Library of Congress > Collections > Band Music from the Civil War Era > Articles and Essays > A Concert for Brass Band, Voice, and Piano

A Concert for Brass Band, Voice, and Piano

Photo taken from the recording session for "Our Musical Past, Volume I" by Jon Newsom - in holder 28. Music Division

On September 27, 1974, the Music Division of the Library of Congress recreated a typical concert of brass-band and vocal music from mid-nineteenth-century America. Recorded selections from that concert are presented here. These recordings are the result of several years of research by Jon Newsom of the Music Division and many more years of experience and study by Frederick Fennell, founder and former director of the Eastman Wind Ensemble and professor of music at the University of Miami, and Robert E. Sheldon, then of the Smithsonian Institution's Division of Musical Instruments and presently Curator of Musical Instruments in the Music Division, Library of Congress. Because the purpose of these recordings is to demonstrate the style and quality of the popular music of the era, the musicians use instruments appropriate to the period.

Band concerts of the mid-nineteenth century frequently included vocal music, which as a genre was inseparable from the band music of the same era. The performances presented here include a number of songs performed by Merja Sargon, assisted by Bernard Rose, who also plays two piano solos using the Smithsonian Institution's 1850 Chickering square piano. Although this is a parlor instrument, it is the kind used by Jenny Lind on her American tour of 1850-52. The iron-frame piano, first introduced by Alpheus Babcock in 1825, was manufactured by Jonas Chickering in Boston in 1840 and was widely popular by the 1850s. Miss Sargon and Mr. Rose are joined in one piece by Robert Stallman, who plays a modern adaptation of the Boehm-system, wood, conical-bore flute. It produces a timbre very much like that of the 6- and 8-keyed flute common in the period.

Hunters' Chorus, from The Rose of Erin (Band) | O Summer Night, from Don Pasquale (Band) | Ah! May the Red Rose Live Alway (Vocal) | The Herdsman's Mountain Song (Vocal) | Captain Shepherd's Quickstep (Band) | Captain Finch's Quickstep (Band) | Indiana Polka (Band) | Old Memories (Vocal) | The Moonbeam Waltzes (Band) | La Fontaine (Piano) | Upon a Summer's Day (Vocal) | Slow March: Midnight! (Band) | Scots Wha Hae: Variations (Piano) | General Taylor Storming Monterey (Band) | Lilly Bell Quickstep (Band) | Door Latch Quickstep (Band) | The Heart Bow'd Down (Vocal) | Why, No One to Love? (Vocal) | Free and Easy (Band)

"Hunters' Chorus, from The Rose of Erin" (Band). By Sir Julius Benedict. Arranger unknown. From the engraved full score published by John F. Stratton, New York, 1868.

Audio Recording

Sir Julius Benedict (1804-85) was Jenny Lind's accompanist during her immensely successful American tour. Among his various compositions, the opera The Rose of Erin (1862), originally called and still known as The Lilly of Kilarney, enjoyed considerable success in England immediately and in America after the Civil War. This arrangement for brass band is an effective adaptation of one number for chorus and soloists. Except for the addition of a brief introduction, it follows the original measure-for-measure, transposed from D to the more suitable key of E-flat. The original vocal writing may have been somewhat difficult to bring off on a musical stage, where even moderately sophisticated homophonic part-writing, much less polyphonic effects requiring rhythmically precise ensemble work, often get lost in the shuffle of large production numbers. However, this brass band arrangement, definitely a concert piece, demonstrates admirably the capabilities of the saxhorn band.

John Stratton, whose factory in New York produced at least one and possibly the greater number of the horns used in this online recording, was an entrepreneur of the first rank. He himself claimed to have developed the first plant for the mass production of brass instruments, and at a most propitious time. Just before the Civil War, he recognized the market for band instruments that could be delivered immediately and were not made to order. The war and the great number of instruments required by the Union Army made him and his New York factory a great success.

Stratton may have arranged this piece himself. From 1866 through the mid-1870s he continued to publish band music, much of it in full score. At that time published band scores were most unusual in America, though not abroad; Stratton, who traveled and did business in Europe after the war, may have been attempting to introduce the foreign practice here. For the more popular quicksteps and polkas, he also published parts, though not in this case.

Some of his scores include at the bottom an optional E-flat clarinet part to double the E-flat sopranos. Here a piccolo part has been sparingly added.

"O Summer Night from Don Pasquale" (Band). By Gaetano Donizetti, 1843. Arranger unknown. From "Squire's Cornet Band Olio No. 2." Cincinnati: A. Squire, 1872.

Audio Recording

A popular tune found in many collections of the time, including Stephen Foster's Social Orchestra (1854), it serves, in this simple arrangement, as a good demonstration piece for the solo E-flat tenorhorn (sometimes called the E-flat alto). This so-called solo instrument was most often used melodically to double the E-flat soprano saxhorns or cornets at the octave below. It was, therefore, a popular melodic instrument but was rarely heard alone as it is here.

"Ah! May the Red Rose Live Alway" (Vocal). Words and music by Stephen Collins Foster. First edition: Baltimore: F.D. Benteen [1850].

Audio Recording

This is perhaps Foster's most ambitious and successful "serious" song. Better known for his sentimental pieces in stereoptypical African-American dialect ("Old Black Joe"), or his lighter minstrel songs ("Oh! Susanna"), Foster composed a number of highly skillful, though unpretentious, "art" songs. A characteristic of his genius was his ability to use the simplest harmonic devices to the greatest effect, and this song represents no fundamental departure in this respect. But in the context of the uniquely Fosterian style, the brief shift to the minor mode in the solo piano passages following each verse is particularly striking. Especially unusual, too, is Foster's vocal ornament at the end of the second quatrain of each verse.

Ah! may the red rose live alway,
To smile upon earth and sky!
Why should the beautiful ever weep?
Why should the beautiful die?
Lending a charm to ev'ry ray
That falls on her cheeks of light,
Giving the zephyr kiss for kiss,
And nursing the dew-drop bright--
Ah! may the red rose live alway,
To smile upon earth and sky!
Why should the beautiful ever weep?
Why should the beautiful die?

Long may the daisies dance the field,
Frolicking far and near!
Why should the innocent hide their heads?
Why should the innocent fear?
Spreading their petals in mute delight
When morn in its radiance breaks,
Keeping a floral festival
Till the night-loving primrose wakes--
Long may the daisies dance the field,
Frolicking far and near!
Why should the innocent hide their heads?
Why should the innocent fear?

Lulled be the dirge in the cypress bough,
That tells of departed flowers!
Ah! that the butterfly's gilded wing
Fluttered in evergreen bowers!
Sad is my heart for the blighted plants--
Its pleasures are aye as brief--
They bloom at the young year's joyful call,
And fade with the autumn leaf:
Ah! may the red rose live alway,
To smile upon earth and sky!
Why should the beautiful ever weep?
Why should the beautiful die?

"The Herdsman's Mountain Song" (Vocal). Words and music by Adolf Fredrik Lindblad.

Audio Recording

First published in America as: "'The Heardsman's [sic] Mountain Song.' Pa Berget. Rendered into English from the Swedish by Lindblad by J. Wrey Mould. Composed by A.F. Lindblad." This appeared as one of a series in the American Edition of Jenny Lind's Swedish Melodies (New York: William Hall & Son [ca. 1851-54]) for voice, with English and Swedish text, and piano. Here, the song is sung in the original Swedish. The flute part is not in the original edition.

Adolf Fredrik Lindblad (1801-78), teacher and friend of Jenny Lind, was a prolific composer of songs that made him as famous in his native Sweden as Foster was in America. Jenny Lind's American tour helped popularize them here, though their Scandinavian character--melancholic, lyrical, and tending to shift into the minor mode--may have limited their ultimate success in this country. Writing home on April 22, 1851, she asks: "Would you be so very kind to send to New York all the sets of Lindblad's songs, as soon as can be? M. Benedict is so very much charmed with them; and as I have got them all imprinted in the head, as well as in the heart, I did not bring them with me to America" (H.S. Holland and W.S. Rockstro, Memoir of Madame Jenny Lind-Goldschmidt [London: John Murray, 1891], 2:424.

The Swedish text is taken from the version in Sånger och Visor vid Pianoforte af A. F. Lindblad (Stockholm: Abr. Hirsch [n.d.]), since the Swedish text engraved in the American edition has numerous errors and omissions of diacritical marks.

Högt här uppå berget
sjunger jag så mången qväll.
Långt bort ned i dalen
skådar jag hvad mig gör säll.

| Here the misty mountain
Hearkens to my evening song;
Toward the peaceful valley,
Happy spot! I gaze and long.

Öfver skogar blå
Mina blickar nå,
Dit der linden grön
Speglar sig i sjön,
Dit der hyddan står,
der den hulda går,
Som om mitt hela hjerta rår. | Onward flies my view,
Where an azure hue
Tints the distant gree
Where in glist'ning sheen
Still the lakelet lies,
And my bosom's prize
Doth shame its blue with bluer eyes.

Dock, hon ej vet,
Hvad jag blott vet,
Och skogen vet,
Och Echo vet,
Om vindens sus,
Om vågens krus
Ej yppat har min hemlighet. | She little knows
The earnest vows
That echo mocks,
Unto the rocks;
The forest grove
Alone doth prove
A true confession of my love.

Ack nej!
Ty ensam högt här uppå berget
sjunger jag så mången qväll,
Och långt bort ned i dalen
skådar jag den mig gör säll. | For ah!
Alone the barren misty mountain
Hearkens to my evening song;
Toward the peaceful valley,
Happy spot! I gaze and long.

Öfver skogar blå
Mina blickar gå,
Attså, attså
Deras ro de vinna må. | Onward flies my view,
Toward the distant blue,
Fraught with hopeful pray'r
That she dwell 'neath Heaven's care.

"Captain Shepherd's Quickstep" (Band). By Claudio S. Grafulla.

Audio Recording

This arrangement is from the manuscript band books of the Manchester Cornet Band (founded in 1854), second set, no. 120, in the Walter Dignam Collection at the Manchester Historic Association, Manchester, N.H. The castanet part, not in the Manchester books, appears in the published piano arrangement (Philadelphia: Beck & Lawton, 1850). Drum and piccolo parts, also absent in the Manchester version, have been taken, with minor emendations, from the arrangement in Squire's Centennial Collection of Band Music, or New Olio No. 3 (Cincinnati: Squire, 1876).

Of Grafulla, Col. Emmons Clark writes (Emmons Clark, History of the Seventh Regiment of New York, 1806-1889 [New York: The Seventh Regiment, 1890], 2:289-90):

He was born in the Island of Minorca in 1810, and came to this country in 1838. He soon occupied a prominent position in Lothian's New York Brass Band, which was attached to the Seventh Regiment, and became its musical director. His talent for composing and arranging military music soon gave him reputation and lucrative employment, and in 1860 he was engaged to organize a new band for the Seventh Regiment. The success of Grafulla's Seventh Regiment Band was immediate; it long enjoyed an extensive public and private patronage, and its reputation became national....For twenty years he served the Regiment as bandmaster without salary or any compensation. Age and sickness compelled him to retire from the service, and he died in New York in December, 1880.

"Captain Finch's Quickstep" (Band). By Claudio Grafulla.

Audio Recording

We know of no published version; the probable date of composition is sometime between 1850 and 1860. This arrangement, presumably Grafulla's, is from the manuscript band books of the Third New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry, first set, no. 48, in the Music Division, Library of Congress. They are frequently referred to as the "Port Royal Band Books" because it was on Port Royal Island, S.C., that the band, under the leadership of Gustavus Ingalls, spent the greater part of the Civil War.

Grafulla is represented by so many compositions and arrangements in the first set of these books that they have sometimes been erroneously referred to as "the Grafulla books" and pieces now known to be by others were once attributed to him. However, "Captain Finch's Quickstep" is one of the seventeen out of about fifty works in the collection with which he can certainly be credited. The demanding soprano parts are characteristic of the brass band style of the period, a style toward which Grafulla made a significant contribution. The piccolo part is in the original manuscript.

"Indiana Polka" (Band). By Edmund Jaeger, arranged by J. Schatzman

Audio Recording

From Peter's Sax-Horn Journal (Cincinnati: W.C. Peters & Sons [1859]). The piece was also published in 1856 by the same firm in a piano arrangement.

This is the first of three selections for band presented on this recording that were intended not as concert showpieces but rather as functional music for amateur bands of as few as six players. This piece was for dancing; the other two, "Slow March: Midnight!" and the "Lilly Bell Quickstep" were probably for funerals and marching, respectively.

The writing is relatively simple; the tune is always in the E-flat of B-flat cornets, with the instruments in the middle register filling in the harmony with peck-notes over a conspicuously plain bass line. Contrast is provided between the opening repeated first strain and the middle section by assigning the melody to the E-flat cornets in the former, and the B-flat cornets in the latter.

The percussion parts in these amateur band arrangements seem generally to have been written with the assumption that the drums were played by the feeblest musicians. Good bands, however, had good drummers, and good drummers would quite probably have embellished their parts if they were too dull. Such is the case here. Moreover, the piccolo part has been added.

The popularity of these amateur brass band pieces is demonstrated by the fact that the same arrangements were still being offered for sale in the 1870s.

"Old Memories" (Vocal). Words and music by Stephen Collins Foster. First edition, New York: Firth, Pond & Co., 1853.

Audio Recording

Fondly old memories
Recall round my heart.
Scenes of my early joys
That never depart.
Warmed in their sunny rays,
Hopes brightly burn:
Say not those happy days
Can never return!

| Voices of tenderness
And eyes ever bright,
Warm and true hearted friends
May lend their delight;
But still for departed smiles
The sad heart will yearn:
Say not those happy days
Can never return!

"The Moonbeam Waltzes" (Band). By Henry Farmer, arranged by David L. Downing.

Audio Recording

From the manuscript band books of the Manchester Cornet Band (founded in 1854), second set, no. 67. Piano arrangement published in America (Troy, N.Y.: Edward P. Jones, 1859). Downing's arrangement is in the common band key of E-flat, while the piano version is in F. The piccolo part has been added.

Although it is not certain that the particular Henry Farmer who wrote these waltzes was the British violinist and composer who lived from 1819 to 1891, he is the most likely candidate (James D. Brown and Stephen S. Stratton, British Musical Biography [Birmingham: S.S. Stratton, 1897], 142). Downing was a prominent bandmaster and composer in New York.

These waltzes demonstrate a variety of effective conventional band-scoring techniques, from the quartet writing of the slow introduction, to the various colorful doublings of the melodic line and harmonic support through the combination of sustained- and peck-note parts. Besides providing textbook examples of brasswind writing, the waltzes are themselves attractive, employing a good variety of waltz-rhythm devices. Though clearly functional, the "Moonbeam Waltzes" might well have been presented in concerts and are more than a cut above such unpretentious pieces as the "Indiana Polka" in sophistication of imagination and technique.

"La Fontaine" (Piano). By Charles-Samuel Bovy Lysberg.

Audio Recording

The title page of an early American edition reads: "À Monsieur J. C. Hope Johnstone. La Fontaine. Idÿlle pour piano par Ch. B. Lysberg. Op. 34. New York: Published by Wm. Hall & Son, 239 Broadway [ca. 1854]." The first page of music prefaced with this poem by Paul Privat:

Montreux, si je revois les collines boisées
Ou s'élève humblement ton modeste clocher,
Je veux pour refraîchir mes plus douces pensées
Aller m'asseoir encore au pied de ce rocher,
D'où sort en murmurant, sous un épais feuillage,
Le plus charmant ruisseau qui vit jamais le jour
Et que les villageois, dans leur simple langage,
Appellent du beau nom de Fontaine d'Amour.

Lysberg (1821-73) was Swiss and was known primarily for his piano compositions. "La Fontaine" was published in American editions through the early part of the 20th century.

"Upon a Summer's Day" (Vocal). Words and music by Adolf Fredrik Lindblad.

Audio Recording

First published in America in the same series as "The Herdsman's Mountain Song": the American Edition of Jenny Lind's Swedish Melodies (New York: William Hall & Son [n.d., ca. 1851-54]) with English and Swedish texts. It is sung in Swedish here.

As with the earlier song by Lindblad, the Swedish text is taken from the edition of his Sånger och Visor, in which it is entitled "En sommardag."

O, ljufva sommarflägt,
Som mina kinder smeker!
O! huru svalt och täckt
Din kyss min tinning rört!

| O, whisp'ring summer sigh!
With cool and welcome breathing,
Thou playest silently
Upon my throbbing brow:

Ditt glada sus jag hör,
Då du med blomstren leker,
Och mera skön du gör
Den dröm, som nyss du stört. | Earth with a thousand flow'rs
Her sunny front is wreathing,
Stealing whose fragrant pow'rs
Thou shed'st them o'er me now.

Hör, hvilken sång
ur sjö och skogar klingar!
Ack, tysta smärtan ned,
som än min ande tvingar! | But yesterday,
The sun's untemper'd beaming
Glar'd on the blinding clay;
Air thick with dust was teeming;

Kom, milda sommarflägt!
Af dina vingar täckt,
Ingen glädje jag begär,
Men romig blott beskär! | Blossoms hung down for dead,
Parch'd on a parching bed:
Drought prepar'd to wreak its worst,
Creation seem'd a thirst!

Hör, hvilken röst
i dina suckar talar!
O! hur mitt qvalda bröst
du tjusar och hugsvalar! | When in the west
Thy voice, the song of even,
Fraught with relief and rest,
Came stealing down from Heaven!

Far, milda sommarvind!
Helsa till björk och lind!
Deras frid jag njuta fick,
Men blott ett ögonblick. | Flower and languid grove
Echo its sigh of love,
Now to me 'tis given
Equal thankfulness to prove.

"Slow March: Midnight!" (Band). By J.M. Noeren, arranged by J. Schatzman.

Audio Recording

From Peter's Sax-Horn Journal (Cincinnati: W.C. Peters & Sons [1859]). Also published in 1859 by the same firm in a piano arrangement.

This piece is from the same collection as the "Indiana Polka." The tune that appears in the middle section is "The Parting Cup" or "The Parting Glass," an Irish tune that became associated in this country with wakes, suggesting that "Midnight!" was intended as a funeral march.

The comments on drum parts in connection with the "Indiana Polka" apply here as well. Again, the piccolo part is added.

"Scots Wha Hae: Variations" (Piano). The title page reads: "Favorite Scotch Melodies arranged in brilliant style with Variations for the Piano forte...no. 6. 'Scot's [sic] Wha Hae...' by Wm. Vincent Wallace. New York: Published by Wm. Hall & Son, 239 Broadway; London: R. Cocks & Co. [ca. 1854]."

Audio Recording

This popular Scotch national air (the tune to Burns's "Scots, wha hae wi' Wallace bled") is best known today in the concert hall through Max Bruch's sentimental treatment of it in his "Scottish Fantasy." William Vincent Wallace (1812-65), whose dashing variations are rather a contrast to Bruch's, was an Irishman whose career might provide the material for several romantic adventure stories, even if we believe only half of what has been written about it. After playing the violin in Dublin, where his efforts to emulate Paganini nearly ruined his health, he tried to recuperate by settling in the Australian bush (for a concert in Sydney he was given a hundred sheep). He later went to New Zealand--some say for whaling--and is supposed to have escaped death at the hands of cannibals through the intercession of the chief's daughter. Shortly afterward, Wallace survived a mutiny in the South Seas (other accounts mention only an explosion on a steamship in the Atlantic in 1850). He created something of a sensation in India, where he may have defended himself against an attacking tiger; in Mexico, where a mass commposed by him was played; and eventually in the United States, which he liked enough to acquire not only American citizenship but a second, American, wife.

It is almost certainly mere coincidence that the muster-out rolls of the New York Ninth Regiment, "Hawkin's Zouaves," list a William V. Wallace as having been their bandmaster during the early part of the Civil War, when Wallace was in London, preoccupied with the productions of his operas. American band books of the period attest to the popularity of two of these operas, Maritana and Lurline, by the inclusion of various excerpts and potpourris arranged from them. A eulogy, in the form of a handbill soliciting subscriptions for the support of his (American) widow and children was underwritten by a veritable who's who of the music trades in 1865, the year he died at his home in the Pyrenees.

"General Taylor Storming Monterey" (Band). By Simon Knaeble.

Audio Recording

From the manuscript band books of the Manchester Cornet Band (founded in 1854), first set, no. 17.

This is a curious composition. While we do not know its date, it was probably written not later than 1848, the year Zachary Taylor was elected President on the strength of his brilliant military success in the Mexican War, and despite the efforts of his commander, fellow Whig, and political rival, General Winfield Scott. Many popular compositions celebrating Taylor's victories appeared during his political campaign, though this particular work is not known to us in a published form. But it is almost certain that such a piece would not have been composed after Taylor became President, and especially not after his death in 1850.

The saxhorn instrumentation was not really established by 1848, and an original instrumentation of the contrasting brasswinds, from the soft, mellow ophicleides and keyed bugles to the more "brassy" trumpets and trombones, is a distinct possibility. As it is, one part-book which calls for a "horn in F" probably was intended for a trumpet in F; it certainly appears to be a soprano part and not a characteristic horn part for the period.

A piccolo part was not added to an already problematic arrangement from which an E-flat soprano part seems to be lacking. Here, the part marked "1st E-flat," possibly intended for the E-flat tenorhorn in its octave-doubling role, supplied the melodic soprano part. But there is no bass drum part, and since it was felt that Monterey could not be stormed without it, Dr. Fennell wrote one.

"Lilly Bell Quickstep" (Band). By G.W.E. Friederich.

Audio Recording

From the Brass Band Journal (New York: Firth, Pond & Co., 1854). The trio of this march is an up-tempo version of a sentimental ballad, "Lilly Bell," by Charles Mueller, published in 1853 by the same firm.

Friederich was an intensely active composer and arranger for Firth, Pond & Co. in the mid-1850s, producing the twenty-four pieces that make up the Brass Band Journal, another twenty-four arrangements of pieces for social orchestra, and miscellaneous small works. His name disappears as suddenly as it appears with the publication of the quickstep.

An optional E-flat trumpet part, included for every number in the Brass Band Journal, is used here. The piccolo part is added, as elsewhere.

"Door Latch Quickstep" (Band). By George H. Goodwin.

Audio Recording

From the manuscript band books of the Manchester Cornet Band (founded in 1854), second set, no. 15.

Goodwin was leader of the Manchester Cornet Band for several years but apparently did not follow it when its director, Walter Dignam, took the band into service during the Civil War. It is recorded that "in 1863 Mr. Goodwin was leader in Wheeler's circus band, which position he left to accept an opportunity to work in the Springfield armory--the motive behind it being to form an armory band," (Manchester Cornet Band Notebook "band-scraps," Dignam Collection, Manchester Historic Association, Manchester, N.H.). He is a most individual composer, with some remarkably advanced ideas: the asymmetrical phrases of the first part of "Door Latch" are quite as striking as the brilliant soprano solo in the second, played here by Mr. Sanchez. In contrast to the rhythmic intricacy of the piece is its absolutely plain harmonic structure, suggesting, as does the solo passage, the possibility of improvisation; for it is just such simple harmonic schemes that have provided the most suitable basis for melodic improvisation in jazz.

Among Goodwin's other colorfully titled compositions in the Manchester books are "Pump Handle," "Water Witch," and "India Rubber Overhauls."

"The Heart Bow'd Down" (Vocal). By Michael William Balfe (1808-70).

Audio Recording

From his opera The Bohemian Girl, 1843.

This online recording opens with a number from Benedict's Lilly of Killarney (The Rose of Erin). Like Sir Arthur Sullivan and Benedict, Balfe is indebted to the French opera comique and Italian influences that dominated the 19th-century English musical stage.

"The Heart Bow'd Down" was published many times in America and is a good example of the early Victorian senitmental ballad.

The heart bow'd down by weight of woe,
To weakest hopes will cling;
To thought and impulse, while they flow,
That can no comfort bring.

| The mind will in its worst despair,
Still ponder o'er the past;
On moments of delight that were
Too beautiful to last.

With those exciting scenes will blend,
O'er pleasure's pathway thrown;
For mem'ry is the only friend
That grief can call its own. | To long departed years extend
Its visions with them flown;
For mem'ry is the only friend
That grief can call its own.

"Why, No One to Love?" (Vocal). Words and music by Stephen Collins Foster.

Audio Recording

First edition, New York: S.T. Gordon, 1862.

Foster's style, impressive in the economy of technical devices on which it relies (e.g., the almost predictable, yet usually strikingly effective use of the dominant key at an important turn in the text), sets him apart even from Balfe (whose style is simple enough), as well as other European popular composers of his time. This independence is apparent not only in his musical style, but also in his textual style, the vehicle for his melodic inspiration. His "art" songs are conceived for the parlor, not the operatic stage. This conception sometimes permitted a subtlety conveyed in equivocal texts that betray, perhaps intentionally, a darker mood underlying a superficial gaiety.

There is at least a touch of irony in this song. The question "Why, no one to love?" is rhetorical, implying that the common complaint expressed in so many self-indulgent, sentimental songs is perhaps as much the fault of the sufferer as anyone else. Yet the irony works both ways: "What have you done in this beautiful world?" is a continuation of the title's question and may be tinged with sarcasm.

Foster's world was far from beautiful. His marriage failed, and he became an alcoholic. Two years after writing this song he died miserably in New York.

No one to love in this beautiful world,
Full of warm hearts and bright beaming eyes?
Where is the lone heart that nothing can find
That is lovely beneath the blue skies.
No one to love!
No one to love!
Why, no one to love?
What have you done in this beautiful world,
That you're sighing of no one to love?

Dark is the soul that has nothing to dwell on!
How sad must its brightest hours prove!
Lonely the dull brooding spirit must be
That has no one to cherish and love.
No one to love!
No one to love!
Why, no one to love?
What have you done in this beautiful world,
That you're sighing of no one to love?

Many a fair one that dwells on the earth
Who would greet you with kind words of cheer,
Many who gladly would join in your pleasures
Or share in your grief with a tear.
No one to love!
No one to love!
Why, no one to love?
Where have you roamed in this beautiful world,
That you're sighing of no one to love?

"Free and Easy" (Band). A cornet medley arranged by David L. Downing (ca. 1861).

Audio Recording

From the manuscript band books of the Manchester Cornet Band (founded in 1854), second set, no. 82.

The medley consists of six tunes, which are identified in the first E-flat soprano part: "Free and Easy," "Neapolitan," "Get Out of the Wilderness," "Wake Up Mose," "Good Bye," and "Crow Out Shanghai."

"Free and Easy" must have been a tune so well known in 1861 that almost everyone could be expected to recognize it. Such an assertion would not be made merely on the evidence of Downing's medley. The clue to its familiarity is as striking as the contemporary sources for the tune were elusive. In a two-page panorama entitled "The Songs of War," which Winslow Homer designed for the November 23, 1861, issue of Harper's Weekly, six of the seven titles are still familiar. The seventh is "We'll be free and easy still," and the accompanying illustration depicts the imbibing of stong spirits and its possible consequences. In Homer's design it is followed directly, and probably not accidentally, by the "Rogue's March."

The source for the tune appears to have been the chorus of "'Gay and Happy.' Composed and sung by Miss Fanny Forrest (with unbounded applause)" (Baltimore: Henry McCaffrey [1860]). The words inspired a variety of parodies, including one by Miss Forrest herself, in which the opening line, "I'm the happy girl that's gay and happy," becomes "I'm the girl that's free and easy." In 1862, the original text of "Gay and Happy" was printed together with another parody entitled "Free and Easy" in The Camp-fire Songster (New York: Dick & Fitzgerald). This version, or one similar to it, was almost certainly what Winslow Homer had in mind:

I'm the lad that's free and easy,
Wheresoe'er I chance to be;
And I'll do my best to please ye,
If you will but list to me.

Chorus.--So let the world jog along as it will,
I'll be free and easy still.

Some there are who meet their troubles,
Others drown their cares in drink, etc.

But Downing might have had a more patriotic parody in mind. A Library Company of Philadelphia catalog (Edwin Wolf II, American Songsheets, Slip Ballads and Poetical Broadsides, 1850-1870. A Catalogue of the Collection of the Library Company of Philadelphia. [Philadelphia: The Library Company of Philadelphia, 1963]) lists a broadside under the title "Free and Easy of Our Union.--Listen to the cannons roaring." Whatever his source, Downing's treatment of this tune seems itself to be quite free and easy.

"Neapolitan," which lives up to its title, was not an Italian song but the composition of George Alexander Lee (1802-51), an English composer and singer. The earliest American edition is "I Am Dreaming of Thee. Napolitaine." (Louisville: Peters, Webb & Co. [1850]).

"Get Out of the Wilderness" seems to have been associated for a time with "Dixie," since they apear together in several publications (e.g., Paul Jones, arr., Get Out of the Wilderness and Dixey's Land. Two popular airs as played by Capt. A. Menter and his American Cornet Band [Cincinnati: John Church, Jr., 1860]). The listener will be struck by the second strain of Downing's arrangement, which adheres rather closely to most known versions of the tune. For us, it is the familiar "Old Grey Mare," of which there appear to have been at least two "Wilderness" text variants: "First Little Lady in the Wilderness" (see Irwin Silber. Songs of the Civil War. [New York: Columbia University Press, 1960]. Downing's highly syncopated treatment is interesting, as it foreshadows the cake-walk and ragtime rhythms that appear more than three decades later.

The words to "Wake Up Mose" appear in White's Serenaders' Song Book (Philadelphia: T.B. Peterson, 1851). Charles White, who is credited with having sung but not composed the tune, was a prominent minstrel in New York during the 1850s.

John Rogers Thomas (1830-96), who emigrated from England to America in 1849, composed "Good Bye, Farewell, Farewell Is Often Heard." It was published in New York by Horace Waters in 1858.

The last title, "Crow Out Shanghai," suggests a rooster, though the tune most resembles "Cluck Old Hen," one of several related fiddle tunes. The text appears on an undated broadside published by J.H. Johnson of Philadelphia. It reads, in part:

You may talk about your Shanghais, but they are getting stale,
Our dandies now can take e'm down, for they've a longer tail;
With women's shawls upon their backs, they strut both night and day,
But when the tailor sends his bill they have no cash to pay.

It is a long way from the show-stoppers of the minstrel stage to the more genteel operatic numbers of Balfe and Benedict, from the occasionally morbid nostalgia of Foster to the Latin brilliance of Grafulla, or from the suave Scandinavian lyricism of Lindblad to the ingenious and idiosyncratic Yankee inventions of Goodwin. How different are the funeral "Parting Cup," the bombastic storming of Monterey, and the serenade from Don Pasquale.

Yet presented side by side, as they are here and well might have been in the mid-nineteenth century, the various styles complement one another and reflect the diversity of European influences spiced with native originality that characterized the popular musical arts in America before the melting pot had yielded such durable, dominating, and inimitable American masters as the cosmopolitan Sousa and the fiercely independent Ives.