The Roller Organ Cob Handbook

by Richard Dutton1)

Twenty-Note Cobs

Cobs #501-600

Introduction

The cobs in this numerical range contain music of a variety of types. Twenty-eight of them (cobs #501-514 and #579-592) are Norwegian. Some of the tunes on these cobs are stirring patriotic pieces that sound similar to religious hymns, extolling the virtues of Norway and expressing honor, affection and loyalty. A number of others are traditional Norwegian songs, some of them folk songs, with subjects such as the beauty of the flowering Norwegian countryside in spring, the imposing majesty of lofty mountain peaks, etc. The music on these cobs would have been familiar in communities of Norwegian immigrants in the United States 125 years ago and the cobs were probably played not only in Norwegian-American homes, but also to accompany group singing at meetings of Norwegian-American choral societies and social and cultural organizations such as the Sons of Norway, which was founded in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1895.

There was a great interest in Norwegian folk music in the second half of the nineteenth century that involved the most significant figures in the Norwegian musical world at that time. Ludvig Mathias Lindeman (1812-1887), an organist, music teacher and composer, collected thousands of folk songs and published a number of collections of them, including ’ldre og Nyere Norske Fjeldmelodier (Older and Newer Norwegian Mountain Melodies) (“EN”), which contains both lyrics and music for the songs and was issued in several parts beginning in 1853. Edvard Grieg (1843-1907), certainly the best-known Norwegian classical composer of all time, was also very interested in folk music and arranged 154 Norwegian pieces for piano in a collection dating from 1874-1875 with the title Norges Melodier (Norway's Melodies)(“NM”), which includes arrangements of most of the tunes on the Norwegian cobs in this numerical range. The lyrics to the pieces in NM were published without music under the title Text til Norges Melodier (Copenhagen, E. Wagner, 1877)(“TN”). Additional reference: BB.

There are also ten German cobs in this numerical range (cobs #518-527). They contain songs of the type that would have been sung at gatherings of the German-American singing societies that were so prevalent in German immigrant communities in the United States 125 years ago and, therefore, like the Norwegian cobs, they were probably played not only in immigrant homes but also to accompany choral singing. The songs on these cobs do not date from the roller organ era but are for the most part from the first half of the nineteenth century or even earlier, and their lyrics and music were by some of Germany's best-known and most highly-regarded poets and composers, including Goethe, Schubert and Mendelssohn.

Most of the remaining cobs in this numerical range have the word “Spanish” in parentheses on the label following the title of the piece. As noted previously, it is not clear for whom the so-called “Spanish” cobs on the roller organ were made. I have never come across anything to indicate that the Autophone Company of Ithaca, New York, the manufacturer of the cob roller organ and cobs, sold its products in Spain itself and, as we have seen, the lowest-numbered cob with the word “(Spanish)” following the title, #302, “Our National Hymn (Spanish)”, has on it a tune that is actually the Mexican national hymn and it is immediately followed by #303, “The Swallow” [“La Golondrina”], also a piece of Mexican origin. Were roller organs sold in Mexico, Cuba or other Spanish-speaking countries in Central or South America, or were the “Spanish” cobs, like the Norwegian and German ones, intended only for an immigrant community living in the United States?

As we have seen, “Spanish” cobs #463-473 contained tunes primarily from zarzuelas, Spanish-language operettas that originated in Madrid but became popular with audiences in places such as Mexico City as well. Many of the “Spanish” pieces on cobs in the 501-600 numerical range are, by contrast, dance tunes—waltzes, polkas, mazurkas and “toropos”—with simple, in many cases one-word titles such as “El Gato” [“The Cat”], “La Antorcha” [“The Torch”], “La Alfombra” [“The Carpet”] and “El Guante” [“The Glove”]. It is not clear in what country these tunes originated and from what source the Autophone Company obtained them in order to put them onto cobs. The word “toropo” in many of the titles is clearly a typographical error: there is a dance named the “joropo” that is native to Venezuela and Colombia, and some Autophone Company employee presumably misread the word each time it appeared in a handwritten list of tune titles and made the understandable error of substituting a “t” for a “j” in every case. There are very likely other, similar errors in the spellings of the “Spanish” titles in this numerical range.

None of the lists of cob numbers and titles that appeared in advertising materials of companies such as Sears Roebuck, which sold cob roller organs in its catalogs for many years, and the Larkin Soap Manufacturing Company, which gave away roller organs and cobs as premiums with soap purchases as well as selling cobs, included any entries for cobs numbered 568 through 575. In recent years, copies of cobs #568, 570, 572 and 574 have gradually turned up and, like the cobs that immediately precede them numerically, they are all “Spanish”. The fact that only the even-numbered cobs in this numerical range of eight cobs have been located to date is very strong evidence, statistically, that the odd-numbered ones were never issued. If all eight cobs had been issued and were equally scarce, the probability that the first four that turned up, one at a time, piecemeal and from different sources, would be the four even-numbered ones would be only 1/70, as there are 70 different possible combinations if one selected four cobs randomly out of the eight. Put another way, the probability of having at least one odd-numbered cob among the first four cobs that turned up out of the eight would be 69/70, or more than 98.5%; that is, if the odd-numbered cobs had been issued, almost certainly at least one of them would have been included among the first four of the eight cobs to be located.

The remaining 19 cobs (the “non-foreign cobs”) in the 501-600 numerical range are interspersed between sections of Norwegian, German and Spanish cobs: #515-517, 528, 552-560, 576-578, 593-594 and 600. As noted in the Introduction to the section of this Handbook about cobs #401-500, no cobs in that numerical range can be identified as dating from any year later than 1889. Of the non-foreign cobs in the 501-600 range containing tunes that can be identified as dating from a particular year, we find that three of them (#516, 517 and 577) contain tunes from 1890, three (#528, 555 and 593) contain tunes from 1891, three (#576, 594 and 600) contain tunes from 1892 and none contains a tune from any year later than 1892. Thus, in the 501-600 range, at least the non-foreign cobs continued to be issued in numerical order and the numbering reached 600 no earlier than 1892. It is not clear whether the foreign cobs in the range were issued first and the non-foreign ones added later to fill in the gaps in numbering; all of the Norwegian and German tunes in the range that can be dated are from well before the beginning of the roller organ era and the cobs containing these tunes could have been issued either before or contemporaneous with the non-foreign cobs with which they are interspersed.

I was surprised at all the information I was able to locate about the tunes on the Norwegian and German cobs; the only cobs among them containing tunes for which I have not yet located sheet music or other information are #502, 521 and 587. I was also able to find information about the tunes on all 19 of the non-foreign cobs in the range. So far, however, I have not attempted to research the music on the Spanish cobs in the range. As noted above, the tunes on these cobs are generally obscure ones, many of them dance tunes with inscrutable one-word titles that translate to “The Cat”, “The Glove”, etc. In addition, Spanish cobs are hard to find and most of the time none of them is included even in large batches of cobs that are sold. All but 5 of them have a scarcity rating of at least “S” (“Scarce”) and a number of them have the scarcity rating “N” (“No Known Copy”). As a result, no cob collector, to date, has managed to collect a complete set of the cobs in the 501-600 range.

#501-510

#501 - Norsk Flagsang (Norwegian Banner song—Norwegian), Scarcity: VS
This tune appeared as no. 93 in Edvard Grieg's 1874-1875 collection NM with the title “Bannersang”. The composer is shown as “R. Bay” and the lyricist as “C. N. Schwach”. TN includes the lyrics, which begin “Se, Fredens Engel svaever huldt over gamle Nord”. The piece is not included in the much later (copyrighted 1948) Norwegian songbook SN but the tune is used for another piece in SN with the title “At far min kunde gjera” (“The Memory of Father”). (David Vilhelm) Rudolph Bay (1791-1856) was a Danish composer and singer who composed the tune in 1817 while serving as a consular secretary in Algiers. Conrad Nicolai Schwach (1793-1860) was a Norwegian poet, writer, translator, lawyer and judge. References: NB, SB and DB (information about Bay and Schwach).

#502 - Aftenhvile (Evening Rest—Norwegian), Scarcity: LC
I have come across references to several pieces with the title “Aftenhvile”, but have not yet located sheet music for a piece with that title and a tune that corresponds to the tune on this cob.

#503 - Naar Harpen Tier (When the Harp is Still—Norwegian), Scarcity: S
This stirring tune appeared as no. 47 in Edvard Grieg's 1874-1875 collection NM with the title “De tre hoje Ord” (“Three Exalted Words”); the first line of the first verse is “Naar Harpen tier ved breden Bord” (“When the harp is silenced at the great, broad table”). TN includes the lyrics and attributes them to “Joh. St. Munch” (Norwegian poet and later Lutheran bishop Johan Storm Munch (1778-1832)).

#504 - Sangerafsked (Singers' Farewell—Norwegian), Scarcity: S
This tune appeared as no. 134 in Edvard Grieg's 1874-1875 collection NM with the title “Sangerafsked” (“The Singer's Departure”). TN includes the lyrics (which begin “Nys seiled vi”) and attributes them to “L. Dietrichson” (Norwegian poet and historian of art and literature Lorentz Dietrichson (1834-1917)). The tune is credited in some old Norwegian songbooks to “Abt” and the German composer Franz Abt (1819-1885; see notes to cob #103) did indeed write a piece with the German title “Des Sangers Abschied” (which, translated, is “The Singer's Farewell”) which was published in 1853 and was Abt's op. 104. The much later SN (copyrighted 1948) also includes a version of the song with the title “Nyss seilet vi en solbank time (In Merry Sunshine We Came Sailing)” along with a rhymed loose English translation of the lyrics by SN co-editor Carl G. O. Hansen and the tune is again attributed to “F. Abt”. Reference: NB (information about Dietrichson).

#505 - Aa Kjore Vatten (O, Haul the Water—Norwegian), Scarcity: LC
This is a Norwegian folk song, a version of which appeared as piece no. 276, with the title “Aa kjore ve aa kjore vann”, in EN. The tune also appeared as no. 66 in Edvard Grieg's 1874-1875 collection NM with the title “Aa kjore Vatten aa kjore Ve” (“Fetching the Water, Fetching the Logs”). TN includes the lyrics with the word “Folkevise” (Norwegian for “folksong”) following the title. The piece was also included in SN with the title “Aa kjore vatten, aa kjore ve' (I'm Hauling Water, I'm Hauling Wood)” along with a rhymed loose English translation of the lyrics: although in the Norwegian version the singer (who says he prefers being with a rosy-cheeked and blue-eyed girl to hauling wood and water) does not name a favorite girl, in the English version (by SN co-editor Frederick Wick) he refers to his “Sally” (in order to rhyme with “valley”).

#506 - Kjölstadt-Visen (Kjölstad Song—Norwegian), Scarcity: VS
This is another Norwegian folk song, a version of which appeared as piece no. 73, with the title “Kjolstadguten”, in EN. The tune also appeared as no. 137 in Edvard Grieg's 1874-1875 collection NM with the title “Je teente paa Kjolstad ifjor. Folkevise” (“I Was a Servant at Kjolstad, It's Over a Year Gone By. Folksong”), and TN includes the lyrics. The piece was also included in SN with the title “Kjolstavisen (The Kjolsta Song)” along with a rhymed loose English translation of the lyrics, which are an expression of the singer's unhappiness working in Kjolstad.

#507 - Thyre Danebods Vise (Thyre Danebod's Song—Norwegian), Scarcity: S
Thyre Danebod (also spelled “Tyre Dannebod” and other ways) was a revered Queen of Denmark who was born in the ninth century and lived into the tenth. There was a lengthy poem relating to her, “Om Tyre Dannebod”, by a Danish poet and priest named Laurids Olufson Kok (or Koch) (1634-1691), first published in 1695, that was adapted to create this patriotic song. The lyrics begin “Danmark deiligst Vang og Vaenge, Lukt med Bolgen blaa” and appear, with the music, which corresponds to the tune on this cob, as item no. 239 in Volume III of Ludvig Mathias Lindeman's 1865 work Melodier til Sangene I Laesebog for Folkeskolen og Folkhjemmet (Christiania (Oslo), Cappelen). The music is attributed to “P. E. Rasmussen” (Danish composer Poul Edvard Rasmussen, 1776-1860 (Reference: DB)).

#508 - Paal paa Haugen (Paul in the Meadow—Norwegian), Scarcity: LC
This is another Norwegian folk song, a version of which appeared as piece no. 166 in EN. The tune also appeared as no. 140 in Edvard Grieg's 1874-1875 collection NM with the title “Paal paa Haugje” (“Paul on the Hill”), and TN includes the lyrics. The piece also was included in SS (1886) with the title “Paal paa Hougje (Paul on the Hill-Side)” and in SN (1948) with the title “Paal paa haugen (Paul on the Hillside)”, in each case along with a rhymed loose English translation of the lyrics, which tell how a boy named Paul turns his chickens loose on the hillside and one is killed by a fox (Five Norwegian verses are include in SS and translated; only the corresponding verses 1, 2 and 4 appear in SN and are translated).

#509 - Sangen (The Song—Norwegian), Scarcity: S
This song appeared as no. 107 in Edvard Grieg's 1874-1875 collection NM with the simple title “Sangen” (“The Song”), and TN includes the lyrics. The piece also was included in SN with the title “Syng kun i din ungdoms vaar (Sing When in the Spring of Youth)” and the tune is attributed to “Silcher” (German composer and conductor Friedrich Silcher (1789-1860) (see notes to cob #128)) and the Norwegian lyrics to “J. D. Behrens”. The German versions of a number of songs by Silcher and Franz Abt (see notes to cob #504) were favorites of German-American choral societies in the roller organ era and the Norwegian-American community had similar societies at which the corresponding Norwegian versions would be sung. Johan Diederich Behrens (1820-1890) was a Norwegian choirmaster, singing teacher and author of works on music and was known as “Sangerfestenes Fader” (“The Father of Songfests”) because of his pioneering devotion to choral singing. Reference: NB (information about Behrens).

#510 - Den Tapre Landsoldat (The Brave Soldier—Norwegian), Scarcity: LC
This Danish patriotic song with lyrics by Peter (Christian Frederik) Faber (1810-1877) and music by (Johan Ole) Emil Horneman (1809-1870), both natives of Copenhagen, became popular immediately upon its appearance in 1848. It is an exhortation to battle in which the singer, a soldier about to leave for the front, gives the reasons why he should go and fight, and copies of it were distributed to Danish troops then engaged in the Three Years' War. It is also known by the first line of the first verse, “Dengang jeg drog fasted” (“When I Went Off”). Reference: DB (information about Faber and Horneman).

#511-520

#511 - Faedrelandssang (Song of the Native Land—Norwegian), Scarcity: LC
The literal translation of the title of this patriotic song is “song of the fatherland” and it has been used as one of Norway's national anthems. It is also known by the first words of the first verse, “Ja, vi elsker dette landet”. The lyrics were written by the well-known Norwegian poet, playwright, novelist, journalist and political figure Bjornstjerne Bjornson (1832-1910), the tune was composed in 1863 by Bjornson's cousin, Norwegian composer Rikard Nordraak (1842-1866), who, unfortunately, died at the age of only 23 of tuberculosis, and the piece was first performed in 1864. The tune appeared as no. 1 in Edvard Grieg's 1874-1875 collection NM with the title “Faedrelandssang”, and TN includes the lyrics. The piece was also included in SS (1886) with the title “Ja, vi elsker dette Landet (Yes, We Love with Fond Devotion)” and in SN (1948) with the title “Ja, vi elsker dette landet (Yes, We Love this Land of Ours)”, in each case along with a rhymed English translation of the lyrics (Three verses are included in SS and translated; only the first and a different second verse are included in SN and translated). References: NB and SB (information about Bjornson and Nordraak).

#512 - Reisesang (Song of Travel—Norwegian), Scarcity: S
The tune on this cob is not the “Reisesang” (with lyrics beginning “Hor det kalder, hor det lokker”) that was piece no. 108b in Edvard Grieg's 1874-1875 collection NM, but rather the tune to the piece that is also referred to in some old Norwegian songbooks by the title “Reisesang” but is more commonly instead referred to by its more familiar alternate title “Se, Norges blomsterdal!” (“See Norway's Flowery Vale”), which is also the first line of the lyrics. It does appears in NM, but as piece no. 28, with the title “Friluftsvise” (“Song of the Open Air”), and the lyrics are attributed to “A. Aabel”. It also appears in SN with the title “Se, Norges blomsterdal! (See Norway's Flowery Vale)” along with a rhymed English translation of the lyrics. (Morton) Andreas (Leigh) Aabel (1830-1901) was a Norwegian doctor and amateur poet best remembered for writing the lyrics to this song. The tune is said to be a German folk tune. The singer, traveling through the Norwegian countryside in spring, breathes the fresh air, hears a waterfall and sees all the colorful flowers, and sings “Tra la la la la la!” at the beginning of the refrain following each verse of the song.

#513 - Studentersang (Students' song—Norwegian), Scarcity: S
This song appeared as piece no. 73 in Edvard Grieg's 1874-1875 collection NM with the title “Studentersang” and the notation “af 'Til Saeters.' Schultz.” TN includes the lyrics, which begin “Den friske Vind og den milde Luft” (“The fresh wind and the mild air”), attributing them to “C. P. Riis”. This is Claus Pavels Riis (1826-1886), a Norwegian writer who wrote a comic “dramatic idyll” in 1850 with the title “Til Saeters” from which the song came (It appears in the score as item no. 7). The music for the production was arranged by German-born Norwegian organist, conductor and composer Friedrich August Reissiger (1809-1883); the “Schultz” to whom the tune was attributed by Grieg is very likely Johan Abraham Peter Schulz (also sometimes spelled Schultz) (1747-1800), a prolific German-born composer who served as conductor at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen from 1787-1795 and wrote a large number of songs. The singer savors the fresh wind and mild air and expresses joy at being a student. References: NB and SB (information about Riis and Reissiger), DB (information about Schulz).

#514 - Norsk Flagsang (Norwegian Banner song—Norwegian), Scarcity: S
This pretty and stirring patriotic song appeared as piece no. 16 in Edvard Grieg's 1874-1875 collection NM with the title “Flagsang” (“Song to the Flag”). The composer is shown as “L. M. Ibsen” and the lyricist as “C. N. Schwach”. TN includes the lyrics, which begin “Mens Nordhavet bruser mod fjeldbygt Strand”. The piece was also included in SS (1886) with the title “Det Norske Flag (Norway's Flag)” and in SN (1948) with the title “Mens Nordhavet Bruser (Norway's Flag)”, in each case along with the same rhymed English translation of the lyrics that begins “The North Sea is lashing the rock bound strand.” Lars Moller Ibsen (1786-1846; see also notes to cob #500) was born in Copenhagen and moved as a young man to Oslo (then known as Christiania), where he became a music publisher and music and singing teacher as well as a composer. Conrad Nicolai Schwach (1793-1860; see also notes to cob #501) was a Norwegian poet, writer, translator, lawyer and judge who wrote the lyrics to this song in 1823. References: NB and SB (information about Ibsen and Schwach).

#515 - Comrades, Scarcity: LC
There is undated sheet music in LL for this 1887 song, in which the singer tells how he and his comrade Jack, close friends since childhood, enlisted in the army together and when the singer was attacked by an enemy combatant Jack leaped in front of him to protect him and was run through with a spear in his place. Both words and music were by Felix McGlennon (1856-1943), who, while living in the United States in the 1880s, wrote a number of songs that became popular both in the U.S. and in English music halls, and later moved to England, where he established a successful music publishing business. The June 18, 1892 issue of The Illustrated American (New York, The Illustrated American Publishing Co.) said “Felix McGlennon, a resident of London, born in Glasgow of Irish parents, is responsible for “Comrades”. He is thirty-three years old [sic], knows little about music, and has been known to compose an air in five minutes. He wears glasses. Tom Costello sang “Comrades” in the London music halls when it first came out, and thereby raised his weekly earnings to $150. Some weeks Mr. McGlennon turns out as many as thirty songs. He has half a dozen assistants, who supply words which he polishes up. … It is estimated that four million copies of eight of his songs have been sold.” Additional reference: OC.

#516 - Maggie Murphy's Home, Scarcity: LC
This song came from the Edward (“Ned”) Harrigan production “Reilly and the 400”, which dates from 1890, five years after Harrigan parted ways with Tony Hart (see notes to cob #249). As usual, the lyrics were by Harrigan (1844-1911) and the music by his father-in-law David Braham (1834(?)-1905). The singer, a young woman named Maggie Murphy, says that the modest two-room tenement apartment where she lives with her old mother is a place where young people who, like her, work in downtown New York City are welcome to gather every evening to sing and dance to the accompaniment of the parlor organ. According to the review of Harrigan's production in the December 30, 1890 edition of the New York Times, the plot involved a pawnbroker named Reilly whose son seeks acceptance into “the 400”, the upper stratum of New York society at the time. This leads Reilly to pose as an Irish baron to conceal his real profession. Additional reference: LL

#517 - Mary and John, Scarcity: LC
The lyrics of this waltz song tell of a quarrelsome exchange between two young lovers named Mary and John in which John teases Mary, she throws the engagement ring he has given her at his feet, he threatens to marry a woman named Molly Malone instead of her, she bids him a tearful farewell but they are then immediately reconciled. The complete title of the piece is “Mary and John; or the Lovers' Quarrel”. The lyricist and composer was Australian-born Sir Oswald Stoll (1866-1942), who is remembered today not as a songwriter but as a successful, wealthy and philanthropic British theatre and music hall magnate who later headed a film production and distribution company. There is sheet music for the piece in LL both with a copyright date of 1890, not crediting Stoll, and with no date, crediting Stoll, in each case published in the United States.

#518 - An die Freiheit (To Liberty—German), Scarcity: S
One source that includes this piece is DW, a collection of 300 German songs published in Stuttgart, Germany in about 1900. It is #118 in the collection, with the title “Freiheit, die ich meine”, it consists of eight stanzas in praise of freedom, the lyricist's name is given as Max von Schenkendorf and the composer's name is given as K. A. Gross. Von Schenkendorf (1783-1817) was a German poet who wrote patriotic songs, including this one, during the War of Liberation that was fought against Napoleon in 1813. Karl August Groos (not “Gross”) (1789-1861) was a German pastor as well as a composer and song collection editor. Additional reference: NI (information about von Schenkendorf)

#519 - Schwäbisches Volkslied (Suabian Folk Song—German), Scarcity: LC
This piece also appears in DW (see notes to previous cob). It is #68 in the collection, with the title “Oberschwabisches Tanzliedchen”, which translates as “little Upper Suabian dance song”, and the tune is identified as a “Volksweise” (“folk melody”). The piece is also known by the title “Rosestock, Holderblut”, which is also the first line of the lyrics. It is a simple song in which the singer describes the beauty of his beloved; the refrain consists entirely of “la la la”s.

#520 - Haideroeslein (Rose of the Heather—German), Scarcity: LC
This piece also appears in DW (see notes to cob #518). It is #69 in the collection, with the title “Haidenroslein”, the lyricist's name is given as “J. W. von Gothe” and the composer's name is given as “Heinrich Werner”. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) is considered by many to be Germany's greatest literary figure of the modern era; he was a man of diverse talents and interests and an accomplished and influential poet, playwright and novelist as well as a scientist and statesman. Heinrich Werner (1800-1833) was a German composer, choral director and music teacher who wrote a number of song tunes but died of tuberculosis at the age of only 32. His musical setting of Goethe's poem was first performed in 1829. The poem had been written by Goethe in 1771 and was addressed to a woman named Friederike Brion with whom he had fallen in love but from whom he later abruptly departed: a boy (“ein Knabe”) sees a beautiful red rose on the heather, speaks to it and says he intends to pick it; the rose replies that if he tries to do so it will prick him and he will always remember; but he nevertheless goes ahead, picks the rose and is pricked by it. Reference: Encyclopedia Brittanica (detailed information about Goethe), BB (information about Werner).

#521-530

#521 - Abendlied (Evening Song—German), Scarcity: LC
There are many pieces by this title and I have not yet located one with a tune that corresponds to the tune on this cob.

#522 - Alt Heidelberg (Old Heidelberg—German), Scarcity: LC
There is a song in DW (see notes to cob #518) with the title “Alt Heidelberg, du feine” with lyrics by “J. V. v. Schessel” and music by “S. A. Zimmermann”; however, the tune by Zimmermann does not correspond to the tune on the cob, although the two tunes are somewhat similar and the slow-paced, hymn-like tune on the cob could be either a precursor to or a very simplified arrangement of Zimmermann's longer and more spirited tune. The tune on the cob could also be a different and lesser-known alternate tune to which von Schessel's lyrics were set or, conceivably, the tune to a totally different song, also with the title “Alt Heidelberg”.

#523 - Mit Herz und Hand (With Heart and Hand—German), Scarcity: LC
This piece is a German patriotic song, the first line of which is “Ich hab mich ergeben mit Herz und mit Hand” (“I give myself with heart and with hand”). The song is commonly known by the title “Gelubde” (“Vow”) because the singer pledges himself to the German fatherland. It appears under this title as #41 in DW (see notes to cob #518), the lyricist's name is given as “H. F. Massmann” and the tune is said to be a “Thuringische Volksweise” (a folk melody from Thuringia in central Germany). Hans Ferdinand Massmann (1797-1874) was a German poet, literature professor and gymnastics exponent. Reference: AD (information about Massmann).

#524 - Der Lindenbaum (Linden Tree—German), Scarcity: LC
This piece also appears in DW (see notes to cob #518). It is #5 in the collection, the lyricist's name is given as “Wilh. Muller” and the source for the tune reads “Melodie nach [after] Franz Schubert”, that is, the melody is taken from a composition of the great Austrian classical composer Franz Schubert (1797-1828). It was no. 5 in his song cycle “Die Winterreise” (“The Winter Journey”), op. 89, dating from 1827, for which he composed music to accompany lyrics by German poet Wilhelm Muller (1794-1827). The singer says that he has dreamed sweet dreams under a linden tree and carved words of love in its bark and when he passes it in icy winter it seems to call to him and offer to be a peaceful haven for him. A great deal has been written about the symbolism and meaning of these lyrics. Reference: AD (information about Muller).

#525 - Aennchen von Tharau (Aennchen of Tharau—German), Scarcity: LC
This piece also appears in DW (see notes to cob #518). It is #7 in the collection, with the title “Annchen von Tharau” (with an umlaut over the initial “A”), the lyricist's name is given as “Simon Dach” and the composer's name is given as “F. Silcher”. The singer professes his love for Annie of Tharau, a town in East Prussia now known as Wladimirowo and under Russian rule. The song was addressed to an actual woman known for her beauty named Anna Neander (1615-1689), who was the daughter of a pastor in Tharau and was later married to, in succession, and in each case outlived, three other pastors. Simon Dach (1605-1659) was a prolific German poet. A number of different tunes had been associated with his “Aennchen” poem over the years, but the one that has survived is the 1827 tune on this cob by the German composer, conductor, music teacher, folk song collector and arranger, and exponent of choral singing (Philipp) Friedrich Silcher (1789-1860) (see notes to cob #128). Reference: AD (information about Dach and Silcher).

#526 - Mai ist Gekommen (May is Come—German), Scarcity: LC
This piece also appears in DW (see notes to cob #518). It is #16 in the collection, with the title “Burschenlust”, the lyricist's name is given as “E. Geibel” and the tune is listed as a “Volksweise” or folk melody (although the tune is elsewhere attributed to a German composer and later Lutheran pastor named Justus Wilhelm Lyra (1822-1882) and the song appeared in an 1843 songbook with the title Deutsche Lieder co-authored by Lyra, then a student in Berlin). The singer is joyous and optimistic at the arrival of May. Emanuel Geibel (1815-1884) was a well-known German poet and playwright. Reference: Encyclopedia Brittanica (information about Geibel), AD (information about Lyra).

#527 - Lebewohl bis wir uns Wiedersehen (Farewell Till We Meet Again—German), Scarcity: LC
This beautiful and moving piece also appeared in DW (see notes to cob #518). It is #27, with the title “Es ist bestimmt in Gottes Rat” (the first line of the lyrics, which translates to “It is determined in God's counsel”), the lyricist's name is given as “Ernst von Feuchtersleben”, and the composer's name is given as “Mendelssohn”. Baron Ernst von Feuchtersleben (1806-1849) was an Austrian physician, author of works on psychiatry, and philosopher as well as a poet, and this poem of his (sometimes referred to simply by the title “Auf Wiedersehn”) was published in a collection of his poems in 1836. The singer says that a sad parting from loved ones is inevitable and if people do so part they say “until we see each other again”. The poem was set to music by the great German classical composer Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1809-1847) as No. 4 of his 6 Gesange [Songs], Op. 47 (1839). Additional reference: AD (information about von Feuchtersleben)

#528 - Boom! Ta Ra, Scarcity: C
The piece usually referred to by the title “Ta-Ra-Ra Boom-De-Ay!”, which is the first line of its chorus, was one of the most popular songs of the 1890s and remained well-known for long afterwards. There were a number of versions of it that differed in both their lyrics and their tunes. According to BW, Henry J. Sayers (1854-1932), a Canadian-born Army bandmaster and manager of minstrel shows, wrote both the lyrics and music for an American version that was included in the “minstrel farce comedy” “Tuxedo” in 1891, but the song did not become popular in the United States until it was performed in England by a singer named Lottie Collins, who did a vigorous can-can type of dance to the chorus. A copy of the sheet music for Sayers' version, published in New York, with the title “Ta-Ra-Ra Boom-Der-E” and a copyright date of 1891, is held in the New York Public Library's collection and the tune in it is the same as the tune commonly associated with the song right down to the present day. There is also sheet music in the New York Public Library's collection for a song with the title “Boom! Ta Ra”, the same title given to the piece on the cob, with words and music by Alexander Spencer, also published in New York and also with a copyright date of 1891. The tune on the cob, however, is different from both tunes in the sheet music: the first part of the tune on the cob (the verse) is similar to the familiar corresponding part of Sayers' tune, while the second part of the tune on the cob (the chorus) is closer to the corresponding part of Spencer's tune. The lyrics in Sayers' version and related versions are sung by a saucy young woman describing herself (“Fond of fun as fond can be, … Just the kind you'd like to hold, Just the kind for sport I'm told”); the lyrics in Spencer's version are also sung by a young woman, but she merely tells how she and her like-minded friends go out to shops, the racetrack, sporting events, balls, etc. to flirt with young men and how they like all the music they hear when they are out except music played by German bands.

#529 - Waltz—Que Carazon (Spanish), Scarcity: S

#530 - Toropo—El Gato (Spanish), Scarcity: S

#531-540

#541-550

#551-560

#551 - Waltz—Flor de Mayo (Spanish), Scarcity: S

#552 - I'm Getting Too Big to Kiss, Scarcity: LC
There is sheet music in MN for this piece, described as a “sentimental ballad”, with a copyright date of 1884, published by James C. Beckel of Philadelphia, showing the lyricist as George M. Vickers and the composer as Beckel. The singer is a young woman who says she feels she is now too big to be kissed in the way she was when she was younger by “the Parson, the deacon, old Schnider Von Krause” and others as they said good-bye upon leaving her home; she advises other, similar young women also to resist being kissed. We previously noted (see notes to cob #227) that Vickers was born in 1841 and was a Philadelphia songwriter who wrote hundreds of songs, many of them patriotic. He was listed in the 1880 United States census as a “music composer” and in the 1900 census as a “publisher”, in both cases residing in Philadelphia, and there is a Pennsylvania death certificate for him that shows that he died in 1908 and his full name was George Morley Vickers. In addition to his songs, he was the author of works such as Ideal Entertainments for Parlor, Church, and Platform, Consisting of Elocutionary Gems, Poetry, Prose, Dialogues and Dramas, published in Philadelphia in 1888, and Ballads of the Occident, a voluminous collection of his poems published in Philadelphia in 1898, which includes “I'm Getting Too Big to Kiss” and a photograph of Vickers as the frontispiece. He also edited a collection of writings related to the United States Civil War with the title Under Both Flags: A Panorama of the Great Civil War, published in 1896. Beckel (1811-1905) was also a longtime Philadelphia resident and was shown in the 1850, 1870 and 1880 censuses as a “professor of music” and in the 1860 census as a “music teacher”. Reference: Pennsylvania death and burial records (records of Beckel's death on February 7, 1905).

#553 - Galop—Little Fairy, Scarcity: LC
There is sheet music in MN for the tune on this cob with the title “Little Fairy Galop”. It was one of six pieces of sheet music in a series with the title “Little Fairies—Six Easy and Attractive Piano Pieces by Streabbog”; there were also a “Little Fairy Mazurka”, “March”, “Polka”, “Schottisch” and “Waltz”. The unusual name “Streabbog” was a pseudonym used by Jean-Louis Gobbaerts (1835-1886), a Belgian pianist who studied at the Brussels Conservatory and composed about 1,200 piano pieces; “Streabbog” is “Gobbaerts” spelled backwards. Reference: BB

#554 - Schottische—White Elephant, Scarcity: LC
There is sheet music for this lively dance tune in MN with a copyright date of 1884. The composer's name is given as “Frank Drayton” and the publisher was the Philadelphia “professor of music” as well as composer and music publisher James C. Beckel (1811-1905) (see notes to cob #552). There are 28 other pieces of sheet music in MN in which Drayton's name is given as the lyricist and/or composer, spanning the years 1856-1892 and all but one published in Philadelphia, a number of them by Beckel; the only one not published in Philadelphia was inexplicably published in Indiana by Beckel. One, dating from 1857, lists 24 previous pieces of music by Drayton as of that time. In at least one case, a piece by Drayton published by a music publisher other than Beckel was copyrighted by Beckel—none of the Drayton pieces was either copyrighted or published by Drayton himself—and in another case, Beckel is shown as composer and Drayton as lyricist. Still another Drayton song was dedicated to the non-existent Alice Hawthorne, the pseudonym of another Philadelphian, Septimus Winner (1826-1902), under which Winner wrote “Listen to the Mocking Bird” (see notes to cob #156), and was published by the Philadelphia music publishing firm of Winner & Shuster. I have not found any information in city directories, in census records or elsewhere about any Frank Drayton who lived in Philadelphia in the relevant time frame and might have been a songwriter and composer and I therefore suspect that “Frank Drayton” may have been a pseudonym of either Beckel or Winner, both of whose lives spanned the long period during which music was published under Drayton's name. As there are more connections between Beckel and Drayton, “Frank Drayton” was very likely a Beckel pseudonym.

#555 - Oh! What a Difference in the Morning, Scarcity: LC
There were a number of versions of this comic song, with different lyrics. One version, attributing the lyrics to Norton Atkins and the music to Felix McGlennon, was included, without the music, in an undated one-page broadside with the heading “Oh! What a Difference in the Morning Songster”, published by the New York song and book publisher Henry J. Wehman. An article with the title “Songs and Song Poets of Today in England” in the New Orleans Times-Picayune of June 12, 1892 said of Atkins that he was “(t)he youngest and most prolific writer of song words in England” who “produces many of the best popular music hall successes”, and added “Nearly all the good comic songs created in England are written by this talented boy. Atkins can be truly called a genius, as he is scarcely out of his teens [and] possesses a most fertile imagination. He leads a thoroughly Bohemian life, and is as improvident as he is good hearted. … He has no difficulty in procuring all the work he wants and he is easily satisfied, for when he has secured enough money to go out and have a good time he quits work altogether until the money is gone”. The article further noted that he did considerable work with McGlennon and wrote the lyrics to “Oh, What a Difference in the Morning”. According to the February 7, 1903 edition of The Era, the London theatrical newspaper, Atkins died five days earlier at the age of only 39. As we have seen (see notes to cob #515), McGlennon (1856-1943) was a very prolific songwriter who, by the time the 1892 Times-Picayune article appeared, had left the United States, returned to his native Great Britain and was living in London. In addition to the information about Atkins, that article included a paragraph about McGlennon noting that his income from songwriting was then not less than $12,500 per year, he had standing contracts with about 200 singers in England, and he held weekly musicales at his elegant apartments where he would perform songs, including his own, in his “flexible lyric tenor voice”. As to the other versions of this song, sheet music for one version, for example, in the New York Public Library collection, with a copyright date of 1891, says merely, as to its lyrics, “additional lines and arrangement by M. C. J.”, and sheet music for two other versions, both in LL, one with the title “But Oh! What a Difference in the Morning”, one undated and one with a copyright date of 1891, shows “Harry Miller” as the author of the lyrics in one case and just credits “Thos. O'Neill” as the arranger in the other case. The common theme in the lyrics in all of the versions is that people do bold things at night, especially involving consumption of too much alcohol, that appear to them quite different in the clear light of the following morning.

#556 - "Chimes of Normandy" Quadrilles—I, Scarcity: LC
#557 - "Chimes of Normandy" Quadrilles—II, Scarcity: LC
#558 - "Chimes of Normandy" Quadrilles—III, Scarcity: LC
#559 - "Chimes of Normandy" Quadrilles—IV, Scarcity: LC
#560 - "Chimes of Normandy" Quadrilles—V, Scarcity: LC
“Les Cloches de Corneville”, which translates as “The Bells of Corneville” (Corneville being a locale in Normandy in northwestern France), was a comic opera with music by the then-unknown French composer Robert Planquette (1848-1903) that premiered in Paris in April, 1877 and became an enormous success. A little more than six months later, an English-language version was presented in New York with the title “The Chimes of Normandy”.

The plot involves a miserly steward of the old, abandoned and reputedly haunted castle of Corneville, Gaspard, who is planning to give a young heiress of whom he has custody, Germaine, in marriage to an elderly magistrate, but the heir to the castle, Henri, unexpectedly appears on the scene and after some intrigue is himself able to marry Germaine, with whom he has fallen in love. Other characters include Serpolette, a sharp-tongued peasant girl of uncertain parentage who at one point in the story believes that she is of aristocratic birth, and Grenicheux, a young fisherman who has convinced Germaine that he saved her from drowning and that she is therefore indebted to him (It is subsequently determined that it was actually Henri who rescued her). The title of the operetta comes from a legend that the bells of Corneville castle will ring again only when the rightful heir to the castle returns and, of course, they do ring following Henri's arrival.

The five cobs contain a number of the more popular tunes from the operetta. Cob #556 begins with a slow “barcarolle” (boat song) and finishes with a more lively melody that imitates the ringing of bells. Both tunes are included in the overture. Also, the barcarolle is sung by Grenicheux in Act I, where it is given the title “Chanson du mousse” or “Va, petit mousse” in the French version and “On Billow Rocking” in the English, and the theme of the bells first appears in Act I, in the piece with the French title “Legende des cloches” and the English title “Legend of the Bells”, and reappears in the Finale to Act II. Cob #557 also contains two distinct tunes, the first of which precedes and then follows the second on the cob. Both tunes are from the marche' (fair) scene in the Finale to Act I: the first tune is played as an introduction and the second tune is sung by Serpolette immediately afterwards, and both tunes are then repeated later in the scene. Cob #558 contains a simple and repetitive section at the beginning and end that may also be intended to mimic the sound of ringing bells; in between, in the middle section of the cob, is a short excerpt from a piece called in the English version “Silent Heroes”, referring to Henri's ancestors who used the suits of armor and the arms that he, Germaine, Serpolette, Grenicheux and the magistrate see when they enter the castle in Act II. The piece is reprised in the Finale to Act II. Cob #559 again includes two parts, the first of which first precedes and then follows the second on the cob. The first is the lively chorus of a piece called the “Cider Song” from Act III, in which Serpolette and the Chorus sing the praises of cider, and the second part is the slower verse portion of the same song. Cob #560 includes three parts, all excerpts from songs again sung by Serpolette: the first is from the “Chanson des on-dit” or “On dit” (“They Say”) song, about gossiping, in the early part of Act I, the second is a very short excerpt from the song Serpolette sings in Act III when she appears decked out in finery, believing that she is a Vicomtesse (In the English version, the lyrics to the excerpt are “Call me then just as before, Serpolette, Serpolette, nothing more”) and the third is part of the same piece from the marche' (fair) scene in the Finale to Act I that appears as the second tune on cob #557.

Reference: EM

#561-570

#561 - Polka Mazurka Celestial (Spanish), Scarcity: LC

#562 - Lo Major de Les Hinas (Spanish), Scarcity: N

#563 - La Golondrina (Spanish), Scarcity: S

#564 - Favorita Danzon, Cubanos (Spanish), Scarcity: S

#565 - Waltz—El Postorcillo (Spanish), Scarcity: S

#566 - Polka—Carlotta (Spanish), Scarcity: LC

#567 - El Casino (Spanish), Scarcity: S

#568 - Caracolillo (Spanish), Scarcity: S

569;, Scarcity: N
It is very unlikely that a cob with this number was issued; see the discussion in the Introduction to this section.

#570 - De Madrid a Paris (Spanish), Scarcity: VS

#571-580

571;, Scarcity: N
It is very unlikely that a cob with this number was issued; see the discussion in the Introduction to this section.

#572 ...nzon O... (Spanish), Scarcity: VS

573;, Scarcity: N
It is very unlikely that a cob with this number was issued; see the discussion in the Introduction to this section.

#574 - El Mulatico (Spanish), Scarcity: VS

575;, Scarcity: N
It is very unlikely that a cob with this number was issued; see the discussion in the Introduction to this section.

#576 - Peggy Cline, Scarcity: LC
This cheery waltz song is interesting because in the first two lines of its lyrics there are references to three other songs, all of which, therefore, must have preceded it in time and been popular when it was written: “Annie Rooney and her Joe” (“Little Annie Rooney”, cob #335), “With little Mary Green” (“My Mary Green”, cob #593), “Down at Maggie Murphy's home” (“Maggie Murphy's Home”, cob #516). The lyrics sing the praises of Peggy Cline, a young beauty, popular with the boys, who lives on the same street as Maggie Murphy (in New York City; see notes to cob #516). Sheet music for the song in the New York Public Library collection shows its copyright date as 1892 and its composer as Maurice Levi, and says it was “Written and Sung with Success by John T. Kelly, the Eminent Irish Comedian”. Levi, from Baltimore, Maryland, became a band and orchestra leader in New York City with a distinctive, animated style of wielding his baton and also composed music for a number of very successful and well-known theatrical productions in the early twentieth century. At the time of the 1880 U.S. census, he was still living in Baltimore and was shown as having been born in Virginia. According to New York State census records from 1915, he was at that time 48 years old and his occupation was listed as “bandmaster”. The July 9, 1915 issue of the New York Times reported that he had suffered a nervous breakdown and was in Bellevue Hospital in New York. At that point, the frequent references to him in New York newspapers stop and he may have returned to Baltimore, because there was an article in the October 24, 1917 trade publication The Jewelers' Circular-Weekly about a surprise party for an employee of a jewelry store in Baltimore owned by a Leon Levi at which “Prof. Maurice Levi, a brother of the proprietor, rendered many piano selections”, and a Maurice Levi who died on June 12, 1923 at age 57 is buried in the Baltimore Hebrew Cemetery. Kelly (1852-1922) was a “stage Irish” vaudeville singer, dancer and comedian. Theater impresario Michael B. Leavitt, in his memoir Fifty Years in Theatrical Management (see notes to cob #361), tells how he “discovered” Kelly when Kelly was a twelve-year-old clog dancer in South Boston and then provides details of Kelly's subsequent career. Additional references: Article about Levi in the Cambridge [Massachusetts] Tribune, February 11, 1911; obituary article about Kelly in the January 18, 1922 issue of the theatrical magazine the New York Clipper.

#577 - The High School Cadets March, Scarcity: C
This well-known and familiar march by John Philip Sousa (1854-1932), the famous American composer and bandmaster remembered primarily for his marches, dates from 1890, when Sousa was leading the United States Marine Band. It was written for the cadet drill team of the high school in Washington, District of Columbia, the city in which Sousa was born and then resided. The tune also appeared on the Grand roller organ on cob #2025. References: OC, UT

#578 - The Skirt Dance, Scarcity: C
This unusual dance tune is from an 1888 comic opera, “Faust up to Date”, and was composed by (Wilhelm) Meyer Lutz (1828 or 1829 (OC says 1822)-1903), the German-born long-time musical director at London's Gaiety Theatre. There is undated sheet music for it in LL. The tune also appeared on Grand roller organ cob #2074. A 1912 book, Modern Dancing and Dancers by J. E. Crawford Flitch (Philadelphia, J. P. Lippincott Co.), includes an entire chapter with the title “The Skirt Dance”. The author wrote: “For a time everybody skirt-danced. There has probably been no such sudden craze for any style of dancing as that which seized England at the time of the famous “Pas de Quatre” in “Faust up to Date”. The schottische-like melody composed for the dance by Meyer Lutz, the Gaiety conductor, was performed to satiety upon every orchestra in the country. In a mild form the dance was introduced into the ball-room, while certainly for years no pantomime was complete without the inevitable four girls in short accordion-pleated skirts, standing in a row behind one another, kicking out first one leg and then the other in time to the jerky music.” Additional reference: EM

#579 - Der Ligger et Land, No.2b (There Lies a Fair Land, No.2b—Norwegian), Scarcity: S
“Der ligger et land (There Lies a Fair Land)” is a patriotic song with lyrics by Norwegian poet, playwright, novelist, journalist and political figure Bjornstjerne Bjornson (1832-1910; see also notes to cob #511). These lyrics, in which Norway is personified as a woman, appeared in SS (1886) with the tune on this cob and the notation “Air: Folksong, 'Ola Gromstulen'”. The tune also appeared, with different lyrics relating instead to the folklore figure Ola Glomstulen, as piece no. 55 in Edvard Grieg's 1874-1875 collection NM with the title “Ola Glomstulen's Brudeferd” (“Ola Glomstulen's Bridal Procession”) and in SN (1948) with the title “Ola Glomstulen”. The song on cob #591 has the title “Der Ligger et Land, No. 1b” and, while I do not know the origin of the numbers “1b” and “2b”, it appears that the lyrics to “Der ligger et land” were sung, alternatively, to two different tunes, the tune on this cob and the tune on cob #591.

#580 - Astri! My Astri (Astri! Mi Astri—Norwegian), Scarcity: LC
This piece is very different from the other Norwegian ones in that it is a very personal dialogue between two estranged lovers in which the male singer addresses his past beloved Astri, remembers the days when they were sweethearts and asks if they can be reconciled. It appears as piece no. 77 in EN and as piece no. 109 in Edvard Grieg's 1874-1875 collection NM. TN includes the lyrics, consisting of four verses sung alternately by “Sveinung” and his Astri. The piece also appears in SN (copyrighted 1948) under the title “Astri, mi Astri (When You Were My Sweetheart)”. There, it is identified as a folk song and a free English translation is included of only the first verse of the lyrics (which differs slightly from the first verse as it appears in TN). According to SB, however, the lyrics were written by a Norwegian rural poet, Hans Hanson (1777-1837).

#581-590

#581 - Til Norge, Kjaempers Fodeland (To Norway, Mother of the Brave—Norwegian), Scarcity: LC
“For Norge, Kjaempers Fodeland” (also known as “Norges Skaal” (“Toast to Norway”)) is another patriotic song and predated “Sonner af Norge” (see notes to cob #585) as a Norwegian national anthem. Its lyrics were written in 1771 by Norwegian poet, playwright and later clergyman and bishop Johan Nordahl Brun (1745-1816), who was then a student in Copenhagen, at a time when Norway was under Danish rule, and its revolutionary tone and imagery of breaking chains, ties and force led to its being banned. The tune chosen for it was by a Belgian-born French operatic composer, Andre Ernest Modeste Gretry (1741-1813). The song appeared as piece no. 29 in Edvard Grieg's 1874-1875 collection NM with the title “Sang for Norge” (“Song of Norway”) and TN includes the lyrics. The song (consisting of only the first and last of the verses) was also included in SS (1886) with a loose and rhymed English translation of the lyrics that completely omitted references to Danish domination, Norway having ceased to be under Danish rule in 1814. The tune was also included in SN, but with different lyrics (“Vi er et Folk (A People We)”). References: NB, SB (information about Brun), GD (information about Gretry).

#582 - O, Ole elsked dig saa Kjaert (Oh! Ole Loved You Dearly—Norwegian), Scarcity: VS
The label on my copy of this cob reads “Oh! Ole, I Loved You Dearly”, which is consistent with the English title as it appears in Norwegian song collections such as SN. This song appeared as piece no. 65 in Edvard Grieg's 1874-1875 collection NM with the title “Stev fra Vegaardshejen” (“Stev [a type of Norwegian folk song] from Vegaardshejen [a place in Norway]”) and a first line of “Aa Ola, Ola min eien onge”. In the much later SN (copyrighted 1948) it appears as “Aa, Ola, Ola, min eigen onge (Oh, Ole, Ole, I Loved You Dearly)”, it is identified as a folk song, and the first of its three verses is translated into English. In this translation, the singer reproaches Ole, whom she loved, for dealing with her insincerely and being false-tongued.

#583 - Bor jeg paa det hoie Fjeld (Dwell I on Lofty Mount—Norwegian), Scarcity: VS
The tune on this cob appeared as piece no. 3 in Edvard Grieg's 1874-1875 collection NM with the title “Norges Herlighed” (“Norway's Glory”), and TN includes the lyrics. The lyricist's name is given as “J. N. Brun”. Johan Nordahl Brun (1745-1816; see notes to cob #581) was a Norwegian nationalist poet and playwright who later became a bishop. The piece was also included in SS (1886) with the title “Por jeg paa det hoir fjeld (Dwell I on the Lofty Mount”) and in SN (1948) with the title “Bor jeg paa det hoie fjell (The Mountaineer)”, in each case along with a rhymed loose English translation of the lyrics, which are another expression of exhilaration at being in the beautiful Norwegian mountains (and, in the second and third verses, which are included in the SS version, at being in the low vale and at the sandy shore, respectively). The tune is identified in both SS and SN as a “folk song”. It is very similar to the traditional Finnish march tune on cob #269. References: NB, SB (information about Brun).

#584 - Mats og Larts (Mass and Lass—Norwegian), Scarcity: VS
This is another Norwegian folksong and is about two bear hunters named Mass and Lass. Ludvig Lindeman included three different versions of the song in EN. No. 221 is the one with the tune most similar to the tune on this cob. SN (1948) also included a version of the song with a loose English translation of the lyrics and a different tune.

#585 - Sonner af Norge (Minstrel Awaken—Norwegian), Scarcity: LC
This Norwegian patriotic song appears as no. 15 in Edvard Grieg's 1874-1875 collection NM under the title “Nationalsang”, with lyrics by “H. Bjerregaard” and music by “C. Blom”. The full six verses of lyrics appear in TN. The piece was written specifically as a new Norwegian national anthem for a competition in 1819 and was the winning entry. “Sonner af Norge” translates as “Sons of Norway” and, as SN is the official songbook of the Norwegian-American fraternal and cultural organization of that name, it is appropriate that the song, with a loose English translation of the lyrics, is the first piece in the book. Henrik Anker Bjerregaard (1792-1842) was a Norwegian lawyer as well as a poet, playwright and writer of short stories. Christian Blom (1782-1861) was a Norwegian shipowner as well as a composer and is most remembered today for composing the tune on this cob for the 1819 national anthem competition. References: NB (information about Bjerregaard and Blom).

#586 - Ja, her Hjemme (Home Again—Norwegian), Scarcity: LC
There is a Norwegian song in which the words “Ja, her Hjemme” are repeated as a refrain, but the versions of it I have seen are sung to a tune different from the tune on this cob. SS (1886) includes a song with the title “Home Again (Hjemreise fra Saetren)”, however, with a tune that is similar to the tune on this cob. The lyrics are attributed to the Norwegian poet and educator Edvard Storm (1749-1794), the tune is said to be a folk melody, and a footnote says that the song was sung by peasant girls about to return from the “saeter” or mountain dairy. The much later compilation SN (copyrighted 1948) includes a song with the title “Hjemreise fra setren (Homeward Again)” with Norwegian lyrics almost identical to those in SS (but including only the first two verses of the three verses in SS) and a tune essentially identical to the one on the cob. Both the SS and SN versions include English translations of their respective lyrics, similar to but not identical to one another, in each case attributed to Auber Forestier (With regard to Storm, the “saeter” and Forestier, see also notes to cob #589).

#587 - Nordsoen (The North Sea—Norwegian), Scarcity: LC
The stirring tune on this cob sounds familiar and is similar to the tunes of a number of Scandinavian patriotic pieces, but I have not yet located sheet music for it or any other information about it.

#588 - Island (Iceland—Norwegian), Scarcity: VS
This piece appears in SS (1886) with a footnote that it was considered by the great Norwegian classical musician and composer Ole Bull (see notes to cob #592) to be the “grandest production of Norse folk music”. The lyrics, which begin “Yderst mod Norden lyser en O”, were by “A. Munch” (Andreas Munch (1811-1884), a Norwegian poet, writer and editor who was the son of Johan Storm Munch (see notes to cob #503)). The song also appeared as piece no. 33 in Edvard Grieg's 1874-1875 collection NM, in which the tune is identified as a folk melody, in TN, and (with three of the four verses that are included in SS and TN) in SN (1948). References: NB, SB (information about Munch).

#589 - Fjeld og Skov er klaedt med Gronske (Fields and Woods are Crowned with Verdure—Norwegian), Scarcity: S
The tune on this cob appears in SS (1886) accompanying a song with the title “Markje gronast (Fields and Woods are Crowned with Verdure)”. The tune is identified as a folk melody and the lyrics are attributed to Edvard Storm. A footnote says that the song is sung by peasant girls when taking cattle to the mountain pastures known as the “saeter” and lyrics with the title “Saeterreisen” (“Journey to the Saeter”) beginning “Markje gronast” appear in TN as the text to piece no. 118 in Edvard Grieg's 1874-1875 collection NM, although the tune of piece no. 118 is not the same as the tune on the cob. Storm (1749-1794) was a Norwegian poet and educator. The English translation beginning “Fields and Woods are Crowned with Verdure” in SS was by “Auber Forestier” (the pen name of Aubertine Woodward Moore (1841-1929) of Madison, Wisconsin, a music critic and essayist as well as a translator, especially of Scandinavian works). Although I have found no reference to “Fjeld og Skov er klaedt med Gronske” as the title of any Scandinavian song, it is a literal translation into Norwegian of “Fields and Woods are Crowned with Verdure”, the title and first line of Forestier's English translation of the lyrics to “Markje gronast”, and it may be that her English translation became so well-known that its title was translated back into Norwegian as an alternate Norwegian title for the piece. Reference: NB, SB (information about Storm).

#590 - Mit Fodeland (My Native Land—Norwegian), Scarcity: LC
The tune on this cob appeared as piece no. 2 in Edvard Grieg's 1874-1875 collection NM with the title “Faedrelandssang” (the same title used for piece no. 1 in the same collection, which translates to “Song of the Fatherland”). TN includes the lyrics, the first line of which is “Hvor herlig er mit Fodeland” (“How lovely is my native land”). The composer's name is given as L. M. Ibsen and the lyricist's name is given as S. O. Wolff. Lars Moller Ibsen (1786-1846; see also notes to cobs #500 and 514) was a native of Copenhagen, Denmark who moved as a young man to Christiania (Oslo) in Norway and became a music publisher, music and singing teacher and composer. Simon Olaus Wolff (1796-1859) was a Norwegian poet, painter and pastor. The piece is also included in SN with the title “Hvor herlig er mitt fodeland” (“My Native Land”). It is once again a song about Norway's majestic beauty. Reference: NB, SB (information about Ibsen and Wolff).

#591-600

#591 - Der Ligger et Land, No.1b (There Lies a Fair Land, No.1b—Norwegian), Scarcity: S
As noted in the paragraph on cob #579, “Der ligger et land (There Lies a Fair Land)” is a patriotic song with lyrics by Norwegian poet, playwright, novelist, journalist and political figure Bjornstjerne Bjornson (1832-1910; see also notes to cob #511) which were sung, alternatively, to two different tunes, the tune on this cob and the tune on cob #579. These lyrics, in which Norway is personified as a woman, appeared in SS (1886) with the tune on cob #579 but also appeared with the very pretty and moving tune on this cob (“No. 1b”) as piece no. 48 in Edvard Grieg's 1874-1875 collection NM with the title “Gamle Norge” (“Old Norway”) and in SN (1948) with the title “Der ligger et land mot den evige sne (There Lies a Fair Land)”. While the first tune is a folk melody, the second tune was written by Bjornson's cousin, Norwegian composer, patriot and folk music enthusiast Rikard Nordraak (1842-1866), and, like Nordraak's “Faedrelandssang” (see notes to cob #511) was first performed in 1864. References: NB and SB (information about Bjornson and Nordraak).

#592 - Saeterjentens Sondag (Chalet Girl's Sunday—Norwegian), Scarcity: LC
This song appears as piece no. 19 in Edvard Grieg's 1874-1875 collection NM, which shows the lyricist as “J. Moe” and the composer as Ole Bull, and the lyrics appear in TN. Jorgen Engebretsen Moe (1813-1882) was a Norwegian poet, writer and folktale collector as well as a priest and, later, bishop whose writings on folklore in Norway with his collaborator Peter Christen Asbjornsen were the Norwegian equivalent of the work of the brothers Grimm in Germany. In addition to being a composer, Ole Bull (1810-1880) was an internationally famous concert violinist who undertook a number of projects to promote and foster interest in Norwegian culture and national feeling and whose exploits frequently brought him attention in the news. He traveled widely outside of Norway giving hundreds of performances over the years, including many in the United States, and was the friend of a number of prominent musical and literary figures of the day, both European and American. The tune on this cob is considered one of his most significant compositions. The singer is a girl tending her flock in a mountain pasture (a “saeter” (see notes to cob #589)) on Sunday who thinks about others making their way to church in her homeland below and wishes she could be there. The song appeared in SS (four verses) and SN (only the first and fourth verses), in each case with a rhymed loose English translation by Auber Forestier (see notes to cob #589). Reference: NB (information about Moe and Bull).

#593 - My Mary Green, Scarcity: S
There is sheet music for this waltz song in the New York Public Library collection with a copyright date of 1891 showing the lyricist and composer as Henry Lamb. Only the last two lines of the rather long verse and then the complete chorus were fit onto the cob. The singer praises his beloved Mary Green, describes his upcoming marriage to her and invites listeners to come to the wedding. As to Lamb, according to the United States copyright renewals in 1921 of two other songs, both dating from 1893, with the titles of “Carrie, That's my Darling Carrie” and “The Church Across the Way”, “Henry Lamb”, who wrote the music for both of them, was a pseudonym of George L. Spaulding, and “William B. Glenroy”, who wrote the lyrics for both of them, was a pseudonym of William B. Gray. The firm of Spaulding and Gray had been publishers of sheet music in New York in the 1890s and, according to MM, prior to that time Gray (known as “Billy” Gray) had performed as a blackface minstrel in an act called the “Glenroy Brothers”. Although Spaulding (1864-1921) was, at the time of his death, a resident of Roselle Park, New Jersey, he had formerly lived in New Rochelle, New York; the New York Times of March 23, 1895 reported on a lawsuit by famous artist Frederic Remington against Spaulding, “the song writer”, for damages as a result of a collision of their carriages in that town while Spaulding was rushing to catch a commuter train to New York City. Spaulding was born in Newburgh, New York, received only a rudimentary musical education, was a music clerk before becoming a music publisher and was the author of a number of collections of simple piano pieces and other music educational works for children. Reference: The Etude, July, 1921 (article about Spaulding following his death, including a photograph of him; the article mistakenly says that he was the composer rather than just the publisher of the very popular song “Two Little Girls in Blue” (cob #1006))

#594 - My Sweetheart's the Man in the Moon, Scarcity: LC
There is sheet music in LL for this novelty song with a copyright date of 1892 showing the lyricist and composer's name as James Thornton and adding, on the cover, that he wrote the song for Bonnie Thornton (his wife), who performed it at Tony Pastor's Theatre in New York. The singer is a young woman who says that her sweetheart is the man in the moon, she can see him every evening after tea, she hopes to make a balloon trip to visit him, she wonders where he spends his time during the day and hopes he does not have another sweetheart, he communicates with her by “Love's Telephone” and she looks forward to marrying him. Thornton (1861-1938) was a hard-drinking English-born vaudeville performer who began his career as a singing waiter in Boston and later appeared on stage as a duo with Charles Lawlor, who is best remembered as the composer of the tune for “The Sidewalks of New York” (cob #1038). Thornton's wife Bonnie sang and popularized a number of her husband's songs while trying her best to get him to refrain from overindulging in drink. He ultimately swore off alcohol and lived into his late 70s in Astoria, Queens, New York. References: OC; 1900 U.S. census record listing Thornton, an “actor”, and his wife Bonnie, an “actress”, as living on West 125th Street in Manhattan and Thornton as having been born in England in 1861 of Irish-born parents and having emigrated to the U.S. in 1870; detailed obituary article about Thornton in the July 29, 1938 edition of the Brooklyn Eagle

#595 - Mi Laud—Valie (Spanish), Scarcity: N

#596 - La Lagartijos (Spanish), Scarcity: N

#597 - El Monitor—Schottische (Spanish), Scarcity: LC

#598 - La Florera—Polka (Spanish), Scarcity: N

#599 - La Mananitas (Spanish), Scarcity: VS

#600 - After the Ball, Scarcity: C
This song is generally regarded as the epitome of the popular waltz song of the “Gay '90s” and is also remembered for establishing a new record for sheet music sales (more than five million copies, according to OC). The lyricist and composer was Charles K. (Kassell) Harris (1867-1930), who wrote it for an amateur minstrel show in Milwaukee in 1892. The song was added into the very successful comic opera “A Trip to Chinatown” and was also picked up by bandleader John Philip Sousa (see notes to cob #577) and included in his daily band concerts at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. Harris described the origins and phenomenal instantaneous spread in popularity of the song in his 1926 autobiography After the Ball: Forty Years of Melody (New York, Frank-Maurice, Inc.). He was one of nine children, grew up in Saginaw, Michigan, learned to play the banjo as a boy, became a banjo performer and teacher when his family moved to Milwaukee, made some initial efforts in writing songs with varying success (including “Hello, Central, Hello”, on Grand cob #2036, the first song Harris published himself), first formed a music publishing company bearing his name and only thereafter gradually learned more and more about the music business as he went along, and had the idea for “After the Ball” when he escorted his sister to a ball in Chicago (at which he also met his future wife) and noticed a couple quarreling there. He again published the song himself and whenever it was performed the moving, sentimental lyrics and the pretty waltz tune to which they were joined brought many to tears as well as to their feet with applause and the song took off by itself. The lyrics tell of a little girl who innocently asks her elderly uncle why he never married and lives alone, and he tells the story: when he was young and in love, he saw his now-dead beloved being kissed by another man, jumped to the conclusion that she was unfaithful and refused to let her explain, and then found out only years later that the “other man” was actually her brother. The song also appeared on Grand cob #2016.

Scarcity Ratings

Scarcity ratings are based on hundreds of cob transactions and many years experience.
MC Most Common
VC Very Common
C Common
LC Less Common
S Scarce
VS Very Scarce
N No known copy


References

AD Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (General German Biography) (various editions and publication dates)
BB Theodore Baker, comp., Slonimsky, Nicolas, rev., Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, 5th Ed. (New York, G. Schirmer, 1958)
BW James J. Fuld, The Book of World-Famous Music, Classical, Popular and Folk, 3rd. Ed. (New York, Dover Publications, Inc., 1985)
DB Dansk Biografisk Lexikon (Danish Biographical Dictionary) (C.F. Bricka, ed., first ed. (19 vols.), 1887-1905)
DW August Linder, ed., Deutsche Weisen: die beliebtesten Volks- und geistlichen Lieder fur Klavier (mit Text) (Stuttgart, Albert Auer's Musikverlag, c. 1900)
EM Kurt Ganzl, The Encyclopedia of the Musical Theatre, 2nd Ed. (New York, Schirmer Books, 2001)
EN Ludvig Mathias Lindeman, ’ldre og Nyere Norske Fjeldmelodier (Older and Newer Norwegian Mountain Melodies) (Christiania (Oslo), Norway, P. T. Malling, no date)
GD H. C. Colles, Ed., Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 3rd Ed. (New York, MacMillan, 1935)
LL Lester S. Levy Sheet Music Collection at Johns Hopkins University (online at levysheetmusic.mse.jhu.edu)
MM Edward LeRoy Rice, Monarchs of Minstrelsy, from “Daddy” Rice to Date (New York, Kenny Publishing Co., 1911)
MN Music for the Nation: American Sheet Music, 1820-1860 and 1870-1885 (and similar online United States Library of Congress collections)
NB Norsk Biografisk Leksikon (Norwegian Biographical Encyclopedia) (Internet edition)
NI Daniel Coit Gilman et al., eds., The New International Encyclopedia (New York, Dodd, Mead and Company, 1905)
NM Edvard Grieg, Norges Melodier (Norway's Melodies) (collection of 154 pieces of music arranged for piano by Grieg) (1874-1875)
OC Peter Gammond, The Oxford Companion to Popular Music (New York, Oxford University Press, 1991)
SB Store Norske Leksikon (Great Norwegian Encyclopedia) (Internet edition)
SN Carl G. O. Hansen and Frederick Wick, Eds., Sons of Norway Song Book (Minneapolis, Minnesota, The Supreme Lodge of the Sons of Norway, 1948)
SS Rev. E. Jensen, ed., Scandinavian Songs, Part I__ (Decorah, Iowa, Lutheran Publishing House, 1886)
TN Text til Norges Melodier (Copenhagen, E. Wagner, 1877) (lyrics to pieces in NM)
UT Sheet music in the University of Tennessee Sheet Music Collection, accessible online at diglib.lib.utk.edu/utsmc




1) ©2016 by Richard Dutton. All rights reserved.
 
 
 

Todd Augsburger's Roller Organ Website