It seems appropriate that we should board the bus, or boat or whatever and head for dreamland to enjoy this month's feature. This song was quite popular in its time and was a widely performed vaudeville song. It was recorded by Edison with Byron G. Harlan performing. Like many of the songs we will listen to this month, the song is a waltz time work. Waltzes lend themselves nicely to a soaring sort of floating feeling and offer that "dreamy" tone that many of the great ballads of the past have. This song is no exception and sets a nice tone for this month's feature. Thanks to an alert ParlorSongs visitor, Kathy, we have learned that this song is unquestionably written about the Coney Island attraction, "Dreamland. According to Kathy,
"Dreamland was only one portion of the Coney Island collection of amusement attractions back in 1900 to about 1911 when Dreamland burned. And it makes perfect sense to get on the trolley, or train, or whatever, to ride to Dreamland in Coney Island NYC. There is also a "Dreamland waltz" out there somewhere I found one time when poking on the internet."Kathy also provided us with this fascinating and interesting link;
"You can read more about the early 1900's and Coney Island with a WONDERFULThanks Kathy for adding to our knowledge base about this old song!
Harry Von Tilzer (b. July 8, 1872, Detroit, MI, d. Jan. 10. 1946,
Andrew B. Sterling (b. 1874, New York City, d. 1955,
Stamford, CT) is perhaps one of the greatest American popular song writers
from the period. His most lasting partnership was with the great Harry
Von Tilzer but he wrote numerous songs in collaboration with other composers
such as Lange. Lange was a successful song composer for many years and
went on to write motion picture scores culminating in his Oscar nominations
in 1943 and 1944 for his songs The Woman in the Window and Casanova
Enjoy this wonderful dreamy song(SCORCH format)
Music by: Herbert Ingraham
Lyrics by: Ingraham
Cover artist: Unknown
In the earlier part of the 20th century, many love songs were exceptionally passionate and this one is no exception. In fact, the chorus is wonderfully emotional and oozes with passion. In addition, the song has that lilting happy-go-lucky turn of the century flavor at the beginning. Musically it is a real treasure and contains a marking rarely seen in popular music. At the beginning in the verse, the lyrics carry the marking Recititavo, a singing style more often found in classical music and in Oratorios rather than common popular song. Of course the composer Ingraham was a noted composer who worked in theater, orchestral music and popular music and no doubt his broader background resulted in the use of musical methods usually not found in popular song.
With this song we encounter perhaps the most common "dream" theme in popular music; that of the dream lover or the girl (or man) of one's dreams. You'll see this as a common and continuous theme in the "dream" songs of early American popular music.
Herbert Ingraham (1883 - 1910) Ingraham was born in Aurora, Illinois in 1883 and was considered a musical prodigy early in life. As a child he conducted his own theatrical company and organized an orchestra in Chicago. He moved to New York and became a staff composer for Shapiro, Bernstein & Co. and was on his way to spectacular success when he contracted tuberculosis and he died at only 27. In the last year of his life, he had several hits including, All That I Ask Of You Is Love, You Are The Ideal of My Dreams and Good-by Rose. Roses Bring Dreams of You (MIDI) was one of his greatest hits and a couple of comedy songs; Because I'm Married and Hoo-oo! Ain't You Coming Out Tonight? His untimely death ended a very promising career.
Music by: F. Henri Klickmann
Lyrics by: Charles F. McNamara
Cover artist: Bouthillier(1), unknown(2)
Here is a work that we have two different copies of with different covers so we have included both covers as a "rollover" (put your cursor over the cover image). The first image is by a cover artist who is rarely seen, he must have done only a few covers, in fact, we can find only one other song listed with him as artist. Regardless of art, this is yet another song with a great deal of passion. Harmonically, it has that special sound of the turn of the century works. In waltz time, it offers a tender melody and sweet lyrics about dreams of the one he loves. (See the lyrics link below to review the full lyrics or view the score as it plays).
F. Henri Klickmann has a fairly large number of
works to his credit, yet biographical information on his is sketchy at
best. He was well known as not only a composer but as an orchestrator
and arranged music for a number of acts including the famous Six Brown
Brothers who were responsible for the popularization of the saxophone
in vaudeville and recording. Klickmann composed a number of pieces they
recorded in 1916 and 1917 as well as published commercial arrangements
of them including the tune Chicken Walk. There is an audible
improvement from 1914-15 in the sophistication of the writing., attributed
to Klickmann. Klickmann composed in a wide range of popular styles and
his hits include; Sweet
Hawaiian Moonlight (Sibelius scorch format); Good-Bye
(1914) a "hesitation waltz"; Knockout Drops Rag; The Dallas
Blues (1912), and My Sweetheart Went Down with the Ship,
a 1912 tear jerker about the Titanic.
Music by: Harry Verona
Lyrics by: Verona
Cover artist: Starmer
This is one of the few songs this month not in 3/4 time. In "common" time (basically 4/4), it still comes across as a nice dreamy tune. Here though, rather than singing about someone in their dreams, we are singing about a lost love and the protagonist's inability to forget his lost love because of recurring dreams of her. Of course, for some, those dreams might be nightmares, but not in those times. Romance was always in the air so it seems and love was always a topic for melancholy or joy.
Harry Verona, it seems is a victim of no-one dreaming of him for he seems long forgotten. A search of the net reveals no other songs by him and a review of our complete collection of references comes up empty. I hope someone out there who knows about him will let us know so we can preserve his biographical information. In the meanwhile, enjoy this fine work by him and dream about someone you love.
Here we have another of the many Sunday newspaper supplements that were printed in the early 20th century. With pianos gracing nearly every home, music was a national past-time and the newspapers knew that adding "free" sheet music was a way to bolster interest in the Sunday editions. Of course, for those without pianos, the music may have made a nice liner for the bird cage. Unfortunately, the format and distribution of this music has resulted in the loss of many otherwise unpublished works. Thanks to a few farsighted people though, some of the works have been preserved. Of course, due to the extremely short lived nature of high acid newsprint, we are finding fewer and fewer of these to preserve and the condition of most is deplorable. For more information about this form of music publication, see our feature on Sunday supplement music .
As with many of the Sunday supplement songs, this one is not necessarily the stuff of hits. Though a pleasant tune, it somehow lacks the combination of music and lyrics that makes a hit. Often, publishers would offer their slower selling songs to the newspapers to increase interest in the work or the composer. Published Sunday, Aug. 20, 1905 as a supplement to the New York American and Journal, this may be the one of only a few surviving copies .The song begins with an introductory verse in common time that is almost familiar, as though it were from another work. I cannot identify its source, but it is somehow familiar. At the chorus, Nathan moves to the dreamy waltz time and it is quite nice.
Joseph Nathan, (1858-1929) & Douglass Overin (b. NY. 1884?) are yet another pair of songwriters who have vanished into the past. Searches for information about both reveal just this one song although I feel sure that they must have produced more but once again, we have lost our musical heritage, at lease for the moment.
Enjoy this rare song (scorch)
Music by: Charles L. Johnson
Lyrics by: Johnson
Cover artist: Fred Craft
I think this song is a fine example of the "dream song" as it has a wonderful 3/4 time melody with lyrics that fit well with the music. The flow of the music is emotional with good harmonics and a languid flow that makes you want to close your eyes and join the singer in dreaming of your love. In this case, we are taken to dreams of days gone by, better times when two lovers enjoyed happiness and a life without care or worry. A quite nostalgic song, the lyrics and music well integrated to create a real and palpable mood of the past. This work is by one of early American popular music's earliest and finest African -American composers. It is also unusual in it's style as Johnson is best known for his Rags and this song is somewhat of a rarity from his most productive years. Given its source, it is no wonder that Dream Days is clearly from the pen of a master songwriter.
Charles Leslie Johnson was born in Kansas City, Kansas on December 3, 1876. He started taking piano lessons at age six and at sixteen was studying composition and music theory. Incredibly talented, he taught himself to play the violin, banjo, guitar and mandolin. He not only was a composer and performer but also an important patron of the arts in organizing a number of string orchestras. Like many great composers of the times, he was a song plugger early in his career, playing for J.W. Jenkins Sons' Music Company. His first published rag was Scandalous Thompson, published by Jenkins in 1899. Later, Johnson was associated with Central Music Publishing and then Carl Hoffman Music Company. While working at Hoffman in 1906, Johnson was working on a new rag when the bookkeeper walked in and asked him what the name of the new work was. Johnson had not named the song yet but noticed the man carrying a carton of dill pickles. Johnson supposedly replied, "I'll call it 'Dill Pickles Rag.' " After the success of Dill Pickles (Sibelius scorch format), Johnson started his own publishing firm which was purchased by Will Rossiter in 1910 with the stipulation that Johnson not reenter publishing for at least one year.
Johnson became one of the most prolific composers of the period and expanded his compositions to cover all types of music other than rags. He was published by all of the major firms and was so productive he even resorted to using pseudonyms to make it look like he had a staff of composers working for him. In all, Johnson wrote thirty two rags including Porcupine Rag in 1909 and Blue Goose Rag in 1913. His biggest money making song was Sweet and Low in 1919. Considered a clever and creative composer, Johnson's high sense of humor was often reflected in his works, as it is in Dill Pickles. Always a homebody, Johnson stayed in his hometown of KC for his entire life and died there on December 28, 1950.
Music by: A Fred Phillips
Lyrics by: Richard Howard
Cover artist: Starmer
Yet another love lost dream song came to us from the team of Phillips and Howard, neither of which are now, or were then, household names but who nonetheless created a wonderful ballad that speaks of a girl of dreams who he has never met except in his dreams and who leaves him with the dawn each day. A very nice melody with romantic sentiments and again, that nostalgic touch that seems to permeate "dream" songs from the period.
A. Fred Phillips is yet another of the many "missing in action"
composers from the early 20th century golden age of song, there is virtually
no information available on him other than listings for three of his songs,
the present one and Got Her Off My Hands But Can't Get Her Out Of
My Mind from 1951, and popularized by the Mills Brothers and Got
The Bench, Got The Park But I Haven't Got You from 1931. It seems
he wrote a song every twenty years or so. He also seemed to have a penchant
for long titles. It seems his partner in writing this son, Richard
Howard, has suffered the same fate with only three songs to his credit
and little else about him to be found. His works include this one and
Face To Face With The Girl Of My Dreams, 1914 and When The
Leaves Come Tumbling Down, 1922.
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.
We realize that there are those who prefer not to transact financial matters on the Internet. If you would like to donate or make a purchase by check, email us for mailing information.
E-Mail us for more information or comments or read our FAQs to get instant answers to our most often asked questions.