Yankee Doodle-Doo: A Collection of Songs of the Early American Stage

By Grenville Vernon | Go to book overview

THE INTRODUCTION

IN the history of the American theatre the lyric drama in whatever its form has been little regarded and less remembered. Of it there has been no history written, aside from Mr. Krehbiel's books devoted to New York grand opera, and Mr. Sonneck's study of American opera before 1800. Yet it existed, it amused, and if now it has been forgotten, there is ample reason why we should know what it meant and was. It has been said that the soul of a nation is revealed in the songs of its people. Here then is a corner, and a forgotten one, of the American soul prior to the Civil War. Anyone perusing this volume even at hap-hazard, will recognize that during this period America obtained several souls; the songs of pre‐ Revolutionary times having nothing in common with those of the thirties, forties, and fifties, while those of the period between these are different still. As far as the present editor has been able to determine this is the first time that the field of American song up to 1860, comprising the field of opera, comic opera, and songs incidental to spoken plays, has been treated in any form whatever. For the purposes of this book the songs of the minstrel and variety stage have been omitted.

The period covered by this book is marked by an extraordinary eclecticism on the part of the librettist towards the composer. In other words he as often as not stole his music from whomever he wished, the law of copyright having not yet placed its non possimus upon this merry method. Sometimes the librettist was good enough to indicate the tune he stole, and sometimes he wasn't. These tunes belonged mostly to English, Scotch, or Irish songs, and where I have been able to find them I have, with a few exceptions, reproduced them in conjunction with the words written to them by the American playwright. There was, however, especially in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, also much original music written for the plays and operas. James Hewitt wrote a complete score

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Yankee Doodle-Doo: A Collection of Songs of the Early American Stage
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Yankee Doodle-Doo *
  • The Introduction 5
  • The Contents 9
  • The Illustrations *
  • Thomas Godfrey 15
  • Andrew Barton 16
  • Royal Tyler 23
  • John Leacock 25
  • Ann Kemble Hatton 29
  • Mrs. Susanna Rowson 32
  • Elihu Hubbard Smith 35
  • William Milns 40
  • John Beete 43
  • William Dunlap 45
  • Benjamin Carr 50
  • Laurence Sterne 58
  • James Hewitt 64
  • Victor Pellesier 70
  • James Hewitt 80
  • James Nelson Barker 83
  • James Ellison 90
  • Anonymous 92
  • Joseph Hutton 93
  • Charles Powell Clinch 98
  • Samuel B. H. Judah 101
  • Micah Hawkins 104
  • Samuel Woodworth 107
  • C. S. Talbot 119
  • John Howard Payne 121
  • Anonymous 127
  • Robert Dale Owens 128
  • William H. Fry 130
  • Benjamin A. Baker 132
  • James Gaspard Maeder 134
  • J. H. Wainwright 139
  • Charles M. Walcot 142
  • 0. F. Durivage 144
  • James Pilgrim 145
  • Thomas Dunn English 151
  • C. W. Taylor 154
  • John Brougham 156
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