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.
Dixie & Bonnie Blue Flag 1859, Daniel Decatur Emmett (1815-1904) & 1861, Harry Macarthy (1834-1888) tune: by Valentine Vousden
One of the most familiar and popular tunes of all time, Dixie's Land (or Dixie) was subjected to many lyrical parodies, including one by Gen. Albert Pike, C.S.A. Emmett's "walk-around" was being performed in Chicago where Abraham Lincoln, then attorney for the Illinois Central Railroad in the "Sand-Bar" litigation, stood, applauded violently, and shouted "Let's have it again! Let's have it again!" Lincoln requested the tune frequently after he was elected and had it performed immediately upon hearing of Lee's surrender proclaiming it, once again, the whole Nation's property. Mrs. John Wood, a New Orleans actress, has been credited with the South's introduction to the tune where it was later used in a musical production of John Brougham's Pocahontas. There the tune accompanied a march and drill routine of 40 women dressed as Zouaves. It was so successful it had to be repeated 7 times. This "martial" use of the tune carried over to the soldiers when a quickstep version was arranged for Louisiana regiments. Mr. Herman Arnold arranged the tune for the inaugural parade of Jefferson Davis, February 22, 1862.
The original tune for Bonnie Blue Flag was called "The Irish Jaunting Car" and should not be confused with another of a similar name, " The Low-Backed Jaunting Car."The words of the song represent a "parade of secession" as they tell how each State became part of the Confederacy. After publication, Macarthy, the English born "Arkansas Comedian," added new words to encourage Missouri and Kentucky to join. When Gen. Benjamin Butler, U.S.A. occupied New Orleans in 1862, he levied a fine of $25 for anyone caught singing, playing or whistling the song. He then ordered the song's publisher, A.E. Blackmar, arrested, fined $500 and all copies destroyed.
Katy Darling , 1851, J.C. Greenham
This selection, based on the aria "Hear Me, Norma" from the opera Norma by Bellini, was arranged by William H. Neave. His half-brother, "Professor" E.B. Neave was chief musician of the 4th NC, from Salibury. Born in Scotland, both men were excellent composers and arrangers, judging from the many selections bearing their names found in the books of the 4th, 11th, 26th and 33rd NC and the 14th SC. In the lyric, the singer beckons Katy to meet him, just after sunrise, in the grove where he will confess his love while being sheltered from the sun's rays.
Tu che a Dio from Lucia di Lammermoor , 1835, Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848)
This is the Finale of Donizetti's tragic opera. The title, Tu che a Dio spiegasti l'ali, translates as "You, beloved, who have winged to God,…look upon me." Edgar, tormented by his beloved Lucy's forced marriage to Arthur, considers suicide and upon hearing that she has died, after murdering Arthur, realizes his fate and stabs himself. The setting is Scotland and is loosely based on Sir Walter Scott's The Bride of Lammermoor, one of The Waverley Novels which, itself, reflected some fact as Scott was taken to task by the family of the Earl of Stair. The family preferred a version where Arthur is not killed by the insane Lucy but by the Master of Ravenswood, who had breached the bridal chamber and dueled with the bridegroom.
Cottage By The Sea , 1856, John Rogers Thomas (1829-1896)
The original song spoke of yearning for the simple life of resting in Mother's arms "in the cottage by the sea." This is another example of the tradition of turning slow ballads into rousing quicksteps. The tune is also used in a medley with Dixie's Land found in the 25th Massachusetts Bandbooks.
Screech Owl Gallop , William H. Hartwell
This is another chart copied from the books of the 16th Mississippi and, judging from the errors, was probably done in a hurry. Hartwell was an excellent composer and arranger and favored adventurous harmony and chromaticism¾ sort of an early Charles Ives. These harmonies must have seemed wild in the 1860's, but were fairly common by the turn of the century. After an introductory Larghetto, the piece leaps into a sometimes frantic gallop. One cannot help but reflect on the title and wonder which came first; the music or the title? In its original form, the Eb Cornetist would be ready to pass out or, at least, quit from lack of oxygen. Some liberties were taken, in the quintet, to lighten the load.
Bethany (Nearer My God To Thee) Lowell Mason (1792-1872)
Crusader's Hymn Fairest Lord Jesus) Schlesische Volkslieder (1842)
Fortress (A Mighty Fortress Is Our God) Martin Luther 1483-1546)
These three hymns are taken from the publication: The Moravian Church Band. The 26th NC Regiment Band was a group of Moravian musicians from Salem, North Carolina, a center of Moravian religious activity second, only in population, to Bethlehem, PA.
Be Kind To the Loved Ones At Home , 1847, Isaac Baker Woodbury (1819-1858)
As a composer of hymns, Isaac B. Woodbury could proudly say more of his hymns were being sung than any by his contemporaries during his lifetime. One can occasionally find some of his hymns in present-day hymnals though they are becoming more rare. One can still find his tune "SELENA" coupled with Charles Wesley's "O Love Divine, What Hast Thou Done."
Dearest, I Think of Thee Grand March , William H. Hartwell (16th Miss)
On September 11, 1863, an impressive, formal review was held in which the 26th was a participant. Seventeen bands were presented as Gen. A.P. Hill's entire Third Corps passed in review of 25 to 30 thousand men. The troops formed 3 parallel lines, 4 men deep. Had they been in one company front, the line would stretch over 2 miles. It took the band 50 minutes to pass around the corps and the corps, itself, took 2 hours to pass in review. Here they heard the band of the 16th Mississippi, Posey's Brigade, for the first time, playing "Dearest." Later, while troops were positioning for a projected offensive against Meade, the bands sat down together and copied each other's books.
Rappahannock Polka , William H. Hartwell
This is another selection copied by the 26th from the band of the 16th Mississippi, of which Hartwell was leader.
Quickstep: Old Joe Hooker , 1858, J. Warner
The original song Down In Alabam or "Aint I Glad I Got Out De Wilderness" was a popular number as performed by Bryant's Minstrels. The Bryant brothers were innovators in minstrelsy in that they changed the traditional closing walk-about (for which Dan Emmett wrote Dixie) from an instrumental to a vocal extravaganza. The tune and lyric are based in the old slave hymn Go In the Wilderness , from Slave Songs of the United States, 1867, the first published collection of Negro spirituals. The opening syncopations are reminiscent of both religious "shouts" and "work chants" heard on the plantation. Many parody verses were written for the rollicking melody including one used for the Presidential campaign of Abraham Lincoln. The familiar "Old Gray Mare" version didn't emerge until the turn of the century.
My Maryland & The Old North State , trad. German & Mrs. E.E. Randolph
James Ryder Randall was teaching at Poydras College, near New Orleans, when riots broke out in Baltimore, April 23, 1861. The Maryland native, anxious to see his home state join her sister states and secede from the Union, wrote a poem exulting over the display of solidarity demonstrated by Baltimore's citizens. His students suggested he publish the poem. It appeared in several newspapers and was set to the German "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, is the official state song of North Carolina.
Easter Galop , Leinbach, Edward
Edward, the brother of band member Julius Leinbach, composed or arranged most of the music in the 26th NC Band Books. Julius Augustus Leinbach (1834-1930) played the Eb Bass Saxhorn and later switched over to 2nd Cornet. He kept a detailed diary from which the book A Johnny Reb Band From Salem: "The Pride of Tarheelia" was based. The book, by Harry H. Hall, was reprinted by Da Capo Press in 1980 and is available through inter-library loan. Easter morning in North Carolina is a very special time. 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 Resurrection.
Silver Moon Q.S. , James Hook ? or J.P. Ordway?
Mockingbird & Twinkling Stars Q.S. Septimus Winner & John P. Ordway
An almost identical version of this medley can be found in the Hosea Ripley Collection at the New York Public Library. The Ripley version has much more embellishment than the 26th NC, so it's difficult to ascertain who copied who. The complete titles are "Listen To the Mocking Bird" and "Twinkling Stars Are Laughing, Love."
Winner was from a musical family in that his father was a violin maker and his brother, Joseph, was also a composer (The Little Brown Jug). Septimus was a storekeeper and music teacher in Philadelphia where in the street he would hear "Whistlin' Dick" Milburn, a Negro boy, serenading people in the street with his guitar and bird-like warbling. Winner used one of Dick's melodies for Mockingbird and gave him prominent credit on the published music. He published it under his mother's name, Alice Hawthorne. He also gave Dick a job in the store. 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. Later editions removed the credit to Milburn.
Orleans Cadets Q.S. , E.O. Eaton
Eventide (Abide With Me) William Henry Monk (1823-1889)
Melita (Eternal Father, Strong To Save) John Bacchus Dykes (1823-1876)
Nicea (Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty) John B. Dykes
Three more hymns from The Moravian Church Band
Kitty Dear & Do They Miss Me At Home , 1852, Mrs. S.M. Grannis & Charles W. Glover
This medley was one of the favorites of the Stonewall Brigade Band.
21st Regiment Q.S.
This was probably written by Edward Leinbach, as was much of the 26th's book. Edward's brother, Julius, was a member of the 26th NC Band. The 21st NC Band also came from the Forsythe county region of North Carolina.
Thou Art Gone From My Gaze , 1849, George Linley (1798-1865)
The alternative title of this lovely song is "The Spirit of Love Keeps A Watch Over Me." The titles suggest this may have been used at funeral and memorial services but would not be out of place at a twilight serenade.
Bonnie Eloise Q.S. , 1858, John Rogers Thomas (1829-1896)
Also titled "The Belle of Mohawk Vale," this selection was arranged by Charles Siegel, who played Bass in the 14th South Carolina Regt. Band. The aggressive triplet introduction gives way to a wonderful tune, probably Siegel's, before stating the title theme in the trio. A strong Coda brings this fine "concert" quickstep to a close.