Early American Sheet Music: Its Lure and Its Lore, 1768-1889

By Harry Dichter; Elliott Shapiro | Go to book overview

Overture to Words and Music

PORTRAIT OF STEPHEN FOSTER

He wrote songs for a living
With a quill from an angel's wing
He kept a young nation singing
But I doubt if his own heart could sing
He wrote about needy people
A land full of "Old Black Joes"
And millions of "Weep no more ladies"
While he himself hungered and froze
'Tis sad that life gave so little
To him, who had so much to give
His words were the words of a beggar
Who begged that others might live
Yes! He wrote songs for a living
And left a pauper's estate
But if there's a Songwriter's Heaven
He lives in the House of the Great
.

Sam. M. Lewis

STEPHEN FOSTER died penniless in Bellevue Hospital. John Jacob Astor died a millionaire many times over, surrounded by every comfort that money could buy. Strange as it may seem, there is a connection between these two, for John Jacob Astor at one time tried to make a living from music. In 1786 he opened the first music store in New York City, but in the back of his brain lurked that famous old saying "You can get it for a song." So shrewd, thrifty John Jacob Astor decided that if he wanted to become a man of note, it would have to be through "bank-notes." He devoted his time to furs and real estate, and his fame and fortune grew with the years.

Stephen Foster's real estate was in his songs. The divine spark was in his heart, but unfortunately poets and pocket-books seldom travel together. Still, when Stephen died he too left millions--millions of mothers to hum his melodies at hush-a-bye time, millions of children to long for the "Old Folks At Home"--millions of sweethearts to sing to their "Jeanie With The Light Brown Hair."

In this book you will run across many familiar titles. Spare a little thought for the writer who gave his all to the world; perhaps in some candle-lit attic in the wee small hours of the morning, hungry for food, but not hungry for the ideas that flowed freely from his heart and his

-xv-

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Early American Sheet Music: Its Lure and Its Lore, 1768-1889
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword vii
  • Contents ix
  • List of Illustrations xii
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Overture to Words and Music xv
  • Introduction xvii
  • First Editions xxiii
  • Part I Classified Listing of Early American Sheet Music xxxi
  • Presidents of the United States (1789-1941) 1
  • Music of the American Revolution (hostilities 1775-1783) 7
  • Early Music (1788-1810) 11
  • Early Patriotic and Historical Items (not Connected with Any War) 15
  • Yankee Doodle (in Chronological Order) 17
  • Hail Columbia (president's March) 21
  • Adams and Liberty ("Anacreon" Tune) 23
  • Undeclared War with France (hostilities 1798-1800) 24
  • George Washington 26
  • War with Tripoli (hostilities 1801-1805) 28
  • Early Indian Items 29
  • Early Negro Songs 30
  • War of 1812 (hostilities 1812-1815) 32
  • Star Spangled Banner (foreword) 34
  • Prior Uses of the "Anacreon" Tune 35
  • Star Spangled Banner Editions (the Imprints Are Given Exactly as Printed, in Each Case) 36
  • Songsters Containing Star Spangled Banner 38
  • Home Sweet Home 39
  • Lafayette 42
  • Military Items 45
  • My Country 'tis of Thee (america) 46
  • Early Comic Songs 47
  • Illustrated Negro Minstrel Songs (of the "Jim Crow" Type) 51
  • Non-Illustrated Negro Minstrel Songs 54
  • Ship Items 55
  • New York City Items 58
  • Political Items 60
  • Tobacco Items 63
  • Temperance Items 65
  • Abolition Items 67
  • Skating Items 68
  • Railroad Items 70
  • Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean 72
  • Indian Items 74
  • Dance Items 76
  • Fire Items 78
  • Mexican War (hostilities 1846-1847) 81
  • Jenny Lind Items 83
  • Early California Imprints 84
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin 85
  • Music Stores (the Name of the Publisher Precedes Each Title) 87
  • Stephen C. Foster First Editions 92
  • Stephen C. Foster Confederate Editions (description Condensed) 96
  • Express Company Items 98
  • College Views (the Name of the College Precedes Each Title) 99
  • College Songs 101
  • Later Comic Items 103
  • Telegraph and Cable Item 104
  • Dixie 105
  • Abraham Lincoln 109
  • Maryland My Maryland 113
  • Civil War Items (hostilities 1861-1865) 115
  • Confederate Items 119
  • Money Items 125
  • Stamp Items 128
  • Oil Items 129
  • Croquet Items 130
  • Trapeze and Aerial Items 131
  • Velocipede Items 132
  • Telephone Item 133
  • Harrigan and Hart Items 134
  • Electricity Item 136
  • Typewriter Item 137
  • Portraits on Music 138
  • Famous Songs (description Condensed) 139
  • Songs of Literary Interest (description Condensed) 156
  • Part II Directory of Early American Music Publishers 164
  • Part III Lithographers and Artists Working on American Sheet Music Before 1870 *
  • Bibliography 258
  • Part IV Illustrations 260
  • Index *
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