The Good Old Songs We Used to Sing

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

Book Title: The Good Old Songs We Used to Sing
Compiler: J. C. H.
Publisher: Oliver Ditson Company
Copyright: 1895

Google Books has an online copy of Volume 2.

Contents, Volume 2:

  • Septimus Winner – Whispering Hope
  • Will S. Hays – Driven From Home
  • W. Vincent Wallace – Scenes that are brightest (from “Maritana”)
  • J. R. Thomas – The Old Time
  • John Parry – Dost thou love me, Sister Ruth?
  • Balfe – The heart bowed down (from “Bohemian Girl”)
  • C. W. Cherry – Shells of Ocean
  • George F. Root – The Hazel Dell (quartet)
  • George F. Root – There’s Music in the Air (quartet)
  • Frederick Buckley – I’d Choose to be a Daisy
  • Isaac Beverly Woodbury – If I Were a Voice
  • Nannie – Love’s Chidings
  • N. J. Sporle – The Star of Glengary
  • Charles C. Converse – Aileen, Aroon!
  • Walter Kittredge – Tenting on the Old Camp Ground
  • Claribel – I Cannot Sing the Old Songs
  • H. M. Higgins – The Old Musician and His Harp
  • Wm. Vincent Wallace – Good Night and Pleasant Dreams
  • M. J. (arr.) – Murmur, Gentle Lyre
  • F. Stockhausen – ‘Twere Vain to Tell Thee All I Feel
  • Stephen C. Foster – Fairy Belle
  • M. J. (arr.) – Sunrise
  • J. S. R. – The Lords of Creation
  • Anon. – Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes (quartet)
  • J. C. Johnson – The Pretty Girl Milking Her Cow
  • Anon. – Am I Not Fondly Thine Own? (quartet)
  • Miller (arr.) – Scotch Lassie Jean
  • Will S. Hays – We Parted by the River Side
  • Wm. Vincent Wallace – Sweet Spirit, Hear My Prayer
  • J. C. M. (arr.) – Love’s Young Dream
  • Mason – Work, For the Night is Coming
  • B. R. Hanby – Darling Nelly Gray
  • John Barnett – I once knew a Normandy maid
  • Himmel – The Battle Prayer
  • J. C. Baker – My Trundle Bed
  • C. H. Rodwell – The Banks of the Blue Moselle
  • W. V. Wallace – The Bell-Ringer
  • L. V. H. Crosby – Dearest Mae
  • S. C. Foster – Gentle Annie
  • Samuel Lover – What Will You Do, Love?
  • Colin Coe (arr.) – John Anderson, My Jo
  • Franz Abt – When the Swallows Homeward Fly
  • a Lady – Thou Hast Wounded the Spirit that Loved Thee
  • Bernard Covert – Jamie’s On the Stormy Sea
  • Dan. Emmett – Dixie’s Land
  • J. T. Surenne (arr.) – When The Kye Comes Hame
  • Foster – Oh! Susanna
  • Trad. – On the banks of Allan Water
  • James E. Stewart – Jennie, The Flower of Kildare
  • J. Benedict – By the Sad Sea Waves
  • J. R. Thomas – Rose of Killarney
  • F. Boott – Baby Mine; or The Sailor’s Wife
  • J. W. Turner – Mary of the Wild Moor
  • John Sinclair – Dumbarton’s Bonny Dell
  • W. R. Dempster – I’m Alone, All Alone
  • F. Boott – I Am Weary With Rowing
  • C. A. White – The Widow in the Cottage by the Sea-side
  • Mrs. Groom – Over the Sea
  • Fletcher – When I Saw Sweet Nellie Home
  • Anon. – No One to Love
  • J. E. Winner – The Little Brown Jug
  • John Demar – When Ye Gang Awa, Jamie
  • Henry R. Allen – Maid of Athens
  • S. C. Foster – Gwine to Run All Night; or De Camptown Races
  • W. E. (arr.) – Oh! How Brightly
  • T. Bissell – The Moon Behind the Hill
  • Hutchinson – Mrs. Lofty and I
  • B. E. L. – I Know Not Why I Love Thee
  • D. Wood – I’ve Brought Thee an Ivy Leaf
  • Will S. Hays – Take This Letter to My Mother
  • Wm. S. Pitts – The Little Brown Church
  • W. T. Wrighton – The Dearest Spot of Earth
  • Kelly and T. Comer – Last Week I Took a Wife
  • Mendelssohn – O, Wert Thou in the Cauld Blast
  • Will S. Hays – Mollie Darling
  • J. C. J. (arr.) – Where Are You Going, My Pretty Maid
  • H. Millard – Whip-poor-will’s Song
  • C. C. – O Whistle and I’ll Come to You, My Lad
  • John P. Ordway – Twinkling Stars are Laughing, Love
  • Ernest Leslie – Rock Me to Sleep, Mother
  • Anon. – Johnny Sands
  • W. V. Wallace – The Winds that Waft My Sighs to Thee
  • J. E. Winner – We Have Met, Loved, and Parted
  • J. C. Engelbrecht – The Separation
  • James Ballantine – Castles in the Air
  • H. S. Thompson – Cousin Jedediah
  • Theo. Von La Hache – Near the Banks of That Lone River
  • W. Willing – Faded Flowers
  • A. J. Higgins – Mabel Clare
  • J. P. Ordway – Dreaming of Home and Mother
  • Louie Brewster – The Dying Nun
  • W. S. Hays – You’ve Been a Friend to Me
  • M. N. Balfe – The Light of Other Days
  • Brinley Richards – Oh! Whisper What Thou Feelest
  • J. M. Hubbard – Robin Redbreast
  • N. Barker (arr.) – Hurrah for Old New England
  • J. A. Butterfield – When You and I Were Young, Maggie
  • M. C. (arr.) – Wildwood Flowers
  • Hamilton Aïde – The Danube River
  • J. R. Thomas – The Cottage by the Sea
  • Hemans – Evening Song to The Virgin
  • Apsley Street – The Birdies’ Ball
  • W. T. Wrighton – Her Bright Smile Haunts Me Still
  • Edward L. White – Billy Boy
  • S. Lover – The Low-Backed Car
  • Stephen C. Foster – Massa’s in de Cold Ground
  • M. Keller – The American Hymn
  • O. M. Brewster – We Girls Never Mean Half We Say
  • W. Vincent Wallace – Cradle Song

There is a soft spot in my heart for volumes like this one, though many of its songs are inappropriate for the main thrust of the site. I love that so many of the songs truly were popular, rather than having been made so through effective marketing. I’m glad they preserve some tunes that I knew as standards, even if they are no longer known by today’s youth. And also that they preserve tunes which were lost to my generation, but which were widely known at the time.

Take, for example, “No one to love” on page 92. A Google search turns up virtually no modern references to this song, yet it was featured in a bunch of late 19th century novels with the clear presumption that it would be familiar to the reader. It seems to be a fine song, worth bringing back into the canon. (I imagine Patsy Cline singing it as I read through the score.)

There are, of course, several standards included which might be appropriate for beginning students, or those with an interest in folksongs or parlor songs.

I will probably not post individual songs from this collection, but if you feel one deserves more attention, please let me know via the contact page.