The Roller Organ Cob Handbook

by Richard Dutton1)

Twenty-Note Cobs

Cobs #1001-1100


The cobs in the #1001-1100 numerical range were originally issued over a period from about 1893 to about 1897 (see discussion below). They once again contain an interesting variety of music, including a fair number of then-new American popular songs; some “old chestnuts” that had already been around for decades such as #1053, the sentimental drawing-room favorite “Ben Bolt”, #1069, Stephen Foster's “My Old Kentucky Home”, and #1097, the lesser-known “romance”, “Alice, Where Art Thou?”; quite a few songs of then-recent vintage that had originated in the British music halls; two of John Philip Sousa's best-known marches, “Stars and Stripes Forever” and “The Washington Post March”, as well as half a dozen march tunes by other composers; twenty-eight foreign titles, ten of them Polish, ten Norwegian, five intermingled Finnish and Swedish, one German, one Spanish and one Welsh; and a sprinkling of operatic, classical and dance tunes.

At the lower end of the numerical range there are a number of the best-known and at one time extremely popular American waltz songs that were typical of the early years of the 1890s, including #1004, “The Bowery”, #1006, “Two Little Girls in Blue”, #1010, “Daisy Bell”, #1036, “Sweet Marie”, and #1038, “The Sidewalks of New York”. At the upper end there are several pieces that soon came to be called “ragtime songs” when the ragtime music craze swept the United States beginning in the late 1890s, including #1083, “Hot Time in the Old Town”, #1085, “Dora Dean”, and #1087, “All C—ns Look Alike to Me”. Assuming that the cobs in the #1001-1100 range were all issued in numerical order, which was almost certainly the case, it is possible to determine from the copyright dates of the sheet music for the then-new American popular songs in the range the approximate years during which the cobs in the range were first issued. The song on cob #1003, “Won't You Be my Sweetheart”, the third cob in the range, dates from 1893, so no cob with a higher number could have first been issued any earlier than that year, while the latest copyright date of any American popular song in the range is 1897. If you list the cob numbers for all of the then-new American popular songs in the range that had a copyright date of one of the years in the period from 1893 to 1897 and then arrange them in order of copyright date, it becomes clear that the cobs in the range must have been issued gradually over roughly that period:

1893: #1003, 1005, 1006, 1020, 1036, 1039, 1055

1894: #1037, 1038, 1050, 1052

1895: #1058, 1059, 1061, 1086

1896: #1062, 1064, 1067, 1071, 1083, 1085, 1087

1897: #1088, 1090, 1098.

It has previously been noted that the sixteen songs that appeared on cobs in the #401-500 range and originated in the British music halls were older pieces, mostly dating from the 1860s. The British music hall songs on cobs in the #1001-1100 range, by contrast, were all of very recent vintage, in most cases with a copyright date of 1891, 1892 or 1893. I was unable to locate sheet music for some of the songs in any of the American historic sheet music collections, which suggests that these songs never became popular in the United States and that the cobs on which they appeared might have been made with the intention of selling them in the British Isles where, we know, cob roller organs were marketed (See the introduction to the section on cobs #401-500).

As for the foreign cobs, it is notable that the lyrics to nine out of the ten Polish pieces in this numerical range appear in a single collection of Polish songs with the translated English title “Great Polish Songbook”, published in Krakow in 1919. Therefore, the pieces on this group of cobs are apparently familiar and well-known Polish songs. By contrast, however, only one of the ten Norwegian pieces in this numerical range, #1073, was included in any of the sources I consulted, unlike the pieces on cobs #500-514 and #579-592, most of which appear in either or both of two well-known collections of Norwegian music which I found very helpful when I was compiling information about the Norwegian songs in those lower numerical ranges. Accordingly, I have no information to provide about the pieces on cobs #1074-1082.

The only other piece in this numerical range about which I was unable to obtain any information is “Maggie Maloney”, on cob #1051.

As for the relative scarcity of the cobs in the #1001-1100 numerical range, because they did not appear until the mid-1890s they were not available for purchase for as long a time as some of the lower-numbered cobs were. Nevertheless, some of them contained pieces of music that were extremely popular during the 1890s and beyond, and these cobs, at least, were sold in large numbers. Therefore, while there are no cobs in this numerical range with a scarcity rating of MC (“most common”) or VC (“very common”), there are 11 with a scarcity rating of C (“common”). The largest number, however, 52 of them, have a scarcity rating of LC (“less common”) while 27 have a scarcity rating of S (“scarce”) and 10 have a scarcity rating of VS (“very scarce”). There are no cobs in this range of which there is no known copy and it is accordingly possible, although not easy, to collect a complete run of them.

As a side note, in researching the song “We Were Sweethearts, Nell and I” on cob #1063, I found that the Belfast-born “silver-voiced Irish tenor” George J. Gaskin recorded that song as well as a great many other American popular songs that were on cobs in this numerical range on Columbia wax cylinders in its 4000 series between 1896 and 1900, more specifically the twenty songs on cobs #1020, 1036, 1038, 1039, 1052, 1053, 1055, 1058, 1059, 1061, 1062, 1063, 1064, 1067, 1068, 1069, 1071, 1086, 1090 and 1096. This great overlap shows the extent to which, even in this early period of recordings, phonographs that played cylinders and later disc records were competing with cob roller organs as a means of home musical entertainment. Phonographs were much more versatile than roller organs because of their ability to replicate the human voice and the sounds of many different musical instruments and over time eclipsed roller organs in popularity.


#1001 - The Tourists' March, Scarcity: LC
The cobs in the 1000 series begin with this little-known march tune. There are two different editions of the sheet music for it in MN, both with a copyright date of 1885 and both published by Kunkel Bros. in St. Louis and giving the composer's name as “C. T. Sisson”. In one of the editions there is included on the cover a dedication to “general passenger agents” and the names of five such agents and their railroad lines, indicating that what was contemplated by the title was tourism by passenger train. In addition to being a composer, Charles T. Sisson (1833-1908) was a music teacher in Illinois and later the owner or operator of stores that sold pianos, organs and other musical instruments, first in Austin and later in Waco, Texas. He subsequently returned to Chicago, lived temporarily in Alaska for at least several years and died in New York City, although still a Chicago resident. References: 1850 U.S. Census record showing Sisson, age 17, born in New York, a “clerk” living with his parents in LaSalle, Illinois; Illinois marriage record stating that Sisson married his first wife Stella in Lee County, Illinois in 1855; 1870 U.S. Census record showing Sisson, age 36, living in Chicago with occupation “music store”; 1872-1873 Austin City Directory listing C. T. Sisson & Co., music store; 1880 U.S. Census record showing him living in Austin, age 46, “dealer in musical mdse.”; 1881 Austin City Directory listing the business of “C. T. Sisson” under “Musical Merchandise”; 1884-1887 Chicago City Directories listing Sisson as a “salesman” or “commercial traveler” there; 1900 U.S. Census record showing him as having been living temporarily in Alaska since February, 1898, age 66, month and year of birth June, 1833, married to his 33-year-old second wife Esther, with the occupation “hotel keeper” and home of Chicago, Illinois; New York City death record giving his date of death as May 20, 1908 and his age at death as 74; Laurie E. Jasinski, ed., The Handbook of Texas Music, 2nd Ed. (Denton, Texas, The Texas State Historical Society, 2012) (entry about Sisson including information about his teaching music in Illinois and operating the music stores in Texas)

#1002 - Lauterbach (The Lauterbach Maiden—German), Scarcity: LC
“Zu Lauterbach hab' ich mein'n Strumpf verlor'n” (“At Lauterbach I lost my stocking”) is a German folk song that can be found in a number of versions with differing lyrics. In MN there are two different editions of sheet music for the piece, both published in the United States, one with a copyright date of 1870 and one with a copyright date of 1888. Both include the four-line song portion that corresponds roughly to the first half of the tune on the cob with German words that are different in the two editions and in each case an English translation of those German words fitted to the tune, followed by a second section with no words that is to be yodeled and that corresponds roughly to the second half of the tune on the cob. Previously, in 1864, the Philadelphia songwriter Septimus Winner (probably best remembered for “Listen to the Mocking Bird”; see notes to cob #156) had adapted the tune for his German dialect song “Der Deitcher's Dog”, better known by its first line “Oh where, oh where ish my little dog gone” and still remembered today. There is a copy of the sheet music for Winner's song in LL. The tune is also known as “The Lauterbach Waltz”. Additional reference: BW

#1003 - Won't You be My Sweetheart?, Scarcity: LC
This simple, pretty and happy but forgotten waltz song with chorus dates from 1893. In the first stanza a boy swinging beneath the cherry blossoms with his little girlfriend of seven asks her to be his sweetheart, in the second stanza they are youthful lovers and when he meets her at sunset he puts his arm around her and sings the same request, and in the final stanza the two are grandparents reminiscing to their little grandson and granddaughter about their happy years together. The sheet music, published in Chicago, credits the words to J. G. Judson and the music to H. C. Verner. Hans Christian Verner (1860-1953) was a Norwegian-American composer who lived in Chicago and, according to an article about him in the May 13, 1900 edition of Skandinaven, a Norwegian language newspaper published in Chicago, “Won't You Be my Sweetheart” was his first great success and 150,000 copies of the sheet music for it were sold. Judson is a more obscure figure, but a notice in the December 3, 1894 edition of the Chicago newspaper The Inter Ocean listing Chicagoans registered at hotels in New York reported that he and Verner were staying at the same hotel there. This confirms that there really was a person named J. G. Judson—that is, that the name was not merely a pseudonym used by Verner or someone else—and also that he, like Verner, was a Chicago resident. According to the 1900 U.S. Census, there was a John G. Judson, like Verner born in Norway, living at that time not only in Chicago but in the same ward of the city as Verner (who was also listed in that census). This Judson was born in 1870, came to the U.S. in 1880 and was a “commercial traveler” (traveling salesman), single and living with his widowed father and seven younger siblings. He is also listed, with that occupation and at the same address as in the census record, in Chicago street directories for 1896 through 1905. Although unlike Verner he did not pursue music as his career, in light of his having been born in Norway like Verner, his age in relation to Verner's and his residing in the same ward in Chicago as Verner, he was very likely the J. G. Judson who contributed the words to “Won't You Be my Sweetheart” and would have been a young man of about 23 at the time. Other references: NP; Cook County, Illinois death record giving Verner's date of birth as November 22, 1860, his place of birth as Norway, his date of death as May 27, 1953, his place of death as Chicago and his occupation as composer

#1004 - The Bowery, Scarcity: LC
“The Bowery”, like “After the Ball” (see notes to cob #600), is a song in waltz time that was very popular in the 1890s and has a number of verses, in each case followed by a chorus that was still remembered decades after the verses were forgotten, so that, on the cob, the more familiar chorus does not begin until about two-thirds of the way through and the tune at the beginning of the cob might not be immediately recognizable to many who know the chorus. The Bowery is a street in New York City that was known at the time for its many saloons and dance halls and the singer relates in the successive verses his misadventures there, in each case lamenting in the chorus “The Bow'ry, the Bow'ry! They say such things, and they do strange things on the Bow'ry, the Bow'ry! I'll never go there any more!”. The song was included in “A Trip to Chinatown”, the longest-running Broadway musical of its day. The words were by Charles H. Hoyt (1860-1900), a New Hampshire-born writer and producer of comic plays, and the music was by Percy Gaunt (1852-1896), a Philadelphia native who became music director of Hoyt's theatrical firm. The tune also appeared in a much fuller and more extended version on 32-note cob #2023; see the notes to that cob for further information about the song, Hoyt and Gaunt. References: EM, OC, DU

#1005 - Jennie Riley, Scarcity: S
This is still another gay '90s song in waltz time but is one of the more obscure ones. The correct spelling of the title is “Jennie Reilly” and according to records of the U.S. Copyright Office sheet music for it was deposited with the Office during the week of March 27-April 1, 1893 in order to obtain a copyright and the song was written by Gus Williams. Although I have not seen a copy of this sheet music, the words of the song were included without music, with a notation that both the words and music were by Williams, in Volume 40 of Wehman's Universal Songster, a multi-volume collection of song lyrics issued over a period of many years. Williams (1847?-1915), as we have seen (see notes to cobs #175, 225, 242, 349 and 479), was a comic, singer and songwriter who was best known for his portrayal of “Dutch” (German) characters.

#1006 - Two Little Girls in Blue (Waltz), Scarcity: C
The piece on this cob dates from 1893 and is another gay '90s waltz song with a chorus that survived in the popular memory for many decades. Both the lyrics and the music were written by Charles Graham (1863-1899). Although there are some inconsistencies in the details, according to newspaper obituary articles Graham was born in England, came to the United States as a young man and performed as a minstrel singer, received very little in payment for the song despite its immense success, and died, penniless, in Bellevue Hospital in New York only six years after the song was written leaving a widow and five young children. The lyrics of “Two Little Girls in Blue” tell a story so similar to that of Charles K. Harris' “After the Ball”, which had became enormously popular the previous year, that Graham must have been influenced by the earlier song when he wrote them: an elderly man is weeping as he looks at a photograph in a locket he has worn for years and when his nephew asks about it he explains that he and his brother (the nephew's father) first met “two little girls in blue” when they were sisters at school and later fell in love with them and married them, but the uncle mistakenly thought that his wife was unfaithful and they quarreled and separated forever the same night. There are a number of different editions of sheet music for the song in historic sheet music collections depicting on their covers various singers who performed the song, one of whom was “Charles Ward of Primrose and West's Minstrels”, who, with John Palmer, wrote another of the greatest gay '90s waltz songs, “The Band Played On” (see notes to cob #2126). References: OC, DU, FG (edition of the sheet music depicting Ward on the cover), obituary articles about Graham in the July 11, 1899 editions of the Chicago Tribune and the San Francisco Chronicle (including a drawing of Graham) and the July 16, 1899 edition of the Buffalo [New York] Sunday Morning News

#1007 - The Man that Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo, Scarcity: LC
This lively and humorous 1891 British music hall song was written by the English composer and singer Fred Gilbert (1849-1903) and popularized by the English comedian and singer Charles Coborn. It was then brought to the United States, sheet music for it was published here and it was widely performed by a comic actor named William Hoey. According to FS, Hoey was appearing in “A Parlor Match”, a long-running farce comedy by Charles H. Hoyt (see notes to cobs #1004 and 2023), and at the instance of Hoey and his co-star and brother-in-law Charles E. Evans the song was interpolated into the show, to great acclaim, at the beginning of its eighth season in September, 1892. FS also reports that its lyrics were based on the exploits of a “swell” named Arthur DeCourcey Bower who squandered money in London to so great a degree that it was rumored that he had had such extraordinary luck gambling that he had “broken the bank” at the Monte Carlo Casino; IV, however, says that the model for the song was one Charles deVille Wells, who actually had broken the bank at Monte Carlo. Additional references: OC, OA, FG

#1008 - Trabajar Companeros (Spanish), Scarcity: VS
There is a piece with the title “Trabajar, Companeros!” in Guitar Solos on the Historic Music of Cuba by Elias Barreiro, a collection of nineteenth-century Cuban dance compositions arranged for solo guitar, but I have not yet seen a copy of this book. If this piece does indeed correspond to the piece on the cob, it will be another example of a tune described on the cob label with the word “Spanish” in parentheses actually not being a tune from Spain but rather from a Western Hemisphere Spanish-speaking country (see also the notes to cob #302 and the introduction to the section on cobs #501-600).

#1009 - The Washington Post March, Scarcity: C
This familiar and stirring march is by John Philip Sousa (1854-1932), “the March King”, and dates from 1889, when Sousa was the bandmaster of the U.S. Marine Band. It was composed by Sousa at the request of the Washington Post newspaper and was first played at the awards ceremony in an essay contest sponsored by the paper. It also appeared in a fuller and more extended version on Grand cob #2011 (see also the notes to that cob). Other marches by Sousa appeared on 20-note cobs #577, 1096, 1125 and 1126 and Grand cobs #2003, 2025, 2063, 2067 and 2143. References: OC, The Washington Post, June 15, 1989 (article about the march upon the 100th anniversary of its first performance), LL

#1010 - Daisy Bell, Scarcity: C
Like “After the Ball” (cob #600), “The Bowery” (cob #1004) and “Two Little Girls in Blue” (cob #1006), “Daisy Bell” (also known as “A Bicycle Built for Two”) is a once-very-popular 1890s song in waltz time with a well-known chorus that was remembered for much longer than its verses. The song dates from 1892 and both the words and music were written by the prolific English songwriter Harry Dacre (real name Frank Dean; 1857-1922). A fuller and more extended version of the song appeared on Grand cob #2042; see the notes to that cob for more detailed information about the song and Dacre. Reference: LL


#1011 - The Rowdy Dowdy Boys, Scarcity: LC
With this cob we come to another group of English music hall songs (see also the introduction to cobs #401-500). According to SU, “The Rowdy Dowdy Boys”, with lyrics by Felix McGlennon (1856-1943; see notes to cobs #515 and 555) and his fellow songwriter and sometime collaborator Tom Conley (1872-1903) and music by McGlennon, dates from 1891, was performed by music hall singer, dancer and male impersonator Millie Hylton, and was included in an 1892 burlesque titled “Cinder-Ellen Up Too Late” based on the Cinderella story, along with “The Man That Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo” (see notes to cob #1007). The lyrics, in which the singer praises his fun-loving and hard-drinking crew, were included without music in Volume 40 of Wehman's Universal Songster, a multi-volume collection of song lyrics issued over a period of many years. Additional references: EM, FG

#1012 - Wot Cher!, Scarcity: LC
“Wot Cher!”, also known as “Knock'd 'Em in the Old Kent Road”, is another 1891 English music hall song and was performed in a cockney accent by the great London comic singer and songwriter Albert Chevalier (1861-1923), who also wrote the lyrics; the music was supplied by his brother and manager Auguste Chevalier (1862-1940), who wrote under the name Charles Ingle. Albert Chevalier was known as the “Coster Laureate” because of his impersonation of coster characters; a “coster” was a street vendor who sold fruit and vegetables (originally apples) from a wheelbarrow or cart. The singer in “Wot Cher!” is a South Londoner who inherits a little donkey shay from his rich uncle and is taunted by his neighbors when he rides in it through the neighborhood. References: IV, SU, OC (which contains incorrect birth years (1862 and 1863, respectively) for the Chevalier brothers; the England and Wales Civil Birth Registration Index lists Albert's birth as having been recorded in the second quarter of 1861 and Auguste's birth as having been recorded in the third quarter of 1862)

#1013 - Ting-a-ling-ting-tay, Scarcity: S
This 1890 song is another with words and music by Harry Dacre (real name Frank Dean; 1857-1922), who also wrote the much better-known “Daisy Bell” (see notes to cobs #1010 and 2042). In it, the singer has become enfatuated with a Spanish street performer but, no matter what he says to her, her only reply is “Ting a ling”. Frustrated, he tells her that if she does not respond to his proposal of marriage he will take his own life, upon which a giant and swarthy Spaniard appears and tells him that she is deaf and, moreover, she is his wife. The piece is unusual in that the verses are in 6/8 time and the chorus is in 2/4 polka tempo. Reference: NP

#1014 - "Twiggy Voo", Scarcity: VS
This is still another English music hall piece, it dates from 1892 and it was popularized by the great music hall singer and comedienne Marie Lloyd, about whom IV said “Her saucy wink was her trademark and she had the ability to extract sexual innuendo from the most innocent of lyrics”. What was considered risque in late Victorian London, however, is in some cases no longer even understandable today, and the meaning of some of the lyrics of “Twiggy Voo” requires some clarification: for example, in Maurice Willson Disher's 1955 book Victorian Song (London, Phoenix House) he explains that, in the third verse, when the conductor sees a girl's legs when a gust of wind lifts her skirt as she clambers to the top of the bus and he mutters “railways” he is referring to the fact that her legs are straight like railway tracks rather than full and curved. The words “Twiggy voo” themselves come from using the English slang verb “twig” meaning “to understand” to form the French question “Twiggez-vous?” meaning “Do you understand?”; in the song, the singer repeatedly asks her listeners “Twiggy voo?” meaning “Do you understand/follow/get what I am saying?” The words to the song were by Richard Morton, who died in 1921, according to SU, and wrote the lyrics to many music hall songs but who is otherwise an obscure figure, and the music was by George LeBrunn (born George Frederick Brunn; 1863-1905), a very prolific music hall composer. Additional references: OC; SU; FG; 1871 English Census entry showing “George Brunn”, age 7, residing with his parents in Brighton, which was also stated as his birthplace; 1881 English Census entry showing him at age 17, again residing with his parents in Brighton, occupation “pianist”; 1891 English Census entry now showing him as George F. Le Brunn, married, age 27, “music composer” born in Brighton and living in Lambeth, a borough of London; 1901 English Census entry showing him as age 37, “musical composer”, again living in Lambeth; December 20, 1905 edition of the Manchester [England] Guardian reporting LeBrunn's death on December 18 (but incorrectly giving his age at death as 48, which is inconsistent with all the census records); England and Wales Civil Registration Death Index giving his age at death as 42

#1015 - Love's Golden Dream, Scarcity: LC
This is one of two pieces that are similar to one another, once again of English origin, in close proximity in this numerical range; the other is “Dream Memories” on cob #1018. In both cases there was a sad, sentimental waltz song version of the piece with words and music by English composer and lyricist Lindsay Lennox (died 1906) and an instrumental arrangement of the tune of the song, also in waltz tempo, by “Theodore Bonheur” (one of many pseudonyms used by English composer Charles Arthur Rawlings (1857-1919); see the notes to cob #2039), and sheet music for all four pieces was published by the same firm, the London Music Publishing Company. In the song “Love's Golden Dream”, hearing the chiming of the old bells reminds the singer of earlier times when he walked through the meadow with his now-deceased love and dreamed love's golden dream, and he has a sweet vision of her, returned from Paradise. While SU provides a date of 1895 for the song, it was mentioned in an advertisement in the December 1, 1888 edition of The Musical World, a periodical published weekly in London, as a new song that was expected to become popular that season. Although Lennox wrote words, music or both for a reasonably large number of pieces—there are dozens of entries for songs by him on the website, which provides information about holdings in libraries all over the world—I was unable to locate any birth, baptismal, census or death record for him or any newspaper article containing any personal details about him despite dozens of advertisements referring to songs by him, and (especially in light of the “Theodore Bonheur” arrangements of his tunes) I suspected that “Lindsay Lennox” might be a pseudonym rather than a real person, but I did finally come across a note in the April 28, 1906 edition of Variety, the weekly theatrical newspaper published in New York, that read: “Lindsay Lennox, a well known English composer and at one time the representative for Francis, Day and Hunter [London music publishers], lately died in poor circumstances on the other side”. In light of the dearth of any other information about him, “Lindsay Lennox” was very likely either an assumed name rather than his name as it appeared in official records or not his full given name. References: UV (undated edition of sheet music for the song published in Philadelphia)

#1016 - The Miner's Dream of Home, Scarcity: LC
This is still another English music hall song in waltz time, it dates from 1891, and it was written by Leo Dryden (the stage name of George Dryden Wheeler; 1863-1939) and Will Godwin (1859-1913). Born in the Stepney district of London, Dryden became a music hall performer at an early age and achieved great popularity on the basis of his rendition of this song, which he performed on stage costumed as a miner. An advertisement in the November 7, 1891 edition of The Era for one of his performances said that music publishers Francis Day & Hunter paid twenty pounds for the song, more than they ever paid for any other. Godwin, according to an enormous number of advertisements and reviews in The Era and other newspapers of the time, was a music hall singer, actor and comedian who performed in sketches he wrote and directed as head of a troupe known as “Will Godwin and company”. In the lyrics to the song, an Englishman who has been far away from home for ten years seeking his fortune as a prospector tells about a dream he had in which he saw the familiar landscape of England, visited his old village and heard the bells ringing in the new year, stopped at the cottage in which he lived as a boy, looked in the window and saw his parents sitting by the fire, and all three were tearfully reunited and he vowed never to leave home again. References: SU, OC, NP, article in the April 22, 1939 edition of The Manchester Guardian reporting Dryden's death, noting that millions of copies of the sheet music for “The Miner's Dream of Home” were sold and that at his peak he was a fairly rich man, but in his old age he was reduced to singing in the street and died at the Music Hall Home in Twickenham

#1017 - Then You Wink the other Eye, Scarcity: S
This is again an English music hall song and another one that was popularized by the singer and comedienne Marie Lloyd, known for her songs involving double entendre and sexual innuendo (see also the notes to cob #1014). The expression “wink the other eye” can be found in many newspaper articles of the 1890s and apparently meant giving a real or figurative sly, knowing wink when being suggestive, insinuating or disingenuous, intentionally overlooking something or even outright lying. Thus, in the first verse of the song, for example, a husband “winks the other eye” when telling his wife that he met an old acquaintance or the train was overdue while actually he is having an extramarital fling and in the fourth verse both a cabman and a “sweet young creature” who has no money for cab fare both “wink the other eye” when she whispers something in his ear, says “Then go to Leicester Square” and they both ride off in his cab. The expression also appears in the chorus to “The Man that Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo” on cob #1007: as the man strolls along the “Bois Boolong” you can see the girls “wink the other eye” at him, thinking he must be a millionaire. The words to “Then You Wink the Other Eye” were written by W. T. Lytton, about whom I have found no information other than that he wrote the lyrics to a number of music hall songs, gave as his address in an advertisement published in the late 1890s as 97, Kennington Road in London SE, and was described as “a schoolmaster” in Richard Henry Baker's British Music Hall: An Illustrated History (Barnsley, South Yorkshire, Pen & Sword Books Ltd., 2014); accordingly, “W. T. Lytton” may once again have been a pseudonym. The unusual tune was by George LeBrunn (1863-1905), who also wrote the tunes to two other famous Marie Lloyd songs, “Twiggy Voo”, on cob #1014, and “Oh! Mr. Porter” on cob #1028. References: Victoria and Albert Museum collection, London (cover of edition of sheet music published in London depicting Marie Lloyd and attributing lyrics to Lytton and music to LeBrunn), LL (undated sheet music published in the U.S. and attributing both words and music to Lytton)

#1018 - Dream Memories, Scarcity: S
Like “Love's Golden Dream” on cob #1015, this is a waltz song with both words and music by Lindsay Lennox (died 1906) that was also arranged in an instrumental version in waltz time by “Theodore Bonheur” (one of many pseudonyms used by English composer Charles Arthur Rawlings (1857-1919); see the notes to cob #2039). Its tune is pretty and haunting and its lyrics are very similar to those of “Love's Golden Dream”: this time it is a flowing and murmuring stream that brings to the singer's mind a dream of a departed lover of golden days long ago and he sees her divinely fair shining face, hears the music of her voice and is reassured that they will meet again. Although I have not located a copy of sheet music for the piece, the words, without the music, were included in an 1892 book titled The Thousand Best Songs in the World selected and edited by E. W. Cole (London, Hutchinson & Co.), which has been digitized in its entirety and can be viewed on the website. The words to “Love's Golden Dream” were also included in the same book three pages later.

#1019 - Molly and I and the Baby, Scarcity: LC
In this simple song in waltz time with a copyright date of 1892 the singer expresses how happy he is at home with his young wife and their one-year-old child. Both the words and music were written by William Henry (“Harry”) Kennedy (1855?-1894), whom we previously encountered as the lyricist and composer of the “stage Irish” song “$15 in my Inside Pocket” on cob #231. Kennedy was born in Manchester, England, settled in Brooklyn in the mid-1870s after a few years in Montreal, was a well-known ventriloquist who appeared on stage with minstrel companies before becoming a songwriter and died of “Bright's disease of the kidneys” at the age of only 39. An obituary article in the January 5, 1894 edition of the New York World included a drawing of Kennedy and mentioned that “Molly and I and the Baby” was one of the last songs he wrote, and an obituary article in the January 4, 1894 edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle added that the song was then “the rage in England”. Additional references: NP; New York City municipal death record reporting Kennedy's death in Brooklyn and giving his occupation as “actor” and age at death as 39 (other sources mistakenly give the age as 45)

#1020 - Little Alabama Coon, Scarcity: LC
[With regard to this cob, see the WARNING AND HISTORICAL CONTENT DISCLAIMER about songs containing offensive language or negative stereotypes at the end of the General Introduction to this Handbook.] Any complete and honest discussion of the music that appeared on roller organ cobs cannot overlook the fact that many songs that were popular in the United States during the roller organ era referred to or portrayed members of some ethnic and racial groups in ways that would be objectionable today, such as using the slang word “c—n” to refer to an African-American. In the song on this cob, which dates from 1893, the lyrics are in dialect and the singer is a young child who says that while his father picks cotton his mother sings to him the lullaby that is the chorus of the song, and that when he grows up he will marry and have children of his own to whom his wife will sing the same lullaby. Both the lyrics and the music of the song were by Hattie Starr (1857?-1918), who was both a songwriter and composer and a soprano singer who appeared in comic musical productions as a member of traveling theatre troupes. There is a photograph of her in Frank L. Boyden's 1902 book Popular American Composers (New York, Herbert H. Taylor), but almost no factual information about her except that she had been a talented performer who gave up the stage to devote herself full time to composing, and FS, in discussing one of her other popular songs, “Somebody Loves Me!”, says incorrectly that she came “from the south” to New York and became one of the few female songwriters in the early days of Tin Pan Alley (see notes to cob #115). Little else appears to have been written about her, but it is possible to piece together some details of her life from census, marriage and death records and mentions of her in newspaper articles and reviews of stage performances in which she appeared. She was apparently born in Rome, New York, but by 1860, as a young girl, was already living, with her parents, in Chicago, where her father was a railroad agent. Newspaper accounts show that in the mid-1870s she was performing at local musical events in Chicago as a soprano singer; by 1879 she had begun a long career on the road as a member of traveling theatre companies; and in 1876 she had married a Mark Pither in Chicago but sued him for divorce in 1882, alleging that he had become a brutish and incorrigible alcoholic and had assaulted her. In 1885, again in Chicago, she married, as her second husband, Charles L. Harris, a comic actor who appeared in some productions along with her and died in 1892, a year before the great success of her song “Little Alabama C—n”. In 1900 she was living in New York City with her elderly mother under the name “Hattie Starr Harris” with the profession “musician”, although I did not locate any references in newspapers from the late 1890s through the end of her life to any current performances in which she appeared or any new music she wrote. She was married for the third time to an Albert D. Lott in New York City in 1907 and there is a death record showing the death of a “Hattie Lott” in 1918 in Freeport, New York, where Albert D. Lott lived at the time of the 1920 U.S. Census. Additional references: NP (sheet music for the song published in New York in 1893); Victoria and Albert Museum collection, London (different edition of sheet music for the song published in London, also in 1893); 1860 U.S. Census records listing “Hattie Starr”, age 5 (which would mean that she was born in about 1855), living in Chicago with her parents George (“Agt. R.R.”) and Mary (age 32, which would mean she was born in about 1828) and brother Benjamin, age 3, all four born in New York; 1880 U.S. Census records listing “Hattie Pither”, 23 years old (which would mean that she was born in about 1857 rather than 1855), occupation “keeping house”, born in New York, wife of Mark Pither, a “clerk in store”; record of the marriage of Hattie Starr, age 28 (again indicating a birth year of about 1857), and Charles L. Harris in Chicago in 1885; obituary article about Charles L. Harris in the October 23, 1892 edition of The Inter Ocean, a Chicago newspaper, stating that he was survived by his wife Hattie Starr; 1900 U.S. Census records listing “Hattie Starr Harris”, “musician”, a widow born in 1862 in New York, living in New York City with her elderly mother Mary Starr, born in 1828, also in New York (so that Hattie understated her age by 5-7 years, but her mother correctly stated her age in light of the 1860 Census Records); record of the marriage of Hattie Starr Harris, parents' names George and Mary Starr, born in Rome, NY, age 40 (so that she understated her age by 10-12 years), widowed, and Albert D. Lott, age 43, in New York City in 1907; record of the death of “Hattie Lott” in Freeport, New York in 1918; 1920 U.S. Census Records showing Albert D. Lott as by that time married to a different wife named Esther and living in Freeport, New York


#1021 - Linger Longer Loo, Scarcity: S
This is yet another song that originated in England. It dates from 1893 and its words were by Willie Younge (1858-1897) and its music by Sidney Jones (1861-1946). The singer laments that he hates to be separated from his beloved fiancee Lucy (whom he also calls “Loo”) and says that whenever they are together he coaxes her to linger longer before they part. Jones began his career as a conductor and musical director and later became a leading composer of scores for musical comedies; EM called him “[t]he most internationally successful composer of the Victorian British romantic musical theatre”. The lesser-known Younge, who was an actor from the time he was a young boy, a playwright and a sometime stage manager as well as a song lyricist, was remembered in a brief obituary article in the January 9, 1897 edition of the London theatrical newspaper The Era as “an erratic genius who might, if he had been of a different temperament, have won success either as an actor or as an author”; the article added that writing this song was “the most popular achievement of his later life”. The song became a great hit when it was interpolated into the musical burlesque “Don Juan” at the Gaiety Theatre in London, sung by music hall singer, dancer and male impersonator Millie Hylton in the title role. Additional references: SU, MN

#1022 - "Such a Game"—Pagliacci, Scarcity: VS
The tunes on the next two cobs are from Italian opera. The first is from “I Pagliacci” (“The Players”) by Ruggiero Leoncavallo (1857-1919), which was first produced in 1892 in Milan and first performed in the United States a year later at the Grand Opera House in New York. The plot involves a troupe of traveling players the leader of which, Canio, is jealous of attention paid to his wife Nedda, also one of the players, and in the first act sings “Un Tal Gioco, Credetemi” (“Such a Game”) to warn listeners of the consequences if he were ever to surprise Nedda in her room with another man; at the close of the second act, while on stage in the role of the comic character Pagliaccio and aware that Nedda is planning to leave him, Canio does indeed stab both Nedda and then her lover, the villager Silvio, to death, bringing to an unexpected end the play in which he and Nedda have been performing, and tells the shocked audience “La commedia e finita!” (“The comedy is ended!”). References: GD, VB

#1023 - Drinking Song—Rusticana, Scarcity: S
The well-known and beautiful “Intermezzo” from Italian composer Pietro Mascagni's opera “Cavalleria Rusticana” appeared on Grand roller organ cob #2077 and, in more abbreviated versions, on 20-note cobs #1122 and 1218. As explained in greater detail in the notes to cob #2077, Mascagni (1863-1945) is remembered primarily for this opera, the title of which, in English, means “rustic chivalry”. It is set in Sicily and the returned soldier Turiddu is challenged to a duel and killed by the teamster Alfio because Turiddu continues to pursue his former beloved Lola, who, in his absence, has become Alfio's wife. The “Drinking Song”, in praise of wine, is sung by Turiddu and a jolly crowd at his mother's wine shop in the scene that immediately follows the “Intermezzo”. References: VB, GD

#1024 - March of the Men of Harlech (Welsh), Scarcity: S
According to BW, this stirring traditional Welsh march tune was first published, without words, in a 1794 book, Musical and Poetical Relicks of the Welsh Bards, by Edward Jones, a Welsh harpist, but it has been said that the tune is much older and probably dates from the time of the siege of Harlech Castle in Wales during the War of the Roses more than two hundred years earlier. For some reason there were two different pinnings of the tune, in different keys but both on cobs numbered 1024. There are both Welsh and English words that have been associated with the tune. Additional reference: SG (version with English lyrics different from those quoted in BW)

#1025 - The Future Mrs. 'Awkins, Scarcity: LC
This is another English music hall song and dates from 1892. The great London comic singer and songwriter Albert Chevalier (1861-1923; see also the notes to cob #1012) wrote both the words and music and performed it on stage. The singer, who says his name is “'Enry 'Awkins” (Henry Hawkins), sings in his cockney accent about his “Lizer” (“Liza”) who is going to become his bride. References: SU, The British Library (sheet music for the piece with a picture of Chevalier on the cover and the subtitle “A Cockney Carol”), NP (sheet music for the piece in a series titled “Albert Chevalier's Coster Songs”), Ernest Alfieri, “Albert Chevalier and his Songs: A Chat with his Publisher” (lengthy article including photographs of Chevalier in various costumes and a photograph of his brother Auguste (“Charles Ingle”)), in The Ludgate Monthly, May, 1893 (London)

#1026 - Round the Town, Scarcity: LC
This is still another song of English origin. It came from an 1891 burlesque titled “Joan of Arc”, in which it was sung as a comical duet by two “coster” characters (see notes to cob #1012) who arrive with provisions at the besieged city of Orleans. The words were by Arthur Reed Ropes (1859-1933), a Cambridge graduate and prolific lyricist for the British musical stage who wrote under the pseudonym “Adrian Ross”, at least initially so that he would not jeopardize his career as a serious academic, and the music was by F. (Frank) Osmond Carr (1858-1916), who studied at both Oxford and Cambridge and wrote the music for a number of burlesques, light operas and musical comedies. References: EM, OC, January 24, 1891 edition of The Era (London) (review of “Joan of Arc”), January 20, 1891 edition of The Standard (London) (advertisements for “Joan of Arc” containing excerpts from reviews in other newspapers including one from The Star that said “A duet, with the accompanying stage business, “Round the Town”, sung by Messrs. Roberts and Danby, in the second act, in the character of east-end costers, is screamingly funny, and deserves to make the fortune of the burlesque”)

#1027 - Daddy Wouldn't buy Me a Bow-Wow, Scarcity: LC
This is another British music hall song. It dates from 1892 and both the words and music were written by Joseph Tabrar (1857-1931) (see notes to cob #417), the extraordinarily prolific London songwriter who wrote many pieces to order for particular music hall performers. It was popularized by singer Vesta Victoria in England and subsequently in the United States. A fuller and more extended version of the song appeared on Grand cob #2014; see the notes to that cob for further information about the writing and performance of the song. References: OC, NP

#1028 - Oh! Mr. Porter, Scarcity: S
This is yet another British music hall song and is again one that was popularized by singer and comedienne Marie Lloyd (see also the notes to cobs #1014 and 1017). An innocent country girl who has just spent a week with her aunt in London says that she arrived late at the railroad station to return home, dropped her hatbox so that the contents fell into the mud and then hurriedly boarded the train to Crewe instead of Birmingham; realizing her mistake, she sings the chorus to the railway porter asking that she be sent back to London, but in the next two verses she is comforted by an old gentleman, sinks into his arms, rests her head on his shirt front and ends up accepting his proposal that she become his wife. The song was sung by Lloyd with her usual innuendo; according to IV, “[t]he actions which she suited to the words of “Oh! Mr. Porter” were said to be highly salacious”. The music was once again composed by George LeBrunn (1863-1905) and the lyrics were written by his brother and sometime collaborator Thomas LeBrunn (like his brother born Brunn; 1864-1939). References: IV; SU; England and Wales Census records for 1871 and 1881 showing Thomas Brunn, ages 6 and 16, respectively, living in Brighton with his parents and other family members including his brother George, one year older than him, and for 1891, 1901 and 1911, ages 26, 36 and 46, respectively, now with the name “LeBrunn”, a “musician/song writer/music binder”, “professor of music” and “musician”, respectively, married and living in London; England and Wales Civil Registration, Death Index entry showing death of Thomas H. LeBrunn in the first quarter of 1939 at age 73 (SU incorrectly gives his death year as 1936), a resident of Southwark, where he lived at the time of the 1911 census; Victoria and Albert Museum collection, London (cover of edition of sheet music published in London depicting Marie Lloyd) (It is interesting that, while there is also sheet music for the song in IV, a book directed to an English audience and published in London, there does not appear to be any copy of the sheet music in any of the American historic sheet music collections including the major collections MN, NP and LL, which would suggest that this song was not one that became popular in the U.S. and that, therefore, as also noted in the introduction preceding the discussion of cobs in this numerical range, this cob and perhaps some others in this range containing English music hall songs may have been produced primarily for sale to owners of roller organs in the British Isles rather than in the U.S.)

#1029 - If I were a Royal Lady, Scarcity: VS
This song is still another of English origin and came from the 1893 London musical comedy “Morocco Bound”. The lyrics were by Adrian Ross (1859-1933) and the music by F. Osmond Carr (1858-1916) (see also the notes to cob #1026). The plot is too detailed to summarize here, but it involves a group of people who travel to Morocco, including a former coster (see notes to cob #1012) known as “Honesty Jim” who has made a great deal of money, has bought the grand house Mokeleigh Hall at auction and has become Squire Higgins. His eldest son and heir apparent Vivian has just graduated from college and there is speculation about his now marrying, and his girlfriend, Ethel Sportington, sings that if she were a member of royalty and her beloved was of low degree she would turn her crown, scepter, ermine robe and ring over to him and make him king of her domain, and if she were a fairy and he a lowly knight she would give him her magic wand and charmed cup. A copy of the score for “Morocco Bound” that includes the song is held by the Sibley Music Library at the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester, but there once again does not appear to be any copy of sheet music for the piece in any of the American historic sheet music collections, which (along with the cob's scarcity rating of VS) suggests that the song was popular only in England. Additional reference: EM

#1030 - In Love with the Man in the Moon, Scarcity: LC
“Evangeline, or The Belle of Acadia” was an American musical burlesque loosely based on Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem “Evangeline”. It was first performed in 1874 and continued to be popular for decades, during which it was constantly revised and additional songs were added to it. One mainstay of the production from nearly the beginning was an actor and singer named George K. Fortescue who, dressed as a woman, played the role of a character named Catherine. In 1891, the then-new song “In Love with the Man in the Moon”, with words and music by Charles Archer, was introduced into the show and was sung by Fortescue as “Catherine” to great applause. When he was about to appear in that role in Australia, an article in the November 23, 1891 edition of The Sydney Morning Herald, commenting on the song, said that “Both words and music are by “Chas. Archer,” a pseudonym which is understood to conceal the identity of Mrs. Fortescue's sister, a writer well known in the States”; however, this is contradicted by a lengthy article in the September 12, 1897 edition of The San Francisco Examiner that referred to Archer as “the author of the latest musical absurdity, ”'The Man Who Stole the Klondyke'“, and said that he was born in England about 50 years earlier, came to the United States when he was about 15, was an expert solo pianist and organist although he played only by ear, traveled widely and was at one time manager of the Opera House in Juneau, Alaska, and wrote “In Love with the Man in the Moon” six years earlier for a singer named Adaline Cotton, who first performed it at the Bijou Theatre in San Francisco. The article gives the titles of 22 other songs by Archer, none of them familiar. Additional references: EM; OA; 1920 U.S. Census record showing Charles Archer, age 69, living in Sacramento, California, roomer, alien, born in England, immigrated in 1876, occupation “Vaudeville—Show”; obituary article in the August 17, 1923 edition of the Los Angeles Daily Times reporting the unlikely fact that “Charles Archer” was actually a British peer named Sir H. T. Smart and noting that he had originally come to the western U.S. as a young man as a member of a company performing Gilbert & Sullivan's “Pinafore”


#1031 - Marguerite of Monte Carlo, Scarcity: LC
This lively piece is another song of English origin with lyrics by Adrian Ross (1859-1933) and music by F. Osmond Carr (1858-1916) (see also the notes to cobs #1026 and 1029). It again came from the 1893 London musical comedy “Morocco Bound”, in which it was performed to great acclaim by the energetic singer and dancer Letty Lind, who played the role of Maude Sportington, the girlfriend of Squire Higgins' second son Dolly, and mimicked a society girl attempting to do a skirt dance while pretending to be a noted Monte Carlo beauty at whose feet throngs of suitors fall. References: EM, score for “Morocco Bound” held by the Sibley Music Library at the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester

#1032 - They All Take After Me, Scarcity: VS
This is yet another English music hall song that dates from 1893. The singer, a father of ten, laments that his offspring are “a nice fat-headed, ugly, lazy, lowlifed lot” but admits that in their cadging, thieving, shiftlessness, drunkenness, crudeness and brutality they all take after him. The words were by the prolific music hall songwriter T. W. (Thomas Widdicombe) Connor (died 1936) and the music was by comedian and singer Harry Randall (1860-1932), who also performed the song on stage. Although I have not yet seen a copy of sheet music for the song, its words were included, without music, in Volume 41 of Wehman's Universal Songster, a multi-volume collection of song lyrics issued over a period of many years. References: SU; OC; U.S. Copyright Office records showing that another Connor song, “Sailing Merrily On”, was copyrighted in 1908 using his name as it usually appears in sheet music, “T. W. Connor”, but when the copyright was renewed in 1935 his full name was given, “Thomas Widdicombe Connor, London, author”; regular advertisements in the London newspaper The Stage in which Connor, billing himself as “The Parody King”, offered songs he had written for sale right down to the year of his death

#1033 - Bunk a Doodle I Do, Scarcity: LC
This 1893 English music hall song was written and composed by Charles Osborne (1858-1929), who wrote a fair number of music hall songs and performed some of them himself. It was arranged by the London music publisher Francis, Day & Hunter's music editor Henry E. Pether (1867-1932) and performed by the eccentric comedian and singer T. E. Dunville. Sheet music for the song, the first line of which is “I'm an individual, a little bit original” and the first line of the chorus of which is “Bunk-a-doodle I-do”, is listed on the website as held at both the library at the University of Oxford and the British Library in England, but I have not yet seen a copy of it. Additional references: SU, OC

#1034 - The Rickety, Rackety Crew, Scarcity: VS
“Strolling Around the Town or the Rickety Rackety Crew” is another 1893 English music hall song and was written and composed by Harry Castling (1865-1933), another songwriter who wrote a fair number of music hall songs. The cover for sheet music for the song, published in England, contained a picture of music hall singer Charles Deane, who performed it, and SU says that it was also performed by the well-known music hall singer Charles Godfrey, but there are virtually no references to the song in United States newspapers, indicating that the song was another one that did not become popular here (which would account for the cob's scarcity rating of VS). In the lyrics, the singer tells how he and his “rare old, fair old rickety rackety crew” go out on the town celebrating and drink so much that they can no longer stand up and end up being fined the next morning for drunken and disorderly conduct.

#1035 - The Good Old Annual, Scarcity: S
This is another English music hall song. Its words and music were written by T. W. (Thomas Widdicombe) Connor (died 1936) and it was performed by Harry Randall beginning in 1891 (see also the notes to cob #1032). The Victoria and Albert Museum collection in London holds a copy of sheet music for the song published in London and the colorful cover depicts Randall in costume singing it. I have not yet seen a copy of the lyrics, but an article in the October 24, 1891 edition of the London theatrical newspaper The Era said that the comic song “discusses beanfests, bathing and bacteria, and the effect of soaking on the inner and soapsuds on the outer man”. At the time, the term “good old annual” referred to an excursion getaway outing such as an annual picnic or trip to the country or the shore.

#1036 - Sweet Marie, Scarcity: LC
This very pretty American popular song in waltz time dates from 1893. The lyrics were by Cy (Cyrus Clarence) Warman (1855-1914), the music was by Raymon Moore (1867 or 1868-1916) and a copy of the sheet music for the song can be found in LL. Warman was a onetime railroad engineer who wrote poems and stories about railroad life and became known as “the Poet of the Rockies”. He wrote the words to the song in relation to his courtship of his wife Marie (nee Myrtle Marie Jones). Raymon Moore, who set Warman's lyrics to music, was a minstrel performer who was known for his beautiful tenor voice and was billed as “the greatest of ballad singers”. Moore composed the tune after reading Warman's lyrics in a newspaper in which they were first published and approached Warman about a collaboration. Warman agreed, the resulting song became extremely popular and more than a million copies of the sheet music for it were sold. A fuller and more extended version of the lovely tune appeared on Grand cob #2055; see the notes to that cob for further details about the song, Warman and Moore and for documenting references.

#1037 - Phoebe Dill, Scarcity: S
There is sheet music for this obscure American waltz song in NP that lists the lyricist as Al. B. van Fleet, the composer as Bertha Baker, the publisher as Al. B. van Fleet & Co. of Youngstown, Ohio and the copyright date as 1894 (“Copyright 1894 by Al. B. van Fleet & Bertha Baker”). At the top of the cover page are also the words “Bertha Baker's Greatest Success”. In each of the three verses the singer first asks “O do you love me Phoebe Dill?”, professes his love for her and asks why she teases and mistreats him. An advertisement in the June, 1895 edition of The Musical Record, published by Oliver Ditson Co. in Boston, indicates that Ditson also published an edition of sheet music for the song in that year. Alfred B. van Fleet (1854-1911) was a prominent figure in business and real estate in Youngstown rather than someone who pursued music as a career, but he attended Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, where the Autophone Company, the manufacturer of the cob roller organ and all cobs, was located and, as in the case of Grand cob #2069, this connection may somehow account for the decision to put this otherwise unknown piece onto a cob. As for Bertha Baker, I have found references in 1891 Ohio newspapers to sheet music published by the H.M. Brainard Co. in Cleveland for another piece by her, “Riverside Dreams Waltz”, and according to a list of new sheet music in the Boston Globe of August 28, 1895, van Fleet and Baker also collaborated on a song titled “Rock-a-Bye My Honey”, a “plantation lullaby” also published by Ditson. Apart from that, I have not found any information about Baker. References: 1900 U.S. Census record showing van Fleet as a resident of Youngstown with a birth year of 1854; tombstone of van Fleet in Oak Hill Cemetery, Youngstown giving his years of birth and death as 1854 and 1911; Thomas W. Sanderson, 20th Century History of Youngstown and Mahoning County, Ohio and Representative Citizens (Chicago, Biographical Publishing Company, 1907) (paragraph on van Fleet); The Cornelian for 1872-1873 (published by the secret societies at Cornell University; list of freshmen includes Alfred B. van Fleet of Youngstown, Ohio)

#1038 - The Sidewalks of New York, Scarcity: LC
This is still another “gay '90s” waltz song with a chorus that was at one time nearly universally known and is still familiar today. There is a copy of the sheet music for it in LL that shows the copyright date as 1894. The tune came first and was written by Charles B. Lawlor (1852-1925), an Irish-born vaudeville singer. His friend, James W. Blake (1862-1935), was an amateur songwriter who worked in a hat store and Lawlor came into the store humming the tune and challenged Blake to come up with lyrics to go with it and Blake wrote them on the spot. Although the resulting song became very popular, Lawlor and Blake received only $5,000 from it, which they split, and both died in poverty. The song also appeared as the first piece on Grand cob #2086; see also the notes to that cob, which provide further information and references relating to Lawlor and Blake.

#1039 - The Fatal Wedding, Scarcity: C
The tune to this once-popular “tear jerker” is another that also appeared on the Grand roller organ, in this case on cob #2070. The wedding is “fatal” because it is discovered that the intended bridegroom is already married when his wife appears, carrying their baby in her arms; the bridegroom thereupon commits suicide and two graves are dug, one for him and one for the baby, who has also died. The lyrics were written by William H. Windom (1865-1913), a minstrel and vaudeville singer and comedian, and the music was composed by Gussie L. Davis (1863-1899), one of the first successful African-American Tin Pan Alley songwriters (see also the notes to cob #220). For further details concerning Windom, Davis and the writing of the song, see the notes to cob #2070. Additional reference: UM (sheet music with a copyright date of 1893)

The tunes on the next ten cobs are Polish. The lyrics, in Polish, to all but one of them can be found in a 1919 book titled Wielki Spiewnik Polski zawierajacy Piesni Narodowe, Patryotyczne Hymni i Deklamacye z Dziel Poetow Polskich [Great Polish Songbook Containing National Songs, Patriotic Hymns and Declamations from the Works of Polish Poets] (Krakow, Nakladem A. Machnickiego) (digitized on the website and hereafter referred to as WS).

#1040 - Bartlomiej Glowacki (Polish), Scarcity: LC
Bartlomiej Glowacki was a Polish peasant remembered for his heroism in the Kosciuszko Uprising in 1794. The lyrics to this song about him begin with the words “Hej! Tam w karczmie za stolem” and appear in WS, p. 192.


#1041 - Dalej chlopcy, bierzmy kosy (Polish), Scarcity: LC
WS, p. 236

#1042 - Hej Mazury, hejze ha (Polish), Scarcity: VS
Both the lyrics and music of this Polish folk song are included in Vol. 25 of Dziela Wszystkie by Polish folklorist Oskar Kolberg (1886)

#1043 - Jak Sie Macie Bartlomieju (Polish), Scarcity: S
WS, p. 260

#1044 - Jeszcze P. nie zginela (Polish), Scarcity: LC
This is the Polish national anthem. The full title is “Jesczcze Polska nie zginela”. The lyrics appear in WS, p. 30, and the title appears on the cover of WS along with the white eagle emblem (see notes to cob #1046)

#1045 - Nasz Chlopicki wojak (Polish), Scarcity: S
WS, p. 189

#1046 - Orzel Bialy (Polish), Scarcity: VS
“Orzel Bialy” means “White Eagle”, the national symbol of Poland. These words do not appear in the song until the third line; the song instead begins with the words “Ciezko ranny”, which is also the title given with the lyrics in WS, p. 228.

#1047 - Patrz Kosciuszko na nas z nieba (Polish), Scarcity: VS
WS, p. 188

#1048 - Witaj Majowa Jutrzenko (Polish), Scarcity: S
WS, p. 147

#1049 - Z dymem pozarow (Polish), Scarcity: S
WS, p. 25

#1050 - I Don't want to Play in Your Yard, Scarcity: LC
Both the music and probably the words to this 1894 American popular song were written by an Illinois-born minstrel entertainer and composer, Henry W. Petrie (1857-1925), although the sheet music, a copy of which is in LL, credits the words to “Philip Wingate”, which was in fact almost certainly a pseudonym of Petrie. The lyrics tell of two cute little girls, best friends and neighbors, who quarrel and then quickly reconcile. The tune also appeared on Grand cob #2091; see the notes to that cob for further information about Petrie, “Wingate” and the writing of the song.


#1051 - Maggie Maloney, Scarcity: S
I have not yet located definitive information about this waltz song or sheet music for it. There was an obscure 1895 song with the title “Sweet Little Maggie Maloney”; according to a note in the April 15, 1895 edition of the Express Gazette, the Official Journal of the Express Service of America, a monthly publication “Circulating among Express and Railroad Men in Every State and Territory of the United States, Canada and Mexico”, “Will Waters, the Express Gazette's poet and humorist” had just written the song as a follow-up to a song he wrote that had been advertised in a previous issue of the publication and he “await[ed] with bated breath…[the new song's] public reception”. The lyrics to the song were included later in the same issue, but the meter of these lyrics does not correspond exactly to the meter of the tune on the cob and it does not appear that those lyrics could be sung to it. According to a notice in the April 6, 1895 edition of the New York Clipper, sheet music for this song was published by the Rudolph Wurlitzer Co. There is also an 1894 waltz song titled “Maggie Mooney” on Grand cob #2119 (where, interestingly, it is coupled with “My Pearl is a Bowery Girl”, the tune on cob #1052, the cob that immediately follows this one), but its tune is again different from the tune on this cob.

#1052 - My Pearl is a Bowery Girl, Scarcity: LC
In this 1894 waltz song with two verses and a chorus, the singer, using a number of slang expressions of the day, sings the praises of his beloved Pearl, who lives on the famous street named the Bowery in New York City (see the notes to cobs #1004 and 2023) and whom he intends to marry as soon as he can afford to. The lyrics were written by William Jerome (1865-1932), who started out as a minstrel performer, comic actor and vaudevillian and later became a very successful songwriter, and the music was composed by Andrew Mack (1863-1931), who also began as a minstrel performer and later became a comedian and singer well-known for portraying Irish characters (see also the notes to cob #2021). The tune also appeared on Grand cob #2119; see the notes to that cob for more information about the song, Jerome and Mack. Further references: FG, EM (information about Jerome), MM (entries for both Jerome and Mack)

#1053 - Ben Bolt, Scarcity: LC
Most of the American pieces in this numerical range so far have been popular songs from the first half of the 1890s, but this piece is a much earlier one that was an old favorite by the time it appeared on a roller organ cob. Its tune was composed by Nelson Kneass (1823-1869), a Philadelphia-born composer, singer and instrumentalist who headed his own musical troupe, was a contemporary and musical competitor of Stephen Foster (see the notes to cob #112) and introduced the song in a theatrical performance in Pittsburgh. The words had been written earlier in the form of a poem by Philadelphia-born medical doctor, author, journalist and ultimately U.S. Congressman Thomas Dunn English (1819-1902), were first published in the New York Mirror in 1843 and were then provided by someone who had seen them in the paper, from memory, to Kneass, who set them to music, so that the lyrics of Kneass' song are different from English's poem as published. Despite the title, the song is not about someone named Ben Bolt but rather is sung to an elderly man named Ben Bolt by a singer who has been his friend since childhood. It is a sad song of reminiscence about people and things of the past that no longer exist: the singer first asks if Ben remembers “sweet Alice”, a simple young girl who “wept with delight when you gave her a smile/And trembled with fear at your frown” and is now dead and buried. The singer then remembers the old mill, now in ruins, and the school and schoolmaster, on whose grave grass now grows, and ends with the statement that “Of all the friends who were schoolmates then/There remains, Ben, but you and I”. There is sheet music for the song in MN with a copyright date of 1854 and also an item of “souvenir” sheet music dating from 1895 in UM which indicates, on the cover, that the song was sung in a play titled “Trilby” that was presented at the Shubert Theatre in New York City in that year; this might account for the inclusion of the tune at this point in the sequence of cobs, among songs dating from the mid-1890s. Additional references: Tombstone of Kneass in Edgewood Cemetery, Chillicothe, Missouri, where he died while there for a performance, giving his birth year as 1823 and death year as 1868 (which is incorrect in light of the numerous newspaper obituary articles that appeared right after his death in 1869); lengthy article in the May 21, 1893 edition of the Philadelphia Times in which English, then a seventy-four-year-old U.S. Congressman from New Jersey, recollected how he wrote the poem that was the basis for the lyrics to the song, how Kneass came to write the tune and how the resulting song became enormously popular; lengthy obituary article about English in the April 2, 1902 edition of The Philadelphia Inquirer titled “Man Who Wrote 'Ben Bolt' is Dead” and headed by a photograph of English alongside the text of his original five-stanza poem that was shortened and adapted for the song lyrics; notices in the May 27 and 28, 1847 editions of the Pittsburgh Daily Post announcing that Kneass would perform the song “Ben Bolts” [sic] as part of a concert program at the Eagle Saloon in Pittsburgh, which contradicts the assertion widely made elsewhere that he first performed the song in 1848; full five-stanza version of the poem, (1) listing no author but preceded by the note “From the New Mirror” and published in the February 2, 1844 edition of the Pittsburgh Post, and (2) credited to English and published in the October 18, 1845 edition of the Pittsburgh Post, either of which might have been the source from which Kneass' version was derived rather than the original 1843 New York Mirror printing

#1054 - The Honeymoon March, Scarcity: C
This appealing march tune, very nicely arranged for the 20-note roller organ, was written in 1894 by George Rosey (George M. Rosenberg, 1864-1936), a German-born composer and pianist who lived in New York City. A lengthier and fuller version of it appeared on Grand cob #2101. See the notes to that cob for further information about “Rosey”, the tune and how it was popularized. Additional reference: LL

#1055 - Hearts, Scarcity: S
This unusual 1893 song with two verses in slow 4/4 time and a chorus in quick waltz time was both written and composed by Charles K. (Kassell) Harris (1867-1930), who was also the writer and composer of the extraordinarily popular 1892 waltz song “After the Ball” (see the notes to cobs #600 and 2016). The singer addresses his beloved, with whom he has quarreled, wonders what is in her heart and hopes that she still cares for him as she did in former days. Harris apparently did not consider it one of his more significant songs, as he did not even mention in it in his memoir, After the Ball: Forty Years of Melody (New York, Frank-Maurice, Inc., 1926), or include it in the lengthy but only partial list of songs he wrote at the end of that book, although he did include it in the list of songs he wrote for which at least 100,000 copies of sheet music were sold in his 1906 self-published book How to Write a Popular Song. Additional references: LL (sheet music for the song with a copyright date of 1905 published by Harris' own company, then with offices in New York and Chicago; I have also seen an earlier edition of sheet music for the piece dating from 1893 with a different cover with photographs of cornet players Knoll and McNeil, who performed the piece, published by Joseph Flanner, who operated a music store in Milwaukee, where Harris lived at that time)

#1056 - Fire Flies, Scarcity: LC
It is peculiar to find a Strauss waltz suddenly inserted among a group of mostly American popular songs of the mid-1890s, but “Fire Flies” is indeed an abbreviated version of the “Leuchtkaferln-Walzer” [Glowworms or Fireflies Waltz], opus 161, of Eduard Strauss (1835-1916) (see notes to cobs #119 and 150). Why would the Autophone Company have decided to put a little-known waltz tune from the 1870s composed by one of the lesser-known members of the famous Strauss family on a cob in this numerical range? The answer might be that the tune achieved some popularity or at least became somewhat familiar in the United States and England at about that time because Strauss, who was then the conductor of the Vienna-based Strauss Orchestra, took the Orchestra on a tour of many American cities in 1890 and brought the Orchestra to England and gave an extended series of concerts there in 1895 and sometimes included his “Leuchtkaferln-Walzer” on the program. Reference: notices in London newspapers on June 25 and July 18, 1895 that the Strauss Orchestra from Vienna under the direction of Eduard Strauss was to give a concert on each of those days in which Strauss' own composition “Waltz, 'Glowworms' (Leuchtkafer)” was to be played

#1057 - Boccaccio Serenade, Scarcity: LC
This tune is from the 1879 opera “Boccaccio” by Dalmatian-born Viennese composer and theatre conductor Franz von Suppe (1819 or 1820-1895), with libretto by Richard Genee (1823-1895), also a composer and theatre conductor in Vienna, and F. Zell (Camillo Walzel, 1829-1895) (see also the notes to cob #235). It is interesting to note that all three of these individuals happened to have died in 1895, which invites speculation as to whether the inclusion of this tune from a European opera among mostly American popular songs of about that year in this numerical range of cobs might have resulted from renewed attention paid in the year of their deaths to their opera of sixteen years earlier. The piece is sung as a trio in Act I at the beginning of the “Standchen und Duell Scene” (“Serenade and Duels Scene”; item 3 in the score) by three comic Florentine characters, the cooper Lotteringhi, the grocer Lambertuccio and the barber Scalza, as a serenade to Scalza's daughter Beatrice, who is locked inside his house and, unbeknownst to him, has with her the famous seducer of women Boccaccio.

#1058 - Just Tell Them That You Saw Me, Scarcity: LC
Both the lyrics and music of this 1895 song were written by Indiana-born Paul Dresser (1858-1906), a colorful figure who was a singer in medicine, minstrel and vaudeville shows and comic actor before moving to New York City and becoming a successful Tin Pan Alley songwriter and music publisher. The lyrics tell of a chance encounter between a woman who has fallen into a life of sin and an old friend; when she is asked what the friend should say about her to the folks back home, she answers “Just tell them that you saw me”. The song also appeared as one of two pieces on Grand cob #2137; see the notes to that cob for further information about the song and Dresser. Reference: LL

#1059 - Only One Girl in the World for Me, Scarcity: LC
The piece on this cob is still another one that also appeared on a Grand cob, but in this case the Grand cob version, on cob #2132, included both the verse, which is in 4/4 time, then the pretty chorus, which is in slow waltz time, played through twice, while the version on this cob includes only the chorus, played through once. The singer is “a working lad” who praises his eighteen-year-old girlfriend, an orphan, and says he hopes to marry her when he finds steadier employment. The song dates from 1895 and both the words and music were written by Dave Marion (real name David Marion Graves) (1865?-1934), a comedian who started as a vaudeville and burlesque performer and later assembled and headed burlesque troupes bearing his name. See the notes to cob #2132 for additional information about the song and Marion. Reference: NP

#1060 - The Lilacs, Scarcity: S
This pretty but forgotten sentimental song is yet another that appeared on both a 20-note cob and a Grand cob, in this case cob #2013. There is sheet music for the piece in UN with a copyright date of 1888 that gives the title as “The Lilac” rather than “The Lilacs”, although in the lyrics the singer remembers picking for his love a little bunch of lilacs in happy days gone by. The lyrics of the two verses are credited to Marion May, the lyrics of the chorus as well as the music are credited to Gustave H. Kline and the song is referred to as “Charles A. Gardner's new song, as sung by him in 'Fatherland'”. Kline and Gardner both lived in Chicago. Gardner (1848?-1924), although American-born, was a comedian who portrayed a German character on stage, sometimes dancing in large wooden shoes, and Kline (1859?-1901), who was born in Germany, was the musical director of productions in which Gardner appeared and composer of the music for songs Gardner popularized. I have not located any information about Marion May. For additional information about the song, Kline and Gardner, see the notes to cob #2013.


#1061 - The Sunshine of Paradise Alley, Scarcity: LC
This 1895 waltz song is another that appeared on both a 20-note cob and a Grand cob, in this case as one of two songs on cob #2134. The tune is similar to the tune of “The Sidewalks of New York”, which dates from a year earlier. The title refers to a cheerful and kind girl who brightens up the slum street on which she lives, which has the ironic name of Paradise Alley. The lyrics were written by Philadelphia-born singer, vaudeville performer and prolific songwriter Walter H. Ford (c. 1866-1901) and the music was composed by Delaware-born singer, actor, composer and producer of musical comedies John W. Bratton (1867-1947), a duo who collaborated on about 100 songs before Ford's untimely death of consumption at the age of only about 35. This song was their most successful and Ford named his shore cottage in Bath Beach, Brooklyn where he ultimately died “Paradise Alley”. For further information about the song and how it came to be written and popularized and about Ford and Bratton, see the notes to cob #2134. Reference: LL

#1062 - On the Benches in the Park, Scarcity: S
This is still another waltz song, it dates from 1896 and both its words and music were written by James Thornton (1861-1938), who was born in England of Irish parents, was brought to the United States as a child, began performing as a singing waiter in Boston and later appeared on stage as a duo with Charles Lawlor, the composer of the tune of “The Sidewalks of New York” (see the notes to cobs #1038 and 2086). There is sheet music for “On the Benches in the Park” in NP and on the cover it is noted that Thornton was also the author and composer of “My Sweetheart's the Man in the Moon” (see the notes to cob #594) and (like that song) the song was “introduced and sung by 'the little mascot' Bonnie Thornton”, Thornton's wife, whose photograph appears on the cover along with a photograph of a crowded tree-lined walkway in a park with benches along both sides. In the cheery lyrics, the singer urges anyone tired of strolling around the busy town to head to the park at dusk and see the babies and sweet little girls playing, the young couples spooning, the “pretty nurse girls” and the park policeman, who is there to chase the sparrows off the benches but is instead “telling jolly stories to sweet Annie Clark”, all with the man in the moon watching overhead. According to OC, Thornton was for many years an incorrigible alcoholic who was shepherded through life by his wife Bonnie, who also performed and popularized a number of his songs. Thornton also wrote the lyrics and music of the song “Little Maggie Mooney”, one of the two pieces on Grand cob #2119 and another that Bonnie Thornton performed.

#1063 - We were Sweethearts, Nell and I, Scarcity: LC
In this sad 1891 song with words and music by John T. Kelly, the singer is sitting by the window on a rainy day, has visions of bygone days, pulls out a dusty box of love letters from Nellie, the sweetheart of his youth, and as he looks through them a picture of her falls out which, he says, he will cherish until he dies. Kelly (1851 or 1852-1922) was a Boston-born vaudeville dancer, “stage Irish” comedian and actor who also wrote the words and music to “I Long to See the Girl I Left Behind”, one of the two songs on Grand cob #2086, and the words to “Peggy Cline”, the song on cob #576 (see also the notes to these cobs). Additional reference: NP

#1064 - Mother was a Lady, Scarcity: LC
The lyrics of this 1896 song were written by Edward B. Marks (1865-1945) and the music was composed by Joseph W. Stern (1870-1934). Marks and Stern were traveling salesmen who founded a sheet music publishing company, Joseph W. Stern & Co., to publish their 1894 song “The Little Lost Child” (on Grand cob #2128), and the great success of that song established them in the music business. The lyrics tell of two “drummers” (traveling salesmen) who address a waitress in a hotel in an insulting and hurtful way and she defends herself by saying that her mother was a lady, she came to the big city only to locate her brother Jack and they would not have dared to say such things to her if he had been there. The salesmen become stunned and silent and one of them, upon apologizing and asking her name, discovers that he knows Jack and not only offers to reunite the girl with him but also proposes marriage to her. In Marks' memoir, They All Sang: From Tony Pastor to Rudy Vallee (New York, Viking Press, 1934), he recalled that he and Stern wrote the song in a single afternoon after seeing a new waitress burst into tears after being teased at a German restaurant in New York City. They gave it to a singer named Meyer Cohen, known as “the California tenor”, who had been at their table at the restaurant and he performed it the next day at Tony Pastor's theater. Additional reference: UM (sheet music for the song published by Jos. W. Stern & Co. and giving as a second title for it “If Jack Were Only Here”)

#1065 - Up the Street, March, Scarcity: LC
This 1895 Harvard University march tune was composed by Robert G. (Gorham) Morse (1874-1965) while he was a Harvard student. Music, however, was only an avocation for him; he subsequently studied metallurgy at Columbia and became a corporate executive. References: UM (two editions of sheet music for the piece, both published in Boston and both with an 1895 copyright date, one with a cover depicting a throng of students with the gates of Harvard Yard behind them), HE

#1066 - March—Cosmos, Scarcity: LC
This 1896 march tune was composed by Monroe A. Althouse (1853-1924), a resident of Reading, Pennsylvania who played brass instruments in local bands while working in a hat factory and operating a cigar store before becoming a professional musician. From 1886 until 1906 Althouse led the pit orchestra at the Reading Academy of Music, where he met and became a friend of John Philip Sousa when Sousa performed there, and for more than two decades until his retirement in 1922 he led the Ringgold Band, a well-known Reading community band. He composed close to 100 march tunes and was also a music publisher; his own firm published the “Cosmos” march. References: HE, November 3, 1982 edition of the Reading Eagle (lengthy article about Althouse including a 1903 photograph of him in his Shriner's fez seated in a Reading-made Acme automobile while in Atlantic City, New Jersey)

#1067 - Down in Poverty Row, Scarcity: S
This is an 1896 waltz song with words by Gussie L. Davis and music by Arthur Trevelyan which, according to the cover of the sheet music for it in NP, was popularized by Bonnie Thornton, billed as “America's Little Mascot”, the wife of songwriter James Thornton (see the notes to cob #1062). The sheet music was published by Joseph W. Stern & Co. (see the notes to cob #1064). As we have seen (see the notes to cobs #220, 312 and 1039), Davis (1863-1899) was a prolific African-American songwriter and composer from Ohio who later moved to New York City. Trevelyan's name appears in many items of sheet music in the 1890s and early 1900s as lyricist or composer or both but I have located very little personal information about him. He was very likely the Arthur Trevelyan who had his own traveling theatrical company in England in 1891-1892 and arrived at Ellis Island in New York on a ship from Liverpool in 1895, described as a 26-year-old Englishman with the profession “author”. According to an article in the December 26, 1897 edition of The [New York] World, Trevelyan sued Joseph W. Stern & Co. seeking royalties on the sale of 50,000 copies of the sheet music for “Down in Poverty Row” and Stern responded by denying any knowledge of Trevelyan. There was also a brief article in The [New York] Sun of October 15, 1899 reporting that Trevelyan, a “writer of songs”, walked into a police station on West 30th Street, Manhattan, bloodied and with his clothing torn, and said he wanted the music publisher Mills arrested for assaulting him at Sixth Avenue and 28th Street [the corner of the street known as “Tin Pan Alley”; see the notes to cob #115], but Trevelyan refused to tell the Sergeant the cause of the fight. In Joseph W. Stern's business partner Edward B. Marks' memoir, They All Sang: From Tony Pastor to Rudy Vallee (New York, Viking Press, 1934), Marks described Trevelyan as “a little Englishman noted as a nobby dresser, according to Fourteenth Street standards”. The lyrics of the song tell of a “pretty working girl” named Kitty, “the belle of Poverty Row”, who lives in “a crowded tenement where poorest folks abound”, takes care of her mother and little brother and is the center of attention of all the local boys. The lyrics add “When she sings 'The Lost Child' then the crowd all goes wild”, a shameless plug for Stern and Marks' first successful song, which they published two years earlier (see the notes to cob #2128). Additional references: Trevelyan was mentioned a number of times in 1891 and 1892 in the London theatrical newspaper The Era: the January 31, 1891 edition included a notice of his having been engaged to play two roles in a production of “Called Back”, the July 4, 1891 edition included a review of a performance in Croydon of “She Stoops to Conquer” and noted that “Mr. Arthur Trevelyan” played one of the roles, the August 8, 1891 edition contained a notice that “Mr. Arthur Trevelyan's company” was performing “The Lady of Lyons” in Derby and he was playing one of the roles in it, the August 15, 1891 edition contained a notice that “Mr. Arthur Trevelyan and company” were performing two plays at a theater in Burnley in Lancashire during that week and noted that “Mr. Trevelyan possesses splendid histrionic ability”, the February 20 and 27, 1892 editions included advertisements for “The Maud Musical Comedy Company. Under the Direction [the February 27 advertisement read “Under the Management”] of Mr. Arthur Trevelyan”, the March 26, 1892 edition included a notice and a separate review of a musical comedy, “The Barber”, with music by Trevelyan, performed by “the Maud Musical Company of Mr. Arthur Trevelyan” in Folkestone, a town in southeastern England, and the April 2, 1892 edition contained a notice that the same comedy was being produced in Derby with Trevelyan among the artists

#1068 - What Could the Poor Girl Do?, Scarcity: S
There is sheet music for this song in MN with a copyright date of 1894 giving the name of the lyricist and composer on the cover as “E. Alexandria” and on the first interior page as “E. Alexandra” but, interestingly, also including four extra “encore verses” on the inside front cover written by the subsequently very well-known songwriter, stage performer and showman George M. Cohan (1878-1942) (see notes to cobs #1098, 1161 and 1245), who would have been, in 1894, only sixteen years old. The original four verses were an English music hall song and each verse tells of a girl who does something when she is put in a difficult position, then the chorus asks what else she could have done. In the first verse, for example, a pretty girl who gets caught in the rain has no choice but to walk through town holding her dress high to keep it dry so that she is stared at by men, and in the second verse another pretty girl has her clothes stolen at a bath house and has to walk home from the beach in her bathing suit. “E. Alexandria” or “E. Alexandra” was in fact Emilie Alexandre, an English music hall comedienne, singer and dancer whose name appears in many advertisements for performances at venues all over England in The Era, the London theatrical newspaper, during the period from 1892 to 1894 (and at least one such advertisement from 1889). A notice in the December 12, 1891 edition reported that she was about to complete “a pleasant and successful Engagement of Three Years with Midget Minstrels”, and advertisements for her often referred to her as “Little and Good”, presumably a nickname she was given because of her small size (One said “Little and Good, and don't you forget it”). In one letter to the Editor to say that she had not appeared at a certain theatre as reported, she gave as her address 50 Great Brunswick Street in Dublin. An advertisement in the September 9, 1893 edition for performers named “The Sisters Casey” said that they had an “immense hit” with ”'What could a poor girl do?' by Emilie Alexandre“, and the February 17, 1894 edition reported that the music hall performer Connie Ediss gave an “eminently satisfactory” rendition of “What could the poor girl do?”. An advertisement in the May 5, 1894 edition read “Emilie Alexandre will from now be known as Emmie Worth, Comedienne and Dancer”, described her as “Authoress and Composer of…'What Could the Poor Girl Do?' sung by Connie Ediss” as well as other songs, and added “Sails for India shortly”. According to an advertisement in the February 26, 1898 edition, she later also used the last name “Adair”, but in other advertisements in the same time frame she was referred to as “Emilie Alexandre” and in 1899 she again reverted to using the last name “Worth”. A review in the January 25, 1896 edition noted that the well-known English actor Seymour Hicks sang the song upon returning to the cast in the long-running production of “The Shop Girl” at the Gaiety Theatre in London. That the song spread quickly from England to even more remote parts of the United States is evidenced by references to it being performed locally in 1895 and 1896 in newspapers in as far-flung locations, to name a few, as Buffalo, New York, Boston, Massachusetts, Bloomington, Illinois (performance by Kitty Gilmore, whose picture is on the cover of the sheet music for the song in MN), Coffeyville, Kansas, Astoria, Oregon (performance at a smoke social of the Astoria Football Club), Randolph, Vermont (advertisement for a variety entertainment in which Violet Cameron, “The Whirlwind of Fun”, would perform “her great London craze 'What Could the Poor Girl Do?'”), Pleasanton, Kansas, Calumet, Michigan, and Honolulu, Hawaii, and an article in the September 13, 1896 edition of The New York Times included the song in a list of seven of “the latest hits of the day” which “comprise the class of music which continually whirls up the airshafts and through the back windows of flat houses” (the list also included “Mother Was a Lady” (cob #1064), ”[Just] Tell Them That You Saw Me“ (cob #1058) and “Ben Bolt” (a much older song that had been revived in 1895; cob #1053)).

#1069 - My Old Kentucky Home, Scarcity: C
This is still another song that also appeared on a Grand roller organ cob, in this case, along with “Yankee Doodle”, on cob #2090. It is one of the most widely-known pieces by the great and revered American songwriter Stephen (Collins) Foster (1826-1864) (see the notes to cob #112). There is sheet music for it with a copyright date of 1853 in MN with the title “My Old Kentucky Home, Good Night” issued as No. 20 in a series called “Foster's Plantation Melodies” and stating that it was sung by Christy's Minstrels, who performed and popularized many of Foster's songs. It is the lament of a slave sold and taken from his “old Kentucky home” to work on a sugar plantation, and the manuscript book in which Foster wrote out the words to his songs during the 1850s shows that his original version of the song included the line “Poor Uncle Tom, Goodnight” rather than “My Old Kentucky Home, Good Night”, indicating that in writing the song he was influenced by Harriet Beecher Stowe's anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, which appeared in 1852. The song has for many years been the official state song of the State of Kentucky. References: JoAnne O'Connell, The Life and Songs of Stephen Foster: A Revealing Portrait of the Forgotten Man behind “Swanee River”, “Beautiful Dreamer” and “My Old Kentucky Home” (Lanham, Maryland, Boulder, Colorado, New York and London, Rowman & Littlefield, 2016) (extended discussion of the origin, context and effects of the song); Section 2.100 of the Kentucky Revised Statutes

#1070 - The Darkie's Dream, Scarcity: LC
[With regard to this cob, see the WARNING AND HISTORICAL CONTENT DISCLAIMER about songs containing offensive language or negative stereotypes at the end of the General Introduction to this Handbook.] As previously stated in the notes to cob #1020, some music popular in the United States during the roller organ era referred to or portrayed members of certain racial and ethnic groups in ways that would be objectionable today. As another example of this, the title of the lively banjo tune on this cob includes the word “d—ie”, a slang word for an African-American (In this regard, it is interesting to note that the lyrics of the song on the immediately preceding cob, “My Old Kentucky Home”, as written by its author and composer Stephen Foster, included the word “d—ies” in several places and in this form it became the official state song of the State of Kentucky, but in 1986 a “modern version” was adopted by the Kentucky Legislature in its place in which the word was replaced by the word “people” in each place it appeared). There is sheet music for “The D—ie's Dream” with a copyright date of 1889 in UM giving the composer's name as George L. Lansing. Lansing (1860-1923) was a well-known banjo player, teacher and author of books on banjo playing who was associated with Boston banjo manufacturer Lincoln B. Gatcomb, whose L. B. Gatcomb & Co. published an edition of sheet music for this piece in 1887 and manufactured a model of banjo called “The Lansing”. References: December 30, 1888 edition of The Boston Sunday Globe advertising a performance in Boston by a 50-piece banjo orchestra led by Lansing; Gatcomb's Musical Gazette, published by L. B. Gatcomb & Co., many issues of which are digitized in full online on the website, including, for example, Vol. 7, No 2 (October, 1893), which contains advertisements for sheet music for “The D—ie's Dream” and many other banjo pieces by Lansing and Lansing's Practical Banjo Instructor, all published by the company, and “The Lansing Banjo”, made and sold by the company; U.S. Census records for 1870 showing Lansing, age 9, living in Troy, New York, for 1880 showing Lansing, age 19, living in Boston, a “clerk” born in New York, for 1900 showing Lansing, age 39, born in July, 1860, living in Everett, Massachusetts, just north of Boston, a “music teacher”, for 1910 showing Lansing, age 50, again living in Everett, a “musician”, and for 1920 showing Lansing, age 65 (clearly an error), living back in Boston, a boarder, widowed, and a “teacher—music”; obituary notice in the January 16, 1923 edition of The Boston Globe reporting Lansing's death and this time mistakenly giving his age as 53 rather than 63


#1071 - Sweet Rosie O'Grady, Scarcity: LC
This is still another “gay '90s” waltz song with a well-known chorus that has survived in the popular memory much longer than the verses. The lyrics are simple and straightforward: the singer, in two verses plus the chorus, merely sings the praises of his beloved Rosie, who lives around the corner from him, is “the cutest little girl that…[he has] ever spied” and is now engaged to him. There is sheet music for the song in MN with a copyright date of 1896 published by Joseph W. Stern & Co. (see also the notes to cobs #1064 and 1067) with a photograph on the cover of the lyricist and composer, Maude Nugent (1874?-1958), a vaudeville singer who performed the song on stage and was married to the much better-known songwriter William Jerome (see the notes to cob #1052). In Joseph W. Stern's business partner Edward B. Marks' memoir, They All Sang: From Tony Pastor to Rudy Vallee (New York, Viking Press, 1934), Marks tells how Nugent brought to Marks' and Stern's office a manuscript of the song (which, Marks said, “may have been written by her husband, who never cared for his own reputation, when he had a chance to boost Maude”), and she sang it while Stern picked it out on the piano. Initially, they told her it “wouldn't do” because there was already such a large number of waltz songs with women's names such as “Daisy Bell”, they thought this type of song was on the wane and in any event they already had two similar songs on their list for publication, but after she left their office to take the song to another publisher Marks had second thoughts and chased after her, pantingly catching up with her on the street and asking her to come back because he wanted to publish the song after all. Needless to say, when the sheet music was published, it was an enormous success. References: 1875 New York State Census record listing “Maud Nugent”, age 1, born in Kings County (Brooklyn), residing with her parents in Brooklyn, and 1900 United States Census record listing “Maud Jerome”, wife of William Jerome, living in Manhattan, no occupation listed, born in New York in January, 1874 (although other U. S. Census records and other sources give a variety of different ages and years of birth for her and when she died on June 3, 1958 many newspaper obituary articles gave her age as 85)

#1072 - Take a Day Off Mary Ann, Scarcity: LC
We have previously encountered a number of songs with words by lyricist, playwright and actor Edward Harrigan (1844-1911) and music by his regular collaborator and father-in-law David Braham (1834?-1905) that appeared in stage productions mounted first by Harrigan and Tony Hart and later by Harrigan himself after he and Hart parted ways in 1885 (see the notes to cobs #249, 300, 360, 372, 376, 439, 440, 459 and 516). “Take a Day Off Mary Ann” is still another song by Harrigan and Braham and was included in Harrigan's comic production “The Last of the Hogans”, which opened at Harrigan's own theatre in New York in December, 1891. The intricate plot once again involves “stage Irish” characters, including a throng interested in a legacy left to “the last of the Hogans”, juxtaposed with African-American characters portrayed in blackface who belong to a secret society, “The Knights of the Mystic Star”, that meets on a rickety oyster boat that is cut loose while members of the society are conducting an initiation ceremony. “Take a Day Off Mary Ann” was sung by Harrigan himself in his role as the Irish-American Judge Dominick McKeever, advising Mary Ann Brennan, an Irish servant girl, not to allow herself to be courted on the job in the kitchen but to be frugal, bide her time and then take a day off and stroll on the avenue with her beau in her velveteen gown with her Japanese fan. Additional references: LL; reviews of “The Last of the Hogans” in the December 22, 1891 editions of The [New York] Evening World, The New York Times and The Boston Globe and the January 3, 1892 edition of the San Francisco Examiner

The next ten cobs once again contain Norwegian pieces but, unlike the pieces on cobs #500-514 and 579-592, most of which can be found in either Lindeman's ’ldre og Nyere Norske Fjeldmelodier or Grieg's Norges Melodier (see the introduction to the section on cobs in the #501-600 range), none of them, except for #1073, is included in any of the sources I consulted. Perhaps there is a single source, most likely later than Lindeman's and Grieg's works, from which the Autophone Company took them in order to make these cobs but, if so, I have not yet located it.

#1073 - Gamle Norge (Old Norway—Norwegian), Scarcity: LC
This piece is included in Carl G. O. Hansen and Frederick Wick, Eds., Sons of Norway Song Book (Minneapolis, Minnesota, The Supreme Lodge of the Sons of Norway, 1948), where it is described as a “Norwegian-American folk song” and its full title is given as “Kan du glemme gamle Norge?” (“How Can You Forget Old Norway?”).

#1074 - Som'ren Svandt (Summer is Gone—Norwegian), Scarcity: S

#1075 - Solnedgang (Sunset—Norwegian), Scarcity: S

#1076 - Mit Hjem er i Himlen (My Home is in Heaven—Norwegian), Scarcity: LC

#1077 - Jeg Husker mit Faedreneland (I Remember My Native Land—Norwegian), Scarcity: LC

#1078 - Baekken (The Brook—Norwegian), Scarcity: S

#1079 - Tidlig om Morg'nen (Early in the Morning—Norwegian), Scarcity: S

#1080 - Vaarsang (Spring Song—Norwegian), Scarcity: LC


#1081 - Min ven er der (My Love is There—Norwegian), Scarcity: LC

#1082 - Nokken (Nix—Norwegian), Scarcity: LC

#1083 - Hot Time in the Old Town, Scarcity: C
[With regard to this cob, see the WARNING AND HISTORICAL CONTENT DISCLAIMER about songs containing offensive language or negative stereotypes at the end of the General Introduction to this Handbook.] With the piece on this cob we return to American popular songs dating from 1896. Because the piece became extremely popular and remained familiar for many years, a fair amount has been written about it and there are a number of conflicting accounts as to its origin. Both BW and FS include information about it. BW says that sheet music for a song with the title “In Old Town To-night” that consisted of only the chorus and credited both words and music to “Cad. L. Mays of Hunter & Mays” was published first, in Milwaukee, with a copyright date of February 6, 1896; sheet music for the full song, with different lyrics and a different musical arrangement from the Milwaukee version and with the title “A Hot Time in the Old Town”, crediting both the words and music to Theodore A. Metz, was subsequently published in New York, with a copyright date of July 2, 1896; and later editions of sheet music for the song also used the title “A Hot Time in the Old Town” and credited the music to Metz but the lyrics to Joe Hayden. Metz (1848-1936) was reportedly the bandmaster for a minstrel troupe, the McIntyre & Heath Minstrels, and Hayden was reportedly a singer in the troupe. “Cad. L. Mays of Hunter & Mays” (born 1873) was a well-known banjo player who performed as a duo with another banjoist named M. P. (Parke) Hunter and is mentioned in many newspaper advertisements and articles of the period. According to ragtime music expert Edward A. Berlin, however, the tune did not originate with either Metz or Mays but rather has been traced to Babe Connor's, an African-American brothel in St. Louis, Missouri, where it was played as early as about 1891. In his 1980 book Ragtime: A Musical and Cultural History (Berkeley, etc., University of California Press) (RA), Berlin also noted that the earliest popular songs identified as ragtime were certain songs in African-American dialect referred to at the time as “c—n songs” that had then-peculiar-sounding, broken rhythmic features and that the three pieces most frequently cited as examples of such songs are “A Hot Time in the Old Town”, another 1896 song, “All C—ns Look Alike to Me” (on cob #1087), and the 1899 song “Hello! Ma Baby” (on cob #1112). Additional references: New York City municipal death record for Metz, a “composer”, stating that he was born in Hanover, Germany in 1848 and died on January 12, 1936; United States passport application for “Cad. L. Mays”, “musician”, signed by him in Cook County, Illinois on December 12, 1896 stating that he was born in Dallas, Texas on September 8, 1873 and witnessed by “Parke Hunter”

#1084 - Bombasto March (Two Step), Scarcity: C
This march tune, first published in 1895 and often used as a circus march, is the best-known composition of Orion R. Farrar (1866-1913?), a bandmaster and teacher of brass instruments who was born in Indiana and graduated from the Dana Musical Institute in Warren, Ohio, led its band for seven years and subsequently led other bands before becoming involved later in his life in a second career in insurance and finance. References: HE; U.S. Census record for 1880 listing Farrar as living in Gosport, Indiana, age 14, “at school”; February 29, 1896 edition of the Logansport [Indiana] Pharos-Tribune containing a photograph of him at about age 30; U.S. Census record for 1900 listing him as living in Youngstown, Ohio, age 34, born in April, 1866 in Indiana, “professor music”, with wife, Sara, age 31, born in Ohio; 1900-1903 Youngstown street directories listing him as “Prof.” Orion R. Farrar, director of the Youngstown Military Band; 1904 Youngstown street directory merely listing his occupation as “musician”; 1905 Youngstown street directory listing his occupation as “insurance”; article in the December 20, 1905 edition of the Lima [Ohio] Times Democrat reporting that he was coming to Lima to direct a band rehearsal and was then the agency inspector for the Reliance Insurance Company of Pittsburgh with a territory comprised of Ohio, Indiana and Michigan; 1906 Columbus, Ohio street directory misspelling his name as “Orrin R. Farrar” and listing his occupation as “attorney”; 1907 and 1908 Columbus street directories misspelling his name as “Orin R. Farrar” and 1909 Columbus street directory listing him as “O. R. Farrar”, in each case listing his occupation as “vice pres and genl mgr The Ohio Casualty Co.”; 1912-1913 Indianapolis street directories listing him as President of the Columbus Securities Co. with “res New York City” (and New York City street directories for the same year listing him as having an office in that city in the business of “insurance”); U.S. Census records for 1920 and 1940 showing his wife, Sara G. Farrar, in each case living in Long Beach, California, ages 50 and 71, respectively, a widow, born in Ohio, in the first case with the occupation “musician—studio” and in the second “teacher—music”; 1913, 1914, 1915 Long Beach street directories listing Sara G. Farrar, the 1913 and 1915 editions listing her occupation as “music teacher” and the 1914 and 1915 editions including after her name the notation ”(widow O. R.)“, suggesting that her husband died during 1913

#1085 - Dora Dean, Scarcity: LC
[With regard to this cob, see the WARNING AND HISTORICAL CONTENT DISCLAIMER about songs containing offensive language or negative stereotypes at the end of the General Introduction to this Handbook.] There is sheet music for this lively song in LL with a copyright date of 1895-6 that gives the name of the lyricist and composer as “Bert A. Williams of Williams & Walker” and on the cover describes the piece as “the greatest c—n song ever written” (see also the notes to cobs #1020 and 1083). The lyrics, in dialect, describe the virtues of Dora Dean, “the sweetest gal you ever seen”, who is the daughter of “Sister Hannah” “way down in Lou'siana”, keeps a neat household and, as a dancer, “walk'd off with the cake”. This is a reference to the cakewalk, a dance that was popular in the 1890s and had its origins in an African-American slave tradition in which couples would perform fancy strutting steps and the winning couple would receive a cake as a prize. There was, indeed, a well-known vaudeville performer at the time named Dora Dean, an African-American woman who appeared on stage in elegant costumes dancing the cakewalk with her husband and dance partner, the dapper Charles E. Johnson, who danced in evening clothes sporting a monocle. The songwriter, Egbert Austin (“Bert”) Williams (1874?-1922), was himself a very popular African-American vaudeville dancer as well as singer, actor and comedian who appeared onstage with a partner, George Walker, as Williams & Walker. References: OC; RA; Frank Cullen, with Florence Hackman and Donald McNeilly, Vaudeville Old and New: An Encyclopedia of Variety Performances in America, Vol. 1 (New York, Routledge, 2007) (information about Williams and Dean); Declaration of Intention signed by Williams in Boston in 1914 in connection with his becoming a United States citizen in which he stated that he was born in Nassau, B.W.I. on November 12, 1874 (although his tombstone in Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, New York gives his birth year as 1875 and a number of newspaper obituary articles following his death on March 4, 1922 gave his age at death as 46)

#1086 - There'll Come a Time, Scarcity: LC
There is sheet music for this waltz song with chorus in LL with a copyright date of 1895. The composer, lyricist and publisher was Charles K. (Kassell) Harris (1867-1930), who, as noted on both the cover and first interior page of the sheet music, previously wrote the much better-known waltz song “After the Ball”, which appeared on cob #600 and Grand cob #2016. Like “After the Ball”, this song is a “tear jerker”: a child asks her father about her absent mother and he explains that she ran off with another man, returned home after a year, and died. For more information about Harris, see the notes to cobs #600 and 2016.

#1087 - All Coons Look Alike to Me, Scarcity: C
[With regard to this cob, see the WARNING AND HISTORICAL CONTENT DISCLAIMER about songs containing offensive language or negative stereotypes at the end of the General Introduction to this Handbook.] The song on this cob is considered significant in the history of ragtime music because the 1896 sheet music for it included one of the first documented cases of the use of the word “rag” in relation to music. The sheet music, a copy of which is in NP, included an extra page with an alternate version of the chorus with the title “Choice Chorus, with Negro 'Rag,' Accompaniment”. The song again includes the word “c—n”, a slang term at the time for an African-American that would in itself be objectionable today (see notes to cobs #1020, 1083 and 1085), the cover of the sheet music for it includes exaggerated caricatures of six African-American men and one African-American woman, and in the verse of the lyrics, which are in dialect, the singer laments that his woman is going to leave him for another man, while in the chorus the woman responds that this other man treats her just as well as he does and is generous, and she regards her men as interchangeable. The lyricist and composer of the song, Ernest Hogan (1865-1909), a Kentucky-born minstrel comedian, was himself an African-American and, according to an obituary article in the May 21, 1909 edition of the New York Sun reporting his death of tuberculosis the previous day at his home in the Bronx, New York, this was his most successful song and he was said to have earned $40,000 from it. According to RA, however, he regretted writing it because of its derogatory portrayal of members of his race and some African-American performers, in singing it, would substitute the word “boys” for the word “c—ns”. Additional references: RA (discussion of the song in a number of places); obituary article in the May 27, 1909 edition of the New York Age, the “Leading Negro Newspaper”, including a photograph of Hogan and noting that one of the pallbearers at his funeral was Bert A. Williams, who wrote the song “Dora Dean” on cob #1085 and who credited Hogan with giving him and George Walker their first opportunity to make good; 1870 and 1880 U.S. Census records listing Hogan as living with his parents in Bowling Green, Kentucky, under his birth name, Rubin Crowdis [sic], age 5, and Reuben Crowdus, age 15, respectively

#1088 - Blue Eyes, Scarcity: S
There is sheet music in UM for this pretty but now-forgotten waltz song and refrain with a copyright date of 1897. The simple lyrics, in which the singer praises the beautiful blue eyes of his beloved, were written by Edward Hoopes, the tune was composed by Robert T. Townsend, the piece was performed by George E. Martin “with Richards & Canfield My Boys Co.” and the sheet music was published by William C. Ott & Co. in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, northwest of Pittsburgh near the Ohio border. An autographed photograph of Martin is reproduced on the cover. Hoopes (1872-1925) and Townsend (1869-1928), who was his cousin, were born in New Brighton, Pennsylvania, across the river from Beaver Falls, and apparently neither was involved in music as a profession. “Blue Eyes” appears to have been the result of what was perhaps a one-time musical collaboration during their youth; U.S. Census records show Hoopes as still residing in New Brighton with no profession listed (1900), as later living in Sewickley, closer to Pittsburgh, “secretary financing company” (1910) and “manager silver mines” (1920), and his 1925 death certificate lists his occupation as “investor”, while U.S. Census records show Townsend as living in Beaver Falls with the occupation “supt. wire mill” (1900) and as later also living in Sewickley with the occupation “manager mfg. co.” (1910) and “president nail manufacturers” (1920), and his 1928 death certificate lists him as president of Townsend and Co. As to the references on the cover of the sheet music to Richards & Canfield, My Boys and George E. Martin, according to a number of advertisements during the 1890s in newspapers in the northeastern United States comic actors George Richards and Eugene Canfield headed a traveling theatre troupe named Richards & Canfield and one of their productions was titled “My Boys”, described in one advertisement as “William Gill's roaring comedy”. In William B. Gill, From the Goldfields to Broadway (“Forgotten Stars of the Musical Theatre” Series) (New York and London, Routledge, 2002), Kurt Ganzl noted that “My Boys” was first performed at the Lyceum Theatre in Elizabeth, New Jersey on August 21, 1897 and then taken on the road through various towns in New England. Ganzl listed Richards and Canfield as the producers, William C. Ott—presumably the same William C. Ott whose company in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania published the sheet music to “Blue Eyes”—as music director and George E. Martin as one of the principal actors and the singer of the song “Blue Eyes” in Act 2. Both an advertisement and an article appeared in the October 29, 1897 edition of the Landmark [White River Junction, Vermont] relating to Richards and Canfield and their production “My Boys”, reporting that “for ten years [they] have been the recognized leading comedians in the employ” of playwright, theatrical producer and songwriter Charles Hoyt (who wrote the lyrics to the famous 1890s hit song “The Bowery”; see notes to cobs #1004 and 2023). Additional references: note in the February 9, 1904 edition of the Pittsburgh Press that Mr. and Mrs. Edward Hoopes had just returned from New York where they had attended the marriage of Mr. Hoopes' cousin, Robert T. Townsend; review of “My Boys” production in Washington, D.C. in the January 9, 1898 edition of the Washington Examiner that said that Gill wrote in the style of Hoyt and described the characters played by Richards and Canfield (but did not mention Martin)

#1089 - Wizard of the Nile, March, Scarcity: LC
“The Wizard of the Nile” was an 1895 operetta by Dublin-born American composer Victor Herbert (1859-1924), whom OC called “the dominant and most influential composer for the musical theatre in America at that transitional stage when operetta in the Viennese tradition was giving way to musical comedy”. Trained as a cellist, he later became a band leader and an orchestra conductor, and “The Wizard of the Nile” was only the second of a very long series of operettas for which he wrote the music. The libretto was by Harry B. Smith (1860-1936), who had previously written the librettos for “Robin Hood” and “The Fencing Master” with music by Reginald De Koven (see notes to cobs #2012 and 2041) and would later collaborate with Herbert on a number of his other operettas. The title refers to the main character, Kibosh, a Persian magician visiting drought-plagued ancient Egypt. The quick-tempo portion of the piece on the cob is the tune to “That's One Thing a Wizard Can Do”, a song from Act I (No. 5 in the score).

#1090 - On the Banks of the Wabash, Scarcity: C
There is sheet music in LL for this pretty 1897 song of nostalgic reminiscence with words and music by Paul Dresser (1858-1906), who was born in Terre Haute, Indiana, not far from the banks of the Wabash River. The publisher, Howley, Haviland & Company, a New York City firm in which Dresser had a financial interest, vigorously promoted the song and it became one of the sheet music sales phenomena of the 1890s, with more than a million copies sold. It remained well-known for many years and in 1913 the Indiana General Assembly adopted it as the official state song. Dresser was on the one hand a colorful extrovert with a reputation for excess and on the other a serious and measured songwriter who crafted his songs slowly and carefully. He had been a singer and comic actor from an early age before concentrating on songwriting and music publishing. An earlier song of Dresser's, “Just Tell Them That You Saw Me”, appeared on cobs #2137 and 1058; see the notes to cob #2137 for further information about him. Additional references: Clayton W. Henderson, On the Banks of the Wabash: The Life and Music of Paul Dresser (Indianapolis, Indiana Historical Society Press, 2003); Indiana Code Section 1-2-6-1


#1091 - Laulappas mun kutlassen (Finnish), Scarcity: VS
This is another case in which the Autophone Company misspelled a foreign-language song title. There is a Finnish-language song with the first line and title “Laulappas mun kultasen'” (also known by the title “Laula, Kultani” (“Sing, Sweetheart”)), with lyrics by Finnish poet Juhana Henrik Erkko (1849-1906) and tune by Finnish music teacher, choir director and composer (as well as medical doctor) Erik August Hagfors (1827-1913) and its tune corresponds to the tune on the cob. The lyrics appeared in a book of verse by Erkko, Runoelmia [“Poems”] I, published in Helsinki in 1870. Hagfors subsequently set Erkko's lyrics to music and included the resulting song in his song collection Kaikuja Keski-Suomesta [“Echoes from Central Finland”], published in two parts in 1874 and 1880. References: Tietosanakirja [“Knowledge Dictionary”, a Finnish language encyclopedia] (Helsinki, 1909-1922), digitized online (biographies of Erkko and Hagfors); Erkki Forss, “Erik August Hagfors”, monograph published by Suomen Musiikkikirjastoyhdistys (Finnish Music Library Association), Helsinki, 2009

#1092 - Svensk Bröllopsmarsch (Swedish Wedding March—Swedish), Scarcity: LC
This pretty and interesting march tune was composed by Swedish composer, chorusmaster and conductor (Johan) August Soderman (1832-1876). It dates from 1865 and was part of Soderman's incidental music for Frans Hedberg's play “Brollopet pa Ulfasa” (“Wedding at Ulfasa”). References: MN (four different American editions of sheet music for the piece, one undated and the others with copyright dates ranging from 1875 to 1878); GD; (website of entity initiated by the Swedish Academy of Music with the purpose of highlighting, inventorying and accessing Sweden's musical heritage)

#1093 - Ma Oksalla Ylimmalla (Finnish), Scarcity: LC
The tune on this cob was composed in 1864 by S. (Selim) Gabriel Linsen (1838-1914), a Finnish composer, music teacher, choir director, violinist and organist who is now remembered primarily for the tune, which he composed to accompany an 1853 poem glorifying the rich natural scenery of Finland by Zachris Topelius (1818-1898), a Finnish author, poet and academic who wrote in Swedish and whose poem was translated into Finnish by Finnish composer and choir conductor Pekka Juhani Hannikainen (1854-1924). The Finnish title of the song is “Kesapaiva Kangasala” (“Summer Day at Kangasala”) but it is also known by its opening words, “Ma Oksalla Ylimmalla” (“On the Highest Treetop”). References: Ruth-Esther Hillila and Barbara Blanchard Hong, Historical Dictionary of the Music and Musicians of Finland (Westport, Connecticut and London, Greenwood Press, 1997) (information about Linsen, Topelius and Hannikainen); Saija Isomaa, Pirjo Lyytikainen, Kirsi Saarikangas and Renja Suominen-Kokkonen, Imagining Spaces and Places (Newcastle upon Tyne, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013) (discussion of Topelius and his poem, mentioning this song)

#1094 - Jo Joutui Armas Aika (Finnish), Scarcity: S
Once again the Autophone Company made an error in spelling the title of the piece on this cob: the correct title is “Jo Joutui Armas Aika”. Also known by the title “Suvivirsi” (“Summer Hymn”) and sung by students in Finland at school closing ceremonies, the piece is a hymn about the natural beauty of God's creation. The original lyrics, in Swedish, which begin “Den blomstertid nu Kommer” (“Blossom time now comes”), are said to date from 1694, are attributed to Swedish hymnwriter, pastor and professor Israel Kolmodin (1643-1709), and were subsequently translated into Finnish. The composer of the tune is unknown but it is very old, also dating from at least as early as the 1690s. References: Suomen Evankelisluterilaisen Kirkon Virsikirja (Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church Hymnal), 1987 (hymn #571); Svenskt Biografiskt Handlexikon (Swedish Biographical Dictionary), 1906 (information about Kolmodin)

#1095 - Till Osterland vill jag fara (To the East will I Travel—Swedish), Scarcity: LC
This Swedish folk song appears under the title “Resan till Osterlandet” (“The Trip to the Eastern Country”) in Svenska Folkvisor [Swedish Folksongs], E. J. Geijer and A. A. Afzelius, eds., R. Bergstrom and L. Hoijer, eds. of new edition (Stockholm, Z. Haeggstrom, 1880). It also appears, with an English translation of the lyrics, in Songs of Sweden: Eighty-Seven Swedish Folk- and Popular Songs, Gustaf Hagg, ed. (New York, G. Schirmer, 1909).

#1096 - Stars and Stripes Forever, March, Scarcity: C
Of all the stirring marches by the “March King”, John Philip Sousa (1854-1932), this one is most closely associated with American patriotism and national feeling. In fact, it has been officially adopted as the national march of the United States, and the “stars and stripes” of the title refer to those of the American flag. As Sousa related in his autobiography, Marching Along (Boston, Hale, Cushman & Flint, 1928), he first composed it in his mind in 1896 while on board ship returning to the United States from Europe but did not commit it to paper until after he had reached shore. He also wrote lyrics to go with his tune, but the piece is generally played as an instrumental. “Stars and Stripes Forever” reportedly earned Sousa more than $300,000 over the course of his lifetime. It is still another example (see also the notes to cobs #124 and 329) of a tune that was squeezed onto a cob in its entirety even though it is probably too long for the 20-note roller organ. As a result, to play the piece at proper march tempo rather than excessive speed the cob must be cranked slowly and this will result in low volume unless the machine has very good pneumatics. Additional references: OC, MN

#1097 - Alice, Where Art Thou, Scarcity: S
It is interesting that this sentimental Victorian drawing-room piece, more than 35 years old at the time, appeared on the roller organ among early ragtime songs and other music that was new and popular in the late 1890s. It dates from 1861, the tune was composed by Joseph Ascher (1829-1869) and the lyrics were written by Wellington Guernsey (1817-1885). Ascher, a pianist as well as a composer, was born in Groningen, Holland, and after studying in London and Leipzig lived in Paris and served for a number of years as court pianist to the French Empress Eugenie before returning to London, where he died at the age of only 40. This was his best-known song. Guernsey is a more obscure figure. He was mentioned hundreds of times in newspaper advertisements and articles beginning in the 1840s, first in Dublin and later in London, largely relating to songs he had written and music he had composed, but also relating to his arrest and trial in 1858 for allegedly stealing a confidential government document and forwarding it to a newspaper for publication. An apparently anonymous letter to a newspaper editor at that time which was reprinted in the December 1, 1858 edition of the Belfast News-Letter provided a number of unsavory details (which may or may not have been true) about his earlier life and portrayed him as a less than admirable person. An obituary article in the November 16, 1885 edition of the Daily News [London] reported that he was born in 1817 in Mullingar, County Westmeath, Ireland, had served in the British Army, had been an officer of engineers in Paraguay and a newspaper war correspondent, and had pursued literary and musical endeavors in London. The article added that his song “Alice, Where Art Thou?” had originally been offered for five pounds to several music publishers, who turned it down, but more than 250,000 copies of the sheet music for the piece were subsequently sold. It is another “tear jerker”: although the forest is beautiful at night and all seems glad, the singer has sought in vain in all sorts of settings his dear departed Alice, who had vowed to love him a year earlier, and he concludes that she is now in the heavens amid the starshine. Additional references: LL (undated sheet music for the piece), BB, article in the December 15, 1861 edition of the London newspaper The Era referring to the piece as “Ascher's new song”

#1098 - Warmest Baby in the Bunch, Scarcity: LC
[With regard to this cob, see the WARNING AND HISTORICAL CONTENT DISCLAIMER about songs containing offensive language or negative stereotypes at the end of the General Introduction to this Handbook.] We have seen that the great American songwriter, performer and showman George M. Cohan (1878-1942) apparently wrote “encore verses” to the song “What Could the Poor Girl Do” no later than 1894, when he was only about 16 years old (see notes to cob #1068). Three years later, he wrote and composed the song on this cob, subtitled “Ethiopian Ditty”. The sheet music, a copy of which is in LL, bears a copyright date of 1897 and depicts on the cover a dressed-up African-American couple seated at a bistro table. The lyrics, in dialect, sing of the attractiveness of an unnamed woman, describing her as a “hot potater” and “red hot radiator” whose “steady feller” won so much money in a crap game in Louisville that he buys her chicken for lunch every day. While these lyrics (which also use slang terms for African-Americans) may have been considered clever and funny at the time Cohan wrote them, they would certainly be regarded as offensive and derogatory today (see also the notes to cobs #1083, 1085 and 1087).

#1099 - Sweet Spirit Hear My Prayer, Scarcity: LC
This is another sentimental drawing-room piece that was already several decades old by the time it found its way onto the roller organ. It comes from the opera “Lurline”, with music by Irish-born composer W. (William) Vincent Wallace (1812-1865) and libretto by English playwright Edward Fitzball (1792-1873), which was first performed at the Royal English Opera, Covent Garden, London in 1860. The plot centers around the romance between the beautiful Rhine River nymph, Lurline, who lures vessels to destruction by her singing and harp-playing, and the mortal lover she has chosen, the young nobleman Count Rudolph, who is engaged to be married to a mortal woman, Ghiva, who jealously interferes with their relationship. Lurline sings “Sweet Spirit Hear my Prayer” in Act III, Scene II, longing to be reunited with the Count, and in the following final scene speaks a wild incantation that causes the river to overflow and destroy enemies of the Count who have been plotting against him, the couple is safely reunited and they resume a happy life together in Lurline's watery domain beneath the Rhine, where the Count is able to live because of a magic ring Lurline has given him. References: LL (sheet music for the song published in New York with a copyright date of 1868); GD (information about Wallace); Encyclopedia Britannica (1911 ed.) (information about Fitzball); libretto for “Lurline”, First Edition, “published and sold in the theatre” at the time of the 1860 production and containing an act-by-act plot summary; December 27, 1898 edition of The New York Times reviewing a production of “Lurline” in New York City the previous evening, saying that as a “musical curiosity” the opera was “interesting” and noting that it had not been heard in New York for many years and that there had been a bustle all over the house when the “strains of the well-known and well-worn song 'Sweet Spirit Hear my Prayer' were heard” (Could there possibly have been a connection between this American revival of the then decades-old opera and the song appearing on a roller organ cob in the same time frame?)

#1100 - Sunny Side Clog, Scarcity: LC
This lively dance tune is included in the repertoire of traditional musicians in both the British Isles and the United States, but I have not come across any other instance in which it was referred to by the title “Sunny Side Clog”. It appeared under the title “London Hornpipe” in Ryan's Mammoth Collection, a compendium of 1,050 tunes for fiddle published in Boston with a copyright date of 1883, and has also appeared in a number of other places, sometimes with lyrics, under the title “Navvy on the Line”, “navvy” being a slang term for a laborer who worked on the construction of railroads.

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


BB Theodore Baker, comp., A Biographical Dictionary of Musicians (New York, G. Schirmer, 1900)
BW James J. Fuld, The Book of World-Famous Music, Classical, Popular and Folk, 3rd. Ed. (New York, Dover Publications, Inc., 1985)
DU Duke University Sheet Music Collections (online at
EM Kurt Ganzl, The Encyclopedia of the Musical Theatre, 2nd Ed. (New York, Schirmer Books, 2001)
FG Frances G. Spencer Collection of American Popular Sheet Music (Baylor University) (online at
FS James J. Geller, Famous Songs and their Stories (New York, Garden City Publishing Co., Inc., 1940)
GD H. C. Colles, Ed., Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 3rd Ed. (New York, MacMillan, 1935)
HE William H. Rehrig (Paul E. Bierley, Ed.), The Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music: Composers and their Music (Westerville, Ohio, Integrity Press, 1991)
IV Aline Waites and Robin Hunter, The Illustrated Victorian Songbook (London, Michael Joseph, 1984)
LL Lester S. Levy Sheet Music Collection at Johns Hopkins University (online at
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)
NP The New York Public Library Digital Collections (online at
OA Gerald Bordman & Thomas S. Hischak, The Oxford Companion to American Theatre, 3rd Ed. (New York, Oxford University Press, 2004)
OC Peter Gammond, The Oxford Companion to Popular Music (New York, Oxford University Press, 1991)
RA Edward A. Berlin, Ragtime: A Musical and Cultural History (Berkeley, etc., University of California Press, 1980)
SG Henry Frederic Reddall, compiler, Sweetest Gems of Music and Songs of the Fireside (no publisher stated, 1910)
SO George P. Upton, The Standard Operas: Their Plots, Their Music and Their Composers (Chicago, A.C. McClurg and Co., 1901)
SU Michael Kilgarriff, Sing Us One of the Old Songs: A Guide to Popular Song 1860-1920 (New York, Oxford University Press, 1998)
UM Sheet music in the University of Maine Sheet Music Collection, accessible online at
UN Sheet music in the library of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, accessible online at
UV Sheet music in the University of Virginia Library, accessible online at
VB Victor Talking Machine Company, The Victrola Book of the Opera: Stories of the Operas with Illustrations & Descriptions of Victor Opera Records (Eighth Edition, 1929)

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