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Age, growing old, and dying, Page 2


This is a continuation of the August, 2002 Feature, if you missed page one, check the link at the end of this page or use this link..

Bring Back Those Wonderful Days


Music by: Nat Vincent
Lyrics by: Darl MacBoyle
Cover artist: De Takacs

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, athough 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 are about to start and, although no one knew it, the Great Depression is 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?


Hear the song that started it all (scorch format)

Listen to MIDI version




Those Good Old Days Back Home


Music by: Jimmie V. Monaco
Lyrics by: Joe McCarthy
Cover artist: Rose symbol

Another life foolishly wasted, bad choices, regrets, but it doesn't ring true. Sure the big city ain't what he thought it would be, but he doesn't miss his sweetheart, the one he left behind all those years ago waving goodbye at the station expecting him back. And he obviously doesn't have anyone he cares for now if he is thinking about leaving. Just another self-centered dolt looking for unconditional affirmation and pity. Plus there is no real tragedy, sure he is restless and wants to go home, but was his life ruined because of his choice, no just mildly disappointing in retrospect.

I left my sweet-heart in old New Hamp-shire,
wav-ing to my train,
I sort of reck-oned that old New Hamp-shire
Would nev-er see me a-gain;

I got "kind-er" tir-ed of my home town,
Had a lot of sil-ly dreams,
Might-y dis-ap-point-ed look-ing 'round
This life ain't what it seems.

My heart is sigh-ing now
for the good old days back home,
I'm cry-ing now,
I was a fool-ish kid to roam,

Perhaps this is what makes the difference between a really great song and everything else. Keep reading and listening, one really great song is coming up next.

But first listen to an O.K. song. (Scorch format only)

Listen to MIDI version



After the Ball


Music by: Charles K. Harris
Lyrics by: Charles K. Harris
Cover artist: unknown


Featured in our October 2002 issue, not only was "After The Ball" the first piece of music to sell a Million Copies, but it started the "Popular Song" industry.

Aging, regrets, bad choices made, this is it. This song has it all. As a young man the subject of the song catches his true love kissing another man at the big ball. He pitches a fit, won't listen to explanations, forsakes her, and spends his life growing old, alone and bitter, only to learn after her death that it was an innocent kiss from her brother. Two lives ruined.

This one makes me cry. I have included a rare Scandinavian version of the cover.


Listen to and see this great song of folly and growing old. (Scorch format only)

Listen to MIDI version


Huskin' Time


Music by: Albert Gumble
Lyrics by: Bartley Costello
Cover artist: unknown


Our copy of this piece is a Sunday newspaper supplement from the September 22, 1912 issue of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. In 1910 when this poignant little piece came out you could also hear for the first time, "Down By the Old Mill Stream", "Let Me Call You Sweetheart", and one of my favorites "Any Little Girl, That's a Nice Little Girl, Is the Right Little Girl For Me". Radio was experimental, 150 miles was a long way to fly an airplane and I don't think we were actively at war with anyone, but I could be wrong.

The story of an elderly couple entering the autumn years of life, longing to revisit the simpler times of their lives together before they die, perhaps one of them is dying. One of the things that strikes me about this song, aside from the fact that it makes me cry, is how effective it is in it's simplicity.

Hear and see this song (SCORCH format)

listen to MIDI version




That completes another of our features. As always, be sure to come back next month for a new feature or just come back anytime to browse our extensive archive of issues and special articles.

See our resources page for a complete bibliography of all resources used to research this and other articles in our series.

If you missed page one, or want to return to it, click here to go to page one

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