Sunday, April 29, 2012

"The Regular Army O" - Harrigan and Branham

A very early Broadway show tune with lyrics by Edward Harrigan and music by David Braham, in 1874 before the theaters on Broadway in lower Manhattan were known as "Broadway." Became a favorite of regular army troops, who wrote some of their own lyrics to it. (See the thread DTStudy: The Regular Army, O (Harrigan & Braham) on Mudcat Cafe. Chorus ends: "... The drums they roll, upon my soul, for that's the way we go / Forty miles a day on beans and hay in the Regular Army, Oh."

YouTube has Molly's Revenge A Regular Army O (beginning at 2:21). At the Performing Arts Center of Pacific Grove< Calif., during the November 2011 Celtic Winter's Eve.

Sheet music (in F# minor?) in Levy collection at Johns Hopkins. ABC file in A (= F#m?) at ...

Friday, April 20, 2012

"Rory O'Moore" / and a wonderful version of "March of the Kings of Laois" on TG4

A 19th-century Anglo-Irish music hall song by Samuel Lover, set to an old tune commemorating Rory O'Moore (Ruairí Ó Mórdha) of Co. Laois, who took part in the rebellion of 1641, known now as the March of the King of Laois. Gen. Benjamin Grierson set lyrics criticizing Stephen A. Douglas to the music hall version during the election of 1860.

Lissa Schneckenburger LIVE at KCAW in Sitka - Rory O'More.

Lissa Schneckenburger and Bethany Waickman perform "Rory O'More" live during the Good Day Radio Show, 11-12-10, at Raven Radio, KCAW in Sitka, Alaska.

Sung by the Wolfe Tones /w lyrics at ... cf. March of the King of Laois/O'Sullivan's March by Lorinda Jones, harp; Larry Green, fiddle; and Cathy Wilde, uillean pipes, at

Benjamin Grierson used it for a campaign song in 1860 - William H. Leckie and Shirley A. Leckie, Unlikely Warriors: General Benjamin Grierson and His Family (Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 1984). 41-41.

In Meredosia, the task of writing verses for campaign songs, sung to old, well-known tunes, fell to Ben, who relished the assignment. He was especially proud of one entitled "Douglas's Record, or Political Gymnastics," set to the tune of "Rory O'More" and including this refrain: "O! Stephen A Douglas is a wonderful man / In political gymnastics he leads the van / Most notable feats he performs with great ease / On all sides of all questions everybody to please" [n38 Ben to Alice, June 1, 1860]

Sheet music for the song by Samuel Lover, for voice and piano (with an interesting accompaniment w/ block chords used as a drone) in The Ideal Home Music Library, Vol. 9, Sentimental Songs, ed. Albert Ernest Wier (New York: Scribners, 1913) at Also in Digital Tradition with MIDI file, ABC notation and mountain dulcimer tab available for those who want it. Lover was an Anglo-Irish songwriter - bio on Wikipedia.

And here's where the music hall tune comes from, the "March of the Kings of Laois," as performed on button box and keyboard in a pub session for RTE TG4's Geantraí show:

Lissa Schneckenburger's tutorial on singing with fiddle accompaniment, backing her voice with two-note chords ...

Schneckenburger's latest CD dance has Rory O'Moore plus a lot of contradance tunes:

1.Petronella 2.Lamplighter's Hornpipe/Suffer the Child 3.Jefferson and Liberty/Bert Ferguson 4.Lady Walpole's Reel/The Mountain Ranger/Nancy King 5.Eugenia's Waltz 6.Moneymusk 7. Huntsman's Chorus 8.Rory O'More 9.Fisher's Hornpipe 10.Jamie Allen FEATURING: Lissa Schneckenburger (fiddle), Bethany Waickman (guitar, pump organ), Corey DiMario (double bass), Dave Cory (tenor banjo), David Harris (euphonium, trombone), David Kaynor (fiddle), Eric Merrill (viola), Jeremiah McLane (piano, accordion), Keith Murphy (guitar, piano), Stefan Amidon (percussion)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Miscellaneous notes: Historically informed performance practice

composer and record producer Michael Sartorius

- BAROQUE MUSIC PERFORMANCE: "Authentic" or "Traditional"

There is a spirit to every age, every composer, and every piece of music. In baroque times secular and sacred life were very much inter-related, and music was to be enjoyed, but also respected as a spiritual gift. Bach spoke often of a piece, its performance, and the instrumentation or style with which it was performed as requiring gravitas. More importantly, the spirit of the baroque is characterized above all by clarity, for the music is very contrapuntal (fugal/canonic) and every note, every line has its place. Love and respect for the music, enjoyment in performance, and above all, clarity in the articulation, ensemble and recording balance. These are the true essentials of baroque music. If performance practices billed as “authentic” on "period" instruments can reveal these qualities and this spirit then that is true authenticity. If modern instruments can do the same, then that too is authenticity. It’s the spirit that counts.

story in web magazine by composer and biographer (Brahms and Charles Ives) Jan Stafford

In Search of Lost Sounds
Why you've never really heard the "Moonlight" Sonata.
By Jan Swafford|Posted Tuesday, March 2, 2010, at 7:06 AM ET

The Wolf at Our Heels
The centuries-old struggle to play in tune.
By Jan Swafford|Posted Tuesday, April 20, 2010, at 10:08 AM ET

Saturday, April 14, 2012

“‘Abe ... Never Could Sing Much’: Camp Meeting Songs and Fiddle Tunes in New Salem.”

“‘Abe ... Never Could Sing Much’: Camp Meeting Songs and Fiddle Tunes in New Salem.”

Pete Ellertsen, volunteer editor in the oral history program at Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, will give a talk entirled “‘Abe … Never Could Sing Much’: Camp Meeting Songs and Fiddle Tunes in New Salem” from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 28, in the conference room at the Visitor Center, Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site, off Ill. 97 at Petersburg.

Pete will present a program based on his research into the music of New Salem, where he uses the Appalachian dulcimer to interpret the Southern upland culture of the period. During the 1830s, popular sheet music for piano and guitar was beginning to compete with the Anglo-Celtic ballads, fiddle tunes and folk hymns handed down by oral tradition. So we can document both kinds of music on the Illinois frontier.

Pete will emphasize music attested at New Salem and the nearby Rock Creek Cumberland Presbyterian Church, as well as songs that William Herndon was told were sung by Abraham Lincoln's family and fiddle tunes that John Armstrong, the son of old settlers, played for Edgar Lee Masters in 1914, a session of which Masters said "I felt that somehow I was in the
Rutledge Tavern at New Salem" and "I felt that he was re-creating the past of the deserted village for me."

Carl Michael Bellman - "Opp Amaryllis" [Up Amaryllis] - Fredmans Sång N:o 31

Text, in Swedish, and music (in D) on Bellman website at Commentary:
Daterad till 1773.
Sången hörde troligen till Bellmans opera Fiskarena. Förebilden till kvinnan i båten kan ha varit Wilhelmina Norman, som Bellman uppvaktade sommaren 1773.
Någon förlaga till melodin har inte hittats. Somliga har därför hävdat att denna melodi måste vara komponerad av Bellman själv. Det är naturligtvis mycket möjligt, men några bevis för att så skulle vara fallet finns det inte.
Singable English translation in

YouTube has two good clips:

Carl Michael Bellman - Up Amaryllis (in English). Songs of Fredman (No. 31). Opp Amaryllis. Performer: Martin Best.

In Swedish by singer-songwriter Elina Järventaus Johansson.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

"I Been a Swede from North Dakota" / Slim Jim and the Vagabond Kid Song Collection Ernest and Clarence Iverson aka Slim Jim and the Vagabond Kid

Song Collection (1939) available as a PDF file

Å Kjøre Vatn Svein Haagensen - Å Kjøre Vatten / Husmannspolka

Nicolina YouTube
Ernest Iverson, "Slim Jim", was the most popular local country/cowboy singer in Minnesota during the 1930s, '40's and '50's. He was a regular on KEYD, WDGY and KSTP radio stations, and a member of the KSTP Sunset Valley Barn Dance. His signature song was "Nikolina".

Flickan vid Bellmansro Humoristen Kalle Nämndeman sjunger "Flickan vid Bellmansro" i en inspelning från maj 1923. Mudcat Cafe has this:
I go down to Seven Corners,
Where Salvation Army play,
One dem vomans come to me
This is what dat voman say:

She say, "Will you work for Yesus?"
I say, "How much Yesus pay?"
She say, "Yesus don't pay nothing"
I say, "I won't work today."