Growing Old and Aging
Music From the Cradle to the Grave
Adapted from the September 1915 edition of The Etude Magazine
Long before a baby can understand spoken language, it perceives and responds to the soothing influence of the lullaby, softly crooned by mother or nurse. The child feels the heavy, protective love expressed in these sweet tones. It is quieted by the gentle magic of the soft refrain. This is its first introduction to any form of art - the cradle song. The cradle song is probably the oldest and most widely known and used of all musical forms. The character and moods are always the same and the uniform keynote is maternal love.
This particular song is one of the most peaceful and beautiful lullabies that we've heard. With an especially good set of lyrics and a wonderful melody, it is a surprise that this piece has not found its way into the current repertoire.
Alexander MacFayden (1879 - 1936) pianist, composer, music teacher, b. Milwaukee. He received his musical education under Julius Klauser and William Borchert in Milwaukee, and also studied under Rudolph Ganz, Felix Borowski, and Arthur Friedheim in Chicago. He graduated from the Chicago Musical College (B.Mus., 1905), and the same year made his debut as piano soloist in the Auditorium Theater in Chicago. He taught in Milwaukee at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music (1912-1921), and at the Wisconsin College of Music (1922-1935), as well as in conservatories in New York and Chicago. MacFayden appeared frequently as soloist with the Chicago Symphony and with many other well-known orchestras, and toured with the Leonora Jackson Concert Company and Orpheum Circuit. He was a member of numerous musical organizations, and was the composer of more than 100 piano works, men's choruses, violin compositions, organ pieces, and songs. Among his best known songs are "Inter Nos," "Love is the Wind," "Cradle Song," "Spring Singing," and "Daybreak." He died in Chicago. Who's Who in Amer., 19 (1936); Wis. Blue Book (1929); A. E. Wascher, Who's Who in Music and Art in Milwaukee (Milwaukee ); Milwaukee Journal, June 7, 1936; N.Y. Times, June 7, 1936.1
In the Little Red School House
After the Ball
Lyrics by: Jack Frost
A bit later we find the youth and the maiden, in the first flush of adolescence, responding eagerly to the throbbing, sensuous measures of dance music in its various forms. In the Victorian era, and extending into the first decade of the new century, it was considered unseemly for couple to dance in public, unless it was a stately waltz. That began to change. A dance craze swept the nation's urban centers in the early 1900s, led by young women. Soon nearly every neighborhood hall, ballroom and saloon with the space was taking advantage of the phenomenon, and it wasn't long before specialized dance halls sprang up all over Manhattan. By the 1910s, over five hundred public dance halls were in service throughout New York City, and nearly one hundred dancing academies were in operation teaching young people the latest steps.
The Shimmy goes way back to Haitian "voodoo" dances with the rapid shaking of hips and shoulders. The Nigerians had a dance called the ""Shika", which is said to have come to America during the times of slavery and later transformed into the "Shake and Quiver" around 1900. The Shimmy actually became a couples dance in the 1930s, but is mainly a solo dance movement.
F. Henri Klickmann (1885 - 1966) also wrote, Floatin' Down to Cotton Town in 1919 with Jack Frost and Waters of The Perkiomen in 1935. Klickman was an extremely versatile composer having written many instrumental and ragtime compositions such as A Trombone Jag (1910) and High Yellow Cake Walk and Two Step (1915) as well as a wide variety of songs. Interestingly, Waters of The Perkiomen was originally a work for accordion. Klickmann wrote quite a few pieces for accordion and is one of the more popular composers for that instrument. In addition to all this, he also wrote "classical" style music, including a concerto for tenor sax. Klickmann wrote a large number of ragtime works that are popular in today's resurgence of ragtime interest. A simple search of the internet will return many, many references to his music and a number of sites that feature his music.
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. With a long and fruitful life, Klickmann turned to arranging in later years and arranged some of Zez Confrey's great piano jazz works such as Kitten On The Keys.
The effect which stirring, martial music has on troops, whether on the march or actually going into battle has long been known by military experts; stimulating to courage, fortitude, and patriotism. It is not without good reason that the band is considered as necessary a part of the equipment of every division as the unit flag or its munitions train.
We have written extensively about E. T. Paull and his music over the years. This piece is very typical of Paull and as he often did in other marches, he borrows heavily from other marches he published. The introductory passage as well as the following section are almost note for note copied from some of his other works. Closing in on his final years at the time of this piece, it is as though he has run out of energy and creativity. None the less, his marches were wildly popular and despite the re-use of prior materials, his works continued to be purchased and played in parlors all across the world.
(Edward Taylor) Paull (February 16, 1858 - November
27, 1924) Was the son of Virginia farmers and started his musical career as manager
of a music store, selling pianos and organs in Martinsburg , Virginia around
1878. It is unclear as to his activities for the next 20 years but his first
successful march was The Chariot Race or
Ben Hur March (MIDI) in 1894. The great success of this march caused
Paull to begin a steady stream of works. He started his own publishing company
around this same period and continued publishing under his name till his death
(at which time the company was bought and continued to publish under the same
name for two years afterward). Though best known today for his marches, Paull
did write other works and even wrote one piece for silent film Armenian
Maid in 1919. Marches were wildly popular and though Paull was capable
of composing fine works, he often obtained works by others and arranged them
and released them under his banner. This work is one such work. His last work
was the 1924, Spirit Of The U.S.A., copyrighted just six weeks before
his death. See our in-depth
biography of Paull as well as our two features on his music from July
2001 and June
1998 to learn more about this man and his music.
Songs about "goin' home" and regret for ever having left
were regular fare for Tin Pan Alley songwriters. Here we have the
same team that in 1913 gave us You Made Me Love You (I Didn't
Want To Do It), a tune that was a standard for Al
Jolson. And, just as in the 2nd verse of Jolson's Rock-a-bye
Your Baby With a Dixie Melody, "Wonder why I went
away, what a fool I've been", the fellow in this song has
had enough of city life and longs to be back home where strangers
say, "Good Mornin'."
As we pass through our "middle" years and realize we're on the downhill side of life, this poignant tune kind of sums things up.
Jimmie V. Monaco (1885 - 1945) Born in Genoa Italy, (some sources list Fornia as his birthplace.) Monaco came to the U.S. (Chicago) in 1891 with his parents. Wikipedia states the family emigrated to Albany, New York when Jimmy was six. He worked as a ragtime player in Chicago before moving to New York in 1910. Monaco's first successful song Oh, You Circus Day was featured in the 1912 Broadway revue Hanky Panky. Further success came with "Row, Row, Row" (lyrics by William Jerome) in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1912. Perhaps his best remembered song is You Made Me Love You (lyrics by Joseph McCarthy) introduced by Al Jolson in 1913 and famously performed by Judy Garland with revised lyrics as Dear Mr Gable in 1937.
Music by: Nat Vincent
We'll end our musical trip through life by going back to our beginnings. This is the song that started it all. No, not American popular music, but Parlor Songs. Those who have been with us for many years will recall that the original site was inspired by The Forward Collection, Rick's early hobby site, based on a collection of music given to him by his parents. Back in 1996 the very first piece of music that Rick scanned was this tune. Since then, we've grown to over 1,400 songs that have been scanned, although there are many that have yet to be featured in an article.
As we get older we long for the things that gave us comfort when we where young. In 1919, after 4 long years of horror, World War I was finally over. Prohibition was coming, the Roaring Twenties about to start and, although no one knew it, the Great Depression was just around the corner.
Longing for days gone by is a theme that permeates the history of song to this day. Who doesn't feel the pain and angst of the words of Those Were the Days by Mary Hopkin?
This article published May, 2012 and is copyright Richard Beil, Richard Reublin and The Parlor Songs Academy.
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