Olde Towne Brass
Historic Notes - A Southron Serenade
These notes are free for you to use for verbal introductions, however, the material may not be reproduced without consent and recognition of the researcher and compiler, Terry Cornett.
The two most popular songs of the
Confederacy, Dixie & Bonnie Blue Flag, are combined in
this powerful arrangement. True to the original minstrel version of
Dixie, written in 1859 by Daniel Decatur Emmett (1815-1904), the medley
features a fast “walk-around” section after the tune. Harry Macarthy
(1834-1888), the “Arkansas Comedian,” wrote the words to Bonnie
Blue Flag in 1861 to celebrate the parade of secession,
later adding additional verses to encourage Missouri and Kentucky to
join the Confederacy. The tune is The Irish Jaunting
Car, by Valentine Vousden. In Union occupied New Orleans, 1862,
anyone caught singing, playing or whistling the song was fined $25.
Publisher, A.E. Blackmar, was arrested, fined $500 and all his copies
In the Finale of Gaetano
Donizetti's (1797-1848) tragic opera Lucia di Lammermoor, Edgar,
tormented by his beloved Lucy's forced marriage to Arthur, considers
suicide and sings the aria: Tu che a Dio (You, beloved, who
have winged to God…look upon me). Upon hearing of her death, after
murdering Arthur, Edgar realizes his fate and stabs himself. Ironically,
this deeply tragic selection was performed at Gettysburg by the combined
11th & 26th NC Bands during the cannonade
preceding the Confederate advance on July 2nd 1863 where such
terrible losses were incurred at The Peach Orchard, The Wheatfield,
Devil’s Den and finally, Little Round Top.
Celebrated songwriter, John Rogers
Thomas (1829-1896) wrote of a yearning for the simple life resting in
Mother's arms “in the Cottage By The Sea.” Among his other works,
found in the part books of the 26th , are Annie of
the Vale and Bonnie Eloise. The latter, heard here,
is also known as The Belle of the Mohawk Vale, and was arranged
as a quickstep by Charles Siegel, bass player for the 14th
South Carolina Band.
Screech Owl Gallop
, is one of several selections written by William H. Hartwell, leader of
the 16th Mississippi Band. On September 11, 1863, an impressive, formal
review was held in which the 26th was a participant. 17 bands were
presented as Gen. A.P. Hill's entire Third Corps passed in review of 25
to 30 thousand men. Later, while troops were positioning for a projected
offensive against Meade, the bands sat down together and copied each
other's books. “Professor” Hartwell also agreed to instruct the
Moravians at a later date. Other selections included on this release are
Dearest, I Think of Thee Grand March, and Rappahannock Polka
Refusing to allow the soldier’s
lifestyle to relegate their religious habits to a position of secondary
importance, the band took every opportunity to perform chorales at camp
services. These hymns, taken from The Moravian
Church Band, include
Nearer my God to Thee, Fairest Lord
Jesus, A Mighty Fortress, Abide With Me, Eternal Father, Strong
To Save and Holy, Holy, Holy.
As a composer of hymns, Isaac Baker Woodbury (1819-1858)
could proudly say more of his hymns were being sung than any by his
contemporaries during his lifetime. Be Kind To the Loved Ones At Home
, from 1847, was his most popular secular works.
Quickstep: Old Joe Hooker
, is based on J. Warner’s
Down in Alabam. In the popular song Jine the
Cavalry there is a line “Ol’ Joe Hooker, won’t you come
out The Wilderness.” The song became associated with General JEB
Stuart and was probably sung quite often in his camp, if not by Stuart,
by his personal musician, Sam Sweeny. Sam’s older brother, Joe, is
credited with inventing the American banjo.
James Ryder Randall, a Maryland
native anxious to see his home state secede from the Union, wrote a poem
exulting the solidarity demonstrated by Baltimore's citizens during the
riots of 1861. His poem, Maryland, My Maryland, appeared
in several newspapers and was set to the German O Tannenbaum
by the Cary sisters of Baltimore. Oliver Wendell Holmes praised
Randall's poem as the best produced by the war. The Old North State,
with words by William Gaston and music by Mrs. E.E. Randolph, is the
official state song of North Carolina
Galop was written by
Edward Leinbach, brother of band member Julius Leinbach, who composed or
arranged most of the music in the 26th NC Band Books. On Easter morning,
Moravian musicians spread out across the region and begin playing their
instruments and singing in the early hours before dawn. They “march”
towards the center of town gathering believers along the way until they
converge at the church where they celebrate The Day of Resurrection.
Richard “Whistlin' Dick” Milburn, a
Negro street musician in Philadelphia was the inspiration to Septimus
Winner that resulted in his Listen to the
Mockingbird, though later editions removed the credit to Milburn.
Lacking foresight, Winner sold the rights to the song for $5.00 after
slow initial sales. The song sold millions of copies over the next 50
years. Mockingbird Q.S. combines the melody with John P. Ordway’s
Twinkling Stars are Laughing, Love.
Little is known about Silver Moon Q.S. References to similar titles can be found by James Hook and J.P. Ordway; however, no music has been found. Orleans Cadets Q.S. is by E.O. Eaton, whose other tunes include March of the Minute Men and Pelican Waltz.Kitty Dear & Do They Miss Me At Home was one of the favorites of the Stonewall Brigade Band. Fare Thee Well, Kitty Dear was written by George F. Root for Henry Wood’s Minstrels and published under the penname G.Friedrich Wurzel.
Wurzel is German for Root. It
is similar to Winner’s Mocking Bird, as the singer
says his good-byes over his beloved Kitty’s grave. For Do
They Miss Me at Home, Mrs.
S.M. Grannis collaborated with lyricist Charles W. Glover. It is
uncertain, from the lyrics, if the singer is separated from family
or is calling from the “great beyond.” A typically morbid bit of
Victorian sentiment set to a lively tune.
The first Regiment to be formed from the Salem,
North Carolina area was the 11th NCV under Col. W.W.
Kirkland. Six months later, the unit was re-designated the 21st
Regt. North Carolina Troops, C.S.A. The 21st Regiment Q.S.
was probably written by Edward Leinbach.
The alternative title of George Linley’s
(1798-1865) ballad Thou Art Gone From My Gaze is The
Spirit of Love Keeps A Watch Over Me. These suggest this may
have been used at memorial services but would be welcome at a
Composer Marshall S. Pike was best known to the stage as a minstrel “wench.” His specialty was the comedic portrayal of Negro women. Home Again was his most popular ballad.
Identifying themselves with all revolutionary movements, the Confederates adopted France’s La Marseillaise, written by Claude Roget de Lisle (1760-1836). Many states contributed their own words and added their name to the title. It was played at the inauguration of Jefferson Davis in Montgomery, AL. The tune so infuriated Northerners that when visiting French actors opened their show with it, at a New York theater, they were promptly arrested for being secessionists.
Charles T. White's minstrel song Oh, Carry
[Take] Me Back to Ole Virginia's Shore should not be confused
with James Bland's Carry Me Back to Old
Virginny, written in 1878. The song also went by its first
line: De Floatin' Scow ob Ole Virginia. It was sung by
Confederates as they re-crossed the Potomac after the Battle of
Antietam/Sharpsburg — the bloodiest day in American history.
Both Charles Stein and C.D. Benson wrote versions of
Mister, Here’s Your Mule, based on one
of those soldier expressions, such as “Kilroy Was Here” in WW2.
Infantrymen used the phrase to taunt cavalrymen. The phrase was
associated with the disappearance of livestock and goods whenever
John Hunt Morgan's raiders were in the area. Here's Your Mule
Galop was arranged by W.H. Neave (1820-1902), whose brother,
Edward, served as Chief Musician of the 4th NC Band.
Henry Russell (1812-1900) lived in America from 1833 through 1841 and wrote several of his most enduring songs during his stay. A Life On the Ocean Wave, Woodman, Spare That Tree, and The Old Arm Chair were others composed during his tenure as organist of the First Presbyterian Church in Rochester, New York. Cheer Boys Cheer originally appeared in a production entitled Far West or the Emigrant's Progress.
Despite their names, Rev. Henry DeLafayette Webster
and Joseph Philbrick Webster were not related, (some sources
indicate brothers). Henry wrote the poem in tribute to Martha Ellen
Blocksom, who later left him to marry a lawyer as she refused to
live on a preacher's meager salary. Joseph suggested changing the
name and using a variation on Edgar Allen Poe's Lenore.
Lorena was the most popular ballad in the South, rivaled by
Aura Lea in the North. Coupled with “Her
Bright Smile Haunts Me Still,”
by William T. Wrighton, these two melancholy selections are
transformed into a lively quickstep.
Tired and hungry, the “Battle of Five Forks” raging nearby, and being separated from the rest of their unit, the musicians sought refuge from a benevolent farm woman who gave them bread and meat. They repaid her kindness with a serenade of Lorena. This was the last time the 26th would play, as they surrendered 3 days later. Ironically, had they persevered for another 4 days, they would have received immediate pardons as part of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s surrender terms. Instead, they were stripped of their instruments and sent to prison at Point Lookout, Maryland and held for 3 months.
“The immigration of the Moravians to America in the mid 1700’s was
perhaps the single most important event in the development of North
American music.” In what is now North Carolina, they established
Wachovia with Salem as its principal township. The Salem Band,
dating from 1772, is second only to the Moravian Trombone Choir of
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania as being the oldest band in the U.S. The
26th Regimental Band, North Carolina Troops, CSA was the third to be
culled from the musically enriched community after the 11th Regt.
NCV (later 21st Regt. NCT, CSA ) and the 33rd Regt. NCV.
In late April of 1862, Samuel T. Mickey approached Col. Zebulon
Vance about assigning his band to the 26th Regiment. By
March 1, the band was engaged. During the course of the war, band
members numbered as few as 6 and as many as 12. Though small, the
band received accolades for its musicianship from all that heard
them, including Gen. Robert E. Lee. Though most of their instruments
were confiscated when they surrendered in 1865, the bandsmen kept
their music books and were able to reorganize after their paroles in
June and play, once again, for their home town, by July that same
— Terry Cornett
The Bands of the Confederacy: An Examination of the
Musical and Military Contributions of the Bands and Musicians of the
Confederate States of America.
doctoral dissertation, School of Music, North Texas State
Hall, Harry H.
A Johnny Reb Band from Salem: The Pride of Tarheelia.
Raleigh, NC: Confederate Centennial Commission.
Confederate Music. Chapel Hill: The University of North
Carolina Press, 1956