Love and Marriage.

Music About Weddings & A Little About the Before and After.


This month we'd like to tell the story of love and marriage, as seen by the composers of Tin Pan Alley. As with any subject we've explored, the composers of America's music were rarely at a loss for words or music to address any subject, and so it was with the subject of marriage. The ability of music to express emotion makes this subject one that just begs for attention and it was not hard to find songs that relate to marriage or the prelude to it and the consequences after the fact.


Many of the songs on this subject are serious, sometimes to the point of embarrassment or even comedy. Other songs treated the subject with humor and we'll inject a couple of those as well as we use music to tell the story. Unfortunately, sometimes things don't work out and bad things happen. As you'd expect, Tin Pan Alley did not neglect that aspect either and we'll look at some songs that address that as well. Certainly, for those of us who have experienced marriage, we can relate to the range of emotions, comedy and sadness that we often share with our spouses. Of course songs about love alone abound and we'll do a special feature on that as a separate issue but we did feel including a couple of preliminary songs about the love that leads to marriage would help tell our story.


We've tried to select songs for this issue that tell the story of love, marriage and the aftermath. Sometimes things work out, sometimes they don't and we'll show both sides of the story. Most of the songs you'll see here are not familiar and we've intentionally tried to present songs from our collection that are unique and add to what's available on the net. We'll end the feature with a special, original never before published publicly song that was composed by my mother as a tribute to her love filled marriage of 62 years, it's a special song and one I think you'll enjoy. We hope you enjoy this issue and it brings some love and happiness into your own life.


Rick Reublin, June, 2004 This article published June, 2004 and is Copyright © 2004 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.


To, Have, To Hold, To Love


Music by: Ernest R. Ball
Arranged by: Darl Mac Boyle
Cover artist: Photo by White


Of course it all begins with love. The kind of love that is so sublime it drives you to distraction and becomes an obsession. Your daily thoughts are incited by your beloved and you feel you'll simply burst with an outpouring of emotion and the need to be with your love always and forever. OK, so maybe I'm going overboard but in the early 20th century such poetic ardor was common and most especially was found in many of the love ballads that were published.


One of America's greatest writers of romantic ballads was Ernest R. Ball. Though Ball was most renowned for his Irish songs, he was a prolific writer of all genres and excelled at romantic ballads. In this work, Ball has captured some of the intense ardor that goes with an all consuming love and with his lyricist, has crafted a fine ballad that is exemplar of many of the love songs of the period. With a somewhat classical "Romeo& Juliet cover, the music could be said to be just as bromidic as the cover image. With an animated verse that expresses much of the obsession that accompanies intense love. The lyrics are pure Victorian if not even Shakespearean and truly from another time. The musical setting of the verse seems to express the urgency of love but it is the chorus that speaks to the emotion. The urgency of the verse is contrasted with a broad and sweeping chorus that seems to carry the listener to the soaring sort of emotions that love brings. Ball has managed to completely change the nature of the music at this point but maintains a link to the insistence of the verse with an ostinato accompaniment to the melody that propels the music forward while still maintaining its more stately manner. Be sure to either view and listen to the song in the scorch format or at least look at the lyrics (links below) as you listen to the midi file to fully appreciate the intensity of love this song expresses.


Ernest R. Ball (b. July 21, 1878 Cleveland, OH. d. May 3, 1927 Santa Ana, CA) Ball was precocious in music from the start. He was given music instruction at the Cleveland Conservatory, and as early as age 13 began giving music lessons to others. Today he is noted mostly as one of America's best loved composers of Irish songs and is often called the American Tosti (Francesco Paolo Tosti, 1846-1916, a prolific and talented Italian song composer and teacher.) Though he was famed as a composer of Irish tunes, he wrote many other "mainstream" songs, actually, many more than his "Irish" output.

In 1905, Ball was already in New York City and working as a relief pianist at the Union Square Theater and later worked in Tin Pan Alley at the Whitmark publishing house as a song demonstrator. Ball remained a loyal employee of Whitmark for the rest of his life in spite of his fame. Ball's early attempts at composing were self described as "flops." In 1904 he wrote In The Shadow Of The Pyramids with Cecil Mack. Introduced by the dynamic and popular May Irwin, that song was also a "flop." In 1905 he was given a few verses written by the then state Senator, James J. Walker, who later became famous as Jimmy Walker, Mayor of New York City. He put one of the verse to music, and called it Will You Love Me In December as You Do In May?. It became a national hit. This song caused Ball to reassess his approach and in he later recounted that he realized this song had "come from the heart" where his earlier songs had been fabricated and structured. Ball said, "Then and there I determined I would write honestly and sincerely of the things I knew about and that folks generally knew about and were interested in."

From that beginning and from 1907 to 1910, Ball wrote a number of 'mainstream' songs that were moderately successful. But in 1910, a collaboration with Chauncey Olcott, changed his career. In that year, Ball wrote the Irish classic, Mother Machree. Two years later, in 1912 the lyricist of Mother Machree, Rida Johnson Young, joined him again to publish When Irish Eyes Are Smiling and his position as a writer of Irish ballads was cemented forever. He wrote hundreds of songs over his career, many Irish, many not and it is said his output amounted to over 25 million copies of sheet music sold. His last song published was appropriately, Irish, the 1927 hit Rose of Killarney with lyrics by William Davidson.

Ball also enjoyed a long career in vaudeville as a singer of his own ballads. During later appearances, he costarred with his wife, Maude Lambert. In 1927, A few minutes after his act on a Santa Ana, CA vaudeville theater, he suffered a fatal heart attack and died, just 49 years old. Fittingly, he had just performed a medley of his greatest hits as a recap of his great musical accomplishments. On hearing of his death, the great Irish tenor John Mc Cormack said; "Ernie is not dead. He will live forever in his songs."

Ball was buried at Lake View Cemetery Cleveland, Cuyahoga County Ohio, USA


Hear this great Ernest Ball song Printable sheet music (scorch format only)

listen to MIDI version



I'll Be Happy When The Preacher Makes You Mine


Music by: Walter Donaldson
Lyrics by: Sam M. Lewis, Joe Young
Cover artist: Unsigned

Of course, love blooms eternal and the passion of love often moves us to the commitment of marriage to seal our love as well as ensure that our devoted is kept for us and us alone. That possessive nature of love is codified by marriage and well expressed by the title of this song. Some would argue that making one "mine" is the ultimate expression of possession and ownership short of slavery. But in the context of marriage it is always more a giving of oneself for the love of each other. Of course the prospect of marriage is a happy one, for most, and Donaldson, Lewis and Young managed to create a happy song for us to celebrate the upcoming event.


The song has a very upbeat feel and is very much in the style of the popular "Fox-Trot" songs that would follow in the twenties. Musical tastes had changed by 1919 and even though ballads like Ball's still abounded, the stark realities of wartime had given way to an exuberance and optimism that was reflected in the music. As well, the bouncy flavor of the various trots and other dances that had captured the attention of the nation had infected music with a much more animated style that would be developed and reach a peak during the "roaring" twenties. Yet, in spite of that, when you look at the lyrics, the very same theme of obsession and impatience for union comes through in this song as much as it did in To Have, To Hold, To Love. The difference is only in the less formal and archaic language used and the musical setting. Behind it all is the same flame of undying love.



Walter Donaldson (1893 - 1947)
Born in Brooklyn, New York. was one of the most prolific American popular song writers of the twentieth century. He wrote more than 600 songs in his long career. He composed most of his best during the years between the two World Wars, when he collaborated with many of the best known lyricists of his day (among them Gus Kahn, Edgar Leslie, Bud de Sylva, and Johnny Mercer), but he also wrote many of his own lyrics, such as for At Sundown, Little White Lies, and You're Driving Me Crazy. For more about Donaldson, see our biographical sketch at our composer's biography page. You can also see biographies of Sam M. Lewis and Joe Young on that page.


Enjoy this wonderful old song Printable score! (Scorch format)

listen to MIDI version



No Wedding Bells For Me



Music by: Seymour Furth
Lyrics by: E. P. Moran, Will A. Heelan
Cover artist: H. Carter


Not everyone is so moved to make that final commitment to another person. Many folks are quite satisfied with the single life and not at all suited to a union with the woman they love. Others seem to do their homework and take the passion out of life and evaluate the prospect of marriage based on fact and or the adverse consequences of marriage. The other side of marriage and the comedy that can often be found in such unions was well expressed by the song writers of Tin Pan Alley over the years. Seymour Furth with Moran and Heelan have managed to present us with a humorous look at marriage through the eyes of a beholder who learns well from what he sees. This song is a great example of the novelty song genre and this song writing team have given us a classic and witty look at the droller side of wedded bliss.


This song is contemporaneous with some of the most emotional and sentimental ballads about love and marriage ever written yet it shows a completely different musical temperament and insight into the music of the time. Irreverent, light hearted and ebullient, this song is almost as though it was from a different time and place. However, it is still grounded in the harmonies and musical styles of the early years of the century. The song tells the story of a bachelor who is invited to dinner at a married friends home. The poor man faces a cacophony of children and spousal rancor as well as a bit of a child's food fight that decorates his hair with sauerkraut. The song has three verses as well as three different choruses to tell the full story, at least as Furth et. al. see it. The chorus of course celebrates the man's celebration of his singleness and the experience at the dinner firmly cements his determination to avoid such a life. This is a great song and you really should enjoy it using the Scorch player.


Seymour Furth (dates unknown) Furth was a writer of music and Broadway productions including the fabulous play, Bringing Up Father in 1925, the 1907 edition of The Ziegfeld Follies, The Mimic World in 1908 and Nearly a Hero, also in 1908. Among his other works are the songs It's Nice To Be Nice, To A Nice Little Girl Like You, I'm Looking For The Man That Wrote 'The Merry Widow Waltz' in 1908, Budweiser's A Friend Of Mine in 1909 and That Espagnola Swing in 1910.

Will Heelan and E. P. Moran have managed to slip under my radar and escape mention in any of my references save a few titles of songs they wrote or co-wrote

Listen to and see this 1906 novelty song Printable score! (Scorch format)

Listen to MIDI version


My Keepsake Is A Heartache


Music by: Clarence M. Jones
Words by: Arthur J. Lamb
Cover artist: Unsigned


Just as often as some choose willingly to avoid marriage, others are unwillingly and sometimes cruelly left behind. The passion of love sometime dies or is diverted by one or the other parties and the other is left behind, often with devastating results. Here we have one of those pathetic songs about love lost and a sad young woman left in the lurch with nothing more than the pain of loss as her keepsake of a ruined relationship. Of course, the story involves a miserable cad who promises eternal love but leaves her for another before they can be wedded.


Despite the sad message the lyrics carry, the music is a beautiful waltz that musically carries a great deal of emotion. The verse is played dolce and legato and is a nicely flowing melody. The lyrics of the verses tell the story of love's promise and of all the gifts, including a "band of gold" given by a suitor to seal their love. The man simply steals away and never returns leaving the poor girl with only a few trinkets and the main souvenir, the pain of her heartache. The chorus, still a waltz is played with great expression and has a very haunting melody that expressively tells of the "dream of love that's o'er." Of course, the pathos of the lyrics is from the pen of one of America's greatest "tearjerker" lyricists, Arthur J. Lamb.


Arthur J. Lamb (b. 1870, Somerset, England - d. 1928, Providence, R.I.) is perhaps most well known as the lyricist for the famous and still popular, Asleep In The Deep (for a German version, see Des Seemanns Los in our feature about music of the sea). This song though, was his best selling hit song at the time. As with many songwriters, Lamb followed up the success of "Asleep" with At The Bottom Of The Deep Blue Sea in 1899 and another sea themed song, Out Where The Billows Roll High in 1901, both with music by W.H. Petrie. Other popular songs by Lamb include Dreaming Of Mother And Home, 1898, When The Bell In The Lighthouse Rings Ding, Dong, 1905, The Bird On Nellie's Hat, 1905, Splash Me, 1907 and the 1917 War song, Good Luck To The USA.


Clarence M. Jones is a little more elusive than Lamb. Though we are aware of a number of works he wrote, several quite popular, little can be found about his life and work beyond these titles; Casey Jones went down on the Robert E. Lee (1902), One Wonderful Night (1914), The Candy (1909), Only You (1915), That Baseball Rag (1912), Thanks for the Lobster (?) and In Search of a Husband (1914)


Hear this old sorrowful song (Scorch format)

Listen to MIDI version


The Old Wedding Gown


Music by: Lee Orean Smith
Lyrics by: None, piano solo work
Cover artist: "RS"

Despite many of the obstacles that seem to stand in the way for some folks, for others, the wedding day is soon upon them. Preparations can be stressful and for the woman, selecting the wedding gown can be one of the most critical elements. After all, one wants to present herself in the most glamorous way to her groom and often, no expense is spared. There are options though. Among the many traditions are the quadrangle of borrowed, blue, old and new and those needs can often solve some of the problems faced by the harried wedding planner. They can also save a bundle of boodle if applied wisely. Such is the case with using someone's old wedding gown.


In this case, we have a musical "retrospective" created by one of Tin Pan Alleys most respected composers and arrangers that gives us an imaginary view through a lovely and very lengthy waltz. With no words, we must use the music to transport us to thoughts of an old wedding gown. One can only wonder why the composer chose the wedding gown as the subject and wonder what stirred him to name it as such. Did he compose the music with a specific gown or person in mind? Was he reminiscing of his own wedding or looking ahead to someone else's. These questions always intrigue me as I believe that most writers and composers draw on their own experiences and emotions when they create. I also believe that one's own emotions and experience are often what motivate the creative spark and that much music is inspired not by some abstract inspiration but by some impactful life experience. Despite my own romantic visions of musical creativity, you must use your imagination while listening to this work as there are no lyrics. Rather it is a long and sometimes tedious waltz that expresses the idea and we must fill in the rest of the story.


Lee Orean Smith (?? ) Though I have several works that are attributed to Smith either as primary composer or arranger, I've been unable to find much of anything about his life or contribution to American music. The photo is from the cover of the 1902 Star Dance Folio Nr. 2. That folio of songs was arranged by Smith for publication by Shapiro, Bernstein & Co. In addition, there are several other folios I have, including the Albert Von Tilzer collection from 1905, The Star Dance Folio NR 1 from 1901 and the Crown Dance Folio from 1903 published by Sol Bloom. Among his original works are Campin' On De Ole Suwanee (1899), King Crap (1900), Anona (1903), The Old Wedding Gown (1913) and La Flor del Amazona (1914).


Enjoy this classic and beautiful wedding waltz Printable music! (Scorch format)

Listen to MIDI version

Lyrics (There are no lyrics for this work, it is for piano only)

The Tale The Church Bell Tolled


Music by: Egbert Van Alstyne
Lyrics by: Harry Williams
Cover artist: De Takacs


At last, the wedding day has arrived and the happy couple are about to be wed. The beginning of a new life together, a new cycle of love and hopefully, a long and fulfilling relationship that will survive all the challenges that life will present. Yet, often we go to the altar with baggage or secrets that the other may not know about. This song speaks to a groom who comes to the altar for at least a second time with some of that baggage.


In some respects, the story is a little unclear but the clever title and the story told by the lyrics speaks of a man who came to the altar and while enjoying the excitement and love of his wedding, was thinking of another love from long ago. The lyrics are a little enigmatic but I interpret the story to mean that the groom lost another love and as the church bells tolled for the joy of this wedding, he also took them as tolling for his prior lost love. However, you could also interpret it as a case where he jilted a prior love. Be sure to use the Scorch player or at least review the lyrics and see for yourself how the story plays out. Let me know your take on it, ( e-mail Rick) I'd enjoy hearing how some of our readers interpret the story. The cover of this song is wonderfully warm with great colors and contrasts. The music is classic Tin Pan Alley, tearjerker style. Melodic with wonderful harmony, the verse comes across sounding very hymn like. As with many wedding songs, the use of descending bell-like passages add to the wedding imagery. The chorus is nice also but I believe in this song, the verse is the very best part. Enjoy the music and the story.


Egbert Van Alstyne (b. Chicago, Ill 1882 - d. Chicago, 1951) A musical prodigy, he played the organ at the Methodist Church in Marino, Illinois when only seven! Schooled in the public school system in Chicago and at Carnal College in Iowa, he won a scholarship to the Chicago Musical College. After graduation, he toured as a pianist and director of stage shows and performed in vaudeville. In 1902 he went to New York and worked as a staff pianist for a publisher in Tin Pan Alley and began to devote himself to writing songs teamed with Harry Williams as his lyricist. The teams first success came in 1903 with Navajo, one of the earliest commercial songs to exploit Indian themes. They wrote two more "Indian Songs"; Cheyenne in 1906 and San Antonio in 1907. In 1905 they produced one of the greatest songs of that early decade, In The Shade Of The Old Apple Tree which sold several million copies. For several years, the team cranked out hit after hit and music for two Broadway musicals, A Broken Doll in 1909 and Girlies in 1910.


Harry Williams (b. 1879, Minn. - d. 1922, Calif.) Williams is considered an important early Tin Pan Alley lyricist who collaborated with several of the greatest composers of the time including Niel Moret, Jean Schwartz and most frequently with Egbert Van Alstyne. He also collaborated on several Broadway scores including A Yankee Circus On Mars (1905), Girlies (1910) and A Broken Idol (1909). He began his musical industry career in vaudeville with Van Alstyne and then they began writing songs together. Williams formed his own publishing company and also became a director of silent movies in 1914. Among his most important and lasting hits are; In The Shade Of The Old Apple Tree, Goodnight Ladies, It's A Long Way To Tipperary and Mickey. (Essential facts from Kunkle, V. 3, p. 1960)


Listen to this great old wedding story (Scorch format)

Listen to MIDI version


The American Wedding March


Music by: E. T. Paull
Lyrics by: None, piano solo work
Cover artist: A. Hoen Lithographers


Of course a large part of any wedding is the music that accompanies the ceremony and the entrance of the bride as well as their departure are two of the most exalted parts of the ceremony. Just about every wedding on earth uses the famous Wedding March (Scorch version or MIDI ) by Felix Mendelssohn (from the opera Midsummer Night's Dream, 1843) which we featured in our December, 2001 feature about classical melodies in the parlor. However, many other musical options exist and for those ready to dare to be different, many of America's composers have contributed works that they intended to be used in such a setting. In 1919, the prolific march composer E. T. Paull contributed a work that has undoubtedly been completely forgotten but in my opinion should be resurrected.


We've featured a great deal of Paull's works over the years and dedicated two features ( July, 2001 and June, 1998) and an in-depth biography of Paull that looks at his works and life. In those issues, we've dubbed him as America's Other March King, a title we believe he deserves for he published scores of bombastic and descriptive marches that were exceptionally popular from the late 1800's till well into the 1920's. His incredible lithographed covers by A. Hoen Lithographers set a new standard for sheet music and this cover is no exception. For Paull however, this particular work is an exception. Whereas most of his works were based on a military or patriotic theme this one is based on a tender subject rarely visited by Paull. In addition, most of his works were extremely militaristic, and often heavy handed with special effects depicting battle scenes and artillery. This work is, to use a quote from George Bush the first, a kinder and gentler work. Perhaps written by Paull in the hopes that it would become a wedding standard, he dedicated the song to "the American People." Musically, though it is a march it seems best of played somewhat more slowly and with more emotion than most marches. The opening has a lot of similarity to the Mendelssohn wedding march with a series of triplets and chords that introduce, or provide somewhat of a prelude to the march proper. The obligatory chimes lead to a transition to the march, a quite formal sounding piece that is not at all military but more stately and proper. A return to the introduction takes us to the Trio section which is marked marcato and is somewhat subdued and played piano then played again forte and in a grand manner. Overall, I think it is one of Paull's best and deserves consideration for modern weddings. If any of you want to use this march in your wedding, send me a wedding notice and I'll provide a complementary PDF of the sheet music you can give to your pianist.


E.T. (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.


Listen to this great old ET Paull march (Scorch format)

Listen to MIDI version

Lyrics (There are no lyrics for this work, it is for piano only)

The Wedding Glide


Words and Music by: Louis A. Hirsch
Cover artist: Starmer


Not only did Mendelssohn and the other classical composers of the past include many scenes and music about weddings in their Operas but modern composers have also often included wedding scenes that spawned individual songs in their stage works. One such show was the Passing Show of 1912 produced at the Winter Garden Theater in, strangely enough, 1912. The show, entirely written by Louis A, Hirsch, opened on July 22, 1912 and closed the following November 16 after a respectable 136 performances. The show had a fairly large budget of over $10,000 to produce and hosted a number of the current period's big name performers, hardly any of whom are remembered today. The cover of the sheet music features Shirley Kellog (b. 1888) who also starred in several other similar revues from 1908 to 1912. It appears this show was her last appearance on Broadway.


The song itself is quite entertaining with a little bit of a ragtime swing and lyrics that speak to having a "raggy" wedding and party. Like many of these songs, we again get the wedding chime progression at the start, after the introduction. The song is not really a rag but uses many of the conventions that Berlin set with his Alexander's Ragtime Band the year before. The success of that work spawned a revolution in American music and this song is a very good example of the style that emerged as a result. Possibly to the horror of many Berlin aficionados, I personally think this song is better than "Alexander." I think it shows a lot more versatility and creativity in the melody and the weaving in of the Wedding March in the chorus. But, the Berlin influence cannot be denied even down to some of the lyrics such as "Oh hear the band playing," and "Oh! honey come to my side." Despite that, the song is excellent and does a fine job of expressing the celebration that takes place after a wedding. Enjoy the party!


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, Hirsh 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 from the musical of the same name in 1917; and the 1920 hit Love Nest 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.


Listen to this great old wedding song (Scorch format)

Listen to MIDI version


The Woman Thou Gavest Me


Words and Music by: Al Piantadosi
Cover artist:


The only word that came to mind for me when I first heard it and studied the lyrics was; enigmatic. The title song from a (silent) film of the same name, the original story by Sir Hall Caine first appeared in Heart's Magazine in 1912, published in thirteen parts. The sheet music notes Paramount and Artcraft Pictures and I assume the cover photo is from the film. The film debuted in 1919 and starred Jack Holt and Katherine Mac Donald, possibly pictured here. The idea of music from a silent movie is enigmatic in its own right but the lyrics of this song are a real puzzle to me. I selected the song as it connotes the union of a man and a woman, and the title phrase has been around since Adam and Eve.


The music is quite expressive and it really is a beautiful song, fitting for a love story in every way. The verse is a bit solemn and emotional but that mood gives way to a more bright one with the chorus. Though still expressive, the music becomes a bit more uplifting with the liberal use of arpeggiated chords and a more sprightly melody. It is the lyrics of course that I find obtuse. They seem to tell a story at first of a couple about to marry yet it never seems to quite happen. There are references to the woman having been led astray and "someone held us apart" that imply an unrequited love or an incomplete relationship. I'm sure it would help if I knew the story behind the film, that might explain it all. Nonetheless, I've included it this month to symbolize the sometimes uncertainty of love and marriage and the ever present possibilities of loss of the one you love to another.


Al. Piantadosi ( b. 1884, New York City - d. 1955, Encino, CA ) Piantadosi was one of Tin Pan Alley's more prolific writers of sentimental ballads from 1906 well into the 1930's. Though many of his works were quite popular, unfortunately few have come down to us in the permanent repertoire. During his heydays he collaborated with some of the best lyricists of the times including Alfred Bryan, Grant Clarke, and Edgar Leslie. Piantadosi was a pianist in resorts and night clubs and an accompanist in vaudeville early on. He toured Europe and Australia and was responsible for popularizing much of America's music in those countries. For a time, he owned his own publishing house. Perhaps his most famous work is the tearjerker, The Curse of An Aching Heart from 1913. Among his many other popular works are; Good-Bye Mr Caruso (1909), Melinda's Wedding Day (1913), Good Luck Mary (1909) I Didn't Raise My Boy To Be A Soldier (1915, Scorch format), Rusty-Can-O Rag (1910), That Italian Rag (1910) and Baby Shoes, (1916, MIDI).


Listen to this enigmatic love song (Scorch format only)

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From You I'll Never Part


Music by: Helen M. Trigg
Lyrics by: Walter A. Faulkner
Cover artist: H. B. Tory


Once that knot is tied at the altar, there is no question that we all intend to make it permanent. The love we share and the vows we declare are strong and fill us with resolve. A strong love and commitment as well as a foundation of friendship can overcome nearly any obstacle. At this point, I believe we all truly believe that we will never part from the one we love and have chosen as a life partner. This song, published as a Sunday newspaper supplement in the New York American and Journal, April 16, 1906 is perhaps emblematic of what a marriage goes through to survive. The image you see has been substantially restored and repaired but the original is faded, dog eared, crumbling and may soon be gone completely. But, it still survives as do many marriages that suffer many bumps in the road. Love may fade, ardor may crumble and the wedding album may become dog eared as well, but persistence often pays.


As with many of the songs from newspaper supplements, this work is not the best Tin Pan Alley had to offer (after all, it was free) and I had some difficulties with this one. The song is from a stage work, "Wonderland" and starred Lotta Faust who is pictured on the cover. The song is rife with dissonance that I tried to resolve and finally gave up, leaving it as written. Whether or not this was by design of the composer or simply due to sloppy notation work by the copyist may never be known (unless someone happens to have an original song sheet for this one). The dissonances take a great deal from the pleasure of this work. The lyrics express the devotion and commitment to never part once married.


The composer of this work, Helen M. Trigg and her partner William A. Faulkner are two more casualties of time and neglect. I've been unable to locate any information about either as it relates to composition or song writing.


Listen to this obscure old song Printable sheet music! (Scorch format only)

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When Those Wedding Bells Rang Out For You And Me


Music by: George Hamilton
Lyrics by: Bartley Costello
Cover artist:


For somewhat less than half of us so it seems these days, life after marriage plays out over a long and loving partnership which is only defeated by death. Statistically, 50% of all marriages end in divorce. The brighter side of that is that 50% end as they are vowed to end on their first day, "till death do us part." Another song from the New York American and Journal, this time from Sunday, December 13 of 1903, chronicles the life of a marriage and the very sad and devastating parting that inevitably must take place. For those marriages that last and continue to be filled with love, it is indeed sad that one of the couple must be left with only memories and the pain of loss. I know many loving couples who would wish that their ends would come together to avoid that pain.


This piece is in much better condition than most of the news supplements from 100 years ago and we've stopped the corrosion with a paper preservation mist so it will survive for many more years. The song symbolizes the never ending cycle of life and love and marriage for it tells the touching story of an old man who kneels on the grave of his lost life's partner as the bells peal and the organ plays for a wedding just taking place. As much a tear jerker as The Fatal Wedding (Scorch format) or many of the other similar songs we've featured over the years, this song is really quite touching. The music is certainly very good, better than our last example. The music starts out somewhat gaily with the sound of bells as we learn of the wedding to be but as the story progresses, the music takes on a more somber tone and brings us the sadness that parting can bring to the spouse left behind. I'd like to dedicate this song to my dear father who recently experienced what the hero of this musical story has gone through.


George Hamilton ( dates unknown) may be the father of the later George Hamilton (1901 -1957) who was a popular band leader during the 30's. I've been unable to locate any definitive information on him. Despite the fact that we have been able to locate a number of songs written by him, Hamilton's partner in this effort, Bartley Costello, seems to have suffered a similar fate.


Listen to this great old happy ending song (Scorch format)

Listen to MIDI version


Nobody Told Me

ca. 1990

Music by: Lucy Reublin
Lyrics by: Reublin
Arranged by and additional lyrics: Gerry Thornton
Cover created by: R. Reublin


And though many marriages last till death, some matches are made in heaven and seem to go on forever. Such was the case with my own parents who enjoyed sixty two years of marriage before my mother passed away last year. For the final song of this feature, I want to share with you a previously unpublished work by my mother who recently passed away at age 90. Mom wrote this song to my father as a testimony of her love to him and their long lasting marriage. The manuscript is undated but as best we could determine, it was probably written on the occasion of their fiftieth wedding anniversary. We found the manuscript while looking through her music after she passed away. The original manuscript was found in September, 2003 and initially published to family members shortly thereafter.


Unheard by most of us in the family, this is a wonderful love song. The original only had the melody and chord notation and difficult to read lyrics. I engaged the assistance of Gerry Thornton, a musician, writer and arranger in Canada to help define the lyrics and to arrange the song for publication and performance by others. Ms. Thornton's arrangement is wonderful and brings out the loving nature of the lyrics and melody. The result is the beautiful arrangement provided on this sheet music. The cover for the sheet music was produced using a circa 1938 color photo of the composer. I'm providing the song as a final testament to the beauty of a marriage that is full of love, sharing and that was an example for all to follow. I've never seen two people so dedicated to each other and for whom even death has not meant separation. I do want to remind you that as a newly published song, this work is in copyright and you may not copy it, copy or republish the lyrics or publish the MIDI file in any form without permission. Unlike all the other songs we publish, this one is not in the public domain. Our family appreciates your respect of my mother's musical legacy and the hard work of Gerry Thornton in the production of this song.


Lucy C. Reublin (1912 - 2003) From an early age Lucy C. Reublin loved music. In grade school, she and her beloved sister Edna played piano and performed in several recitals together. She also played the violin and her original violin is still in playable condition, having been restored and now played by son Richard. In about 1955, Lucy began playing the organ and thus began a family tradition of beautiful music in our home. For nearly 50 years, Mom shared with us the joy of music. Her music gave her hours of pleasure and gave the rest of us an appreciation of music that has lasted a lifetime. Her gift of music to us is one that will never die.


Gerry Thornton Gerry Thornton is a composer/lyricist who holds a Bachelor of Music in Composition and Piano Performance from the University of Toronto. A lifelong musician, Gerry began playing the piano at age 5, after listening to her grandmother and father playing the piano. In her own words, "I used to beg my parents for piano lessons so they sent me to the only teacher who would take me, Mrs. Catherine Lee. Afterwards, when I became confident enough, I would accompany dad while he played all his old favourites on his trumpet"


Her postgraduate studies took place at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto where she continued with Composition and Theory, and in the Czech Republic where she studied Symphonic Conducting for four summers in the 1990’s. Gerry has composed and arranged music for theatre, choir, instrumental ensembles, and radio commercials. Her violin pieces appear in the Royal of Conservatory of Music syllabus and have been performed throughout Canada by students participating in the RCMT examinations program. Most recently, her work for choir and string quartet was performed by the Canadian Children’s Opera Chorus in Germany and Holland during their European tour. Gerry lives with her husband and three children in Toronto, Canada. And she still treasures the gold medal that her great-grandmother's won in a piano competition.


Listen to an original performance of this song (piano only, no vocals).

Nobody Told Me (MP3 format)

Nobody Told Me (WAV format, file very large)


The following versions use MIDI playback and are dependent on your PC's capabilities. Sound quality will not be as good as the actual recordings above but do give a reasonable approximation. The Scorch version will allow you to view the score as the music plays. If you do not have the Scorch player loaded on your computer, a link will be provided after you click on the below link.

Listen to this wonderful original song (Scorch format)

Listen to MIDI version (This song is not in the public domain and may not be republished without permission of the copyright holders)


This article written and ©by Richard A. Reublin and The Parlor Songs Academy, June 2004

This article published June, 2004 and is Copyright © 2004 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. Though the songs published on this site are often in the Public Domain, MIDI renditions are protected by copyright as recorded performances.

We hope you've enjoyed our short look at Love and Marriage. Thanks for visiting us and be sure to come back again next month to see our new feature or to read some or all of our over 100 articles about America's music. See our resources page for a complete bibliography of all other resources used to research this and other articles in our series.


If you'd like to contribute an article to us at ParlorSongs, we'd love to have your help and contribution. The "rules" for submissions can be found here, we'd love to have submissions by any of our readers, anytime and would enjoy having a "reader submission" or "favorites" feature from time to time. Heck, get involved, help us out and write a feature for us!

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