in 1906, it is very strange that Paull would make that association.
This work also came during the period when Paull was including his lengthy
descriptives and explanatory yet this one was issued with nary an explanatory
and very little in the way of descriptive information included on the
score (see for yourself with the scorch plug-in).
Though not a Paull original, the music here pretty much fits the Paull
formula. One prominent collector of sheet music describes Paull works
as "forgettable marches and published music that is about as collectible
as it gets." I think that is one of the best single sentence descriptors
of Paull's oeuvre and unfortunately, fits this one to a "T".
A beautiful cover, a forgettable march.
Music by: S.L. Alpert, arr. Paull
Lyrics by: None
Cover artist: A. Hoen, Lithography.
This work is a bit of an enigma for me. It is another of Paull's "borrowed"
works from another composer, one less well known. The cover is one of
the finest works of art found on a Paull work (agreed, they are almost
all stunning) and the theme implies a great "descriptive", yet
this work has no "explanatory". Not only that, there is not
a single "descriptive" comment in the score as is the case in
almost every other Paull written or arranged march. Was Paull running
out of ideas? Was he so busy trying to fill the demand for his issues
that he was just pumping them out from any source possible? Or, was he
just like I get sometimes; burnt out and lazy?
Musically, this is a pretty good march and if you are not burnt out on
marches yourself yet, I think you will enjoy it. One thing I want to mention,
as you listen to and view the scores, notice how much Paull uses the sustain
pedal in his works. These songs not only give you a good finger workout
but they also provide a lot of foot exercise. Hey! Who needs aerobics,
just play a few ET Paull works and you'll get a good workout.
Music by: ET Paull
Lyrics by: None
Cover artist: A. Hoen, Lithography
As mentioned earlier in this issue, Paull was fond of dedicating works
to groups or individuals. Here we have a case of a Paull composed piece
that he dedicated to "womanhood." Specifically, on the cover
it states; "Respectfully Inscribed to Womanhood of the Universe."
Of course that dedication not only to women of the Earth but the Universe,
is exemplar of Paull's penchant for overstatement or expansive prose.
We see such statements throughout his publications. I find it charming
Again, we have a work that has absolutely no explanatory or descriptive
text in the music. Paull did include a short poem at the beginning. The
poem has no attribution so either it is anonymous or by Paull himself.
WOMAN For though she almost blushes to reign,
Though love's own flowers wreathe the chain,
Disguise the bondage as we will,
'Tis woman - woman rules us still.
Was there ever a more true statement made? Musically, there is nothing remarkable
about this work and very little to connect it to woman other than a very
brief passing quote of only four notes from Good Night Ladies at
the start of the Trio.
Music by: Len O. De Witt
Lyrics by: None
Cover artist: unknown
For our last two works this month, I want to look at some works that
were not as much by Paull as they were simply issues from his publishing
house. In many respects (though not all) he applied the same visual standards
to many of the works by other composers as he did to his own. This fabulous
cover is a good example. With another five color lithograph by Hoen, Paull
has created a cover that is one of the greatest I have seen. The work
itself was written for a show by Denmon Thompson called "The Old
Homestead" and premiered in 1886. According to the cover, this work
was written especially for the show. It is instrumental only, with no
lyrics so obviously played a part in the show as a dance piece or transition
piece. Since the show premiered some 12 years before this Paull publication,
we can assume it was written sometime around 1886 and perhaps published
by the composer or Thompson.
When The Old Homestead was first presented, comedy and melodrama
were popular themes for stage productions. Thompson understood that better
than most producers and as a result, Based loosely on his life and people
he knew in Swanzey, New Hampshire, The Old Homestead enjoyed
one of the longest (over four years) and most productive runs of any stage
show in the period. Thompson earned well over $3 million from the show,
an astounding figure for 1890! Thompson never wrote another play but he
continued to perform the role of Uncle Josh and by the time of his death
at 77, he had performed the role over 15,000 times! The play fell into
obscurity until 1939 when it was "discovered" by a community
organization in Swanzey and resurrected for performance there. Except
for a break during the war years, the play has been performed there ever
Music by: Harry Kennedy, arr. Paull
Lyrics by: Kennedy
Cover artist: E.H. Pfeiffer
Our last featured work ( don't miss seeing and hearing Paul Revere's
Ride and Ring Out Wild Bells in the Paull biography) this month is a real
rarity, a song carrying Paull's name as arranger. Clearly, Paull's forte
was the March and descriptive piece. There are very, very few songs written
by him and fewer still (this may be the only one) where Paull arranged
and reissued a popular song. He also rewrote the lyrics to fit the W.W.I
situation. The song was originally published in 1893 by the composer's
own publishing house, the Kennedy Publishing House, with a rather plain
cover (seen here). What is more odd, in my mind is why Paull would then
reissue it with a more common cover than most of his works. Not that Pfeiffer's
work is considered common but you have to admit that when compared to
all of Paull's other works, this cover clearly is a misfit. We do know
that there was at least one other such example of a Paull work carrying
a Starmer cover, The Tipperary Guard,
featured in our series on World War One music.
Paull simply must have been captivated by the song. His cover states
"The Most Beautiful Ballad Ever Written" and though it is a
nice song, I'm not sure I would agree, perhaps you will. Paull's arrangement
is very true to the original, just adding some effects, pedaling and noodling
that is typical of Paull's work. I have played the chorus as it was originally
written by Kennedy so you can hear the difference between the original
and the Paull arrangement. As for saying Au Revoir, rather than good-bye,
there is much more to this issue. First, there are two more new (to ParlorSongs)
Paull works to be seen and heard in our new Paull
biography. Don't miss Paul Revere's Ride and Ring Out
Wild Bells, you may as well go there now.
That's it for this month's feature, as always, we hope you have enjoyed the
music and learned something from it. Be sure to read this month's new "In
biography of ET Paull, there are two more Paull works to be seen there.
As for next month, we will have a new feature about songs with "Rose"
themes. There were hundreds, maybe thousands of songs written about roses
or using roses as a key theme. I know there are many, many collectors who
seem to be interested in Rose related songs so don't miss it!.
If you would like to return to part A of this month's issue, click
The Parlor Songs Academy is an educational website, designated by the "ac" (academic) domain
If you would like to submit an article about America's music for us to publish, go to our submissions page for information about writing articles for us. We also welcome suggestions for subjects for future articles.
Please Help Us Continue our Efforts with a donation. The Parlor Songs Academy. is a Tennessee unincorporated association. Donations go towards the aquisition of additional music, preservation of music, equipment and educational efforts. If you like what we do, please help us out. Donation funds are used entirely for the operating expenses of Parlor Songs and/or aquisition of additional music or equipment.