Heart Songs

This is one of a series of posts about books used as source material for Art Song Central.

Book Title: Heart Songs (Dear to the American People)
Editor: (apparently by committee)
Publisher: The Chapple Publishing Company, Ltd.
Copyright: 1909

Heart Songs can be downloaded in its entirety from Google Books.


Heart Songs is more than a collection of music — it is a book compiled directly by twenty thousand people, who not only sent in their favorite songs, but in accompanying letters told how these songs had been interwoven with the story of their own lives. All have been sent in by men and women who loved them; who cared little for the prizes, but desired to add a truly worthy contribution to the collection of Heart Songs. The personal associations of these melodies add to the familiar words a new thrill of heart interest. Each song recalls to the individual reader some tender, sad, joyous or martial association. It is a book which will be to American musical literature what “Heart Throbs” is to prose and verse.

For four years contributions have poured in from all parts of the republic — from neighboring Canada and Mexico; from distant isles of the sea and almost every continent on the globe — yet the harvest was overwhelmingly American, and although sectional features have added much to the variety of songs and to some extent represent days of strife and dissension, the mass of heart tributes shows how nearly and closely all true American hearts beat in unison, and how the bonds of music are strong and universal.

The original plan was to divide the contributions into ten classes as indicated in the announcements: — Patriotic and war songs; sea songs; lullabies and child songs; dancing songs, lilts and jigs; plantation and negro melodies; sacred songs and hymns; love songs; songs from operas and operettas; popular concert hall songs and ballads; college, school and fraternity songs. It was soon discovered that no balanced classification could be made — the tremendous preponderance of love songs, hymns, college songs, ballads, operatic and patriotic airs, any one of which might have been adjudged correctly to two or more classes, soon convinced the judges that to make the book a true reflection of the contributors’ tastes and feelings — a Heart Song book in the true sense — some classes would have to be abridged, and selections made with a view to securing those songs about which cluster personal and heartfelt associations.

In the mails came the yellow, ragged, timeworn music that had been on “mother’s” piano when as a young man “father” timidly turned the music and with a glance silently responded to love’s message. Old songs and hymns came in, betwixt covers that were familiar thirty, forty and fifty years ago. The old-time singing school was represented, and many a stirring strain that had made the crisp winter air ring, as the refrain was sung on a sleigh ride.

Contributors in the far West sent in songs that have the breezy “go” and dash of the intrepid pioneer. Eastern readers preserved for us songs that have been factors in history-making, and the consensus of opinion on patriotic songs reveals “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “Dixie” and “America” as the standard all over the land.

The old time sea songs, the chanteys and stirring airs, sung at capstan and halyard, were sent in by those whose memories of old days were kindled when a request came for music having in it the tang of salt air, the rush of sharp bows against crested seas, and the vikings of forgotten voyages and old wars. “A Yankee Ship and a Yankee Crew,” “Blow, Boys, Blow,” “A Life On The Ocean Wave” came in side by side with “Sailing,” “Nancy Lee” and many others which suggest the scud of the white foam and the careening deck.

The lullabies include some rare gems — plaintive minor airs of the past century, rich with sacred memories of mothers crooning over old wooden cradles, but modern selections, Emmet’s “Lullaby” and the sweet refrain from “Erminie” were not overlooked. “Rock-a-bye, Baby” proved a very popular favorite.

Many of the lilts and dancing tunes are full of suggestions of a remote past, and martial events possess a close kinship to love songs because of romantic memories of festal nights when dainty feet kept time to the strains of “Old Dan Tucker,” as the couples mustered reluctantly for “the last dance.”

Southern contributors brought to light stirring and plaintive melodies that swayed the hearts of millions during the dark days of the Lost Cause, nor did the North forget songs that were sung with heartache and tearful eyes, or cheered march and bivouac. The remarkable interest centering in the old darkey songs — the melodies of the Jubilee singers, breathing of old plantation days, show that the folk songs of America and even our national music of the future must bear the impress of the race that gave us this class of music. This is already indicated in the popularity of “rag time,” which has already found its way into well-known symphonies, reflecting the motif that rings through such an air as “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.”

Strange to relate, the chief difficulty was in the selection of love songs. While a wide range of selection was offered, the contributors were more insistent on the merit of these particular songs than on any other music sent in, because these melodies had meant so much to them in the days of “love’s young dream.” The man or woman who had found a thrill in singing “Bonny Eloise” could not understand how “Sweet Genevieve” and more modern songs could mean so much to others. Consequently the judges reduced them all to the common denominator of heart interest and found that the old, old story is ever new, and always bewitching, no matter how the melody may vary. “Annie Laurie” is the one great international favorite ballad of all English-speaking people.

There was remarkable unanimity in the choice of hymns. The universal selection seemed to turn to “mother’s favorite,” which had meant so much at the turning point of life’s highway. The choice of “Lead, Kindly Light” and “Come, Thou Fount,” “Rock of Ages,” “Nearer, My God, to Thee” and other hymns loved by many celebrated men, proved these songs to be also the favorites of people all over the world.

In operatic selections the familiar arias of Verdi, echoed around the world, were most in favor. The song of Manrico in the tower appeared to touch more hearts than any other aria sung behind American operatic footlights. Popular opera airs were mingled through the other classes.

The long list of concert songs submitted contained many beautiful and rare selections, but the greater number were songs that have been household words for many a day, and some are still largely sold after nearly a half century of publication. These contributions throw an interesting light on national character. The popularity of “Old Folks at Home” and “My Old Kentucky Home” was emphasized, and “Massa’s in de Cold, Cold Ground” was a strong universal favorite. The melody and sentiment of the songs of Stephen C. Foster come close to the affections of the American people, and Dan Emmet, Henry C. Work, Root and other composers who flourished between 1840 and 1880 are well represented. “Old Black Joe,” “Carry Me Back to Old Virginny” and many other sweetly human songs were sent in by large numbers.

The choice of college songs proved to be a matter of location. There were prime old favorites that have been inherited from the halcyon days of early schools, and are full of patriotic sentiment; many of these are almost classics, being standard tunes with only a variation in the words. “My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean” and “The Quilting Party” appeared equally attractive to various alma maters.

Like “Heart Throbs,” this book represents the history, the sentiment of the American people of today, as well as of the various European races who, in this new world, have been moulded into a great and powerful nation. “Heart Songs” is a valuable and striking gauge and indicator of the popular taste of the people now comprising the republic of the United States of America. Few “rag time” songs were sent in; operatic selections were not largely in favor. Love ballads, patriotic, sacred and concert melodies were the most popular.

Songs that have entertained thousands from childhood to the grave and have voiced the pleasure and pain, the love and longing, the despair and delight, the sorrow and resignation, and the consolation of the plain people — who found in these an utterance for emotions which they felt but could not express — came in by the thousands. The yellow sheets of music bear evidence of constant use; in times of war and peace, victory and defeat, good and evil fortune, these sweet strains have blended with the coarser thread of human life and offered to the joyful or saddened soul a suggestion of uplift, sympathy and hope.

It is not unlikely that a second volume of “Heart Songs” will be demanded by the American public if the publishers can judge by the orders already received for the first. There is ample material not drawn upon, and still more contributions indicate that the mine has only begun to yield its treasury of heart songs.

Boston, 1909
Joe Mitchell Chapple


  1. Abide With Me
  2. Adieu! ‘Tis Love’s Last Greeting
  3. Afterwards
  4. Ah! I Have Sighed to Rest Me
  5. Ah! So Pure
  6. Alice, Where Art Thou?
  7. All is Quiet, Lullaby, Violin Obligato
  8. America
  9. American Hymn
  10. Angelic Songs are Swelling
  11. Angels Ever Bright and Fair
  12. Annie Laurie
  13. Ariel
  14. Arise, My Soul
  15. Auld Lang Syne
  16. Auld Robin Gray
  17. Aura Lee
  18. Baby Bunting
  19. Baby Mine
  20. Barbara Allen
  21. The Battle Cry of Freedom
  22. Battle Hymn of the Republic
  23. Be Kind to the Loved Ones at Home
  24. Beautiful Bells
  25. Beautiful Dreamer
  26. Beautiful Isle of the Sea
  27. Beautiful Star in Heaven so Bright
  28. Because You’re You
  29. Believe Me if all Those Endearing Young Charms
  30. Belle Mahone
  31. Birds in the Night
  32. Blanche Alpen
  33. Blow the Man Down
  34. Blow, Boys, Blow
  35. The Blue Alsatian Mountains
  36. The Blue Bells of Scotland
  37. The Blue Juniata
  38. De Boatmen’s Dance
  39. Bohunkus
  40. Bonnie
  41. The Bonnie Banks o’ Loch Lomon’
  42. The Bonnie Blue Flag
  43. Bonnie Dundee
  44. Bonny Eloise
  45. The Bowld Sojer Boy
  46. Break, Break, Break
  47. Bridal Chorus from Lohengrin
  48. The British Grenadiers
  49. Brother, Tell Me of the Battle
  50. Bruce’s Address
  51. Buffalo Gals
  52. The Bull Dog
  53. Bunker Hill
  54. Buy a Broom
  55. By the Sad Sea Waves
  56. Call Me Pet Names
  57. The Campbells are Coming
  58. Camptown Races
  59. Captain Jinks
  60. Carrier Dove
  61. Carry Me Back to Old Virginny
  62. Castanets are Sounding
  63. Chinese Baby-Song
  64. Christians, Awake
  65. Clime Beneath Whose Genial Sun
  66. Co-ca-che-lunk
  67. Come, All Ye Faithful
  68. Come Back to Erin
  69. Come Home, Father
  70. Come, O Come with Me
  71. Come, Thou Almighty King
  72. Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing
  73. Come, Where my Love Lies Dreaming (Quartette)
  74. Come, Ye Disconsolate
  75. Comin’ Thro’ the Rye
  76. Cooper’s Song
  77. Cradle Song
  78. Cradle Song
  79. Cradle Song
  80. Danish National Hymn
  81. The Danube River
  82. Darby and Joan
  83. Darling Nellie Gray
  84. Dear Evelina, Sweet Evelina
  85. Dearest Mae
  86. The Dearest Spot is Home
  87. Dixie
  88. Do They Think of Me at Home
  89. Dost Thou Love Me, Sister Ruth
  90. Douglas! Tender and True
  91. Dream Faces
  92. Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes
  93. The Dutch Company
  94. Dutch National Song
  95. The Dying Volunteer
  96. Embarrassment
  97. Emmet’s Lullaby
  98. The Enchanted Isle
  99. English Chantey
  100. Evening Star (Tannhauser)
  101. Ever of Thee
  102. Faded Coat of Blue
  103. Fading, Still Fading
  104. Fair Harvard
  105. Far Away
  106. Farewell
  107. Farewell, My Own
  108. Farewell Song
  109. The Field of Monterey
  110. Firmly Stand, My Native Land
  111. The First Nowell
  112. Flee as a Bird
  113. Flow Gently, Sweet Afton
  114. The Flowers that Bloom in the Spring
  115. For You
  116. Forsaken
  117. Free America
  118. Gaily the Troubadour
  119. Gaudeamus Igitur
  120. Gentle Annie
  121. The Girl I Left Behind Me
  122. The Glorious Fourth
  123. Go to Sleep, Lena Darling
  124. Go ‘way, Old Man!
  125. God Be With You
  126. God is Love
  127. God Speed the Right
  128. Good-Bye
  129. Good-bye, Sweethear, Good-bye
  130. Good-night
  131. Good-night, Farewell
  132. The Graduate’s Farewell
  133. Hail, Columbia
  134. Hail to the Chief
  135. Happy Land
  136. Hard Times Come Again No More
  137. The Hardy Norseman
  138. Hark! I Hear a Voice
  139. Haul on the Bowlin’
  140. The Hazel Dell
  141. He Leadeth me
  142. The Heart Bowed Down
  143. The Hear of a Sailor
  144. Heaven is My Home
  145. Her Bright Smile Haunts Me Still
  146. Holy, Holy, Holy!
  147. Holy Ghost, with Light Divine
  148. Home Again
  149. Home, Sweet Home
  150. Home to our Mountains
  151. The Homeland
  152. Homeward Bound
  153. Hoop de Dooden Do
  154. How Can I Leave Thee
  155. How Gentle God’s Commands
  156. Hush, My Babe
  157. I Cannot Sing the Old Songs
  158. I Dreamt That I Dwelt in Marble Halls
  159. I Wandered by the Sea-Beat Shore
  160. I Would That My Love
  161. I’ll Hang My Harp on a Willow Tree
  162. I’m a Pilgrim
  163. I’m Wearing Awa’, Jean
  164. In Old Madrid
  165. In the Gloaming
  166. In the Sweet Bye and Bye
  167. The Independent Farmer
  168. Integer Vitae
  169. Italian National Hymn
  170. It’s a Way We Have at Old Harvard
  171. I’ve Left the Snow-Clad Hills
  172. Jack and Gill
  173. Jamie’s on the Stormy Sea
  174. Jerusalem
  175. Jerusalem the Golden
  176. Jesus! the Very Thought of Thee
  177. Jingle, Bells
  178. John Anderson, My Jo
  179. John Brown’s Body
  180. Johnny Sands
  181. Jordan Am a Hard Road to Trabbel
  182. Joy to the World
  183. Just as I Am
  184. Just Before the Battle, Mother
  185. Juanita
  186. Katey’s Letter
  187. Kathleen Aroon
  188. Kathleen Mavourneen
  189. Keller’s American Hymn
  190. The Kerry Dance
  191. Killarney
  192. Kind Words are Dear to All
  193. Kingdom Coming
  194. Kiss Me Quick, and Go
  195. Kitty Tyrrell
  196. Korner’s Battle Prayer
  197. The Laird o’ Cockpen
  198. The Land o’ the Leal
  199. Landlord, Fill the Flowing Bowl
  200. Larboard Watch
  201. Last Night
  202. The Last Rose of Summer
  203. Lauriger Horatius
  204. Lead, Kindly Light
  205. Let Me Dream Again
  206. A Life on the Ocean Wave
  207. Lightly Row
  208. Lilly Dale
  209. Listen to the Mocking Bird
  210. Little Bo-Peep
  211. A Little More Cider
  212. Loch Lomond
  213. The Lone Fish-ball
  214. Long Ago
  215. Long, Long Ago
  216. The Long, Long Weary Day
  217. Looking Back
  218. The Lord’s Prayer
  219. The Loreley
  220. Lorena
  221. The Lost Chord
  222. Love Not
  223. Lovely Night
  224. Love’s Young Dream
  225. Love’s Old, Sweet Song
  226. The Low-Backed Car
  227. Lullaby
  228. Lulu is Our Darling Pride
  229. Lutzow’s Wild Hunt
  230. Maggie By My Side
  231. Make Me No Gaudy Chaplet
  232. Marching Along
  233. Marching Through Georgia
  234. The Mariner
  235. The Marsellaise Hymn
  236. Mary Had a Little Lamb
  237. Mary of Argyle
  238. Maryland! My Maryland!
  239. Massa’s in de Cold, Cold Ground
  240. Meerschaum Pipe
  241. The Mermaid
  242. Michael Roy
  243. The Midshipmite
  244. The Miller of the Dee
  245. Miss Lucy Long
  246. Missionary Hymn
  247. My Ain Countrie
  248. My Faith Looks Up To Thee
  249. My Grandma’s Advice
  250. My Jesus, as Thou Wilt
  251. My Last Cigar
  252. My Mary Anne
  253. My Mother’s Bible
  254. My Moustache
  255. My Old Dog Tray
  256. My Old Kentucky Home
  257. My Trundle-Bed
  258. Nancy Lee
  259. Nearer, My God, to Thee
  260. No, Never, No
  261. No One to Love
  262. Nora O’Neal
  263. Now the Day is Over
  264. Nut Brown Maiden
  265. O, Come, Come Away
  266. O Dear! What Can the Matter Be?
  267. O Give Me a Home by the Sea
  268. O Loving Heart, Trust On
  269. O Music
  270. O Paradise
  271. O Weary Feet
  272. O Ye Tears
  273. Oft in the Stilly Night
  274. Oh! Don’t You Remember Sweet Alice
  275. Oh, Hush Thee, My Baby
  276. Oh! Susanna
  277. Oh! Willie, We Have Miss’d You
  278. The Old Arm Chair
  279. Old Black Joe
  280. The Old Cabin Home
  281. Old Dan Tucker
  282. The Old Folks at Home
  283. Old Hundred
  284. The Old Oaken Bucket
  285. Old Rosin, The Beau
  286. The Old Sexton
  287. Old Shady
  288. One Sweetly Solemn Thought
  289. Onward, Christian Soldiers
  290. The Orphan Boys
  291. Our Baby
  292. Our Native Song
  293. Out on the Deep
  294. Over the Garden Wall
  295. Paddle Your Own Canoe
  296. Peter Gray
  297. Pirates’ Chorus
  298. Polly-wolly-doodle
  299. The Promised Land
  300. The Quilting Party
  301. The Rainy Day
  302. The Red, White and Blue
  303. Rest for the Weary
  304. Retreat
  305. Rig-a-jig
  306. Robin Adair
  307. Robin Ruff
  308. Rock Me to Sleep, Mother
  309. Rock of Ages
  310. Rocked in the Cradle of the Deep
  311. Rory O’Moore
  312. Rosa Lee
  313. Rosalie
  314. The Rose of Alabama
  315. Roy’s Wife of Aldivailoch
  316. Sailing
  317. Sally Come Up
  318. Sally in Our Alley
  319. Santa Lucia
  320. See at Your Feet
  321. See-Saw Waltz Song
  322. Shall We Meet
  323. The Shining Shore
  324. Silent Night
  325. Simon the Cellarer
  326. Sing, Smile, Slumber
  327. Sleep, Beloved, Sleep
  328. Soft, Soft Music is Stealing
  329. Softly now the Light of Day
  330. Soldier’s Farewell
  331. Soldier’s Tear
  332. Some Day
  333. The Son of God Goes Forth to War
  334. Song of a Thousand Years
  335. Song of the Fowler
  336. A Song of the Sea
  337. Speed Away! Speed Away
  338. The Spring
  339. Star of the Twilight
  340. The Star-Spangled Banner
  341. Stars of the Summer Night
  342. Stonewall’s Requiem
  343. Strike the Harp Gently
  344. Sun of My Soul
  345. Sweet and Low
  346. Sweet Bye and Bye
  347. Sweet Genevieve
  348. Sweet hour of Prayer
  349. Sweet Spirit, Hear My Prayer!
  350. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
  351. The Switzer’s Farewell
  352. The Sword of Bunker Hill
  353. Take Back the Heart
  354. Take Me Home
  355. Tapping at the Garden Gate
  356. The Tar’s Farewell
  357. Tempest of the Heart
  358. Ten Little [Can’t bring myself to type this]
  359. Tenting Tonight
  360. Then You’ll Remember Me
  361. There Were Three Crows
  362. There’s Music in the Air
  363. They All Love Jack
  364. Those Evening Bells
  365. A Thousand Leagues Away
  366. Three Blind Mice
  367. Three Fishers Went Sailing
  368. Three Little Kittens
  369. The Three Little Pigs
  370. The Three Sailor Boys
  371. ‘Tis All That I Can Say
  372. ‘Tis But a Little Faded Flower
  373. ‘Tis Midnight hour
  374. Tom-Big-Bee River
  375. Tom Bowling
  376. Too Late! Too Late!
  377. Toyland
  378. Tramp! Tramp! Tramp!
  379. Twenty Years Ago
  380. Twinkling Stars are Laughing, Love
  381. The Two Roses
  382. Upidee
  383. The Vacant Chair
  384. Vive La Compagnie
  385. A Warrior Bold
  386. We’d Better Bide a Wee
  387. We’ll Pay Paddy Doyle
  388. Were You Ever in Rio Grande?
  389. What Fairy-Like Music
  390. When He Cometh
  391. When Johnny Comes Marching Home
  392. When Shall We Three Meet Again
  393. When the Lights are Low
  394. When the Swallows
  395. When This Cruel War is Over
  396. When to Thy Vision
  397. When You and I Were Young
  398. Who is Sylvia
  399. Would I Were with Thee
  400. Yankee Doodle
  401. A Yankee Ship, and a Yankee Crew
  402. Your Mission
  403. You Never Miss the Water

While “Heart Songs” contains little music that would be appropriate for the concert stage, it contains many old chestnuts which would be appropriate for group singing.

A number of songs in this volume (and others on the site) are particularly distasteful due to prejudices and words that were, at the time of publication, socially acceptable. Still, it is not the business of Art Song Central to censor materials posted or linked from here. Inclusion of such songs should not be considered an endorsement of such viewpoints.

Songs from this volume will be uploaded as song posts are created for them. If you would like me to give priority to a song that is not yet posted, please let me know via the contact page.