The Roller Organ Cob Handbook

by Richard Dutton1)

Thirty-Two Note Cobs

Cobs #2101-2143


With #2101-2143 we continue through the remaining Grand (32-note) cobs in the 2000 series. As noted in the section on the cobs in the 2001-2100 numerical range, all of the cobs in the 2000 series were first issued in a short time period, probably between about 1891 and about 1896. The tune on cob #2101, “The Honeymoon March”, is known to date from 1894 and, accordingly, assuming that all of the Grand cobs in the 2000 series were issued in numerical order, which was almost certainly the case, no cob in this series numbered higher than 2101 could have first been issued any earlier than in that year. The cobs in the 2101-2143 range contain a large proportion of pieces that predate the roller organ, including older hymns and other familiar pieces such as “America” and “Auld Lang Syne”, all in the “Masonic” series (#2102-2108); Strauss waltzes and other dance tunes (#2109, 2110, 2114, 2122, 2123, 2130 and 2133); “light classical” pieces (#2129 and 2138); operatic pieces (#2111, 2112, 2113, 2115, 2116, 2118, 2124 and 2125); Victorian drawing-room songs (#2117, “Nancy Lee” on cob #2120, which also includes a second version of “Auld Lang Syne”, and 2127 ), and the patriotic songs and drinking song on cobs #2140 and 2141. This leaves, as the pieces that were new in the 1890s, those on cobs #2119 (1894), #2121 (1895), #2126 (1895), #2128 (1894), #2131 (1896 (first tune) and 1895 (second tune)), #2132 (1895), #2134 (1895), #2135 (1894), #2136 (1894), #2137 (1895) and #2143 (1895). The unusual “Autophone Melody” on cob #2139 is of unknown date.


#2101 - The Honeymoon March, Scarcity: LC
The pretty and stirring march tune on this cob was composed in 1894 by George Rosey (George M. Rosenberg, 1864-1936, a German-born composer and pianist who lived in New York City). There is sheet music for it in LL published by Joseph W. Stern & Co. (see notes to cob #2128). In an interview published in the May 27, 1934 edition of The Indianapolis Sunday Star titled “50 Years of American Songs and Singers”, Stern’s partner Edward B. Marks said that, after he and Stern founded their music publishing company, he (Marks) persuaded Rosenberg, who had previously arranged a song for him and had a “hole-in-the-wall shop” in New York City, to “abandon his anonymous song cobbling and appear as a full-fledged song shoemaker with a trademark”. Marks “invented the euphonious name of George Rosey” for him, “Rosey” wrote “The Honeymoon March”, “a two-step in the Sousa style”, for the publishing duo and it became an immediate hit. Stern and Marks then read through the engagement announcements in the New York Herald and sent each bride-to-be a copy of the sheet music for the piece. Additional reference: HE (biographical information about Rosenberg based in part on correspondence with his daughter-in-law)

#2102 - Ward, Scarcity: S
Cobs #2102-2108 were all listed in SR followed by the word “Masonic” instead of a composer’s name, indicating that they were intended to be played at lodges of Freemasons. The dignified but unfamiliar hymn tune “Ward” was presumably included in the group because of its suitability for accompanying processions and perambulations within the lodge room during opening and closing ceremonies and conferral of degrees. “Ward” was arranged from a Scottish melody by the extraordinarily prolific American writer of hymn tunes, Lowell Mason (1792-1872) (see notes to cob #2) and appeared in his 1830 Boston Handel and Haydn Society Collection of Church Music. It has been used as the tune for a large number of hymns, none of them familiar today. Additional references: Henry Lowell Mason, comp., Hymn-Tunes of Lowell Mason: A Bibliography (Cambridge, Massachusetts, The University Press, 1944), GH #384 (“Ward” used as the tune for a hymn by Isaac Watts (1674-1748), “There is a Stream”)

#2103 - Old Hundredth, Scarcity: S
This second hymn tune in the “Masonic” series is very old, having been included in the Genevan Psalter in 1551, and the composition of the tune is credited to Louis Bourgeois (c. 1510-1572), a French-born Calvinist living in Geneva who was musical editor of the Psalter. The title “Old Hundredth” refers to Psalm 100, and “All People That On Earth Do Dwell”, one hymn sung to the tune, is a paraphrase of that psalm, dates from about 1561 and is attributed to Rev. William Kethe (died c. 1600), believed to be a Scotsman in exile on the Continent. The tune also appeared on cob #71. Additional references: GH #1, HU, MC

#2104 - America, Scarcity: C
This universally-known American patriotic hymn was included in the “Masonic” series of Grand cobs because in many lodges of Freemasons the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag at the beginning of a lodge meeting is followed by the singing of “My Country ‘Tis of Thee”, the first stanza of the hymn. As noted in the paragraphs on cobs #14 and 2071 , the lyrics of the hymn were written in Boston in 1832 by Baptist minister and hymnwriter Samuel F. Smith, D.D. (1808-1895), and the tune he selected to accompany them is also used for the British anthem “God Save the King/Queen” and has been attributed to the English poet and dramatist Henry Carey (c. 1690-1743).

#2105 - Arlington, Scarcity: VS
The stately hymn tune “Arlington” was adapted from a minuet in the overture to the 1762 opera “Artaxerxes” by Thomas Augustine Arne (1710-1778), whom GD called “the most eminent English composer of his generation”. Arne wrote primarily operatic and theatrical works, held the degree of Mus.D. from Oxford and composed the tune to the British patriotic song “Rule Brittania” (on cob #1194). “Arlington” was arranged as a hymn tune by Ralph Harrison (1748-1810), an English non-conformist minister, and appeared in his 1784 collection Sacred Harmony, Vol. 1. It is most often associated with the hymn “Am I a Soldier of the Cross” by Isaac Watts (1674-1748). Like “Ward” (see notes to cob #2102), the tune was included in Lowell Mason’s 1830 Boston Handel and Haydn Society Collection of Church Music, attributed to “Dr. Arne”. Additional references: MH #284, HU, MC

#2106 - Hebron, Scarcity: N
This is another of the four Grand roller organ cobs of which I am unaware of any existing copy. The hymn tune on it, “Hebron”, also appeared on 20-note cob #739, a very scarce cob the first known copy of which turned up only recently. This is still another hymn tune by Lowell Mason (1792-1872), “the father of American church music” (see notes to cob #2), and, like “Ward” (cob #2102) and “Arlington” (cob #2105), appeared in the 1830 edition of Mason’s Boston Handel and Haydn Society Collection of Church Music with the lyrics of the first verse of the hymn “Thus Far the Lord Hath Led Me On” by Isaac Watts (1674-1748), the hymn most often sung to the tune. The tune has also been linked with a large number of other hymn texts but has not been uniquely associated with any one familiar hymn.

#2107 - Auld Lang Syne, Scarcity: LC
This traditional Scottish tune with words by renowned Scottish poet and Freemason Robert Burns (1759-1796) was included among the “Masonic” cobs because it is sometimes sung at the closing of Masonic lodge meetings and events. “Auld lang syne” in the Lowland Scots dialect of Burns means “bygone days” or “old times”. The tune also appeared on 20-note cob #126 and on Grand cob #2120, as the second tune following the popular song “Nancy Lee”. Reference: OF

#2108 - Pleyel's Hymn, Scarcity: LC
This majestic hymn tune will be familiar to all Freemasons because of its use as a solemn processional during the Masonic Third Degree. It also appeared on 20-note cob #36. The date of the tune has been given as 1790 in a number of hymnals (see, for example, CL and The [Presbyterian] Hymnal (Philadelphia, Presbyterian Board of Christian Education, 1933)). According to MC, it was taken from the slow movement of a quartet by Ignace Joseph Pleyel (1757-1831), an Austrian-born classical composer and conductor who was also a music dealer and publisher and a piano manufacturer and was himself a Freemason, and it was used as a hymn tune in a 1791 hymnal published in London, Arnold and Callcott’s Psalms of David for the Use of Parish Churches. In the United States, the tune was still another that appeared in the 1830 edition of Lowell Mason’s Boston Handel and Haydn Society Collection of Church Music, in which it was attributed to “Pleyel”.

#2109 - The Beautiful Blue Danube, Waltz, Scarcity: C
OC described the tune on this cob as “probably the most famous waltz ever written”. It dates from 1867 and it is another work composed by “the Waltz King”, Johann Strauss II (1825-1899), the best-known member of the Strauss family of Vienna (see notes to cobs #119 and 2089). It also appeared on 20-note cob #155. Additional reference: MN (sheet music for twelve different versions of the piece arranged for home musicians dating from 1871 through 1883)

#2110 - Il Bacio Valse / The Kiss Waltz, Scarcity: S
The pretty and familiar piece on this cob was written by Luigi Arditi (1822-1903), an Italian-born composer and opera conductor who ultimately settled in England (see also notes to cob #2034, on which his polka “The Daisy” appeared). “Il Bacio” was one of the very best-known waltz tunes during the late Victorian era, alongside works by composers who are much better remembered today such as the Strausses (see notes to cob #119) and Emil Waldteufel (see notes to cob #2024). Like “The Daisy”, the piece was originally a song with Italian words and, describing its creation in his memoir My Reminiscences (London, Skeffington & Son, 1896), Arditi said that “the music of ‘Il Bacio’ came to me so spontaneously and naturally that it was written in an incredibly short space of time”. He first conceived the melody, which, he acknowledged, “was destined to become the most familiar of my works”, while on tour in Ireland in 1859. He was playing a little air to himself at a piano at a hotel after dinner one evening and his American-born wife Virginia asked what he was playing, said it was charming and asked him to write it down so that he would not forget it, and he jotted it down in rough form on the back of an envelope. About a year later, having been asked to provide a song for opera singer Marietta Piccolomini, he retrieved the envelope from Virginia, who had fortunately saved it, and arranged the melody in more polished form. Virginia also suggested that the subject of the song be a “bacio” (“kiss”) and an operatic baritone named Gottardo Aldighieri who practiced with Arditi wrote lyrics accordingly. After Piccolomini performed the song in Brighton, England in 1860 it became very popular, but Arditi sold it to a publishing firm with three other compositions for the sum of fifty pounds and never received any further payment for it. Arditi’s waltz should not be confused with Johann Strauss II’s waltz also titled “The Kiss”, which appeared on cobs #209 and 2089. Additional references: GD, OC


#2111 - 1. I Dream't That I Dwelt in Marble Halls / 2. Then You'll Remember Me, Scarcity: C
These two pieces are both Victorian-era drawing room favorites that originally came from the 1843 opera “The Bohemian Girl”, with music by the Irish composer Michael Balfe (1808-1870) and libretto by Alfred Bunn (1796 or 1797-1860), the manager of the Drury Lane Theatre in London. As noted in the paragraph about 20-note cob #134, on which “I Dream’t That I Dwelt in Marble Halls” also appeared, the lyrics to the first stanza of that song are included in full and play a central part in James Joyce’s short story “Clay” in his collection Dubliners, which is set in Dublin at the turn of the twentieth century. “Then You’ll Remember Me”, sometimes called “When Other Lips”, which are the opening words of the song, also appeared on 20-note cob #157 (see also the notes to that cob). References: GD, VB, IV, SG

#2112 - Semiramide, Selection from Overture, Scarcity: VS
“Semiramide” is still another opera by Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868; see also the notes to cobs #184, 2060, 2062 and 2087). Like his “William Tell” and “Tancredi”, it is set in the distant past and, in this case, also in an exotic locale: ancient Babylon. The title character, the Queen of Babylon, has murdered her husband, and the events that follow lead up to her own ultimate death. The opera was first performed in 1823 in Venice. Reference: GD

#2113 - Dearest Norma, Duetto, Scarcity: VS
“Norma” is an opera by Italian composer Vincenzo Bellini (1801-1835) (see also notes to cob #125). It was first produced in Milan in 1831 and first produced in the United States in New York in 1841. It takes place during the Roman occupation of Gaul in about 50 B.C. The Gallic druidical high priestess Norma has secretly fallen in love with the Roman proconsul Pollione, violated her vow of chastity and borne him two children. Pollione, however, has subsequently lost interest in Norma and has instead fallen in love with Adalgisa, one of the virgins of the temple. In the duet “Dearest Norma” (“Mira, o Norma”), sung by Norma and Adalgisa, Adalgisa begs the devastated and angry Norma not to give up her children to Adalgisa as Norma proposes and not to allow herself to die on the sacrificial pyre as punishment for breaking her vow. Adalgisa also affirms her loyalty and friendship and pledges to try to persuade Pollione to return to Norma. Although Adalgisa is unsuccessful in doing this, the intransigent Pollione ultimately has a change of heart and at the close of the opera, after Norma has openly confessed in the temple what she has done, thereby insuring that she must be put to death, Pollione joins her in her punishment and the two are together consumed in the flames of the pyre. With the exception of its elaborate introduction, the tune on the cob is essentially identical to the tune as it appears in Bellini’s Opera Norma, Containing the Italian Text, with an English Translation, and the Music of All the Principal Airs (Boston, Oliver Ditson Co., no date). Additional references: GD, VB

#2114 - Sounds from the Vienna Woods, Waltz, Scarcity: S
“Sounds [more correctly translated “Tales”] from the Vienna Woods” (“Geschichten aus dem Wiener Wald”) dates from 1868 and is another well-known and familiar waltz by the “Waltz King”, Johann Strauss II (1825-1899) (see notes to cobs #119 and 2109). Reference: OC

#2115 - March from "Norma", Scarcity: S
This stirring march is another piece from the tragic 1831 opera “Norma” by Vincenzo Bellini (1801-1835) (see also notes to cob #2113). While Pollione and his lieutenant Flavio are conversing in Act I, Scene II they hear the tune in the distance and know that this means that Norma and her entourage from the temple will be arriving shortly. Then, in Scene III, the tune is the processional as the Gallic soldiers, priestesses and druids arrive and assemble and, as they await Norma’s arrival, they together sing “Norma viene” (“Norma cometh”) to the accompaniment of the tune. It then appears again in Scene IV as the recessional as Norma and her entourage leave the stage. Reference: MN (arrangement for piano of the “Grand Heroic March from Bellini’s Celebrated Opera Norma”, published in Philadelphia with a copyright date of 1841)

#2116 - Selection from "Mignon", Scarcity: S
This cob contains musical excerpts from the opera “Mignon”, by French composer Ambroise Thomas (1811-1896), first produced in 1866 at the Opera-Comique in Paris and first produced in the United States in 1871 in New York. Thomas was appointed as the director of the Paris Conservatory in 1871 and served in that capacity until his death. He was presented with the Grand Cross of the French Legion of Honor on the occasion of the thousandth performance of “Mignon” in 1894, which would have been about the time this cob was first issued. The title character, Mignon, is a young girl stolen by gypsies who is ultimately reunited with her despondent aged father Lothario and wins the undivided love of the student Wilhelm. References: GD, VB

#2117 - 1. Twickenham Ferry / 2. Last Rose of Summer, Scarcity: LC
Both the words and music of the once-popular and exceptionally pretty Victorian parlor song “Twickenham Ferry” were written in 1878 by Theophile Marzials (1850-1920), an eccentric character who worked as a librarian at the British Museum and was a baritone performer as well as a composer and poet (see also notes to cob #338). Of the more than 80 of his musical compositions that were published, “Twickenham Ferry” is the best known. “The Last Rose of Summer” also appeared on 20-note cob #149 (see also the notes to that cob) and is one of the best-known pieces from “Irish national poet” Thomas Moore’s Irish Melodies. The tune was taken from an earlier Irish air, “The Groves of Blarney” and, as noted in the paragraph on cob #2017, the song was later incorporated into Friedrich von Flotow’s 1847 opera “Martha”. References: MN, SG (includes both songs on this cob)

#2118 - Duetto from "Martha", Scarcity: LC
The “Duetto” is still another piece from the 1847 opera “Martha” by German composer Friedrich von Flotow (1812-1883) (see also the notes to cobs #2017, 2019 and 2056). As explained in more detail in the notes to cob #2019, the tune on this cob begins and ends with the slow, hymn-like tune that appeared on that cob under the title “Gracious Heavens” and also includes the middle portion of the “Duetto”, with a different melody and tempo, that is sung solely by Plunkett.

#2119 - 1. Maggie Moonie / 2. My Pearl is a Bowery Girl, Scarcity: C
Both the words and music of “Maggie Mooney”, an 1894 popular song in waltz time, were written by James Thornton (1861-1938) (see notes to cob #594), an impecunious and heavy-drinking vaudeville performer who was born in Liverpool of Irish parents, was brought to the United States in 1870, began his career as a singing waiter in Boston and later appeared on stage as a duo with Charles Lawlor, who wrote the music to “The Sidewalks of New York” (on cobs #1038 and 2086). The simple lyrics of “Maggie Mooney” consist of two verses, each followed by the same chorus, in which a boy sings the praises of his sweetheart, whom he sees every day and hopes to wed. “My Pearl is a Bowery Girl” is another 1894 waltz song with two verses and a chorus and is of very much the same type. This time using a number of slang expressions of the day, the singer sings the praises of his Pearl, a “corking-good-looker” who lives on the Bowery near Canal Street in New York City, is a great dancer and a “peach” at swimming at Coney Island; he closes the second verse with “I’m goin’ to lead Pearl to the altar/ As soon as I gets the price!” The lyrics were written by William Jerome (1865-1932) and the music by Andrew Mack (1863-1931; see notes to cob #2021). Jerome (William Jerome Flannery) was born in Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York and was a minstrel performer, comic actor and vaudevillian in his early years who later achieved great success as a songwriter. (W.) Andrew Mack (William A. McAloon) was born in Boston and became a minstrel performer when he was in his teens. According to obituary articles in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle of May 22 and 23, 1931, he was at the time of his death “regarded as one of the most popular comedians and singers in the history of the stage in this country” and appeared primarily in Irish roles. “My Pearl is a Bowery Girl” also appeared on 20-note cob #1052. References: OC, MN (sheet music for “Maggie Mooney” with a photograph of Thornton’s long-suffering wife Bonnie on the cover), FG (sheet music for “My Pearl is a Bowery Girl”), EM (information about Jerome), MM (entries for both Jerome and Mack)

#2120 - 1. Nancy Lee / 2. Auld Lang Syne, Scarcity: LC
In “Nancy Lee”, another Victorian drawing room ballad of English origin, a sailor sings the praises of his wife back on shore. The lyrics were written by Frederic E. (Edward) Weatherly (1848-1929) (see also notes to cob #328), who attended Oxford and was a copyright lawyer as well as a very prolific lyricist. The tune was composed by “Stephen Adams”, the pen name of Michael Maybrick (1844-1913) (see also notes to cob #104), who was born in Liverpool, studied music and singing in Germany and Italy and was a baritone performer as well as a composer. The song dates from 1876. Weatherly and Adams also collaborated on the song “The Holy City”, on cob #1128. The tune to the nearly universally-known old Scottish song “Auld Lang Syne” with words by the renowned Scottish poet Robert Burns (1759-1796) also appeared on cobs #126 and 2107; see also the notes to those cobs. References: OC, BW, MN (sheet music for “Nancy Lee”, published in London, stating on the cover both that the song was sung by Maybrick and that the music was composed by Adams), OF (sheet music for “Auld Lang Syne”), SG (sheet music for both songs)


#2121 - Slumber So Gently / Princess Bonnie, Scarcity: S
The tune on this cob comes from the now-forgotten operetta “The Princess Bonnie” by Willard Spenser (1852-1933), which opened in Spenser’s home town of Philadelphia in 1894 and was brought to New York the following year. The plot involves a tiny girl who is rescued at sea by an old Maine fisherman and lighthouse keeper named Captain Tarpaulin and is able to tell him only that her name is something that sounds to him like “Bonnie Bell”. The fisherman and his sister raise her, calling her “Bonnie”, and when she reaches young womanhood she falls in love with Roy Stirling, a wealthy visitor whom she meets when he is visiting Maine on a fishing trip. A Spanish admiral, however, has found an article in an old American newspaper about Bonnie’s rescue and thinks she might be his niece, Princess Bonnabellavita, who was believed to have been lost at sea at about the time she was rescued and who had been betrothed to a Count Falsetti in her infancy. Bonnie is identified as the Princess by a locket she was wearing when rescued and is brought to Spain to marry the Count, but the fisherman, Roy and a comic character named Shrimps follow her and are able to save her from the wedding when Shrimps fortuitously finds a letter implicating the Count in a nihilistic plot. Tunes from Spenser’s earlier operetta “The Little Tycoon”, first performed in Philadelphia in 1886, appeared on cobs #192, 193 and 196. References: Russell Sanjek, American Popular Music and its Business: The First Four Hundred Years, Vol. II, From 1790 to 1909 (New York, Oxford University Press, 1988) (estimating that “The Princess Bonnie” was performed nearly 3,000 times by 1940), The [Philadelphia] Times, April 1, 1894 (lengthy article about “The Princess Bonnie” including a detailed plot summary, drawings of some of its characters and a laudatory review following its opening the previous week at the Chestnut Street Theatre), The New York Times, September 3, 1895 (very different review calling “The Princess Bonnie” an “infantile crudity”, its story a “ridiculous mixture of farce and melodrama, comedy and pathos”, and its music “sweet, unaffected monotony”), The [New York] Evening World, September 9, 1895 (similar derogatory review)

#2122 - Morning Leaves, Waltz, Scarcity: S
This is another waltz by the Viennese “Waltz King”, Johann Strauss II (1825-1899) (see also notes to cobs #119, 2089 and 2114). It is also known by its German title, “Morgenblatter”, the “blatter” portion referring to leaves (pages) of a newspaper rather than those of a tree, Strauss having composed the waltz in 1863 when he and the visiting composer Jacques Offenbach were both asked to write competing waltzes for a ball given by a journalists’ association; Offenbach’s composition was titled “Abendblatter” (“Evening Leaves”). Reference: OC

#2123 - A Thousand and One Nights, Waltz, Scarcity: LC
This very popular and familiar waltz is still another by Johann Strauss II (1825-1899) (see notes to the previous cob). It is also known by its German title, “Tausend und Eine Nacht”, and it incorporates themes from Strauss’ first operetta, “Indigo und die Vierzig Rauber” (“Indigo and the Forty Thieves”), first produced in Vienna in 1871. References: OC, BW

#2124 - Crusaders' March / Il Talisman, Scarcity: VS
This march comes from a little-known opera, “Il Talismano” or “The Talisman”, also known as “The Knight of the Leopard”, by Michael Balfe (1808-1870), the Irish-born composer of the much more popular 1843 opera “The Bohemian Girl” (see notes to cobs #134, 157 and 2111). “Il Talismano” was Balfe’s final opera, unfinished at the time of his death, and was subsequently completed and first produced at the Drury Lane Theater in London in 1874. The plot was taken from Sir Walter Scott’s novel The Talisman and the march appears as a processional in the final act. References: GD, “The Critics on Il Talismano”, The Choir, A Weekly Journal of Music, Literature and Art (London, Metzler & Co.), June 20, 1874 edition
#2125 - Stradella Overture, Scarcity: VS
The music on this cob comes from the overture to the opera “Stradella” by Friedrich von Flotow (1812-1883), who was also the composer of the 1847 opera “Martha”, selections from which appeared on cobs #2017, 2019, 2056 and 2118. “Stradella” was first performed as a short lyric piece in Paris in 1837 and was expanded and produced as a full-fledged opera in Hamburg in 1844. The plot is based on the adventures of Alessandro Stradella, a real-life Italian composer and music teacher of the seventeenth century. Reference: GD

#2126 - The Band Played on, Scarcity: LC
“The Band Played On” is another popular Gay 90’s waltz song that is still remembered today, with a familiar chorus but largely forgotten verses. It dates from 1895 and its lyrics were written by John F. Palmer (1866-1928) and its music by Charles B. Ward (1865-1917). FS relates how Palmer, then a young actor living in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City, was called to breakfast by his sister Pauline but was listening to a German band playing in the street and said “One moment. Let the band play on” and Pauline replied that “The Band Played On” would be a good title for a song. Palmer crafted lyrics for a song of that title and came up with music to accompany them but was incapable of transcribing the melody himself and had a drummer at a local theater do it for him. He was then unable to find a publisher for the piece until Ward, a vaudeville performer as well as a small-scale music publisher, heard him humming the tune and found it appealing, offered to arrange for the song to be published and, on the basis of his (Ward’s) making a few minor changes in the tune, listed himself as composer. Ward then vigorously promoted the piece, performing it himself, and the sheet music sold more than a million copies. BW says “All that is known about Palmer is that he was an actor in New York City”, but, by piecing together scraps from a number of sources it becomes clear that he was in fact a reasonably well-known actor who had a long career that extended into the era of silent films, but would have been recognizable to most people only by his stage name, “Myles McCarthy”, the name of an Irish character he played in a production called “Dear Hearts of Ireland” in 1899 and the name by which he came to be known, even including it as his alternate name in legal documents. References: LL; 1880 U.S. Census records showing John Palmer, age 14, and Pauline Palmer, age 7, living with their parents at 121 East 109th Street in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City; 1889 and 1897 New York City street directories listing John F. Palmer, “actor”, living at 69 East 121st Street and 17 West 135th Street, respectively, both addresses also in Harlem; entry in the Actors’ Society Monthly Bulletin [New York, New York] for July 1, 1899, “Jack Palmer, As Miles McCarthy, starring in ‘Dear Hearts of Ireland’”; interview in an entertainment column in The Des Moines [Iowa] Leader of October 15, 1899 with “Myles McCarthy” (not even mentioning the name John F. Palmer), who had just appeared in “Dear Hearts of Ireland” in Des Moines and said that he had written that play in only three nights and had also written the song “The Band Played On” in six minutes and had earned over $2,800 from it; article in the San Francisco Call of May 24, 1909, referring to a vaudeville sketch performed by Myles McCarthy and Pauline Palmer (that is, Palmer and his sister); U.S. passport applications dated October 13, 1920 for “John F. Palmer, Professional Name Myles McCarthy” stating that he was born in Montreal, Canada on April 27, 1866, had lived in the U.S. since 1869, had his permanent residence in New York and was an “actor” and for his wife Aida, professional name “Aida Woolcott”, an “actress”; 1920 U.S. Census record listing “Myles McCarthey” [sic] and his wife Adia [sic] at an address in Venice, California with an incorrect listing of his age but stating that he had been born in Canada and his occupation was “actor”; California death record listing the death of “John F. Palmer” on September 27, 1928, age 62; obituary article about Charles B. Ward in the March 23, 1917 edition of The New York Times that said that he had been born in London in 1865, came to this country at an early age, “was one of the first singers to popularize the old-time songs that originated on the Bowery” and had recently been appearing in a vaudeville sketch with his wife and daughter

#2127 - When the Swallows Homeward Fly, Scarcity: LC
“When the Swallows Homeward Fly” was a popular Victorian-era drawing room song dating from 1846 with English lyrics that were translated from a German song that begins with the words “Wenn die Schwalben heimwahrts zieh’n”. The tune of this song was written by the very prolific German composer and choral conductor Franz Abt (1819-1885), a number of whose songs became popular in the United States, especially with German-American singing societies. The song also appeared on 20-note cob #103 (see also the notes to that cob) and was therefore only the third non-hymn tune to be selected for inclusion on the roller organ. Other tunes by Abt were on cobs #129 and 154. References: GD, OC, MN (sheet music for the song in a series called “Parlor Gems”, arranged for the piano and with English lyrics)

#2128 - The Little Lost Child, Scarcity: C
This once very popular but now-forgotten 1894 waltz song tells the story of a little lost girl who is found by a policeman who turns out to be her father, who is estranged from her mother and has not seen the girl since she was an infant; when the mother appears at the police station looking for the girl and the couple meets face to face they are immediately reconciled. The words were by Edward B. Marks (1865-1945), a traveling notions salesman, and the music was by Joseph W. Stern (1870-1934), a traveling necktie salesman, and they wrote the song in the lobby of a hotel in Mamaroneck, New York while both were on the road. The sheet music for the song was the first item published by their newly-created firm, Joseph W. Stern & Co., and so many copies of it were sold that it established Marks and Stern as prominent figures in the New York music publishing business. References: LL, FS, Edward B. Marks, They All Sang: From Tony Pastor to Rudy Vallee (New York, Viking Press, 1934) (wonderful and insightful recollections by Marks as told to journalist A. J. Liebling including a detailed account of how “The Little Lost Child” came to be written and promoted)

#2129 - Monastery Bells, Scarcity: VS
“Les Cloches du Monastere” (“The Monastery Bells”) is a piece by French organist and composer Louis J. A. Lefebure-Wely (misspelled in SR as “Welly”) (1817-1870), a virtuoso and showman who was organist at the Church of the Madeleine in Paris. It is subtitled “Nocturne”, which GD defines as “a certain kind of quiet, reflective movement” for the piano which originated with the Irish-born classical composer John Field but usually calls to mind the much more famous Frederic Chopin, who is known for his nocturnes. The fact that there are copies of so many different editions of sheet music for the piece, all dating from the mid-nineteenth century, in so many historic sheet music collections attests to its onetime great popularity among home pianists; the English organist and author William Spark, writing about the piece in 1892 in his Musical Reminiscences: Past and Present (London, Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent & Co., Ltd.), said that without it “no young lady’s portfolio would seem to be complete” and that it was a “pretty ‘drawing room effusion’”. References: MN, GD (which gives the date of Lefebure-Wely’s death as January 1, 1870; it is given in some other sources as December 31, 1869)

#2130 - 1. One Heart, One Soul / 2. The York Dance, Scarcity: VS
“One Heart, One Soul” (“Ein Herz, Ein Sinn”) is another composition by Johann Strauss II (1825-1899; see also notes to cobs #119, 2089, 2109, 2114, 2122 and 2123) and was his op. 323. It is the only tune on this cob; the “York Dance” part of the title does not refer to a separate second piece but is rather the name of the type of dance that is to be done to the piece. There is sheet music for the piece in CC with the subtitle “Polka Mazurka (York Dance)”. There is also sheet music for it in MN referring to it only as a “polka mazurka”, while a list of titles of available sheet music at the end of the 1895 Cyclopaedia of Favorite Songs includes the title “York Dance (One Heart, One Soul)”. In her 1904 book Dancing: A Complete Guide to all Dances (Philadelphia, The Penn Publishing Co.), Marguerite Wilson included a section on “The Yorke”, described it as “an evolution from the old Polka Mazurka…danced to the same music” and provided instructions as to how to do the dance.


#2131 - 1. I'll Tell Papa on You / 2. Oh, Uncle John, Scarcity: VS
“I’ll Tell Papa on You” is an 1896 song with words by Margaret B. Keeler (1869-1903), a high school teacher in Honesdale, Wayne County, Pennsylvania, and music by “Fred. Lone”, a pseudonym of George O. T. Weiss (1853-1915), a music teacher and composer who lived in New York City and spent part of the year in and around Honesdale teaching there. There is sheet music for this unusual piece in the New York Public Library and on the cover it is described as “The Cutest Song Ever Written”. Each verse is in 4/4 time and is followed by a chorus in waltz time. In the first verse, a little girl says to a little boy who teases her at the beach that unless he stops being a “mean boy” she will tell her father on him; in the second verse, the girl and boy, now grown, return to the shore and the boy laughingly remembers their childhood quarrel and tells the girl that he loves her; and in the third verse, called the “encore verse”, the singer addresses the audience, expressing thanks for “calling me out again” onto the stage with their applause, and adding that the boy and girl became a couple and that this was reported in the newspaper the Sun. The chorus following the third verse closes with the lines “That you liked my little song is what I like too. But that you treat me, oh, so well, I’ll tell Papa on you!” A note about the song in the February 27, 1896 edition of the Wayne County Herald, published in Honesdale, identified Keeler as a teacher at Honesdale High School but attributed the music not to “Fred. Lone” but to “Prof. Weiss”. A notice in the June 30, 1892 edition of the same newspaper had announced that Professor George O. T. Weiss of New York City, “the eminent musician and composer”, was again at his old quarters for the summer and was taking pupils, an article in the August 15, 1895 edition had reported on a music recital in Honesdale given by “Prof. Weiss”, “the eminent author and executant”, and a note in the October 1, 1896 edition reported that “Prof. Weiss, of New York City, will take charge of a musical organization in Honesdale”. An article in the October 30, 1896 edition of the Scranton Republican reported under “Carbondale News” that the several-hundred-strong St. Rose Boys’ and Girls’ choral class was giving a performance under the direction of Prof. George O. T. Weiss of New York City, who had been teaching them for several months, and a notice in the June 18, 1898 edition of the same newspaper reported that dance music for a local event was provided by “Prof. Weiss of Carbondale”. Carbondale is about fifteen miles from Honesdale. Thus, George O. T. Weiss, known simply as “Prof. Weiss” to Honesdale residents, a New Yorker who spent his summers in and around Honesdale, wrote the music to accompany Honesdale schoolteacher Margaret Keeler’s lyrics to “I’ll Tell Papa on You” and used the pseudonym “Fred. Lone” instead of his own name when the song was published. In this regard, the newspaper article referred to above that identified “Prof. Weiss” rather than “Fred. Lone” as the composer also specifically referred to the same edition of the sheet music for the song as is held by the New York Public Library, which clearly names Lone as the composer on the cover page and makes no mention of Weiss. As further evidence that Lone and Weiss were the same person, it could not possibly be just a coincidence that in the catalogue of titles of items of sheet music entered in the U.S. Library of Congress under the U.S. Copyright Law from February 10 through 15, 1896, which contains hundreds of such titles, the entry that immediately follows “I’ll Tell Papa On You. By Fred. Lone” is “Salutaris Hostia. By George O. T. Weiss”. Weiss may well have used the Lone pseudonym because he was also a composer of “serious” music and did not want his real name associated with a frivolous child song. The sheet music was very heavily promoted in notices in newspapers all over the United States in March and April, 1896, always mentioning Lone’s name, but never Keeler’s or Weiss’s. An interesting question that might be asked about George O. T. Weiss is whether he was also the composer of either or both of the tunes on cobs #2092 and 2139, each of which SR attributes merely to a mysterious “Weiss”. Honesdale is only about 70 miles south of Binghamton, New York, where Keeler had a home and at one time taught (see below), and Binghamton is less than 50 miles from Ithaca, New York, home of the Autophone Company, the manufacturer of cob roller organs. After devoting so much attention to piecing together information about the little-known lyricist and composer of the obscure “I’ll Tell Papa On You”, details concerning “Oh! Uncle John”, the other piece on this cob, can be summarized more succinctly: it was still another song by the very prolific songwriter and music publisher Felix McGlennon (1856-1943) (see notes to cobs #515, 555 and 2091), it dates from 1895, there is a copy of sheet music for it in LL and its lyrics tell of a naive young woman named “Maiden Ruth” who comes to New York City for the first time to visit her Uncle John, gushes excitedly about all she has seen, kisses a policeman and tells her uncle that she never wants to go back to the country again. Other references: 1870 and 1880 U.S. Census records showing “Maggie B. Keeler”, ages “6/12” (six months old) and 11, respectively, living in Montrose, Pennsylvania, about 24 miles south of Binghamton; 1892 New York State Census record showing Keeler, age 23, living in Binghamton with her widowed mother and brothers and teaching there; 1900 U.S. Census record showing Keeler, a 30-year-old teacher, living in Honesdale as a boarder; note in the November 26, 1901 edition of the Pittston [Pennsylvania] Gazette reporting that “Miss Margaret B. Keeler, a former teacher of the Honesdale High School, is now principal of one of the government schools in Porto Rico”; Puerto Rico Civil Registry entry showing Keeler’s marriage there on May 10, 1902 to Christian Barentzen; article in the March 4, 1903 edition of the Scranton Republican reporting the death of Margaret Keeler Barentzen in childbirth at age 33 in Binghamton, noting that she had taught school for years in Binghamton, Montrose and Honesdale and had gone to Puerto Rico to teach two years earlier and was married there; 1880 U.S. Census record for George Weiss, “music teacher”, age 27, born in Germany, residing in New York City; 1900 U.S. Census record for George O. T. Weiss, “teacher of music”, born in 1853 in Germany, immigrated to the U.S. in 1874, residing in New York City; New York City municipal death record giving the dates of birth and death of “George Weiss”, a “music teacher” born in Germany, as March 31, 1853 and February 22, 1915, respectively

#2132 - Only One Girl in the World for Me, Scarcity: LC
Both the words and music of this 1895 song with verses in 4/4 time and a pretty chorus in slow waltz time were written by Dave Marion (real name David Marion Graves) (1865?-1934), a comedian who was known for his impersonation on stage of a character called “Snuffy the Cabman” and who started as a vaudeville and burlesque performer and later assembled and headed burlesque troupes bearing his name. A copy of the sheet music for the song is held in the New York Public Library collection. The singer, “a working lad”, sings the praises of his eighteen-year-old girlfriend, an orphan, whom he hopes to marry when he finds steadier employment. References: New York Times, September 16, 1934 (obituary article about Marion including a photograph of him,), New York Times, September 19, 1934 (article about his funeral, at which a fellow vaudevillian sang Marion’s “favorite composition”, “There’s Only One Girl in the World for Me”), 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) (article about Marion dealing primarily with his role as a burlesque impresario including a photograph of him) (The New York Times obituary article said that he died at age 73, but a shorter obituary article that appeared in essentially identical form in many other newspapers all over the United States as well as New York City municipal death records give his age at death as 70, while his tombstone in Riverside Cemetery, Toms River, New Jersey, gives his years as 1865-1934, which would mean that he was at most 69 at the time of his death)

#2133 - Secret Love / Gavotte, Scarcity: S
“Secret Love” (in German “Heimliche Liebe”) is a once-popular salon piece by Johann Resch (misspelled in SR as “Resche”). Resch is an obscure figure; the facts that he was Austrian, was a composer and conductor, and lived from 1830-1869 all appear without any further details on the website of the Bibliotheque Nationale de France (National Library of France) and elsewhere online and I have found a reference, without documentation, to his having been imperial kapellmeister in St. Petersburg, Russia and several references in Viennese newspapers from the late 1850s to his then having been a kapellmeister in Vienna. Despite the dearth of available information about Resch himself, however, there are many different editions of sheet music for the piece in historic sheet music collections, including one in MN with a copyright date of 1881 as arranged by American composer and arranger Edward Mack (see notes to cobs #323 and 480) in a series for the home musician titled “Fifty Standard and Popular Pieces Arranged for the Piano or Cabinet Organ”, and one in LL, also arranged for piano, with a copyright date of 1876. According to GD, a gavotte is a dance of French origin in 4/4 time involving moderately quick movement.

#2134 - 1. My Best Girl's a New Yorker / 2. The Sunshine of Paradise Alley, Scarcity: C
“My Best Girl’s a New Yorker” is an 1895 waltz song with words and music by John (“Honey”) Stromberg (misspelled in SR as “Stormberg”) (1858?-1902), a New York songwriter who was born in Prince Edward Island in Canada. After achieving a hit with this song, Stromberg became the composer and conductor for a series of very successful burlesque and vaudeville productions of the well-known comedy team of Weber and Fields. Once again there is sheet music for the song in the New York Public Library collection, published by the recently-established Joseph W. Stern & Co. (see notes to cob #2128) and the singer, as in so many other songs of the same type, sings at length the praises of his (in this case unnamed) sweetheart. “The Sunshine of Paradise Alley” is still another waltz song of the same type and from the same year in which the singer praises an unnamed girl, the daughter of Widow MacNally, who brightens up the slum neighborhood in which she lives by her kindness and jolliness and is well-loved by all, especially a boy named Tommy Killeen. The lyrics were written by Walter H. Ford (c. 1866-1901) and the music by John W. Bratton (1867-1947). Ford, a Philadelphian, was a baritone singer and vaudeville performer as well as a lyricist and Bratton, born in Delaware, was also a baritone singer who became an actor and producer of musical comedies in addition to being a composer. According to FS, the two were walking together in Philadelphia when they passed a street with a small wooden sign that read “Paradise Alley” in which a group of children were playing and one girl, a little older than the others, stood by as a sort of guardian, supervising them and settling their quarrels. This led them to collaborate on writing a song, originally titled “The Angel of Paradise Alley”. After the song was finalized it was picked up and performed by two different well-known singers, Lottie Gilson and Bessie Bonehill (in her case in the musical “1492”; see notes to cob #2044) and it became very popular. It was also the basis for a play with the same title as the song, co-written by Denman Thompson (see notes to cob #436), that opened in New York in 1896. Bratton and Ward collaborated on many other songs, none of which became as popular. References: OC (which erroneously states that Stromberg was born in New York and gives his birth year as 1853; it also includes an entry on Bratton); New York Times, July 7, 1902 (obituary article about Stromberg, incorrectly giving his age at death as 42 (as did a number of obituary articles in other newspapers)); Stromberg’s gravestone in Oak Hill Cemetery, Woonsocket, Rhode Island, which includes his nickname “Honey” and his year of birth as 1858; Petition for Naturalization filed by Stromberg in Woonsocket in 1892 stating that he was born in Prince Edward Island in November, 1858, had arrived in Boston in 1876 at the age of 17 and had lived in the United States since then and in Rhode Island for the preceding six years, that is, since about 1886; 1900 U.S. Census record showing Stromberg living in Freeport, Long Island, New York, a “music composer”, age 41, born in November, 1858; LL (sheet music for “The Sunshine of Paradise Alley”, stating on the cover page that the song had been introduced in the musical “A Trip to Chinatown” (see notes to cobs #2023 and 2031), into which a number of other popular songs were also interpolated during its long run, as we have seen); New York Times, May 10, 1896 (article about the opening of the play “The Sunshine of Paradise Alley” at the Fourteenth Street Theatre in New York); 1870 and 1880 U.S. Census records listing Ford, ages 4 and 14, respectively, living in Philadelphia with his parents; Brooklyn Daily Eagle, August 9, 1897 (article saying Ford at that time lived in a cottage called “Paradise Alley” in the Bath Beach section of Brooklyn); New York City death record showing Ford’s death at the age of 34 in 1901 in Brooklyn, where Bratton also lived at the time of his death 46 years later; New York Times, March 6, 1901 (obituary article about Ford calling him “the senior member of the song-producing team of Ford and Bratton” and writer of the lyrics of all of the hundred published songs on which they collaborated and reporting that he died of consumption at his home in Bath Beach)

#2135 - Yale March, Two Step, Scarcity: C
This march, also known as the “Yale Society Two-Step”, dates from 1894 and was composed by Charles L. Van Baar (1871-1913), who dedicated it to John Philip Sousa (see notes to cobs #2003 and 2025). Van Baar, who lived in New York City, was a pianist who led his own orchestra and band and was frequently mentioned in newspaper accounts as a performer at a variety of social functions in the metropolitan New York area. Advertisements appeared regularly in the New York Times during the period from 1908 through 1911 for his “Old Guard Orchestra and Military Band” saying that he could supply “From Pianist to Orchestra or Military Band of 100 Men”. References: LL, 1880 U.S. Census record showing Van Baar, age 9, living in Manhattan with his parents; 1905 New York State Census record showing Van Baar, age 33, living in Manhattan at the address given in his New York Times advertisements, with the occupation “musical director”; 1910 U.S. Census record showing Van Baar, age 39, living at the same address, with the occupation “theatrical agency”; New York City death record for “Charles Lawrence Van Baar”, born February 1, 1871, died April 24, 1913 at the age of 42, occupation “musician”; obituary article in the April 27, 1913 edition of the New York Times which said that he was “formerly bandmaster of the famous Old Guard, and one of the best known popular composers of marches and twosteps in the United States”, adding that he was the composer of “the ‘Yale Twostep’”

#2136 - Don't be Cross, Scarcity: VS
“Don’t Be Cross” (“Sei Nicht Bos”) is a very pretty waltz song by Austrian composer Carl Zeller (1842-1898), a civil servant who wrote music in his spare time (see also notes to cob #2010), and comes from his 1894 operetta “Der Obersteiger” (“The Master Miner”). There is sheet music for the piece in the New York Public Library collection with a copyright date of 1894, German lyrics, and English lyrics by (G.) Clifton Bingham (1859-1913), who also wrote the words to “Love’s Old Sweet Song” (cob #329; see notes to that cob). A miller’s daughter, cold, proud and mocking, rejects the advances of a fisher lad, telling him “don’t be cross, but it cannot be” and, years later, she, finding herself in a different situation after refusing many suitors, calls to the fisher lad as he passes her window and the roles are then reversed: he tells her, this time, “don’t be cross, but it cannot be”. References: OC, EM (which calls “Sei Nicht Bos” “the song that would become Zeller’s most internationally known number”)

#2137 - 1. Just Tell Them That You Saw Me / 2. I Love Only You, Scarcity: C
“Just Tell Them That You Saw Me” is an 1895 song with words and music by Indiana-born Paul Dresser (1858-1906). It tells of a chance encounter between a “fallen woman” and an old friend; when asked what should be said about her to the folks back home, she answers “Just tell them that you saw me”. The tune also appeared, in more abbreviated form, on 20-note cob #1058. Dresser also wrote “On the Banks of the Wabash” (on cob #1090), which became the official state song of Indiana. The very interesting story of his life is told in great detail in Clayton W. Henderson’s biography On the Banks of the Wabash: The Life and Music of Paul Dresser (Indianapolis, Indiana Historical Society Press, 2003). Dresser, a colorful character of enormous girth, was a medicine show, minstrel and vaudeville singer and comic actor who moved to New York City and became a successful Tin Pan Alley songwriter and music publisher. One important source of information about him was his younger brother, the well-known novelist Theodore Dreiser, who shared in some of his adventures (Paul adopted the name “Dresser” in place of “Dreiser”). Henderson’s biography gives the date of Dresser’s birth as April 22, 1858, and 1860, 1870 and 1880 U.S. Census records are consistent with this, but other sources have given his birth year as 1857 and 1859. The much lesser known “I Love Only You” also dates from 1895, with words by George B. Seevers (1847-1915) and music by Julius L. Meyle (1857-1916), two obscure figures who also lived in New York City but, unlike Dresser, apparently never made their livings as songwriters or entertainers. According to U.S. Census records, Seevers was born in Virginia, lived in Baltimore before moving to New York, and was a “clerk in store” (in Baltimore, 1870), “clerk in housefurnishing store” (in New York City, 1880), “manager” (born in February 1847) (1900) and “retired merchant, furniture” (1910). The New York State Census record for 1915 lists him as an “interior decorator” and the New York City Municipal Death Record that gives his death date as December 19, 1915 lists his occupation as “decorator”. As for Meyle, he was a native New Yorker who worked as a clerk in a music store and as a church choirmaster. 1870, 1880 and 1900 U.S. Census records list him at ages 12, 22 and 42, respectively, in each case as living in New York and having been born there; the 1880 record shows him as a clerk in a store and the 1900 record shows him simply as a clerk and gives the month and year of his birth as September 1857. The 1905 New York State census record lists him as age 47, living on East 164th Street in the Bronx and working as a clerk in a store. The 1910 U.S. Census record lists him as 53 years old, stating (apparently incorrectly in light of the three previous U.S. Census records) that he was born in Germany and came to the U.S. in 1883, and that he was a clerk in a music store. The New York City Municipal Death Record for him says that he was born on September 1, 1857, died on October 26, 1916 in the Bronx and was a “music writer”. The November 4, 1916 edition of Musical America, a weekly periodical published in New York City, contained a brief notice about Meyle’s death at his home on East 164th Street and identified him as “assistant manager of Charles H. Ditson & Son, music publishers”. Listings of choirmasters at New York City churches in the 1904, 1905 and 1906 editions of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle Almanac show that Meyle was in those years also the choirmaster at the Church of St. Edward the Martyr, an Episcopal church in East Harlem, and lived at the East 164th Street address. Although I have found references to sheet music for “I Love Only You” published by Oliver Ditson Co., I have not yet seen the sheet music itself. Additional references: LL (sheet music for “Just Tell Them That You Saw Me” with a photograph on the cover of William H. Windom of “Primrose and West’s Minstrels”, the author of the lyrics to another “tear-jerker”, “The Fatal Wedding” (see notes to cob #2070)); October, 1895 edition of the Musical Record, published monthly in Boston by music publishers Oliver Ditson Co., including a large advertisement for sheet music for another song by Seevers and Meyle published by Ditson, “The Promised Bride”; New York Public Library Collection (sheet music for “Yew-ra-liar-ty”, an 1893 “burlesque yodel song” with lyrics by Charles House and music by Seevers that, according to the cover, was included in the musical production “1492” (see notes to cob #2044)); MN (sheet music for “For Honor’s Sake”, an 1894 song also with lyrics by House and music by Seevers); sheet music for other pieces again with music (not words) by Seevers, in each case written in collaboration with someone other than Meyle

#2138 - Priests March, Athalia Opera, Scarcity: VS
The familiar and stirring march tune on this cob, more correctly titled “War March of the Priests”, is from the incidental music for French dramatist Jean Racine’s play “Athalie” written by classical composer Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1809-1847) (see also notes to cob #2007) and first performed in 1845. Reference: GD

#2139 - Autophone Melody, Scarcity: C
This unusual cob may have been produced by the Autophone Company as a test or demonstration cob to show off the capabilities of the Grand roller organ. It contains a number of novel chord patterns. SR lists the composer as “Weiss”, who may have been an Autophone employee (See notes to cobs #2092 and 2131).

#2140 - 1. Battle cry of Freedom / 2. Tramp, Tramp, Tramp / 3. Red, White, and Blue / 4. Home, Sweet Home / 5. Marching Through Georgia, Scarcity: MC
All five of the pieces included on this cob also appeared on the 20-note cob roller organ, on cobs #390, 229, 279, 123 and 109, respectively (see also the notes to all these cobs), and “Home, Sweet Home” (or, more properly, variations on it) also appeared on Grand cob #2043. “The Battle-Cry of Freedom”, by George F. Root (1820-1895), was a Civil War song and there were both Union and Confederate words to it; “Tramp, Tramp”, also by Root, was likewise a Civil War song and the singer is a prisoner of war hoping to hear the tramping sound of footsteps of troops coming to set him free; “Red, White and Blue”, also known as “Columbia the Gem of the Ocean”, dates from even before the Civil War and is a patriotic song in which the United States is referred to as “Columbia”; “Home, Sweet Home”, with words by American actor, journalist and poet John Howard Payne (1792-1852) and music by an Englishman, Sir Henry Rowley Bishop (1786-1855), first appeared in an 1823 opera Payne wrote and was an early example of a song for which an enormous number of copies of sheet music were sold; and “Marching Through Georgia”, by Henry Clay Work (1832-1884), was still another Civil War piece and commemorated the Union troops’ devastating march to the sea under General William Tecumseh Sherman in 1864.


#2141 - Benny Havens, Oh!, Scarcity: VS
“Benny Havens, Oh!” is a West Point drinking song that dates from about 1840. Benny Havens was the proprietor of an off-limits tavern frequented by West Point cadets of that era. The first two lines of the tune are essentially the same as those of the St. Patrick’s Day favorite, “The Wearing of the Green” (which was on 20-note cob #163), but these two lines are then repeated two additional times. This cob and the following two cobs were not listed in SR and were, presumably, late additions to the Autophone catalog. References: LL, BW (information about this song under the entry for “The Wearin’ o’ the Green”)

2142;, Scarcity: N
The title of this cob is unknown if, indeed, the number exists.

#2143 - King Cotton, March, Scarcity: VS
The march tune on this cob is still another by “The March King”, John Philip Sousa (1854-1932) (see notes to cobs #2003 and 2025), and was written by him for the Cotton States and International Exhibition in Atlanta, Georgia in 1895. This cob was also not listed in SR and was, presumably, another late addition to the Autophone catalog. References: MN, DU

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


AM Gerald Bordman, updated by Richard Norton, American Musical Theatre: A Chronicle (New York, Oxford University Press, 4th Ed., 2010)
BW James J. Fuld, The Book of World-Famous Music, Classical, Popular and Folk, 3rd. Ed. (New York, Dover Publications, Inc., 1985)
CC Sheet music in the Connecticut College Sheet Music Collection, accessible online at
CL Milton Littlefield, Ed., Hymns of the Christian Life (New York, A. S. Barnes and Co., 1929)
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 at Baylor University (online at
FS James J. Geller, Famous Songs and their Stories (New York, Garden City Publishing Co., Inc., 1940)
GH Ira D. Sankey et al., eds., Gospel Hymns Nos. 1 to 6 Complete (New York and Chicago, The Biglow & Main Co., 1894)
HE William H. Rehrig (Paul E. Bierley, Ed.), The Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music: Composers and their Music (Westerville, Ohio, Integrity Press, 1991)
HU Donald P. Hustad, Dictionary-Handbook to Hymns for the Living Church (Carol Stream, Illinois, Hope Publishing Co., 1978)
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
MC Robert Guy McCutchan, Our Hymnody: A Manual of the Methodist Hymnal (New York, etc., The Methodist Book Concern, 1937)
MH The Methodist Hymnal (New York, etc., The Methodist Publishing House, 1935)
MM Edward LeRoy Rice, Monarchs of Minstrelsy, from “Daddy” Rice to Date (New York, Kenny Publishing Co., 1911)
OF Helen Kendrick Johnson, Our Familiar Songs and Those Who Made Them (New York, Henry Holt and Co., 1881)
SG Henry Frederic Reddall, compiler, Sweetest Gems of Music and Songs of the Fireside (no publisher stated, 1910)
SR Sears Roebuck Catalog No. 113 (Chicago; Fall, 1903 edition), which contained on p. 146 an advertisement with the heading “Grand Roller Organ—A Musical Wonder” that included a complete list of numbers and titles of Grand roller organ cobs numbered from 2001 through 2140 and 3001 through 3017 and listed with nearly every cob the name of the composer of the tune on it
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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