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The Roller Organ Cob Handbook

by Richard Dutton1)

Twenty-Note Cobs

Cobs #301-400


The tunes on cobs #301-400, like those on cobs #101-200 and 201-300, are once again all of a non-religious nature and are of many different types. There are a few more songs associated with the Civil War (#301, “The Girl I Left Behind Me”, #390, “The Battle-Cry of Freedom”, and #399, “John Brown”), a couple of drawing-room ballads that were remembered long after the Victorian era (#329, “Love's Old Sweet Song”, and #392, “Come Back to Erin”), the great waltz song, #335, “Little Annie Rooney”, several tunes from Viennese and French operettas that became popular in the United States, at least fleetingly (#314, “Black Hussar—Waltz”, #319, “Manola Waltz”, and #322, “Gasparone Waltz”), songs from comic stage productions of the day, especially those of Harrigan & Hart (#360, “Little Widow Dunn”, #372, “Slavery Days”, and #376, “The Widow Nolan's Goat”), more than a dozen songs that were popularized in minstrel shows and, once again, many dance tunes. Generally, the cobs in this numerical group, compared with those in the preceding two numerical groups, contain more tunes that are not remembered today and, I suspect, were not even that popular when the cobs were issued. One gets the feeling that, in light of the initial success of the roller organ in its early years, the Autophone Company made an effort to make as many new cobs available for purchase as it could, and in doing so dipped into musical material that was not of lasting merit. In particular, a number of the dance tunes, especially waltzes, were by American composers who cranked out, for sheet music publishers, a large volume of pieces of this type, some clearly intended as instructional pieces for home piano and organ players. Such composers included Charles Kinkel (cobs #306 (under the pseudonym Julius Becht) and 377), Edward L. Mack (cobs #323, 336, 358 and 378 (under the pseudonym Pierre Latour)), Charles D. Blake (cob #364 (under the pseudonym Carl Riche)) and William F. Sudds (cobs #379, 381 and 391).

A review of the scarcity ratings of the cobs in the 301-400 numerical range shows that not many of them were big sellers. The only one with a rating of “VC” (“very common”) was #301, the almost universally-known “The Girl I Left Behind Me”, and there were five others with a scarcity rating of “C” (“common”), #335, the great song in waltz time, “Little Annie Rooney”, that was so popular in the 1890s, #310, “Croquet—Schottische”, and #368, “Schottische—Little Beauty”, two pleasant and lively dance tunes which, interestingly, both appear to have been written as instructional pieces for the home piano or organ player, and two well-known and long-remembered Civil War songs, #390, “The Battle-Cry of Freedom”, and #399, “John Brown”. The remaining 94 cobs have scarcity ratings of either “LC” (“less common” (72 cobs)), “S” (“scarce” (14 cobs)) or “VS” (“very scarce” (8 cobs)). As such, it is considerably more difficult to collect a complete set of the cobs in this numerical range.

As for the dating of the cobs in this group, we previously saw that the title of the tune on cob #222 came from events that took place in Paris in July, 1886, so that, assuming that cobs numbered in the 200s and 300s were issued in numerical order, no cob with a number higher than #222 could have been issued before that date. Similarly, we know that the song on cob #307 was first performed in 1888 and that the songs on cobs #309, 334 and 335 all date from 1889, so that about 90% of the cobs in the 301-400 numerical range (that is, all those numbered higher than 309) must have been issued no earlier than 1889. Many of the pieces on cobs in this range, however, date from the late 1870s and early 1880s, based on sheet music copyright dates, which shows that the Autophone Company was, at the time those cobs were issued, not putting much of the latest music on its cobs.

All in all, though, the cobs in this range, like those in the previous two ranges, constitute an interesting sampling of the music that was current in America in the 1880s and, as I said about cobs #101-300, include many appealing and harmonious arrangements of very pretty pieces that, when played, show off the roller organ well. It is once again a great pleasure to crank through these cobs and listen to them!

I have again been able to locate information about most of the tunes in this numerical range. There is, however, a group of six cobs (#316, 324, 325, 330, 331 and 333) with titles in English but with tunes that sound to me like they are Scandinavian that remain a mystery to me. I have not yet located sheet music for any of them or tried to determine whether any of them is the same as or similar to any of the other Scandinavian roller organ tunes. All but one of the remaining seven tunes for which I have not yet found sheet music or information are once again, by their titles, instrumental dance pieces rather than songs: #313, “Oriental Mazurka”, #315, “En Pleine Chasse, Galop”, #321, “Sunset Schottische”, #327, “What the Daisy Said” (a waltz tune that may have lyrics), #345, “Water Lily Polka”, #350, “Meadow Brook Waltz”, and #398, “Angels Waltz”. Perhaps some or all of these were again “generic” sorts of pieces that were composed for, and appeared in, the many series or collections of music arranged for home pianists and organists that were so popular in the early part of the roller organ era.


#301 - The Girl I Left Behind Me, Scarcity: VC
In this very well-known and lively marching song the singer, a soldier or sailor, thinks longingly of a girl from whom he has departed. There are a number of differing lyrics associated with the tune, some of which were widely sung by troops during the American Civil War. OF, in 1881, included a version of it in the category “martial and patriotic songs” and reported that the tune is a traditional Irish melody that dates from at least as far back as the late eighteenth century and was transcribed in 1800 by Irish harp music collector Edward Bunting (1773-1843) from the playing of Irish harper Arthur O'Neill (1734-1818). This is corroborated in Bunting's Ancient Music of Ireland (1840), which also includes a version of the tune.

#302 - Our National Hymn (Spanish), Scarcity: LC
Despite its title, this tune is actually that of the Mexican rather than the Spanish national hymn. Its title in Spanish is “Mexicanos, al Grito de Guerra”, its tune was composed by Spanish-born bandmaster Jaime Nuno (1824-1908) to accompany lyrics written by Mexican poet Francisco Gonzalez Bocanegra (1824-1861) and it was first performed in 1854. This is the first of many pieces on the roller organ in which the title is followed by the word “Spanish” in parentheses. Its being actually of Mexican origin leads one to speculate whether “(Spanish)” in titles of roller organ cobs referred merely to the language of the lyrics rather than to the country of origin, whether perhaps a number of the pieces on the roller organ identified as “Spanish” were in fact from Western Hemisphere Spanish-speaking countries such as Mexico or Cuba and whether roller organs may even have been sold and played in those countries. References: GD (entry for “James Nuno”), DM, MN.

#303 - The Swallow, Scarcity: S
Although not so identified, this piece is, like the preceding one, a Spanish-language song and is more familiar under its Spanish title, “La Golondrina” (“golondrina” being the Spanish word for the bird known in English as the swallow). The tune was composed by Mexican composer and medical doctor Narciso Serradell Sevilla (1843-1910), who was exiled from Mexico to France following the second French intervention in Mexico in 1862. The lyrics, in which the singer likens himself to an exiled swallow who cannot return home, are attributed to Niceto de Zamacois (1820-1885), a Spanish-born Mexican historian, journalist and literary figure. Reference: UV.

#304 - The Old North State, Scarcity: VS
“The Old North State” refers to North Carolina, and this song has been adopted as the official state song of that state. The lyrics were written in 1835 by William Gaston (1778-1844), at that time a Judge of the Supreme Court of North Carolina and former United States Congressman, and were adapted by him to a German melody. The stirring song was fervently sung by troops from North Carolina during the Civil War. References: MN, NC.

#305 - Ho! For Carolina, Scarcity: VS
This is another North Carolina patriotic song that at one time rivaled “The Old North State” (see notes to cob #304) in popularity and was also sung by troops from that state during the Civil War. Both its lyrics and tune were written during the War by William B. Harrell (1823-1906), a medical doctor serving in battle who later became a Baptist preacher. Harrell wrote a number of other Confederate patriotic songs as well as hymns, often in collaboration with his wife, Ann Battle Harrell (1834-1906), who was the arranger of “Ho! For Carolina”. Reference: “'Ho! For Carolina' and its Author” in The North Carolina Teacher, 1892, p. 264.

#306 - Waltz—Sunshine of Love, Scarcity: LC
The sheet music in LL for this waltz tune shows the composer as Julius Becht and bears a date of 1866. An article in Etude magazine (March, 1901) with the title “Pseudonyms of Musicians” reported that “Julius Becht” was one of several pseudonyms of Charles Kinkel. Other sheet music for the tune published in 1867 and 1869 does indeed show Kinkel as the composer. Kinkel (1832-1891) was born in Germany, emigrated to the United States after completing his education and after brief stays elsewhere in Ohio and Kentucky moved to Shelbyville, Kentucky. He lived for the last thirty-two years of his life there and was a music teacher, an author of musical instruction works such as Kinkel's New Method for the Reed Organ and a prolific composer of light pieces like “Sunshine of Love”. He was also co-author of a peculiar work titled The Gymnasium: A Daily Program of Exercise…with a Complete Set of Original and Pleasing Music Particularly Adapted to the Various Exercises, Including Marches, Waltzes, Polkas and Quicksteps Prepared Expressly for this Book. Additional reference: Kunkel's Musical Review, August 1891 (Kinkel obituary article, in which it is noted that he was related to the Kunkel brothers of St. Louis who published the Review, they having anglicized the German name Kunkel with an umlaut on the “u” to “Kunkel” and he having anglicized it to “Kinkel”).

#307 - Where did you get that Hat?, Scarcity: LC
This comic song was both written and composed by a blackface comedian named Joseph J. Sullivan. It was first performed by him at a New York theater in 1888 and immediately became popular. The singer has inherited his grandfather's estate with the requirement that he always wear the old man's hat and everywhere he goes people ask him about it. According to one version of the origin of the song, Sullivan was inspired to write it after donning a tall old hat that was too small for him that he found in his parents' attic and provoking comments from children who followed him as he walked through the neighborhood wearing it. References: LL, Theodore Raph, The Songs We Sang: A Treasury of American Popular Music (South Brunswick, New Jersey and New York, A.S. Barnes and Company, 1964).

#308 - Das Kleine Deutsche Heim (The Little German Home—German), Scarcity: LC
This is another song with English lyrics in German dialect. The singer is a German immigrant who fondly remembers days as a child in Germany. The tune is similar to that of “The Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane” (cob #166). MN has sheet music for three different versions of it from three different music publishers with minor differences in the lyrics, all with the complete title “The Little German Home Across the Sea” and no alternate German title or lyrics. All bear a copyright date of 1877, which would indicate that the song was popular in that year. One has on the cover “Composed and Sung by Charlie Collins, Dutch Comedian”, one has “words and music composed by Wagner” on the cover but lists “Wagner” merely as the arranger on the following page, and one has on both the cover and following page “arranged by Schneider”. The song has also been attributed to the German dialect comedian George S. Knight, according to notes accompanying a much later recording of the song also in the Library of Congress collection.

#309 - Down Went McGinty, Scarcity: LC
There is 1889 sheet music for this comic stage Irish song in LL with the full title “Down Went McGinty in his Best Suit of Clothes”. In the first stanza, Dan McGinty's friend Pat McCann bets him five dollars that he can carry McGinty on his back to the top of a ladder against a high wall and “cute old rogue” McGinty, to win the bet, lets go when they have almost reached the top, falls down and is seriously injured. In the following stanzas, the black humor continues as he falls into a coal hole (an opening for the delivery of coal) while walking proudly down the street after drinking too much whiskey at a party he has given to celebrate the birth of a child of his and the driver of a coal cart then dumps a load of coal on top of him; when he attacks the driver with a stick, policemen appear on the scene and he is arrested for drunkenness and put in jail, where he remains for six months because no one posts bail for him; and, finally, when he is released and returns home he finds that his wife has left him, taking their child, and, in despair, he jumps in the river and, as he cannot swim, drowns. In each case he goes “down” (to the bottom of the wall, coal hole, jail and “say” (sea)) wearing his best suit. The song is billed as “Sheridan & Flynn's Greatest Hit”, with words and music by Joseph Flynn. Joe Flynn and his partner Frank Sheridan were stage Irish performers who reportedly first performed the song at Hyde & Behman's Adams Street Theater in Brooklyn, New York, which is also the city where the LL sheet music was published. Additional reference: The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, January 17, 1942, p. 13.

#310 - Croquet, Schottische, Scarcity: C
There is sheet music for this dance tune in MN under the name “Croquet Schottisch” (without the “e”) by Frank M. Davis (1839-1896) dating from 1870. It was one of a series of twelve pieces by Davis published in Toledo, Ohio under the title Silvery Echoes a Series of Beautiful Waltzes, Polkas, Mazurkas, Marches &c. by Frank M. Davis Each Thirty Cents Written in an easy and pleasing style for the wants of young pupils. Davis was also the composer of the tune to the hymn “Is my Name Written There?” (cob #21) and, as stated in the notes to that cob, was a music teacher as well as a composer and lyricist. The lawn game of croquet was widely played in Victorian times and reached its peak of popularity in about 1870. The schottische (from the word “Scottish”) was a ballroom dance also popular at that time and was similar to the polka.


#311 - Eglantine, Polka Mazurka, Scarcity: LC
Eglantine is a variety of rose also known as sweetbriar. The polka mazurka is a ballroom dance played slowly in 3/4 time. “Eglantine, Polka Mazurka” was composed as his op. 36 by Friedrich Zikoff (1824-1877), a Prussian composer and bandmaster who wrote a number of military marches as well as dance tunes. References: MB, MN.

#312 - Swinging—Waltz Song, Scarcity: LC
In this simple and cheery song in waltz time, the singer invites his love to join him in swinging, presumably in a swing or hammock, under the old maple tree down in the old shady dell. Both words and music were written by African-American songwriter Gussie L. Davis (1863-1899) and the sheet music was published in 1885 by J.C. Groene & Co. in Cincinnati before Davis moved from Ohio to New York City. An alternate version of the sheet music also published by Groene in the same year inexplicably credits the song to “Charles A. Davies” on the cover but “G. L. Davis” (correctly, as in the other version) inside. In this regard, see also notes to cob #220. References: MN, LL.

#313 - Oriental Mazurka, Scarcity: LC
Although I have located sheet music or recordings of several tunes with either the title, subtitle or alternate title of “Oriental Mazurka”, none of them appears to correspond to the tune on this cob and further research will be necessary to identify it.

#314 - Black Hussar—Waltz, Scarcity: LC
“The Black Hussar” was an 1885 New York adaptation, in English, of the operetta “Der Feldprediger” (“The Army Chaplain”) by prolific Viennese composer Karl Millocker (1842-1899), who was the conductor and resident composer at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna for many years beginning in 1869 (see notes to cob #179). The action of the operetta takes place in 1812 in the German town of Trautenfeld, which has been overrun by both occupying Napoleonic forces and pillaging Cossack soldiers from across the nearby border with Russia. The Black Hussars are plotting an insurrection against oppression by these forces and are disguised in the town as a peddler, a scissors grinder, a beggar, a ratcatcher, a bookseller, a quack doctor, and, in the case of the two heroes, Friederich von Helbert, Colonel of the Hussars, an army chaplain, and Hans von Waldmann, Adjutant of the Hussars, a student. The heroines, Rosetta and Minna, daughters of the pompous Theophil Hackenback, Magistrate of Trautenfeld, are also disguised, because their father insists that they appear to be lame hunchbacks dressed in unappealing clothes so that they will not be abducted by the occupying soldiers. The sisters doff their disguises at the end of Act I and their romantic involvement with the two leaders of the Black Hussars begins. A more extended version of the waltz incorporating briefly the tune on this cob appeared on Grand roller organ cob #2097 under the title “Dream Waltz—Black Hussar”, so titled because in the original German-language operetta a song titled “Nur Ein Traum” (“Only a Dream”) is sung to the full waltz tune in Act III by Piffkow, the Magistrate's underling and jack-of-all-trades. References: GD, OC.

#315 - En Pleine Chasse, Galop, Scarcity: LC
The tune on this cob is in very quick tempo; “en pleine chasse”, in French, means “at full gallop”, in the context of hunters on horseback. It is probably another composition of Friedrich Zikoff (1824-1877; see notes to cob #311). He composed a tune with this title as his Op. 47, but I have not yet seen a copy of the sheet music for it to confirm that it is the same as the tune on this cob.

#316 - The Bright and Beautiful Stars, Scarcity: LC
This is the first of six cobs in this numerical range (#316, 324, 325, 330, 331 and 333) that have only English-language titles on their labels and as such are not identified in any way as “ethnic” cobs, although the tunes on them are similar to many of the Scandinavian tunes on the roller organ. The fact that there are two cobs in close numerical proximity to them, #317 and #332, identified on their labels as Norwegian and Swedish, respectively, suggests that these six cobs may also be Norwegian or Swedish; however, I have not yet located sheet music for any of them or tried to determine whether any of them is the same as or similar to any of the other Scandinavian roller organ tunes.

#317 - Vort Hjem I Nordens Land (Our Home in Northern Land—Norwegian), Scarcity: LC

#318 - Deutsches National-Lied (German National Song—German), Scarcity: LC

#319 - Manola Waltz, Scarcity: LC
This waltz tune comes from an 1881 French operetta set in Portugal, “Le Jour et la Nuit” (“The Day and the Night”), with music by (Alexandre) Charles LeCocq (1832-1918). The plot involves the complications that follow when Manola, the young heroine, impersonates a Baroness to avoid the unwanted attention of the old and lustful Prince Calabazas. The theme on which the waltz tune is based appears near the end of Act III in a duet sung by Manola and Beatrix, the Baroness whom she impersonated and who subsequently appeared on the scene. LeCocq, a native of Paris who attended the Conservatoire there, wrote music for a large number of popular and successful operettas beginning in the 1860s. “Le Jour et la Nuit” was performed in London with the title “Manola” in 1882 and Oliver Ditson & Company in Boston published the music along with an English translation and adaptation of the complete text and lyrics with the title “Manola or the Day and the Night” in the same year. Incidentally, the LeCocq “Manola Waltz” should not be confused with a totally different and unrelated piece, also with the title “Manola Waltz”, which had been based on the “Manolo-Waltz” of Emil Waldteufel (see notes to cob #102) and two competing versions of which were the subject of a well-known American copyright law case two years before LeCocq's operetta appeared. References: MN, GD.

#320 - Sweetheart Waltz, Scarcity: LC
This is one of the more familiar of the waltz pieces that found their way onto the roller organ and is another attributable to “The Waltz King”, Austrian composer, conductor and violinist Johann Strauss II (1825-1899), who has been mentioned previously (see, for example, the notes to cobs #119, 155 and 209). It is actually made up of two separate themes, played one after the other, both of which appeared in Act II of Strauss' 1885 operetta “Der Zigeunerbaron” (“The Gypsy Baron”). Strauss combined these two themes with other themes to create an instrumental work separate from the operetta with the title “Schatz-Walzer”, op. 418. The English translation of this title is “Treasure Waltz”, which refers to the finding of hidden treasure that takes place in Act II of the operetta, but the piece is now sometimes indiscriminately also referred to by the title that was used on the roller organ, “Sweetheart Waltz”. References: GD, OC.


#321 - Sunset Schottische, Scarcity: LC
I have not yet located sheet music for this lively dance tune, but have found a possible lead. According to records of the United States Copyright Office, sheet music for a tune with the title “Sunset Schottische” as arranged for mandolin and guitar was filed between December 31, 1894 and January 5, 1895 with the U. S. Librarian of Congress by a J. H. Jennings of Providence, Rhode Island in order to complete the copyright process for the work. This may be the same tune that is on the roller organ cob, in which case, in light of the copyright date, it would have been only an arrangement of an earlier piece, as cob #321 would certainly have been issued before 1894. Jennings was the author of a 1902 instructional book with the title James H. Jennings Practical Banjo School.

#322 - Gasparone Waltz, Scarcity: S
This is still another waltz tune from an operetta, in this case the 1884 work “Gasparone”, once again by Austrian composer Karl Millocker (1842-1899), the longtime conductor and resident composer at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna, with libretto by “F. Zell” (Camillo Walzel, 1829-1895) and Richard Genee (1823-1895) (see notes to cobs #179 and 314). The operetta is set in Sicily. The local mayor, Nasoni, and his son Sindulfo are plotting for Sindulfo to marry the widowed Countess Carlotta because of her great wealth but their plans are thwarted by the arrival of a visiting nobleman, Count Erminio, who falls in love with Carlotta and saves her fortune by stealing it from her while disguised as the bandit Gasparone and later returning it to her. The title character, Gasparone, never actually appears in the operetta but is blamed by other characters such as the innkeeper and smuggler Benozzo and Erminio for various actions that they actually take themselves. The tune appears in Act III (Item no. 14 in the score) when Benozzo sings to it the waltz song “Er soll dein Herr sein! Wie stolz das klingt!”. References: GD, OC, MN.

#323 - Mill-Stream Waltz, Scarcity: LC
There are more than 750 items of sheet music in the United States Library of Congress collection (MN) in which the tune is attributed to “E. Mack”, including 1878 sheet music for “Mill Stream Waltz” containing the tune on this cob. In many cases Mack was clearly just the arranger, as in the case, for example, of pieces like “Annie Laurie” (see notes to cob #146), “Home, Sweet Home” (see notes to cob #123) and “On the Beautiful Blue Danube” (see notes to cob #155) and his many arrangements of themes from operas for the piano. He was also, however, presumably himself the composer of a very large number of other pieces with unfamiliar titles, especially dance tunes. Because he was so prolific, it is remarkable, first, that nearly nothing has been written about him and, second, that he was apparently blind. A majority of the sheet music containing tunes attributed to him was published in Philadelphia, and there is a Philadelphia death certificate for an Edward L. Mack reporting his death on January 7, 1882 at the age of 56, giving his birthplace as Stuttgart, Germany and listing his occupation as “musician”. Annual reports for the Pennsylvania Institution for the Instruction of the Blind in Philadelphia show that an “Edward Mack” was a student there at least as early as 1846 and as late as 1850, and the report for 1859 listing the school's accomplished graduates includes “Edward Mack, organist, music teacher and piano tuner”. Annual Philadelphia city directories variously list, beginning in 1856, “E. Mack”, “Edward Mack” or “Edward L. Mack” as a “prof. of music”, “music teacher” or “teacher”. Beyond this, apparently very little information about Mack has been preserved.

#324 - My Thoughts Shall Dwell With Thee, Scarcity: LC
This gloomy piece sounds like it might be another Scandinavian one, although it is not identified as such on the cob label (See notes to cob #316).

#325 - The Student's Song, Scarcity: LC
This also sounds like it might be a Scandinavian piece, although it is not identified as such on the cob label (See notes to cob #316).

#326 - Katy's Waltz, Scarcity: LC
There is sheet music for this waltz tune in MN with the title “Little Katy's First Waltz”. It was published in Toledo, Ohio, it has a copyright date of 1871 and the composer is listed as “W. A. Ogden”. This was William Augustine Ogden (1841-1897) who, according to J. H. Hall in Biography of Gospel Song and Hymn Writers (New York, Fleming H. Revell Company, 1914), was an Ohio native who organized a male choir while serving in an Indiana infantry unit in the American Civil War, studied under Lowell Mason (see notes to cob #2), Thomas Hastings (see notes to cob #37) and others, specialized in writing hymns and other church music, compiled a number of books of Sunday School songs and served as superintendent of music in the Toledo public schools.

#327 - What the Daisy Said, Scarcity: S
Although I have not yet located sheet music for the waltz tune on this cob, I once again have found a possible lead: the February, 1874 issue (Vol. XLII, No. 2) of Arthur's Illustrated Home Magazine, a Philadelphia publication, includes the title “What the Daisy Said” on page 142 in a list of twenty pieces for which sheet music had recently been published by Philadelphia publisher Lee & Walker. This firm was the publisher of many of Edward Mack's pieces (see notes to cob #323) and sheet music in MN for four of the other nineteen tunes on the list show him as the composer. The waltz tune on this cob is the sort of tune he might have composed and may also be by him.

#328 - At the Ferry, Scarcity: VS
This is a sentimental drawing-room ballad in which a woman recalls drifting across a stream with her lover, who is now gone but who, on that day long ago, pledged his heart to her “forever, evermore”. It is unusual in that the tempo changes from 4/4 to 6/8 for each chorus. There is sheet music for the song in the song collection Galaxy of Song. Popular Songs…and their Composers (Thomas Hunter, 1883) that shows the author of the lyrics as F. E. Weatherly and the composer of the tune as Milton Wellings. The book also contains an engraved portrait of Wellings and biographical information about him stating that he was born in Staffordshire, England in 1851 (other sources give his birth year as 1850) and that he was, as of 1883, a composer of many popular songs whose talents were very much in demand. The author added the odd observation that Wellings “has his moods” and that “the slightest interruption will irritate him exceedingly when engaged in composing”. In his later years he was reported as living in extreme poverty despite having composed about 150 songs. He died in 1929. Fred E. (Frederic Edward) Weatherly (1848-1929), the author of the lyrics, was also English and was a frequent collaborator of Wellings' in other drawing-room ballads similar to “At the Ferry”. He attended Oxford and was a copyright lawyer as well as a lyricist. Other references: MN, OC, New York Times, December 2, 1906 (article about Wellings having been discovered penniless in London).

#329 - Love's Old, Sweet Song, Scarcity: LC
This sentimental 1884 English drawing-room ballad survived in popularity well beyond the roller organ era. The writer of the lyrics, G. Clifton Bingham (1859-1913), was born in Bristol, England, wrote his first song in 1882 and became so successful as a lyricist that, within the next 15 years, he provided the lyrics to over 950 others, sometimes writing two or three songs in a day. He is also remembered as the author of verses for illustrated children's books. The composer of the tune, James L. Molloy (1837-1909 (incorrectly given as 1900 in OC)), was an Irish-born English civil servant who was trained as a lawyer and who wrote music only part-time. The tune is perhaps the best example of a piece that was squeezed onto a cob even though it was probably too long for the 20-note roller organ. As a result, the cob must be cranked very slowly and, accordingly, played only on a machine with good pneumatics to sound right. References: LL, OC, Strand Musical Magazine, Vol. VI (London, 1897) (biography of Bingham), New York Times, December 28, 1913 (listing Bingham among notables who died in 1913), The Musical Herald (London, March 1, 1909) (article by Fred E. Weatherly (see notes to cob #328) with recollections of Molloy following his death).

#330 - My Beautiful Native Land, Scarcity: LC
This is still another tune that sounds like it might be Scandinavian, although it is not identified as such on the cob label (See notes to cob #316).


#331 - My Darling is a Daisy, Scarcity: LC
This dreary tune also sounds like it might be Scandinavian, although it is not identified as such on the cob label (See notes to cob #316).

#332 - Svensk National Marsch (Swedish National March—Swedish), Scarcity: LC

#333 - The Wave, Scarcity: LC
This also sounds like it might be a Scandinavian piece, although it is not identified as such on the cob label (See notes to cob #316).

#334 - Slide, Kelly, Slide, Scarcity: LC
The words and music to this comic song, copyrighted in 1889, were written by John W. Kelly (real name Shields) (1857-1896), a Philadelphia-born Irish-American stage comedian. The singer is a hapless baseball player who swings at one bad pitch after another and then is hit in the nose by a ball as his team loses by a score of 64-0. At the time the song was written, there was a real-life flamboyant baseball star named Mike “King” Kelly who was very much the opposite of the character in the song: he was a well-loved, eccentric figure, known for his daring base running as well as his hitting, and ultimately was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. When he got on base, crowds in the stands would shout to him “Slide, Kelly, Slide”, the phrase that begins and is then repeated in the chorus of the song. References: MN, MM, Marty Appel, Slide, Kelly, Slide: The Wild Life and Times of Mike “King” Kelly, Baseball's First Superstar (Lanham, Maryland, Scarecrow Press, 1999).

#335 - Little Annie Rooney (Waltz Song), Scarcity: C
In this simple, innocent, touching and pretty song the singer sings the praises of his love Annie, whom he expects to marry soon. This is the only cob in the numerical range 311-367 with a scarcity rating of C (“common”); all of the others are rated either LC (“less common”), S (“scarce”) or VS (“very scarce”). This reflects the onetime popularity of the song, which became one of the great waltz songs of the Gay '90s, along with similar pieces such as “The Sidewalks of New York” (cob #1038, Grand cob #2086), “After the Ball” (cob #600, Grand cob #2016), “The Bowery” (cob #1004; Grand cob #2023) and “Sweet Marie” (cob #1036; Grand cob #2055). Unlike these other four pieces, however, “Little Annie Rooney” originated in England; both the words and music were by a British music-hall performer named Michael Nolan. In a number of references to Nolan his name is followed by “(1867-1910)”, and there is an entry in the England and Wales Death Registration Index for a Michael Nolan who died in early 1910 in London at the age of 42. According to James J. Geller, in Famous Songs and their Stories (New York, Macaulay Company, 1931), because of the state of international copyright law at the time, Nolan did not benefit from the enormous success of his song in the United States after it was published here in 1889, prompting him to give up songwriting in disgust. Reference: DU.

#336 - Sweetbrier Waltz, Scarcity: LC
There is sheet music for this waltz tune in MN with the title “Sweet Briar Waltz” and a copyright date of 1878, although the tune had also appeared five years earlier in a collection with the title Raymond's Reed Organ Gems published by the same music publisher. It is another work by the prolific blind Philadelphia composer Edward Mack (see notes to cob #323). Additional reference: The Publishers' Weekly, No. 90, October 4, 1873, p. 342 (“Music Received”).

#337 - Take Back the Heart, Scarcity: S
The tune on this cob, in waltz time, was composed by “Claribel”, the pen name of English songwriter Charlotte (Alington) Barnard (1830-1869) (see notes to cob #104). The lyrics, in which the singer is a rejected lover, were written by “Hon. Mrs. G. R. Gifford”, a lesser-known figure, also English, who wrote novels as well as poetry. According to Catherine W. Reilly in Mid-Victorian Poetry, 1860-1879, an Annotated Biobibliography (London, Mansell, 2000), her full name was Mary Ann Danet Gifford, she died in 1871 and her husband George Gifford was the rector of Rackenford in Devonshire. “Take Back the Heart” was advertised in the May 6, 1865 issue of The Illustrated London News as a “new song” for which sheet music was available. Barnard's tune was subsequently used for the hymn “Give of Your Best to the Master”, with lyrics by Howard B. Grose (1851-1939), and appeared in his Endeavor Hymnal (1902). Grose, from upstate New York, had a varied career in which he was a Baptist minister, university teacher and president, and editor. References: DU, CH.

#338 - A Summer Shower, Scarcity: LC
The lyrics and music of this cheerful song were written by English poet and songwriter Theophile Marzials (1850-1920), an eccentric character who worked in the library at the British Museum. Although he was born in France, when he was seven years old his family moved to London when his father became pastor of a French Protestant church there. He also wrote the better-known and very pretty song “Twickenham Ferry”, which is on Grand cob #2117, as well as a poem called “A Tragedy” which has been called “the worst poem ever written”. In all, he published more than 80 songs. The lyrics to “A Summer Shower” tell of a pretty maid on the way to town who takes shelter under a chestnut tree during a rain shower at the invitation of a young man who proceeds to play music on his pipes for her to dance. She then presents him with a rose from her breast and he declares his love for her. Sheet music for the piece appears in The Song Folio. Standard Vocal Music with Accompaniment for Piano or Organ by Favorite Composers (Thomas Hunter, 1883). Additional reference: OD.

#339 - Nobody's Darling but Mine, Scarcity: LC
There is sheet music in LL for this 1876 song in waltz time. The composer of the tune was the prolific H. P. (Hart Pease) Danks (1834-1903; see notes to cob #230), better remembered for “Silver Threads Among the Gold” (cob #476). The three verses of lyrics are simply a lengthy profession of the singer's love and were written by John T. Rutledge, who also collaborated as lyricist with Danks on other songs as well as writing both the words and music of a large number of pieces of his own, including the waltz song “Only a Dream of my Mother” (cob #363). He is represented by 168 pieces of sheet music in MN, including a large number of sentimental songs with a love theme, “tear jerkers”, especially about the deaths of children, with titles such as “Let Your Tears Kiss the Flowers on my Grave”, and minstrel songs, some in dialect. He wrote both the words and music to more than 90% of them, the great majority of them are from the period 1875-1880, none are later than 1884 and nearly a quarter of them were published in Memphis, Tennessee. The December 23, 1882 issue of the New York publication Music and Drama lists its correspondent in Memphis as Rutledge and Weatherbe's Directory of Memphis, Vol. X, 1883 (Ch. F. Weatherbe, Publisher) lists Rutledge as a Memphis resident and one of the principals of Reinhardt & Rutledge, sheet music publishers and job printers, in that city. According to U.S. Copyright Office records, Rutledge wrote a book with the title The Diagram School for the Guitar, copyrighted in 1883, and when Mary V. Rutledge, as his widow, renewed the copyright in 1910, her residence was shown as Memphis, suggesting that he lived the balance of his life there. I have not located any evidence of his death in Memphis, but there is a Cook County, Illinois death certificate for a “John Rutledge” who was born in Ireland and lived from 1847 to 1905 and whose occupation was listed as “comedian” and it is tempting to speculate that, like many songwriters of his time, he might also have been a performer and died in Chicago while on tour; however, there is no indication in the covers of any of his sheet music, which often used to include the names of performers who sang the songs in them, that Rutledge was anything other than just a writer and composer.

#340 - Milkmaid Marriage Song—Waltz, Scarcity: LC
There is sheet music in LL with a copyright date of 1869 for the cheery piece in waltz time on this cob with the title “The Milkmaid's Marriage Song”, showing the lyrics as by “Alice Carey” (correctly spelled “Cary” on the first inside page) and the music as by “M. Keller”. The singer, a milkmaid, sings to her little speckle-faced cow to come along with her on her wedding day. Unlike many of the writers of the words of songs that found their way onto the roller organ, Alice Cary (1820-1871) was a highly-regarded American poet. Born in Ohio, she received very little formal education, wrote her first verses while in her late teens and for a number of years submitted her literary efforts for publication without compensation. After she received recognition, she and her younger sister Phoebe moved to New York City and Alice devoted herself industriously to writing both poetry and prose. Her works were very well-received and successful. Some were first printed in The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's and other major literary journals of the day and thereafter collected and published in book form. The Cary sisters' home became and remained for many years a gathering place for important figures in the literary and art world. “M. Keller” is Matthias Keller (1813-1875), who was a violinist and later a military bandmaster in his native Germany before emigrating to the United States in 1846. He lived in Philadelphia and later in New York and Boston and worked as a theater violinist, violin maker and conductor in addition to composing about 250 pieces of music. Additional references: AC, Matthias Keller, A Collection of Poems (Boston, O. Ditson & Co., 1874) (contains at the end a biography of Keller written a year before his death).


#341 - Harugari Lodge Song—I, Scarcity: S
#342 - Harugari Lodge Song—II, Scarcity: VS
#343 - Harugari Lodge Song—III, Scarcity: S
In the days before radio, movies and television, participation in meetings and other activities of fraternal organizations in the local community was a more important aspect of leisure time in day-to-day life than it is today, and such organizations had enormous memberships throughout the roller organ era. The fact that there were cobs containing music specifically for use by Freemasons has been mentioned previously (see notes to cobs #259 and 260). There were also cobs for use by the Knights of Pythias containing music to be played for the opening and closing of meetings, for initiations, and for installations of officers (Grand cobs #2094 and 2095) as well as three cobs for use by the now lesser-known Harugari lodges. According to a lengthy article in the August 25, 1895 edition of The New York Times, Der Deutsche Orden der Harugari (in English the German Order of Harugari) was a German-American secret, fraternal, cultural and mutual benefit organization founded in 1847 in response to anti-German sentiment in the United States at that time. It was organized on the lodge system with a national Grand Lodge, state Grand Lodges and local lodges, and as of 1894 it had 370 lodges in 25 states, about half of them in New York State, with a total membership nationally of over 23,000. Women were accepted as members beginning in 1890 and by 1894 there were also 70 women's lodges with about 8,000 women members. The Order of Harugari performed degrees like those of the Freemasons and derived its symbolism from pagan Teutonic mythology. The word “harugari” comes from “haruc”, a sacred grove at which the Teutonic gods were worshipped, the presiding officer of a lodge was called the “Bard” and the decor of the lodge room attempted to recreate the primitive surroundings of pagan times. Dues were $6-$12 per year, which entitled members to sick benefits, life insurance policies of $500-$1,000 and other benefits, all administered at the local lodge level. There were also fifty men's choirs (Maennerchor societies) associated with the Order of Harugari that participated in periodic singing festivals (Saengerfests).

#344 - Strolling On Brooklyn Bridge, Scarcity: LC
This song dates from 1883, the year the Brooklyn Bridge opened. The lyrics, in which the singer sings the praises of strolling on the bridge with his love, were by George Cooper (1840-1927) and the music was by J. (Joseph) P. Skelly (1853-1895), both of whom lived in New York City and who collaborated on a number of other songs, including a waltz song, “Moonlight on the Brooklyn Bridge”, also dating from 1883, and a song titled “Baby's Empty Cradle” (see notes to cob #239). At the time the cob was issued, the bridge charged each pedestrian who walked on it a toll of a penny, or twenty-five tickets for a nickel. Strolling on the bridge was a popular pastime, with thousands of people walking on it every day and taking in the views of the East River far below and the scenes on both the Brooklyn and Manhattan sides. References: MN, Brooklyn Daily Eagle Almanac (Brooklyn, 1891).

#345 - Water Lily Polka, Scarcity: LC
There are a number of pieces by different composers with the title “Water Lily Polka” that appeared in sheet music in the late nineteenth century. I have seen the sheet music for the pieces by that name by James E. Magruder dating from 1867 in DU and by Theodore Moelling dating from 1865 in the Frances G. Spencer Collection of American Popular Sheet Music at Baylor University and neither piece corresponds to the tune on the cob. I have also found references, in advertisements in music-related publications of the time listing available sheet music, to pieces of the same name by “Steinbrecher” (1854), “Rogers” (1869) and “Smith” (1869). Perhaps one of these items of sheet music, when located, will be found to contain the tune on the cob.

#346 - Homeless, Wandering Child, Scarcity: LC
Despite its incongruously cheerful-sounding tune in waltz time, this song is about an orphan girl out wandering at night in a winter storm who thinks of her mother and will soon follow her in death. There is 1883 sheet music for it in UT with its full title, “Only a Homeless, Wandering Child”. Both words and music were by J. (Joseph) P. Skelly (1853-1895), the hard-drinking onetime plumber turned songwriter who wrote so many popular songs that found their way onto the roller organ. Skelly was apparently not above selling the same song more than once to different publishers and was arrested for this in 1892. Reference: The Publishers' Weekly, October 1, 1892.

#347 - Good Luck Mazurka, Scarcity: LC
The 1872 sheet music for this very appealing dance tune in MN shows it as being by Oscar Lowell. MN holds copies of sheet music for a total of 22 pieces attributed to Lowell, all dance tunes without lyrics, all published by music publisher W.W. Whitney in Toledo, Ohio and all but two issued in series of tunes for the piano or organ with titles such as “Lemon Buds”, “Morning Sunbeams” and “Forest Leaves” (the series in which “Good Luck Mazurka” appeared). A W.W. Whitney advertisement in the sheet music for another piece in the “Forest Leaves” series describes the series as including “an excellent variety of Waltzes, etc. suited to pupils of first second and third grade” and lists the pieces in the series, all of which have generic-sounding and unfamiliar titles such as “Rosy Cheeks Waltz” and “Wide Awake Polka”. This suggests that the pieces may have been composed specifically for publication by the Whitney firm for sale to the home piano or organ player. I have, so far, not located any information about Oscar Lowell; it remains to be determined who he was (if, indeed, there was a real person by that name; as we have seen, a number of the pieces in sheet music of the early roller organ era appeared, for various reasons, under pseudonyms) and whether he was the composer or merely the arranger of “Good Luck Mazurka”.

#348 - Prince Imperial Galop, Scarcity: LC
This is another piece by the English composer and society orchestra leader who also owned an interest in a music publishing firm, Charles Coote, Jr. (1831-1916) (see notes to cob #105). The “Prince Imperial” of the title was Napoleon Eugene Louis Jean Joseph Bonaparte (“Napoleon IV”) (1856-1879), who went with British forces to Africa and was killed by Zulu troops there. The tune remained popular for many years, and the early London sheet music for it from the 1860s shows the Prince Imperial on the cover as a mere boy in uniform, while later London sheet music depicts him on the cover as a full-grown man, again in uniform. As stated in the notes to cob #183, a “galop” is a very quick and spirited dance in 2/4 time. Reference: MN.

#349 - Dairy-Maid Waltz, Scarcity: LC
The tune on this cob, in 3/4 (waltz) time, is similar to the tune of an 1883 song in 2/4 time with the title “The Little Dairy Maid” with words by New York “Dutch” (German) comic Gus Williams (1847?-1915; see notes to cob #175) and music by fellow New Yorker and prolific composer of popular song tunes J. (Joseph) P. Skelly (1853-1895; see, for example, notes to cob #346). Sheet music for the song in MN indicates that Williams himself performed the song on stage.

#350 - Meadow Brook Waltz, Scarcity: LC
I have not yet located any information about this tune, although I would say that it sounds more like a song tune in waltz time than a waltz tune composed just for dancing.


#351 - Flee as a Bird, Scarcity: LC
The words and music for this gloomy-sounding piece appeared under the title “Flee as a Bird to your Mountain” inThe Northern Harp, an 1841 book of “Original Sacred and Moral Songs ” by “Mrs. M. S. B. Dana” (Mary Stanley Bunce (Palmer) Dana (later Shindler), 1810-1883), “Adapted to the Most Popular Melodies, for the Piano-Forte and Guitar”. The tune is said to be a “Spanish melody” and no composer is listed. According to The Female Prose Writers of America by John S. Hart (Philadelphia, E. H. Butler & Co., 1857), which quotes at length from Mrs. Dana's own descriptions of the events of her life to that point, she was born and grew up in South Carolina, she enjoyed writing religious lyrics and setting them to a variety of tunes that she heard that appealed to her, and she endured a number of personal tragedies, including the death of her brother, her husband and her young son within a short period of time in 1839. “Flee As a Bird” has appeared in many hymnals; its lyrics are a simple exhortation to those who are weary of sin and who are sorrowful to turn to Christ. It has also, however, appeared in collections of popular songs such as SG, where it was included in the category “Songs of Home and Country” alongside very different and much better-known pieces such as “Home, Sweet Home” (cob #123), “The Old Oaken Bucket” (cob #283) and “My Old Kentucky Home” (cob #1069). By putting it on a cob numbered in the 300s, the Autophone Company indicated that it, too, did not think of it as a hymn.

#352 - La Eganosa (Spanish), Scarcity: S

#353 - Chabela (Spanish), Scarcity: VS

#354 - La Pantera de San Cosme (Spanish), Scarcity: VS

#355 - On The Waves, Waltz, Scarcity: LC
The tune on this cob is from a later part of the well-known waltz “Sobre las Olas” (more usually translated “Over the Waves”) by Mexican violinist and composer Juventino Rosas (1868-1894). The more familiar first part of the waltz appeared on cob #1199. Rosas was an Otomi Indian of humble background. His now-famous waltz composition was published by a Mexico City music publisher when he was only twenty and he died six years later in Cuba after becoming ill while he was performing there. Reference: BW.

#356 - A Sweet Little Kiss at the Door, Scarcity: LC
This is apparently (see below) another song with words by George Cooper (1840-1927) and music by J. (Joseph) P. Skelly (1853-1895), both of whom lived in New York City and wrote many popular songs (see notes to cob #344). It dates from 1883 and the singer fondly recalls how, years earlier, he kissed his love at the door at the close of an evening together. Sheet music for the song in MN shows Skelly as the composer on the cover but “Paul Prescott” as the composer on the first interior page. It is not clear whether the inclusion of Prescott's name was an error, “Paul Prescott” was a pseudonym of Skelly's, or someone named Prescott rather than Skelly was actually the composer of the tune. In this regard, it is interesting that in the sheet music in MN for the similarly-titled song “Save the Sweetest Kiss for Me” (cob #369), published by the same publisher, Richard A. Saalfield, also in 1883, the cover says only that the piece is “by Paul Prescott” while the first interior page shows the words as by Cooper and the music as by Prescott. These two pieces of sheet music are the only ones in MN's enormous collection in which the name “Paul Prescott” appears. Also, while this may have nothing to do with its appearance in the sheet music, “Paul Prescott” would have been a familiar name to many at the time, because he was the title character in one of the boys' books by Horatio Alger, Jr., that was originally published in 1865 and would still have been popular in the 1880s.

#357 - Mother, Dearest, Raise My Pillow, Scarcity: LC
Sheet music for this 1880 song in MN shows both its words and music as being by Tony Williams and that it was dedicated to “Mrs. Tony Williams”. The piece is another “tear jerker” in which a bedridden girl named Nellie who is about to die asks her mother to raise her pillow so that she can look out the window for the last time at the flowers where she used to wander. Tony Williams is presumably the stage Irish performer of that name who, according to sheet music in MN for other songs written by him, appeared in theaters first with a partner named Powers and later with a partner named Mike Sullivan in the years just before this song was written. The dedication to his wife suggests that he and she might have recently lost a young daughter of their own.

#358 - Mistletoe Schottische, Scarcity: LC
There is once again sheet music in MN containing the tune on this cob with a copyright date of 1878 showing as the composer the prolific blind Philadelphia musician Edward Mack (d. 1882; see notes to cobs #323 and 336).

#359 - Naughty Clara, Scarcity: S
This is an unusual tune in that the verse is in 2/4 time and there is a shift to 3/4 (waltz) time in the chorus. The singer, who is quite taken with a girl named Clara who constantly teases him and flirts with other men, offers to go to Demerara (a region on the north coast of South America) if she tells him to and to “climb up all the mountains” and “swim o'er all the seas” if only she will love him. Sheet music for the piece in UT shows “Hunter” as the lyricist and “Knowles” as the composer, and adds “As sung by Alice Atherton”. An advertisement for the sheet music in the September 6, 1879 issue of The Musical Record described the piece as “One of the attractive songs in 'Horrors', a burlesque, just now quite popular.” Alice Atherton was a well-known comic actress of the day who played a male role, “Prince Achmet”, in that show, which had a run in New York in 1879 after performances in a number of other cities. Reference: Kurt Ganzl, William B. Gill: From the Goldfields to Broadway (New York, Routledge, 2002) (details about the show “Horrors”, for which Gill wrote the play).

#360 - Little Widow Dunn, Scarcity: LC
This song is from an 1879 musical comedy, “The Mulligan Guards' Chowder”, the third in a series of “Mulligan Guard” New York stage productions of Edward (“Ned”) Harrigan (1844-1911) and his partner Tony Hart (real name Anthony J. Cannon; 1855-1891), with music by David Braham (1834(?)-1905) (see notes to cob #249). These shows involved the activities of a ragtag local militia headed by the stage Irish character Dan Mulligan, played by Harrigan, and a competing African-American group, the Skidmore Guards, played in blackface, as well as comic “Dutch” (German) characters. “The Little Widow Dunn” (with words by Harrigan and music by Braham) satirically sings the praises of an Irish-born local widow who keeps a candy store, plays the concertina and is known and loved for her singing and other virtues. It is another unusual piece in that the verses are in 2/4 time and the chorus switches to 4/4 time and a much quicker tempo. References: LL, Gerald Bordman, updated by Richard Norton, American Musical Theatre: A Chronicle (New York, Oxford University Press, 4th Ed., 2010) (which contains detailed information about each of the Mulligan Guards productions).


#361 - Little Footsteps, Scarcity: LC
This 1868 song, still another “tear jerker”, is about a little girl who has died and whose little footsteps will no longer be heard passing the cottage door. The words are (apparently; see below) by Michael B. Leavitt (Levy) (1843-1935), who, according to his extraordinarily detailed memoir titled Fifty Years in Theatrical Management (New York, Broadway Publishing Co., 1912), began his career as a minstrel performer in the Boston area after running away from his home in Hartford, Connecticut at age 15. During the 1860s he worked as a circus clown as well as a comic vocalist and during his many years in the theater business he headed a number of minstrel troupes bearing the Leavitt name. The music is by James A. Barney (1841 or 1842-1889), also a minstrel performer, who was at one time noted for singing “You Never Miss the Water” (cob #293). In Leavitt's memoir, he mentions in passing that he and a number of other performers, including Barney, were members of the same minstrel company in 1864, but in his more-than-700-page book he does not otherwise mention Barney, although he says that he (Leavitt) wrote a number of songs during the 1860s including “Little Footsteps”. It seems peculiar that, if he and Barney collaborated on what became such a popular song, he would not have more to say about him. One edition of sheet music for the song, in TE, includes Leavitt's name on the first inside page (but not the cover) as author of the words; another edition, in FG, does not. Additional references: MM; The Brooklyn Standard Union, February 1, 1925 (article containing recollections of minstrel performers mentioning Barney); Dade County, Florida death certificate showing the death of Leavitt at the age of 92 years 2 days on June 24, 1935; Cook County, Illinois death certificate showing the death of Barney at the age of 47 on December 17, 1889 and listing his occupation as “actor”.

#362 - Spanish Guitar, Scarcity: LC
This song, apparently at one time a favorite among college men, was included with the title “The Spanish Guitar” and a copyright date of 1883 in the once very popular collection titled Students' Songs edited by William H. Hills, “Harvard Class of 1880” (see also notes to cob #282). No writer's or composer's name is provided, as is the case for most of the songs in this book. This particular version of the song consists of only two verses with a chorus (additional verses are included in other versions) and the lyrics are very simple: the singer says merely that when he was a student at Cadiz he played on the Spanish guitar and used to make love to the ladies, and he still plays on the Spanish guitar and still is fond of the ladies, although now he's a “happy papa”. The lyrics “ching! ching!” and “ring! ching! ching!”, repeated throughout the song, imitate the sound of the guitar.

#363 - Only a Dream of My Mother, Scarcity: LC
Both the words and music of this 1878 song in waltz time are by John T. Rutledge, the Memphis, Tennessee songwriter and music publisher (see notes to cob #339). The singer's remembrances of his mother in his dream cheer him up now that she is gone. Reference: MN.

#364 - Redowa, Puss in Boots, Scarcity: LC
The 1881 sheet music for this tune was one of ten pieces of sheet music in a series with the title “Puss in Boots. A New and Brilliant Set of Easy Teaching Pieces” by Carl Riche, published by White, Smith & Co. The series included a Puss in Boots Waltz, Galop, March, Polka, Schottische, Mazurka, Lullaby, Quickstep and Reverie as well as the Redowa. The sheet music sold for 30 cents per piece and each piece included “an awfully 'cunning' picture of a kitten in a boot”. U. S. copyright renewal records state that “Carl Riche” was a pseudonym of White, Smith employee Charles D. Blake. Charles Dupee Blake (1847-1903) was a church organist and pianist in the Boston area who turned to composing and wrote thousands of pieces under eleven different names. He also owned a piano business in Boston (See also notes to cob #284). A redowa is a type of dance in 3/4 time that originated in Bohemia and became popular in France after being introduced there in 1845. References: MN, GD, March, 1882 issue of Folio, a Journal of Music, Drama, Art and Literature (Boston, White, Smith & Co.).

#365 - Down by the Old Abbey Ruin, Scarcity: LC
There is 1884 sheet music for this waltz song in MN showing the author and composer as “L. Egins”. The publisher was again White, Smith & Co. (see notes to cob #364). The singer, out for a summer stroll, comes upon the ruins of an old abbey and a lovely young woman sleeping under a horse chestnut tree nearby. She wakes up suddenly with a start, he introduces himself and puts her at ease, and soon he is declaring his love for her. Sheet music for the song also appeared in the January, 1885 issue of the periodical Folio, also published by White, Smith, and in this version, in the chorus, the singer says that he fondly embraced her dear little “waist”, which makes more sense than “face” in the MN version. There is no other sheet music in MN's enormous collection with words or music by “L. Egins”, there is no one named “Egins” listed in the 1885 Boston city directory and I have not located any death or census record of an “L. Egins”. Perhaps this odd name (a rearrangement of the letters of the word “single”?) was another pseudonym of Charles Dupee Blake or Charles Albert White (see notes to cobs #142 and 284), both of whom were associated with White, Smith and wrote songs under other names. Incidentally, there was a song with almost identical lyrics but a different tune published under the title “The Old Abbey Ruins” by Hitchcock's Music Store in New York with a copyright date of 1883, a year earlier than the date of the White, Smith sheet music. The words and music were listed as being by W. C. Robey. I have also seen references to a song titled “Down by the Old Abbey Ruins” that was performed by English music hall singer, acrobatic dancer and comedian J. W. Rowley that perhaps predates both the Hitchcock and White, Smith versions.

#366 - Old Wooden Rocker, Scarcity: LC
There is 1878 sheet music for this song in MN with the title “The Old Wooden Rocker: A Family Song”, with words and music by Florence Harper. The singer looks at a tall, “grim” old rocking chair that stands in a corner in a now unused room of the house and remembers her grandmother sitting and rocking in it and telling stories when the singer was a child many years earlier; if the chair could speak, it would recall when the singer's grandfather fell in battle and the day her grandmother stood in the house as a bride, but now both her grandmother and all the members of the next generation have died and all that is left of the family are the singer and her sister. Although less familiar, the song is similar to “Grandfather's Clock” (cob #272), which predated it by two years. Once again this is a song that was published under a pseudonym: According to an article in the July 19, 1884 issue of the newspaper The New York Clipper, “The Old Wooden Rocker” was written and composed by “the late D. Frank Tully, while organist of St. Teresa's Church, N. Y.” and was sold by Tully to the songwriter Harrison Millard, who published it on speculation using the fictitious name “Florence Harper”, which was later used by the same music publisher as the name of the author and composer of other songs as well. Millard (1830-1895) was a Boston-born singer and composer who was employed at the Custom House in New York for many years and wrote both religious and secular music, including over 350 songs. There are indeed nine items of sheet music in MN besides “The Old Wooden Rocker” with either music or both words and music by Harper, all later than 1878, and in each case (as with “The Old Wooden Rocker”) the copyright was taken out in the name of Millard, not Harper. As for Tully, his full name was David Franklin Tully, he lived from 1849 to 1878, he was listed in the 1870 census as living in New York City with the occupation “music teacher” and he is represented by 25 pieces of sheet music in MN for songs and dances published under his own name. Reference: GD (information about Millard), New York City death certificate for Tully showing his death on November 29, 1878.

#367 - Rig-a-Jig, Scarcity: LC
This simple traditional song, along the lines of a children's nursery rhyme, appears in a number of older collections of popular American songs, such as Heart Songs Dear to the American People (Boston, Chapple Publishing Co., 1909), a compilation from submissions by the public of their favorite pieces (See notes to cob #195). In the two verses, the singer says merely that, as he was walking down the street, he met a pretty girl and when he asked her her trade she replied that she was a weaver's maid. The rest of the lyrics consist of the repeated phrase “Rig a jig jig and away we go” with interspersed “Heigh o”s.

#368 - Schottische, Little Beauty, Scarcity: C
As in the case of the “Puss in Boots Redowa” (cob #364), the “Little Beauty Schottische” was one of ten pieces in a sheet music series published by White, Smith & Co. in 1881 with the title “Little Beauties. A New and Brilliant Set of Easy Pieces for the Piano-Forte”. The series also included a Little Beauty Reverie, Mazurka, Serenade, Waltz, March, Barcarolle, Galop, Quickstep and Polka and was dedicated “to the music teachers of America”. The composer's name was given as “Claude Haven”, which is very likely once again a pseudonym of one of the White, Smith “regulars” such as Charles Albert White or Charles Dupee Blake (In this regard, see notes to cobs #142, 284, 364 and 365). Interestingly, there was another piece with the title “Little Beauty Schottische” by Charles Kinkel (see notes to cob #306) in a similar series with the title “Basket of Jewels. Pretty Little Pieces for Pretty Little Fingers” published by a different music publisher in 1876, but the tune is a completely different one from the one by “Haven” on the cob. Reference: MN.

#369 - Save the Sweetest Kiss for Me, Scarcity: LC
There is sheet music for this song in MN with a copyright date of 1883. The singer, about to leave on a voyage, tells his beloved he will constantly be thinking about her while he is gone and urges her, until he returns, to save her sweetest kiss for him. On the cover it is stated merely that the song is “by Paul Prescott”, while the first interior page attributes the words to George Cooper and the music to Prescott. As noted in the paragraph about cob #356, Cooper (1840-1927) was a New York City resident who wrote many popular songs and “Paul Prescott” is very likely a pseudonym of J. (Joseph) P. Skelly (1853-1895), who was also a New Yorker and very prolific songwriter, often collaborating with Cooper. There was another, earlier song with the same title and a similar theme but a different tune and lyrics. It was by John T. Rutledge (see notes to cob #339) and the cover of the 1876 sheet music for it in MN says that it is the “Tenth Edition” and was composed for and sung by Thomas B. Dixon of Haverly's Minstrels, suggesting that it may have been a more widely popular song than the one on the cob.

#370 - Dear Evalina, Sweet Evalina, Scarcity: LC
This song in slow waltz time was popular at the time of the American Civil War. There is sheet music for it in LL under the title “Sweet Evelina” with a copyright date of 1863, attributing the words merely to “M.” and the melody to “T.”, and adding “Composed and Arranged for the Piano Forte by Mrs. Parkhurst” and “As Sung by All the Minstrel Bands”. The singer says he loves Evelina, “the sweet little dove” and “pride of the valley”, although he has no money and is fated never to marry her. In the chorus, he sings to her that his love for her will never, never die. Sheet music for the song also appeared with the title “Dear Evelina, Sweet Evelina” (in other words, reversing the words “Sweet” and “Dear” as they appeared in the 1863 sheet music) in Students' Songs, a collection that originally appeared in 1880 edited by William H. Hills, who graduated from Harvard in that year (see notes to cobs #282 and 362) and in Heart Songs Dear to the American People (Boston, Chapple Publishing Co., 1909), a compilation of favorite pieces submitted by the public (see notes to cobs #195 and 367). In both cases, no lyricist's or composer's name is given.


#371 - Gathering Shells, Scarcity: LC
Both the words and music of this at one time very popular 1874 song were by Will L. (Lamartine) Thompson (1847-1909). The sheet music for it, a copy of which is in UN, was published by Thompson's own music publishing company in East Liverpool, Ohio with the title “Gathering Shells from the Seashore”. The elderly singer tells his beloved Maud that he walked along the shore and remembered how they collected seashells there many years earlier in what were the happiest days of their lives. Thompson wrote hymns as well as popular songs, including the very popular hymn “Softly and Tenderly” (cob #89), and, as was noted in the paragraph for that cob, operated a music store as well as his music publishing company in his native Ohio. According to Russell Sanjek, in American Popular Music and its Business: The First Four Hundred Years, Vol. II, from 1790 to 1909 (New York, Oxford University Press, 1988), Thompson sold 265,000 copies of “Gathering Shells” and wrote it in only ten minutes. In an advertisement page at the end of 1880 sheet music, also published by Thompson, for a piano arrangement of the tune without lyrics, he described “Gathering Shells” as “the most popular song in America” and reported that at that point two hundred thousand copies of the sheet music for it had already been sold and the demand was increasing.

#372 - Slavery Days, Scarcity: VS
This is another piece with lyrics by Edward (“Ned”) Harrigan (1844-1911) and music by David Braham (1834(?)-1905) (see notes to cobs #249 and 360). It was the title song of a Harrigan & Hart sketch dating from 1875 and there is sheet music for it, copyrighted the following year, in MN, LL and other collections. By contrast with Stephen Foster's pre-Civil War songs “Old Folks at Home” (cob #121) and “Massa's in de Cold Ground” (#270), in which an African-American slave remembers happier former times on the plantation, the memories of the singer here (an elderly former slave, who would have been played in blackface) are of being “tied…up in bondage” “when our souls was not our own” “in dem agonising, cruel slav'ry days”. Additional reference: John Franceschina, David Braham: The American Offenbach (New York, Routledge, 2003) (information about the production “Slavery Days”).

#373 - Don't You Hear the Baby Crying, Scarcity: LC
There is 1881 sheet music for this comic song in MN. The singer is trying to figure out why the baby is crying. Is he hungry? Does he have the colic? Is a pin sticking him? Does he have trouble breathing? Is he teething? The song is “respectfully dedicated to every baby's mother” and was written and composed by Sam Lucas, who is described in an advertisement in the inside back cover of the sheet music as “The Versatile Colored Artist and Composer”. There was a lengthy article about Lucas in the October 22, 1911 issue of the New York Sun that reported that he was born in Ohio in 1843 and worked as a barber in St. Louis until his fun-loving nature and talent as a comic led him to become a minstrel performer. Interestingly, in being interviewed for the Sun, Lucas claimed that he, not Henry Clay Work, wrote all but the first verse of “Grandfather's Clock” (cob #272) and also composed the tune, but did not receive any payment when Work published it as his own song. Lucas died in 1916. Additional reference: The New York Age, January 20, 1916 (African-American newspaper's report on Lucas' funeral service, at which an orchestra played “Grandfather's Clock”, “a song written and made famous by the deceased many years ago”).

#374 - Some Day I'll Wander Back Again, Scarcity: LC
There is sheet music for this song in UV with a copyright date of 1879 showing the words as being by Arthur W. French and the music as being by William A. Huntley. The singer says that he looks forward to returning some day to the faraway old home of his childhood, where life will once again be merry and free of care and pain (There is no reference in the song as to whether the singer is male or female; it could be sung by a female singer as well). French (1846 or 1847-1916) was a Bridgeport, Connecticut native who was a prolific songwriter as well as a newspaper editor (see notes to cobs #281 and 284). As for Huntley (birth name William Albert Penno, 1843-1929), there are a number of references to him and even a drawing of him in the April-May 1884 issue of S. S. Stewart's Banjo and Guitar Journal, published in Philadelphia. He is described as “America's Classic Banjo Artist, Vocalist and Composer” and it is mentioned that he performed with both Haverly's Mastodon Minstrels and the Whitmore & Clark Minstrels and that his home was in Providence, Rhode Island. There are also advertisements for sheet music for both banjo tunes and songs by him (including “Some Day I'll Wander Back Again”) as well as a glowing endorsement by him of a Stewart banjo. Additional references: MM, Rhode Island death record for Huntley under his birth name of Penno showing his death on March 26, 1929 at the age of 85.

#375 - Take Me Back to Home and Mother, Scarcity: LC
The words to this 1875 song were again written by Bridgeport, Connecticut songwriter and newspaper editor Arthur W. French (1846 or 1847-1916) and the music was again composed by Providence, Rhode Island minstrel performer, banjo teacher and composer William A. Huntley (1843-1929) (see notes to cobs #281 and 374). The thoughts expressed are similar to those of “Some Day I'll Wander Back Again”, the song on the immediately preceding cob, also by French and Huntley: the singer, sad and weary of wandering, asks to be taken back to his childhood home, where he will be free of pain and his mother will tenderly care for him (Once again, there is no reference in the song as to whether the singer is male or female; it could be sung by a female singer as well). Reference: MN.

#376 - The Widow Nolan's Goat, Scarcity: LC
This is another “stage Irish” song from a Harrigan and Hart show with lyrics by Edward (“Ned”) Harrigan (1844-1911) and music by David Braham (1834?-1905): like the tune on cob #300, “The McIntyres”, it comes from “Squatter Sovereignty” (see also notes to cob #249). A review of that show and a detailed summary of its hilarious-sounding plot appeared five days after it opened in the January 14, 1882 issue of the theater and sporting newspaper The New York Clipper. Rosie Nolan (played by Harrigan's partner Tony Hart (real name Anthony J. Cannon; 1855-1891)), a widow who lives in a tumble-down shanty, wants her daughter Nellie to marry Terence McIntyre, son of Felix McIntyre (played by Harrigan), who makes money by offering passers-by on the street the opportunity to look at the heavens through his large telescope “at ten cents a peep”. Rosie and Felix agree that Nellie's dowry will include Rosie's pet billygoat, which cannot immediately be produced because, it turns out, it has been impounded by wealthy glue manufacturer Captain Kline, a “stage German” character, because the goat has chewed up his lace curtains. Nellie, however, does not love Terence but rather Captain Kline's son Fred, whom she marries after he has introduced her to his father under the name “Louisa Schwartz”. The plot then turns upon whether Felix will be entitled to keep the goat under his agreement with Rosie, and ultimately a pitched battle erupts between the two rival neighborhood factions, the McIntyres and the Maguires (who support Rosie), in which Rosie's shanty is torn to the ground just before the final curtain falls. In the song, an Irish-sounding piece in jig tempo, Rosie sings the praises of her beloved pet goat. Reference: MN.

#377 - Waltz—Violet, Scarcity: LC
There is sheet music for this waltz tune in MN with the title “Violet Waltz” and a copyright date of 1878 that shows the composer as “C. Kinkel”. The piece was one of a series of ten tunes, “Summer Flowers”, all with flower titles and all by the same composer, that also included “Tube Rose” (a polka), “Hyacinth” (a march), “Pink” (a schottische), “Fuchsia” (a mazurka), “White Rose” (a waltz), “Hyacinth” (a galop), “Tulip” (a polka), “Lily” (a schottische) and “Morning Glory” (a quickstep). “Violet Waltz” was the only one of these that found its way onto the roller organ. As noted in the paragraph about cob #306, Charles Kinkel (1832-1891) was a German-born composer, music teacher and author of musical instruction works who lived for most of his life in Shelbyville, Kentucky and composed many light pieces like “Violet Waltz”.

#378 - Waltz—Maid of Beauty, Scarcity: LC
There is sheet music for this waltz tune in MN with a copyright date of 1878 showing the composer as “Pierre Latour”. According to an article in the August, 1921 issue of The Etude: Presser's Musical Magazine entitled “Noms de Plume”, “Pierre Latour” was a pseudonym of E. Mack, meaning Edward Mack (1825 or 1826-1882), the extremely prolific blind Philadelphia composer (see notes to cob #323).

#379 - Schottische—Patti, Scarcity: LC
This is one of a series of three pieces with the title “Patti” for which sheet music was published by W. F. Shaw with a copyright date of 1881: a “Patti Waltz” by Pierre Latour (a pen name of Edward Mack; see notes to cob #378), a “Patti Echo Song” by E. Lagrange (another Mack pseudonym?), and this schottische by William F. Sudds (1843-1920). “Patti” refers to operatic soprano Adelina Patti (1843-1919), who was born in Spain of Italian parents, both of whom were opera singers, grew up in New York, began performing publicly at a very young age and ultimately achieved the status of an international vocal superstar. Her return to New York from Europe to perform in 1881 after a long absence was no doubt the motivation for the composition and publication of the “Patti” pieces in that year and a drawing of her appears on the cover of the sheet music. Sudds was born in England and brought to the United States at age 7, served in the Civil War as a musician, studied at the Boston Conservatory of Music and spent the rest of his life in Gouverneur, St. Lawrence County, in northern New York, where he owned a music store in addition to composing and teaching. In 1881, coincidentally, he received a letter from Boston music publisher Oliver Ditson that read “Any piano pieces of yours will always be acceptable, because you have shown more ability in this line of composition than any man in America except Gottschalk” (referring to the highly-regarded composer Louis Moreau Gottschalk (1829-1869)). References: MN, GD, Michel Mortier, Biographical Sketch of Madame Adelina Patti (New York, Steinway & Sons' Celebrated Pianos, 1881), September 29, 1920 issue of The Northern Tribune (Gouverneur, New York; lengthy obituary article about Sudds).

#380 - For Goodness Sake Don't Say I Told You, Scarcity: S
There are a number of different sets of humorous lyrics linked with this tune, in each case consisting of eight lines, the second, fourth and final of which are “But for goodness sake don't say I told you”. The tune provided a structure, almost like the meter of a limerick, that lyricists could use to create simple songs, in some cases with many stanzas, each stanza consisting of first and third lines that rhyme and fifth, sixth and seventh lines that rhyme, commenting on fads, political figures and events of the day, etc. In MN, for example, there are eight different pieces of sheet music from different publishers, all dating from 1881-1883, with varying lyrics, all with the title “For Goodness Sake Don't Say I Told You”. The common thread is the tune, which is attributed in each case to Arthur Lloyd (1839-1904), an English music hall performer who originated the song several years earlier. Lloyd, who was born in Edinburgh and died there in impoverished circumstances after a career as a comic singer that spanned fifty years, wrote more than a thousand songs, one of the most popular of which was “Not for Joseph” (cob #412). Reference: The Era (a London theatrical weekly), July 23, 1904 (obituary article about Lloyd).


#381 - Summer Holiday, Scarcity: VS
This waltz tune (the correct title of which is “Summer Holidays Waltz”) is another that appeared in a series of pieces of sheet music: in addition to the waltz, there were a “Summer Holidays Galop”, a “Summer Holidays Rondo”, a “Summer Holidays Mazurka” and a “Summer Holidays Polka”, all with a copyright date of 1882 and all composed by W. F. Sudds “for the piano or cabinet organ”. As noted in the paragraph about cob #379, Sudds (1843-1920) lived in the small town of Gouverneur in northern New York State, where he operated a music store in addition to composing and teaching. He is represented in the MN sheet music collection as the composer or arranger of several hundred pieces, including this one.

#382 - Excursion Waltz, Scarcity: LC
There is sheet music for this waltz tune in MN with a copyright date of 1883. It was written by Adam Geibel (1855-1933), the German-born blind composer, conductor, organist and music publisher who lived in Philadelphia (see notes to cob #227).

#383 - A Violet from Mother's Grave, Scarcity: LC
This is another “tear jerker” in which the singer thinks back to his happy childhood home, where no one is left, his parents, brother and sister having now all died. He says he will keep as a memorial to cheer him up when he is sad a small violet he plucked from his mother's grave when he was a boy. There is sheet music for the song in LL with a copyright date of 1881 showing Will H. Fox as both the lyricist and composer. Fox (real name William Herman Hirschfeld; 1858-1929) was a singer, dancer and pianist who was born in Baltimore, first appeared on the stage at the age of 11, turned to songwriting after his voice changed, wrote about fifty songs and in his later years, wearing a big red wig, created a character named “Paddywhiski”, satirizing classical pianist Ignacy Jan Paderewski, and performed as a trick piano player. Fox wrote a very interesting letter that was published in the August 19, 1916 issue of the New York Clipper in which he provided a detailed autobiography because, at the time, another performer had adopted and was using his name. Additional reference: Application for U.S. passport dated January 24, 1924 in which Fox applied as “William Herman Hirschfeld, professionally known as Will H. Fox”, provided his birthdate of October 19, 1858 and stated his residence as Danbury, Connecticut; entry in the England and Wales Death Registration Index with the name “William H. Hirschfeld” showing his death at age 70 in London in the third quarter of 1929.

#384 - There's Music in the Air, Scarcity: S
Although this is a scarce cob, the song on it was very popular in its day and remained well-known well into the twentieth century. Its three stanzas say, in poetic language, merely that there is comforting music in the air in the early morn, at noontide and at twilight. The sheet music for it in MN from 1857 attributes it solely to George F. (Frederick) Root (1820-1895), although the lyrics to it were in fact furnished to him by Fanny J. (Jane) Crosby (1820-1915). Root was known primarily for his numerous Civil War songs including “Tramp, Tramp” (cob #229) and “The Battle Cry of Freedom” (cob #390), although he also composed hymn tunes (see notes to cob #10) as well as tunes to sentimental songs like “There's Music in the Air”, the first four lines of which (along with lyrics from a number of his other best-known songs) were quoted in the lengthy obituary article about him in the August 8, 1895 edition of The New York Times. Crosby, the blind songwriter remembered primarily for her thousands of hymns (see notes to cob #72), typically supplied Root with lyrics for a flat price of $1 or $2 per song, with no royalty rights. Additional reference: Edith L. Blumhofer, Her Heart Can See: The Life and Hymns of Fanny J. Crosby (Grand Rapids, Michigan, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2005).

#385 - On de Banks of de Ribber Side, Scarcity: LC
There is sheet music for this song in MN with a copyright date of 1881 with the title “On de Banks by de Ribber Side”. Both the words and music were by African-American minstrel performer Sam Lucas (1843-1916; see notes to cob #373), and the words are in dialect. The singer remembers his birthplace “way down yonder” on the banks by the river side where, on Sunday, “ole Uncle Ben” and the singer's sister Sue would gather “wid de rest ob de Christian crew” to hear what the preacher had to say, and the singer climbed the church steeple and, looking over toward a mountain top, “seen dem angels' wings gwine flip up and flop”.

#386 - Whip-Poor-Will's Song, Scarcity: LC
The whip-poor-will is a bird native to North America with a name that comes from the sound of its call. There is sheet music in NC for this love song in waltz time with a copyright date of 1865 under the title “The Whip-Poor-Will's Echo Song”, so called because, in the chorus, the call of the whip-poor-will (“Whip-poor-will”) and the later words “Oh, meet me” are both “echoed” by the accompaniment; in fact, there are instructions for singing the song on the first page that read “the Echo of the Whip-poor-will may be repeated by another voice at a distance, or in another room, with very fine effect”. The sheet music attributes the song to “H. Millard” (Harrison Millard, 1830-1895, the prolific Boston-born New York songwriter (see notes to cob #366)).

#387 - Mary Ann I'll Tell Your Ma, Scarcity: LC
There is sheet music with a copyright date of 1881 for this song in LL. The cover reads “as sung by George Thatcher of Thatcher and Ryman's Minstrels” and “words and music by Gov. Add. Ryman”. The singer laments the fact that whenever he is out with his girl Mary Ann they are taunted by “vulgar” voices that call to her threatening to report her activities to her mother, with whom she lives, and he suspects that this is the work of her mischievous little brothers. John Addison Ryman (1836 or 1837-1896), who appeared on stage under the names “Add Ryman” and “Governor Add Ryman”, was the son of a Judge of the Supreme Court of Ohio, studied law himself, was admitted to the bar, served in the Civil War and on his return home instead of turning to the practice of law organized a minstrel company. He later founded Thatcher and Ryman's Minstrels with fellow performer George Thatcher. Edward LeRoy Rice, in MM, called Ryman “one of the greatest burlesque actors that minstrelsy ever knew”, who was “likewise famed as a stump orator” (that is, a blackface performer who delivered comic mock “addresses”). Additional reference: The New York Times, June 28, 1896 (Ryman obituary article).

#388 - Down the Shady Grove, Scarcity: S
In this pretty but forgotten song, the singer remembers earlier days wandering in the shady grove with his love and, visiting the spot once again, hears her voice. There is sheet music for the song in MN with a copyright date of 1881 that shows both the words and music as being by Henry Morse. Apart from this, I have found very little conclusive information about either the song or its author/composer. There are four other pieces of sheet music in MN with songs by a Henry Morse (who may or may not be the same Henry Morse). Unlike the sheet music for “Down the Shady Grove”, however, which was published by White, Smith in Boston, these four pieces were all published by Morse himself in New York, one dating from 1887 and containing a song and dance with the title “Oh! Moses Ain't it Cold”, in which the singer is an African-American who has moved north, and showing Morse's address as 264 Grand Street on the Lower East Side of New York City, and three World War I songs published three decades later showing his address as 105 Forsyth Street, which is within a block of the Grand Street address. This Morse also advertised in the June 12, 1886 issue of The New York Clipper that sheet music for a song “Come to my Arms, Precious Darling” was available through him at the Grand Street address. The lyrics to this latter song appeared in Volume 16 of Wehman's Universal Songster, a multi-volume collection of song lyrics, with the notation that it had been copyrighted by Morse in 1880. Also, an advertisement in the March 18, 1882 issue of The New York Clipper for M. B. Leavitt's Gigantean Minstrels (see notes to cob #361) includes in the list of soloists performing with “the Grand Orchestra” a Henry Morse, suggesting that he may have been a now-forgotten minstrel performer. In addition to these scraps of information, there is a listing in Trow's New York City Directory for 1889-1890 for a Henry Morse who operated a “perfumery” at 260 Grand Street, only two doors away from the other Grand Street address, and there is a short article in the New York Evening World of May 3, 1894 about a Henry Morse, perfumer, of 65 Forsyth Street, right down the street from the other Forsyth Street address, being arrested because underage runaway girls were brought by other girls to his rooms. The article adds “Neighbors said that girls of tender years were in the habit of visiting Morse”. All of this may be irrelevant to “Down the Shady Grove”, however, because the Morse who was a denizen of New York's Lower East Side may be a totally different person from the one credited in the White, Smith sheet music with writing and composing that song.

#389 - The Beau of Saratoga, Scarcity: S
There was a lengthy catalogue in The Publishers Trade List Annual for 1884 (New York, The Publishers' Weekly, 1884) of “Popular Cheap Publications” of New York publisher A. T. B. DeWitt that included a long list of items of sheet music that DeWitt sold for only a nickel apiece. “The Beau of Saratoga”, the composer of which was listed as “Alfred G. Vance”, was one of the pieces included in the “Comic and Serio-Comic” category, which also included a number of well-known English music hall songs that DeWitt could presumably reprint in the United States at that time without concern about copyright infringement (see notes to cob #335). According to The Dictionary of National Biography (New York, The MacMillan Company, 1899), Alfred Glenville Vance (real name Alfred Peck Stephens; 1839?-1888) was a very popular London-born comic singer, dancer and actor who portrayed a number of different characters, including low cockneys and foppish “swells” like “The Beau of Saratoga”, in his music hall stage performances in England and became known as “The Great Vance”.

#390 - The Battle-cry of Freedom, Scarcity: C
This is another of only six cobs in the #301-400 numerical range with a scarcity rating of C (common) or VC (very common), reflecting the fact that “The Battle-Cry of Freedom” was one of the most popular songs among troops during the American Civil War and persisted in popularity for many years afterwards. Also sometimes known as “Rally Round the Flag, Boys”, it was written and composed by George F. (Frederick) Root (1820-1895) (see notes to cobs #10, 229 and 384) and published by his Root & Cady music publishing company in Chicago in 1862 and immediately became a favorite among Union troops. An alternate version subsequently appeared with pro-Confederate lyrics by William H. Barnes and a tune modified by Hermann L. Schreiner, published in 1864 by J. C. Schreiner & Son in Macon and Savannah, Georgia and by other publishers all over the South. Reference: MN (which includes sheet music for both the Union and Confederate versions of the song and also notes in an online article, “Popular Songs of the Day”, that more than 350,000 copies of the sheet music for the song were sold).


#391 - Waltz—Moss Agate, Scarcity: S
This waltz tune is another that appeared in a series of pieces of sheet music, this one with the title “Gems of Melody”. On the cover of each piece, framed within an image of a large jeweled ring, was a drawing of a group of five women and girls looking at jewelry in a case. In addition to the “Moss Agate Waltz”, there were a “Diamond Polka”, “Ruby Galop”, “Pearl Waltz”, “Sapphire Schottische”, “Emerald Quickstep”, “Onyx March”, “Amethyst Reverie”, “Topaz Galop” and “Garnet Polka”, none of which found its way onto the roller organ. Each had a copyright date of 1881 and was described on the cover as “a beautiful and instructive piece” composed by W. F. Sudds. Use of the word “instructive” indicates that the pieces were intended for students learning to play the home piano or organ. As noted in the paragraph about cob #379, William F. Sudds (1843-1920) was a very prolific composer and arranger who lived in the small town of Gouverneur in northern New York State, where he operated a music store in addition to composing and teaching. He also wrote instructional works such as The National School for the Reed Organ and The National School for the Piano-Forte. Reference: MN.

#392 - Come Back to Erin, Scarcity: LC
Although often assumed to be an Irish folk song, this is in fact a Victorian drawing room ballad and was both written and composed by “Claribel”, the pen name of English songwriter Charlotte Alington Barnard (1830-1869; see also notes to cobs #104 and 337). The singer addresses his love, who has left her native Ireland (Erin) and sailed to a distant shore, and he asks her to return home; when she does, he says, Killarney will ring with their mirth. This is another piece that is a little long to fit comfortably onto a 20-note roller organ cob. It must be cranked slowly to play at the correct tempo, and therefore will sound good only on a machine with strong pneumatics. Reference: FG.

#393 - Cheer, Boys, Cheer, Scarcity: LC
This spirited and optimistic song of “boys” setting sail from their native England to “the new and happy land” dates from 1846. The words are by English poet and journalist Charles Mackay (1814-1889) and the music is by Henry Russell (1812-1900; see notes to cob #267). Russell was born in England, studied music in Italy while in his teens, sojourned in Canada and then the United States from 1833 until 1841 and, after returning home, composed music for this and other lyrics by Mackay. He performed to great acclaim, singing and accompanying himself on the piano, and wrote or composed over 800 songs. His 1895 memoir was titled Cheer, Boys, Cheer, reflecting the fact that this was his most popular song. References: OF, OC, GD, DN (incl. 1901 Supplement).

#394 - Bonnie Dundee, Scarcity: LC
This tune is another that was an established old favorite at the beginning of the roller organ era and, as such, appeared in the 1881 song collection OF, with lyrics attributed to the Scottish poet and novelist Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832). The author of OF, Helen Kendrick Johnson, stated, without providing any further details, that the tune dated from 1628. Whether or not this is correct, it is a very old traditional Scottish tune that was, over the centuries, used for a number of songs of different types in the British Isles, Canada and the United States, including some sung by troops during the American Civil War, and, played as a march, has been associated with a number of British and Canadian regiments.

#395 - Betty and the Baby, Scarcity: S
There was an incident in 1882 that prompted the writing of two songs copyrighted that year, “Betty and the Baby” (words by George Cooper and music by John R. Sweney; sheet music in LL) and “Dear Betty and the Baby” (words by George Russell Jackson and music by J. Albert Snow; sheet music in MN). The tune on this cob, however, does not correspond to the tune of either of these songs and is presumably the tune to a third song also titled “Betty and the Baby” that was written after the same incident. Following the assassination of U.S. President James A. Garfield in 1881, a detail of soldiers was assigned to guard the assassin, Charles J. Guiteau, in part to protect him from angry mobs who wanted to lynch him. One of the soldiers, an artillery sergeant named John A. Mason, fired his rifle at him in his cell but did not injure him. Guiteau was convicted of the assassination and hanged the following year. Mason was court martialed and imprisoned for his action and there was a widespread movement (the “Mason craze”) to have him released that made the emotional appeal that he was now separated from his wife Betty and their baby child, whom he loved and who were dependent upon him. After receiving a petition with nearly a million signatures requesting that Mason be pardoned, President Garfield's successor, Chester A. Arthur, did pardon him in November, 1883.

#396 - Langtry Waltzes, Nos. 1 & 2, Scarcity: LC
#397 - Langtry Waltzes, Nos. 3 & 4, Scarcity: LC
There is sheet music in LL with a copyright date of 1882 with the title “The Langtry Waltzes” that includes all four waltz themes that appear on these two cobs. The noted-beauty-turned-actress Lillie Langtry (1853-1929) had come to the United States on tour in that year and her image is on the cover. The composer's name is given as “G. Operti”, referring to Giuseppe Operti (c. 1824-1886), an Italian-born composer, orchestra leader and pianist who composed incidental music for, and served as musical director of, popular stage productions. He died in Leadville, Colorado, four years later while on the road with a theatrical troupe. Additional reference: Obituary article about Giuseppe Operti in the December 9, 1886 edition of The New York Times.

#398 - Angels' Waltz, Scarcity: LC
This is another waltz tune with a “generic” sort of title for which I have not yet located either sheet music or any information. There does not appear to be any waltz with this or any similar title in either English or German by Johann Strauss II or in either English, French or German by Emil Waldteufel. I have also not found either sheet music or any reference in advertisements for sheet music for any tune with this or any similar title by any of the American composers who wrote “generic” sorts of dance tunes for music publishers in large volume such as Edward L. Mack, Charles D. Blake or W. F. Sudds.

#399 - John Brown, Scarcity: C
BW contains a very detailed history of the evolution of this famous song of the Civil War era, more usually known as “John Brown's Body”. The tune was derived from a Methodist camp meeting hymn and the words were first sung by United States Army troops in Boston shortly after the beginning of the Civil War in 1861. The song immediately became popular and a number of different versions of it appeared in broadside and sheet music form during the same year. The original “John Brown” of the song was an Army sergeant at Fort Warren at the entrance to Boston Harbor, but the song later also became associated with the anti-slavery activist of the same name who was executed in 1859 following his unsuccessful raid on a federal armory at Harper's Ferry, Virginia. The poet and abolitionist Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910) wrote the lyrics to the universally-known American patriotic song “Battle Hymn of the Republic” to the tune “John Brown” later in 1861. Additional references: OF, OD.

#400 - Dar am Honey on Dese Lips, Scarcity: LC
The sheet music to this song, a copy of which is in MN, appeared in 1878 and was part of a series with the title “Popular Songs by H. P. Danks”, although the lyrics to the song were not by Danks but rather by prolific Rhode Island songwriter S. (Samuel) N. Mitchell (1846-1905; see notes to cob #238). Hart Pease Danks (1834-1903; see notes to cob #230), who wrote the tune, was the comparably prolific composer who is most remembered for the once very popular “Silver Threads Among the Gold” (cob #476). The lyrics to “Dar am Honey on Dese Lips” are entirely in dialect; the African-American singer professes his love to his Linda, asking her to kiss him, nestle beside him and whisper words of pleasure, as there is honey on his lips.

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


AC Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American Biography (New York, D. Appleton and Company, 1887)
BW James J. Fuld, The Book of World-Famous Music, Classical, Popular and Folk, 3rd Ed. (New York, Dover Publications, 1985)
CH The online Cyber Hymnal (
DM Eliado Cortes, Ed., Dictionary of Mexican Literature (Westport, Connecticut, Greenwood Press, 1992)
DN Dictionary of National Biography (First. Ed., 1885-1900)
DU Duke University Sheet Music Collections (online at
FG Frances G. Spencer Collection of American Popular Sheet Music (Baylor University) (online at
GD H. C. Colles, Ed., Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 3rd Ed. (New York, MacMillan, 1935)
LL Lester S. Levy Sheet Music Collection at Johns Hopkins University (online at
MB Maine Music Box Collections (at the University of Maine and elsewhere, 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, 1870-1885 and similar online United States Library of Congress collections)
NC National Cyclopaedia of American Biography (New York, James T. White & Company, 1897 (and other editions))
OC Peter Gammond, The Oxford Companion to Popular Music (New York, Oxford University Press, 1991)
OD Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2007)
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)
TE Sheet music in the library of Temple University, accessible online at
UN Sheet music in the library of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, accessible online at
UT Sheet music in the University of Tennessee Sheet Music Collection, accessible online at
UV Sheet music in the University of Virginia Library, accessible online at

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