This is the early masthead from Parlor Songs that appeared with the Nov. '97 issue.

A Blast From The Past; Part 2

November 1997, Second Issue Updated.
Dedicated to those who have served us in war.


This is the second of several planned updates of early editions of ParlorSongs. The Parlor Songs Academy had it's humble beginnings in 1997 as a addendum to my personal site about our Caribbean travels and life on St. Thomas U.S.V.I. By the way, I've not updated that site for about five years. I've lost my user name and password and the old Geocities, now Yahoo has no "real" people you can contact for help. Anyway, for more about our origins, see our "about us" page.


Since that rather humble, inauspicious start, the ParlorSongs issues have improved and expanded far beyond these earliest issues. Quite honestly, the original issues are simply not up to our current standards and we think it is time to go back and bring them up to date. The earliest issues featured smaller cover images, MIDI music only and so little commentary as to be virtually useless. As such, for us, they've become historical curiosities and in some cases, an embarrassment when compared to more recent issues.


As a result, we will be upgrading these old issues with improved images, Scorch music presentations, lyrics and more comprehensive historical and performance notes. Many of the songs we published early on deserve a better presentation and an up-to-date look. In addition, we had a feature early on called our gallery where we simply presented the cover image and a MIDI file with no other information about the song. As we "recondition" these older issues, we will also include music that was in the gallery (that is public domain) but in our current format.


With the reconditioning of these issues, we will be "retiring" the old issues from our active issues but will retain a link through the new issues for those who may be curious to see our original publication. In that spirit, we offer this link to the original November, 1997 "second issue" of Parlor Songs.


If you are new to us, to enjoy the full musical experience, we recommend that you get the Scorch plug in from our friends at Sibelius software. The Scorch player allows you to not only listen to the music but to view the sheet music as the music plays and see the lyrics as well. Each month we also allow printing of some of the sheet music featured so for those of you who play the piano (or other instruments) you'll be able to play the music yourself. It's a complete musical experience! Get the Sibelius Scorch player now.


Richard A. Reublin, August, 2006. This article published August, 2006 and is Copyright © 2006 by Richard A. Reublin and The Parlor Songs Academy Text, images or music may not be reproduced in part or in total without express written permission of the author or a company officer.


When Yankee Doodle Learns To Parlez Vous Francais


Music by: Will. Hart
Lyric by: Ed. Nelson
Cover artist: Barbelle


One of the greatest novelty songs to ever come out of the First World War is this lilting and gay song about the difficulties and ultimate benefits of learning the French language. When we first published this song in 1997 we said:

"When the U.S. entered W.W.I, everyone was so excited and positive. The mood of exuberance spilled over into the music and this song is one of the greatest from the era. The cover artist, "Barbelle", became one of the most popular cover artists during the period when sheet music covers were an art form in and of themselves. This is one of the more valuable covers from the collection but the song is a total delight! Be sure to take a minute to listen to my MIDI version.

Well now you can see the song notation and lyrics and sing along using the Scorch plug-in with this upgrade of the issue.


The music and lyrics to this song are absolutely perfect. The music, in a military quick time march style combines familiar melodies (Yankee Doodle) with new ones to create an outstandingly memorable melody; the kind that sticks in your head and just won't go away! The lyrics are humorous and fit the melody so well I can't imagine that two minds created the lyrics and melody rather than one. Sometimes a song writing team strikes gold and Nelson and Hart absolutely did so with this one.


Will Hart (William J. ) (1866 - 1943) is nearly lost to us as far as information about his life and work. We do know of a few other songs written by him; As We Sat on a Rock, in Little Rock, Arkansaw (1916 with Harry Tobias), Honolulu Cabaret (1916 with Lew Hays), She'll Miss Me Most of All (1918 with Ed Nelson), Kiss Me Pretty (1917 with Wm. J. Kruger), Follow Me To Germany and Victory (1918 with Ed. Nelson), Belgian Rose (1917 with Ed Nelson) and of course When Yankee Doodle Learns To Parlez Vous Francais also with Nelson in 1917.


Ed. G. Nelson (1885 - 1969). Nelson's career for a few years fairly was tied to Will Hart with whom he wrote (composed) several songs during the W.W.I era, most having been patriotic in nature. However, Nelson's output was included many more songs and extended well into the 1950's with many of his songs having been published in the 20's. He collaborated with some of Tin Pan Alley's greatest to include Harry Pease, Paul Whiteman, Ira Schuster and Milton Ager. His output includes several titles in our collection that we have featured and ASCAP credits him with 130 titles. Given that output, I'm puzzled by the apparent lack of mention of him in many of the references I have and on the Internet. Among the titles by Nelson we have featured are Peggy O'Neil (1921), My Gal (1919) and of course, When Yankee Doodle Learns to Parlez Vous Francais (1917)


Hear this super W.W.I piece. (Scorch plug-in version)

Listen to MIDI version



Billy Boy


Music by: C. Lucky Roberts
Lyrics by: Lester A. Walton
Cover artist: Unknown

In our original issue I said; "The cover on this "Latest and greatest patriotic song" is a very odd color and has such low contrast it is hard to see the photo. It appears the artist was seeking an "olive drab", army look to add to the mood. Regardless, it is reflective of the era and the song is another patriotic, "marchy" sort of song. The inside cover states "Dedicated to Col. William Hayward of the 15th New York Infantry." I am sure there is a great story behind Col. Hayward, if anybody out there knows it, let me know and I will post it here."


I have reworked the cover as best I can to bring out the photo of Col. Hayward. Also, since then I've learned that Hayward was instrumental in organizing the first "colored" National Guard regiment (the New York 15th) in New York. Hayward was appointed to organize the unit in 1916 and recruiting began in June of that year. By April of 1917 the group reached "peace strength" and was recognized by the Federal government. Following that it was brought up to war strength. When they entered the war in 1918, the 15th became the US 369th. Led by Hayward, the 369th became known as the "Hell Fighters" and were awarded the Croix De Guerre for their bravery in September of 1918. Col. Hayward personally led his men into battle at Beallau wood and when a French officer called for a retreat, Hayward said; "My men never retire. They go forward, or they die!" Hayward was wounded and was cited for his personal bravery. The entire regiment was cited numerous times and many individuals earned medals for their bravery. For the full story of this fascinating fighting regiment, see "The Record of The Old Fifteenth" from The American Negro in The World War by Emmett J. Scott at the BYU library site.


As with "Yankee," this is an upbeat march tune with a ballad flavor to it that sings about "our" pride in "Billy Boy." The song deserves remembrance as does Mitchell and his brave regiment.


C. Lucky (Charles Luckeyeth) Roberts (1841-1968) was a black pianist bandleader and composer. His band was a major presence in the 1920's and he performed at Carnegie Hall in 1936. He later had a club in Harlem. Billy Boy is a rare work by him as he is best known for his rags and jazzy songs. The war and the bravery of the 369th in the War inspired Roberts to write this song to honor Mitchell and the men of the regiment. Among his better known works are; Junk Man Rag (1913), Pork and Beans (1913), Music Box Rag (1914), Helter Skelter (1915), Railroad Blues (1920) and M'lasses (1923). Roberts also wrote several concert works including a suite for orchestra and a rhapsody for piano and orchestra.


Enjoy this wonderful old war song ( Printable using the Scorch plug-in)

listen to MIDI version



America Here's My Boy



Music by: Arthur Lange
Words by: Andrew B. Sterling
Cover artist: De Takacs


Back in '97 when we first published this song we said: '"The Sentiment Of Every Mother", this song also reflects an age of patriotism long gone. The song speaks of a mother sending her son off to fight for freedom. The "mother" speaks of the pride she has in making a sacrifice and "If I had another, he would be there with his brother". Ah, for those days of innocence and values where people would make sacrifices for the good of all. Not today, probably never again." Subsequently, we did republish the song in our special guest article about Music as Propaganda. At that time we added these comments: "Female imagery was frequently employed in pro-war propaganda music. Commonly recurring themes dealt with mothers willing to sacrifice their sons for the benefit of the country America, Here's My Boy (click cover for the Scorch version) and a mother's patience and support of the war (The Little Grey Mother Who Waits All Alone). Much musical propaganda based on motherhood, however, centered on the value of the mother as a recruitment ploy." Many of the songs of this period reflected the songwriter's political leanings and support of (or not) for the war and clearly this pair was very much in support of our involvement.

The music is like the others, an outstanding march tune that stirs the soul and no doubt convinced many mothers to give up their sons as well.


Andrew B. Sterling (b. 1874, New York City, d. 1955, Stanford, 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 Brown.

Listen to and see this wonderful patriotic song ( Scorch plug-in required)

Listen to MIDI version


Sweet Little Buttercup


Music by: Herman Paley
Words by: Alfred Bryan
Cover artist: Unsigned


One of the major categories of War songs during the first world war were songs about the girls we left behind. This piece represents that style but you really cannot tell that from the cover; it is the lyrics which defines it's wartime link. The melody is very nice but not the one that immediately comes to mind associated with the title. In typical lack of detail, we said this when we published this song in '97: "We cannot forget the "home front" during a war. This song is a romantic and wistful"going away" song that speaks to the sweethearts left behind by the boys going off to war. Of course there is the longing of separation and the hope of survival and renewal of life after the war. It is sad how many left with those hopes and returned in a box, or not at all. "


Alfred Bryan (b. 1871, Ontario Canada - d. 1958, New Jersey). A prolific and prominent lyricist of early Tin Pan Alley, Bryan collaborated with some of the best composers including Percy Wenrich and Fred Fisher. Bryan's most lasting hit was the classic, Peg O' My Heart (MIDI) from 1913 with Fisher. Some of his other works include Rainbow (1908),and It's A Cute Little Way Of My Own sung in 1917 by the great Anna Held in the show Follow Me.


Herman Paley (dates unknown) Though Paley is credited with quite a few (at least 28) songs from the early Tin Pan Alley era it seems all that we can find about him are those song credits. Besides Sweet Little Buttercup, in 1917 Paley wrote the music for; I Can Hear The Ukuleles Calling (1916), Down South (1917), Don't Cry Dolly Grey (1916), Sail On To Ceylon (1906), Billy ( I Always Dream of Bill) (1911) and Good Advice (1906). Many of his songs were in collaboration with notable TPA composers and lyricists.


Hear this original song (Scorch format)

Listen to MIDI version


Nearer My God To Thee (with variations)


Music arranged by: Louis Drumheller
Cover artist: Starmer

This piece is one of the best known hymns from the era. It was always popular in church but it was the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 that made it known to all, secular or not. The various films about the Titanic have made the hymn a centerpiece of the scenes at the end of Titanic's sinking. The band aboard the Titanic showed great bravery by standing on the deck playing music as the ship went down. We also said this about the work back in '97:

"Though this song came six years before the war, it was a popular hymn during that period. This also happened to be the song played by the band aboard the Titanic as she went down in 1912. The war, all wars, resulted in great loss of life and much pain for everyone back home. Religious hymns helped assuage the pain and helped people deal with their loss. As anyone who has fought knows, on the battlefield you are nearer to God than just about anywhere else. This song is included as a hymn to all who have sacrificed for others. This version of the hymn has a series of short variations and I have sequenced it for organ. If you have a wavetable sound card, you should be able to enjoy it as it was intended to be heard."

It is worth noting that despite Hollywood and other literature's glorification of the Titanic "Nearer My God To Thee" story, eyewitness reports at the time recall Ragtime music as the band's last stand. Aside from its fame, the hymn is one that inspires peace and is so very memorable as far as the melody goes. Drumheller has taken the basic melody and created a set of really interesting variations that no doubt were a challenge to pianists and organists alike. We've made it printable (through the Scorch plug-in) for those of you willing to give it a try.


Louis A. Drumheller composed and arranged many popular works during the early 20th century, among them are The Old Oaken Bucket, Nearer My God To Thee (MIDI) and In The Sweet Bye And Bye. We know from his Opus number on this work and others we have that he published well over 100 works and yet very little can be found about him in numerous reference works or the web.


Enjoy this great sacred piece ( Printable using the Scorch plug-in)

Listen to MIDI version

Lyrics (There are no lyrics for this piece)

The remaining pieces featured in this update were included in the Gallery for November 1997 and had no information included, all that was presented was the cover image and a midi file. The gallery music had nothing to do with the theme of the feature so the following songs are an eclectic mix of unrelated themes.


A Perfect Day


Music by: Carrie Jacobs-Bond
Words by: Bond
Cover artist: Probably Bond


This work may well be Carrie Jacobs-Bonds most famous and lasting work in spite of the fact that she also wrote I Love You Truly which has probably been sung at 99% of the weddings in America since it was written. A Perfect Day cemented Bond's place in musical history and became in most respects, her "theme song." Almost every article in contemporary magazines and newspapers cited this title in the same breath as Bond's name. The song was written at the Mission Inn in Riverside California, now a National Historic Landmark. The Inn still features a "Carrie Jacobs-Bond room," said to be the very room she stayed in when this song was written. The song was Carrie Jacobs-Bond's biggest hit, selling over five million copies and catapulting CJB into superstar status as a songwriter. As the first woman composer to make over one million dollars from her music, this song alone nearly generated that much revenue for her through multiple issues and recording contracts. Bond herself loved the song but it was played so much she actually tired of it.

She said in her autobiography; "During this time I had become very tired of The End of a Perfect Day - of too many cartoons and pictures." The song was used at funerals, weddings, and just about any other celebration. During the first world war, the song became a sort of an anthem that was sung by soldiers to celebrate victories and most especially to celebrate the end of the war. Carrie recounts an incident at a dinner in Los Angeles attended by an Austrian composer. When the song was played the Austrian stood at attention. Someone asked him why he was standing and he replied "Am I the only one who stands when your national anthem is played?"


Regardless of her own feelings, it is an outstanding melody with a wonderful sentiment that is asked for often to be played at funerals and other events. It is one of our best selling sheet music reproductions.


Carrie Jacobs-Bond suffered many tragedies in her life but managed to overcome them all through courage and determination. Her life is inspirational and her ability to overcome the odds made her one of America's most loved composers. We've featured many of her works on ParlorSongs and still have many more to present. We recommend you spend the time to learn much more about this remarkable woman by visiting our in depth biography of her and our June, 2000 feature on her music. For even more of her songs we've published, use our search page and search for "Carrie Jacobs-Bond."


Listen to this classic Bond piece (piano) (Scorch plug-in)

Special bonus track, Piano & Cello Obligato MIDI version.

Listen to MIDI version


United Musician


Music by: Harry J. Lincoln
Cover artist: E. H. Pfeiffer


Our Gallery that month also included this march piece (without words) by one of TPA's more well known march composers. Unfortunately, though many works by him are known, little seems to have been preserved about his life. It is interesting to speculate on the title of this piece. If Lincoln were speaking of a group of performers you would expect the title to be United Musicians rather than Musician. Is it possible that this was a tribute to the fledgling American Federation of Musicians (formed in 1896)? Could he be referring to a musician who "unites" with the group? The artwork is also enigmatic. Notice the two musician images. They are on what look like metal plates tied together with chains. Could that be some sort of statement about the plight of musicians? Of course unless someone who was intimately associated with Lincoln can tell us, the oddity of the title will remain.


Regardless of my musing and and flights of imagination, in the end it is all about the music. As with most of his works, we are treated to friendly and in this case, somewhat simple march. The introduction reminds me somewhat of a circus march with a calliope sort of sound and motif. The march moves to a second section, again simple but a little denser in harmony. The third theme (Trio) is a bit more military in feel with the use of a dotted rhythm motif. After a short transition, the theme is repeated an octave higher with denser chords. The work strikes me as possibly a pedagogic piece written for the middle grades as it is no where near as complex as some of his other works.


Harry J. Lincoln also published under the name of Abe Losch and also as a Vandersloot. Writer of a number of works we have featured over the years, his most famous work may arguably be The Midnight Fire Alarm (Scorch format), written by Lincoln in 1900 and republished by E.T. Paull in 1908. Lincoln did write a few songs including; Jennie (1920), In The Valley Where The Robins Used to Sing (1908) and Triumphant Lindburg (1928) but it is his rags and marches that he is best known for. All the works written as Losch were also marches.


Listen to this great old Lincoln march( Printable using the Scorch plug-in)

Listen to MIDI version

Lyrics (There are no lyrics for this piece)

I'll Build A Bungalow For You


Words and Music by: Arnold & Brown
Cover artist: Unsigned


Also from the gallery section of that early issue is this sweet piece. The cover art is unsigned but quite nice and in the style of E. H. Pfeiffer. The song is quite charming but dated. That is not a negative but I mean that the era this song is from is easily recognizable. It has that turn of the century charm of songs such as Moonlight Bay (Scorch) and Let Me Call You Sweetheart (MIDI) so strikes me as innocent and genteel. Interestingly, as with many of the love songs of the period, it contains marginally risqué elements in the lyrics; "We'll have a lot of Don't you dare to tell your mother, And p'raps a little One good kiss deserves another." Very discreet indeed! The lyrics are nice and the tune is catchy. This song should have survived in the public eye for a long time, it is a classic of the period.


Arnold & Brown remain a mystery to me. Though we have published other works by them (Cathedral Chimes & Twilight Time) as well as this one, I've been able to definitively sort them out from the many Arnolds and Browns in Tin Pan Alley History. It certainly would have helped had they included their first names in at least one of the works we have but alas they did not. I suppose they believed that they were so popular everyone would know who they were. That may have been the case then, but nearly 100 years later, we seem to have forgotten them.


Listen to this great old love song (Scorch plug-in required)

Listen to MIDI version


Barcarolle Waltzes


Music by: J. Russel Robinson
Cover artist: De Takacs


I was quite surprised that this work was written by J. Russel Robinson for his fame is mostly tied to ragtime and the blues, having played and arranged with W. C. Handy in Memphis for a time. This work may represent a little known foray into the classics by Robinson. The subtitle on the inside of the sheet music says; "After Offenbach, Di Capua and Tosti." The title Barcarolle is most often associated with Jules Offenbach and the barcarolle from his opera The Tales of Hoffmann. Most likely most people associate barcarolle with that work however barcarolle is not a title but a form "characterized by a rhythm reminiscent of the gondolier's stroke, almost invariably a moderate tempo 6/8 meter. While the most famous barcarolles are from the Romantic period, the genre was well-enough known in the 18th century for Burney to mention, in The Present State of Music in France and Italy (1771), that it was a celebrated form cherished by "collectors of good taste." It was a popular form in opera, where the apparently artless sentimental style of the folklike song could be put to good use: in addition to the Offenbach example, Paisiello, Weber, and Rossini wrote arias which were barcarolles." ( Quote from Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia in accordance with the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2)


The barcarolle by Di Capua (Eduardo, 1865 - 1917) Robinson refers to is based on his operatic aria O Sole Mio. You may notice the melody as It's Now Or Never a 20th century rework of the O Sole Mio melody popularized by Elvis Presley. The Tosti ( Sir Francesco, 1846 - 1916) melody is more elusive, from I believe his Serenade. It is heard in the central section with the Di Capua theme. That section is sandwiched between the opening theme of Hoffman's Barcarolle and then a final recapitulation of the theme. Overall, the piece ranks up there with the best classical works and shows Robinson's gift for arrangement and grasp of music far beyond ragtime, blues or popular song.


J. Russel Robinson (1892 - 1963) was a United States ragtime and jazz pianist and a composer of popular tunes. Robinson was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. He started publishing ragtime compositions in his teens; his early hits included Sappho Rag and Eccentric (Rag). With his drummer brother he toured the US South in the early 1910s, including an extended stay in New Orleans. He was known for his heavily blues and jazz influenced playing style; advertisements billed him as "The White Boy with the Colored Fingers".

In 1919 Robinson joined the Original Dixieland Jazz Band. He then went to work with W.C. Handy's publishing company, supplying new arrangements and lyrics for popular editions of tunes like Memphis Blues (MIDI) and Ole Miss in the 1920s. He also played piano with various popular and blues singers in phonograph recording sessions, accompanying singers such as Annette Hanshaw, Lucille Hegamin, Marion Harris, and Lizzie Miles. (From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia in accordance with the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2)

Among his works are The Sappho Rag (1909), Dynamite Rag (Midi) (1910), The Minstrel Man (1911), Whirlwind Rag (1911), That Eccentric Rag (1912), Te-na-na (1912), Margie (1920), Aggravatin' Papa (1933) and St. Louis Gal (1923).


Listen to this grand old Waltz ( Printable using the Scorch plug-in)

Listen to MIDI version

Lyrics (There are no lyrics for this piece)

Sweet Kentucky Lady


Music by: Louis A. Hirsch
Words by: William Jerome
Cover artist: Unknown


The cover on this work is reflective of a style that emerged in the teens and featured color photographs of beautiful women, usually dressed elegantly and in an idyllic setting. The woman on this cover is unquestionably beautiful and has a sweet smile and air of innocence about her. That all surely fits with the title of the song. It is a wonderful song and though we've shown it twice in the old gallery feature, oddly enough we've never given it full feature status till now.


The song begins with a melody worthy of any chorus that introduces us to the issue at hand, a sweet young gal who's been crying and is about to have her sorrows soothed by her returned lover. The chorus is absolutely dripping with emotion and musically is a dream as well. With gorgeous harmony and interesting musical ornamentation, the chorus and the lyrics indeed do soothe the sorrows of just about anyone listening. Though it is hard to imagine the state of Kentucky having a state song other than My Old Kentucky Home, if it were not that one then Sweet Kentucky Lady would get my vote. It's an absolute joy. As a matter of fact, the cover has an interesting notation "Based on the Stephen Forster (sic) Immortal Tune" Yes, the spelling of Foster was wrong. And, as many of you may have already concluded, the title of the Foster song used was, Weep No More My Lady so it really would make a great substitute for the current state song.


Louis A. Hirsch (b. 1887, New York City., d. 1924, New York City) In his senior year at City College of New York, Louis, a native New Yorker, went to Europe for a few months. His ambition was to be a concert pianist, and so he wanted to study at Berlin's Stern Conservatory, with pianist Rafael Joseffy. He returned to the U.S. in 1906, but turned his efforts to more practical ends. Hirsch started working in the Tin Pan Alley publishing houses of Gus Edwards, and Shapiro-Bernstein. He also began to write some of his own music.

His first assignment was writing music for the Lew Dockstader's Minstrels. From 1907 to 1909, some of his tunes were included in various Broadway shows, including The Gay White Way, Miss Innocence and The Girl and the Wizard. In 1911, Hirsch wrote the score for the Revue of Revues, which introduced French star Gaby Deslys to Americans. The 1911 production Vera Violetta was his first major success. Starring relative unknown, Al Jolson, this production helped propel Jolson to stardom. Gaby Deslys was

In 1912 Hirsch was hired by the Schuberts and as a result he was involved in a number of successful productions with them including, The Whirl of Society, 1912, also starring Al Jolson; The Passing Show of 1912; Always Together, and The Wedding Guide.

In 1913, Hirsch quit the Schuberts, and traveled to England, only to return to the US at the start of WW1. He went to work for Florenz Ziegfeld. Working mainly with lyricist Gene Buck, he wrote songs four several productions of the famed Ziegfeld Follies. Among his many hits are; Sweet Kentucky Lady, (MIDI) 1914; Hello Frisco!, 1915, Going Up (Scorch format) from the musical of the same name in 1917; and the 1920 hit Love Nest (Scorch format), perhaps Hirsch's most successful song, which later became the Burns and Allen radio show theme. Louis Hirsch died in New York City, in 1924, of pneumonia.


William Jerome (b. 1865, Cornwall-on-the-Hudson, NY - d. 1932, New York, NY) One of Tin Pan Alley's and early Broadway's most important lyricists, he collaborated with many of Tin Pan Alley's greatest composers including Walter Donaldson, Andrew B. Sterling, Harry Von Tilzer and Lewis Hirsch. His main collaborator from 1901 to the 20's was Jean Schwartz. Early in his career, like many of his fellow songwriters, Jerome performed in Vaudeville and Minstrel shows. He formed his own publishing house who's best known publication is George Cohan's great hit war song, Over There (Scorch).He wrote music for a number of the Ziegfield follies as well as many stage shows including, In Hayti (1909), Piff! Paff! Poof! (1904), and Vera Violetta ( 1911). His most famous songs include Bedelia (MIDI), Chinatown, My Chinatown (MIDI) and Get Out And Get Under The Moon.


Listen to this sweet old song (Scorch plug-in required)

Listen to MIDI version


Maybe That Is Why I Am Lonely


Music by: George W. Meyer
Words by: Joe Goodwin
Cover artist: Starmer


One result in going back and updating our old issues besides an expanded exposition of the music is that I sometimes discover errors along the way. While reviewing our catalog for this song I discovered that it does not even appear in our catalog listing! For all these years we've neglected this wonderful piece so its good we're now able to rectify that error. In writing ten years of material for over 2,000 songs, you can bet there are still lots of errors out there! The song is certainly deserving of a prominent place in our catalog. Reminiscent of many songs songs of the period, the melody is enjoyable and the lyrics nice but also definitely dated in being reflective of the times. It's a solid work deserving of a permanent place in our history of popular song.


George W. Meyer (b. 1884 Boston, Mass.- d. 1959 New York, NY) was one of the more prolific composers of the period with many, many hits to his credit that spanned many years. Meyer's biggest hit was probably For Me and My Gal in 1917 but he also wrote many favorites that have lasted such as; My Song Of The Nile, Lonesome, My Mother's Rosary and the great novelty song Where Did Robinson Crusoe Go With Friday on Saturday Night? (Scorch format)


Joe Goodwin (1889 - 1943) Goodwin's early career was as a monologist in Vaudeville. Later he moved into working for various publishing houses writing lyrics. As a lyricist, his output was relatively small but significant. He collaborated with the best that Tin Pan Alley had to offer including; George Myer, Al Piantadosi, Nat Ayer and Gus Edwards. Perhaps his most famous set of lyrics were for the song When You're Smiling published in 1930. Among his other popular works are; Tie Me To Your Apron Strings Again (1925), Baby Shoes (MIDI) (1916), Three Wonderful Letters From Home (Scorch) (1918), Everywhere You Go (1927) and Strolling Through The Park One Day (1929).


Listen to this great old lonesome song (Scorch plug-in)

Listen to MIDI version


Meet Me Tonight Mid The Roses


Music by: Roy Barton
Words by: Roger Lewis
Cover artist: Frew


Another song from 1911 is also reflective of the times and has a genteelness about it that is downright charming. Oh, for those days of courting and carefulness in relationships. It seems that back then, people took a great deal of care to be kind, considerate and to avoid being too direct. I suppose many people today would look on that approach as wasteful of time when one could just go straight for the gusto. I think it is civilized and wish we all still had the character to be so considerate. The song is a straightforward waltz with a great melody for the verse. Harmony is as delightful as is the sentiment. The chorus is in my opinion a little less captivating than the verse. Throughout though the music flows nicely, has a great deal of sentimental emotion and would be great to waltz to as I'm sure many a beau and his sweetheart must have done.


The song writing team of Barton and Lewis seem to have been somewhat lost to us despite the fact that both have several other songs to their credit including one other by them together, Tip Tip Tip from 1914.


Listen to this great old song ( Printable using the Scorch plug-in)

Listen to MIDI version


Flirtation Waltz


Music by: E. A. Steck
Cover artist: Unknown


This final work is also from the gallery section of that early 1997 issue. With a plain brown wrapper, common in those days as a low cost alternative to the more expensive lithographed covers, these common looking covers often had uncommonly good music within. Aside from being bargain purchases, sometimes composers were only able to muster publisher interest as in this case for anthologies of music produced by a publisher. The cover states "Popular Waltzes by Celebrated Composers" and lists 24 works by various composers. Of that group, only three are immediately recognized today; Strauss, Waldteufel and Suppe. The rest are consigned to a place other than "celebrated." Names such as Jaxone, Czibulka, Coote, Milloecker and yes, Steck just don't bring to mind anything memorable.


When I first started working on this piece, my first impression was "simplicity" and it struck me as looking like a child's piece. Yet, as I progressed I discovered that though in appearance the work is simple, it holds some greatness. It seems to prove the old saw, "less is more." The work begins with a simple scale and quiet chords then moves into the first waltz. This first tune is a series of scales with very simple accompaniment, this is where I began to think we had a very simple piece at hand. The recapitulation of the melody is done in octaves and a slight bit of ornamentation is added as we go. The next section features a rolling motif in the right hand with staccato chords in the accompaniment. A pair of scale passages are included. A tremolo bridge takes us to the next tune, a very delicate melody in ppp that is repeated and continues into a pleasant passage that takes us back to the first melody. Though the piece can easily be a teaching piece for elementary or middle grades, I found it to have a certain classical style that though not too challenging pianistically, is a very pleasant musical experience.


Unfortunately, though we can appreciate Steck's composition a century later, his name seems lost to time. I can find no mention of him even in the New Grove or other comprehensive references.


Listen to this great old waltz( Printable using the Scorch plug-in)

Listen to MIDI version

Lyrics (There are no lyrics for this piece)

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