Songs About Kisses and Kissing, Page 2
This is a continuation of Our September, 2003 Issue of songs about
kisses and kissing. If you missed page one, check the link at the end of this
page or use this link.
Music by: Maurice Levi
Lyrics by: None, piano only
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth
Edition. 2000 defines a soul kiss as: noun, "A kiss in which the
tongue enters the partner's mouth; a French kiss." Holy-Moley! I
wonder if that is what Flo. Ziegfeld had in mind in 1908 when he staged
the play, The Soul Kiss. That musical extravaganza included music
by Addison Burkhardt, Louis A. Hirsch, Maurice Levi and Paul Lincke and
was written by Harry B. Smith. The show opened on Jan 28, 1908 at the
New York Theater, in New York City. Among the cast was a young lady, Adeline
Genee. Genee was apparently popular as evidenced by this work, a compilation
of the "principal numbers" from the show. Genee also starred
in The Silver Star which opened at the New Amsterdam Theater, on
November 1, 1909 and played for 80 performances. The Soul Kiss
was a bit more successful, running for 122 performances.
Genee (1875 - 1954) was born Anita Jensen in Århus, Denmark and
became renowned as a dancer, primarily in ballet. She was appointed prima
ballerina at the Empire Theater in London in 1897 and stayed in that position
for ten years. Florenz Ziegfeld, brought her to the US in 1908 to star
in his production and advertised her as being 'the world's greatest dancer'.
The show was an enormous success and, as she had done in England, she
made thousands of people aware that dance was a true art form that could
be both elevating and entertaining. Genee retired from the stage in 1916
but continued to be a driving force in the development of dance in the
In 1931 the Adeline Genée Medal Awards were instituted in the United
Kingdom in her honor and they remain one of the most important awards
of excellence given to young dancers. In 1950, she was created Dame of
the Order of the British Empire for her services to ballet. Facts for
the above biography from Collector's
Post.com where you can see some great photos of Genee as well as
read a review of the show from the Theater Magazine, March 1908.
The composer, Levi, was clearly enthralled with Genee and wrote this
arrangement of melodies from the show, all waltzes and all with beautiful
flowing melodies. Imagine Genee flitting about the stage as you listen
to the music. The titles Levi has included in this medley are, in order
of appearance, the title song, The Soul Kiss, When The Swallows Return
In Spring, Any Old Place In The World With You and My Old Broadway.
I hope you enjoy this musical interlude on the soul kiss.
Maurice Levi, was a relatively prolific writer
of Broadway shows and also wrote the music for at least three of Ziegfeld's
musical revues, 1908, 1909 and 1911. His other credits include; The
Soul Kiss (1908), Twiddle-Twaddle (1906) Higgledy-Piggledy
(1905) The Rogers Brothers in Harvard (1902) The Rogers Brothers
in Washington (1901) and The Rogers Brothers in Central Park
(1900). Aside from his many credits, I've been unable to find out anything
else about his life.
Listen to and see this wonderful
Printable using the Scorch plugin
Listen to MIDI version
Lyrics (no lyrics, piano only)
Music by: Victor Herbert
Lyrics by: Henry Blossom
Cover artist: Unsigned
For most of us, the first taste of a kiss leads to the desire for more.
After all, who can resist the intimacy that a sweet kiss brings to us?
Victor Herbert wrote many romantic songs and was at one time considered
the leading American composer, the standard by which others were judged.
In terms of art songs, I would agree and this work is a good example of
the sort of song that Victor was best known for. From his 1905 operetta,
Mlle. Modeste written with Henry Blossom, the song obviously enjoyed
a place in the standard repertoire of American songs. This copy is from
a full ten years after the show's debut and the song continues to be heard
yet today. The show was often revived and enjoyed performances as late
as 1929 at the Jolson Theater in New York. A 1939 musical movie, The Great
Victor Herbert featured the song sung by Susanna Foster.
This song actually was not included as such in the first performance
of Mlle. Modeste. The melody was the signature or title song of
the show and originally was titled If I Were On The Stage. The
song appeared later as a separate song retitled to Kiss Me Again
and was popularized by Austrian soprano Fritzi Scheff (1879-1954) who
also initially sang it in the operetta. Scheff was a successful singer
in grand opera but made her real impact in the world of operetta. She
made her debut in 1897 at the Munich Royal Opera as Marie in Fille
du Régiment. Her 1906 performance in Mlle. Modiste launched
her career in operetta. (Scheff facts from HistoricOpera.com)
As often has happened with certain songs, Fritzi Scheff and Kiss Me
Again became inextricably linked and it was associated with her for
the remainder of her career.
A Special Treat! Recently we've corresponded with Terry
Smythe, a piano roll collector in Winnepeg (Canada). Terry has devised
a machine that scans and converts old piano roll music to MIDI. The result
is a near perfect recording of the piano roll music. The significance
of this is that we can again hear the performances of many important pianists
from the golden age of American music without having to have a player
piano. Terry has graciously granted us permission to post his MIDI files
whenever we feature a song for which he has converted a roll. This month,
and with this song and A Kiss In The Dark, (below) we introduce
Terry's works. Listen now to the playing of the composer, Victor
Herbert as he plays his own song, Kiss Me Again from Ampico
piano roll 371. Visit Terry's
site for a fascinating look at how he has accomplished this miracle.
Herbert (b. Dublin, 1859 - d. New York
City, 1924) Herbert was three when his father died and he and his mother
went to live with her father in a small town near London. Since his grandfather,
Samuel Lover was a man of letters and dramatist, the boy grew up in a
cultured atmosphere where he learned to appreciate the arts. At seven
he began studying piano with his mother. He showed such talent that his
mother and grandfather sent him to Germany for intensive music study.
In Stuttgart he studied music with a specialty in cello. He played with
several orchestras and was became first cellist at the Stuttgart Royal
Orchestra. During that time he began writing music and wrote a suite and
a concerto for cello and orchestra. Described as a commanding man, he
was always well tailored and showed wit and good manners. He married Theresa
Förster in 1886 and shortly thereafter they traveled to America where
the good Fräulein was engaged to perform with the Metropolitan Opera
In New York, Herbert joined the Metropolitan Opera Company orchestra
and soon became an American citizen, never again to return to Ireland
or Germany. For a while Herbert performed as a soloist and formed and
conducted and orchestra. He also formed the New York String Quartet and
became a faculty member of the National Conservatory of Music. His compositional
efforts up till 1893 were focused entirely on concert works. Then Lillian
Russel commisioned him to write an operetta, La Vivandière,
which was never produced, supposedly because it was not up to her standards.
Undaunted, Herbert was taken by popular song and operetta and the next
year he wrote Prince Ananias and with it was launched the popular
and musical stage career of one of America's greatest song writers. A
number of stage productions culminating in what is arguably, his greatest
operetta, Babes In Toy Land.
In addition to his operettas, many of the songs from them became stand
alone hits (i.e. Toy Land) and he wrote a number of enduring
hits we still sometimes hear today. Among them are Ah!
Sweet Mystery Of Life, (MIDI) Gypsy Love Song, In Old New York, Tramp!
Tramp! Tramp! and You Belong To Me. His 1924 song and operetta
of the same name My Dream Girl were his last. Herbert died in New York
City in 1924 of a heart attack.
Henry Blossom (b. 1866, St. Louis, MO, d. 1919 New York City)
Blossom is best known for his one lasting hit The Streets Of New York
("East side, West side, all around the town.") from the 1906
production The Red Mill, also in collaboration with Victor Herbert. Blossom
was primarily a librettist and lyricist in the musical world but his original
profession was that of an insurance broker. His Kiss Me Again was
from the show Mlle. Modiste, first staged in 1905. Blossom wrote
the libretto (book) for no less than sixteen shows, with his last, The
Velvet Lady, staged shortly before his death in 1919. Some of Blossom's
works have been performed as recently as 1981.
Hear and see this V.
Printable sheet music using Scorch plugin
listen to MIDI version
Your Kisses Till The Boys Come Home
Music by: Tom Mellor, Harry Gifford, Fred Godfrey
Lyrics by: Mellor, Gifford & Godfrey
Cover artist: Jorn Frew
We saw on page one with Kiss Me Good-Bye Sweetheart, that kissing a soldier
good-bye is a timeless activity. However, what happens once the soldier
leaves? That can be a soldiers greatest nightmare! Or, his greatest comfort.
Fortunately, in earlier times women and men were more loyal (or were they?)
to each other and the Victorian mores of the times required a certain
composure and restraint, at least publicly. In 1915, Britain was already
embroiled in World War One and her boys were being sent to the front to
participate in what one historian has called, "organized murder."
The United States was watching the situation but it would be three more
years before we helped out. In the meanwhile, England was producing numerous
wonderful war songs that found their way to America. Save Your Kisses
Till The Boys Come Home is one of them, and one of the best in my
The song is exceptionally upbeat and a real joy to listen to. It is reminds
me of the great English music hall experience and I can just imagine the
performer belting this song out on the stage while the audience joins
in. Of course the song also sends a message to the boys not to worry,
their women are holding faithful to them and saving up all their kisses
just for them when they come home. We can only imagine how this song must
have encouraged the troops and even gave them something to look forward
to on their return home. If the songs of World War One interest you, you
may want to read our three part series on the music of W.W.I and the associated
features of music. You can start
with part one and work your way through the series.
The team of Mellor, Gifford and Godfrey have eluded me. Perhaps because
they are from England, as is this song, my "American" songwriter
resources do not include them. Searches of the net came up empty but perhaps
someone out there can help us document their lives.
Hear this great old
listen to MIDI version
Music by: Lynn Cowan
Lyrics by: Alex Sullivan
Cover artist: De Takacs
Here we have a song that simply addresses the basis of kisses, the romantic
and love bourne kiss between two lovers. At the same time, the lyrics
of this song cover the range of kissing to make the point that the sweetest
kiss is from your sweetheart. If I cared to be more parsimonious with
my words, I could have just copied the lyrics from this song as it pretty
well summarizes the entire subject of kisses at the beginning of the first
Ever since the world began,
Kisses have been tempting man,
Though kisses have helped to make history
It's funny how diff'rent they can be.
And then the song goes on to speak of the various kisses one can experience.
Be sure to play the song using the Scorch player or at least take a look
at the entire lyrics through the lyrics link below. Musically, Cowan and
Sullivan also hit the mark as the song is a wonderful and melodic ballad
that conveys the tenderness of the lyrics.
Lynn Cowan is yet another of those elusive composers for whom
I've been unable to find any substantial biographical information. There
was a Lynn Cowan who performed in a number of film musicals as well as
silent films from 1924 to 1934 but I've been unable to make a connection
to this composer. Cowan is credited with at least two other songs I can
find; in 1928 he published Dream House with lyrics by Earl Foxe
and then in 1929, a song for the film The Great Gabbo; I'm In
Love With You with lyrics by Paul Titsworth. His partner in this song,
Alex Sullivan seems to have fallen prey to the same fate.
Listen to and see this
great Kiss song (Scorch format)
Listen to MIDI version
Kiss That Made Me Cry
Music by: Joe Burns, Arthur Fields, Archie Gottler
Lyrics by: Burns, Fields & Gottler
Cover artist: Unknown
Shown in one of the articles in our series about W.W.I music, this song
is a wonderful, perhaps the best song of the era about the meaningfulness
of a child's kiss. We've certainly explored the soldier's good-bye kiss
with the sweetheart, but here we have a war tear jerker of monumental
proportions that no doubt ripped out the hearts of many a listener in
1918. Of a gentler and kinder time in our history, the song even shows
that men do cry, even when they try not to. A hardened soldier off to
war, trained to kill and perhaps about to be killed is brought to his
knees by the love of his child. There can be no doubt that the emotion
of the moment was almost too much for a man to take.
Written by one of America's more patriotic composers, Archie Gottler
and his lyricists have managed to create one of the War's greatest hits.
Gottler shows his extreme talent in writing a melody that is beautiful
and as he did in his great song America, I Love You, he shows his mastery
of harmony and accompaniment with a song that has great chordal progressions,
modulations and phrasing. I think you'll enjoy this song and agree, it
is a masterpiece of songwriting.
Archie Gottler (1896 - 1959) is perhaps
most famous for his patriotic song America I Love You, (see our
1998 feature) introduced by Eva Tanguay in 1915. He wrote a number
of classic American songs including two in collaboration with Maceo Pinkard;
Don't Be Like That and Lila, which Fred Waring's Pennsylvanians
later recorded on a best selling disc. His songs are marked by wonderful
melodies and patriotic fervor. In one case, he showed his good humor with
the novelty War song, Would You Rather Be A Colonel With An Eagle
On Your Shoulder Or A Private With A Chicken On Your Knee?. Gottler
also wrote a number of Broadway show scores as well as early sound movie
scores. Gottler wrote several very popular songs and several Broadway
musicals including the Broadway Brevities starring Eddie Cantor
which opened at Winter Garden Theater, September 29,1920 and ran for 105
performances. He attended CCNY and Long Island Business College. He was
a pianist in silent movie theaters early in his career. Gottler also served
in the Signal Corps during W.W.II as a producer of training films. Among
his other Broadway scores was the Zeigfeld Follies of 1918 and
Good Boy in 1928. Gottler was also a pioneer composer for early
silent films composing scores for The Fox Movietone Follies of 1929
and the film, Happy Days in 1930. During his career he collaborated
with a number of the big name lyricists of the period and even brought
his son, Jerome, into the business as a lyricist to his music. Among his
other successful songs are In
The Gold Fields Of Nevada (1915, Scorch format), Nobody Else
But Elsie (date unkn.), That's How I Feel About You (1928),
Roamin' Through The Roses (1933), and Mammy's Chocolate Soldier
(1918). Gottler died in California.
Hear this great old War song
Printable! (Scorch format only)
Listen to MIDI version
Kiss In The Dark
Music by: Victor Herbert
Lyrics by: B.G. De Sylva
Cover artist: Unknown
It's time to turn out the lights and say "goodnight ladies,"(and
gentlemen) and what better way that with a kiss in the dark? Our final
song for this issue is yet another from the master of American music,
Victor Herbert. Here Herbert teamed up with one of America's greatest
lyricists to create a song that is a lovely waltz, still very much like
many of Herbert's songs yet a little more mainstream pop for the times.
I've mostly found Herbert's music a bit too formal and artsy to suit me.
His work borders on the classical and is less light than most popular
music. His style is very firmly grounded in the Victorian age and this
song, though written fairly late in his career, still shows that 1890's
patina that he seems so firmly attached to.
This song, like almost all of Herbert's is from a stage show, Orange
Blossoms which opened at the Fulton Theater, September 19, 1922 and
ran for 95 performances. Herbert would only write two more shows before
his death in 1924, neither of which produced lasting hits. This song would
be his final lasting hit of his career. This show was also the only one
written in collaboration with a big name pop lyricist, De Sylva. It was
relatively unusual for Herbert to team with lyricists from the "new
school" of American popular music. The song is a flowing waltz ballad
that is kind to the ear and with lyrics that tell a touching story of
a kiss in the dark that sparked a lasting love. What better way to end
our feature this month. We wish all of you love and kisses of all sorts.
A Special Treat, Part Deux. Here is a second piano roll
conversion by Terry Smythe. Listen now to the playing of the composer,
Victor Herbert as
he plays his own song, A Kiss In The Dark from Ampico piano roll 1201
published in 1921. Visit Terry's
site for a fascinating look at how he has accomplished this miracle.
See the above listing for Kiss Me Again for biographical
information on the composer Victor Herbert.
George Gard ("Buddy") De Sylva (b.
1895 New York City - d. 1950, Hollywood) Though New York born, De Sylva
grew up in California and attended USC. He gained an early interest in
show business and tried writing a few songs. He met Al Jolson around 1917
or 18 and Jolson convinced him to go to New York and used several of De
Sylva's songs in Sinbad and other shows. Jolson and De Sylva collaborated
on many songs over the course of their association. In addition to Jolson's
shows, he wrote songs for a number of other productions over the twenties
and wrote a number of individual songs that became big hits. In 1925 he
teamed with composer Ray Henderson and fellow lyricist Lew Brown to write
several show scores into the thirties. In the mid 1930's, De Silva turned
to the movies and became a producer and produces several of Shirley Temple's
best films. He ultimately rose to head of Paramount Pictures and was an
executive with Capitol records.
De Sylva enjoyed a nearly lifelong association with Al Jolson and wrote
many of his biggest hit songs. However, Jolson's hits were only a small
part of his famous songs, many of which are still popular today. His many
hits include, The Best Things In Life Are Free (1927); Button
Up Your Overcoat (1928); You Are My Lucky Star (1928); California
Here I Come (1922) and If You Knew Suzie Like I Know Susie (1925).
His last song was the 1939 song Love Affair from the movie Wishing.
Enjoy this great Kiss
sheet music using Scorch plugin
listen to MIDI version
That completes our feature of songs about kisses and kissing, come back to
see us next month (October, 2003) for a fun filled feature of songs about monkeys
and the jungle!
If you missed page one of this feature, or want to return to it, click
here to go to page one
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