Abide With Me

    18--, William Henry Monk (1823 – 1889)/ Ripley  [American Star Journal]

Adams & Liberty
  ca. 1790, traditional [3rd NH “Port Royal” Band Books]
  The title is taken from the 3rd NH Band Books, but the actual title is “Jefferson & Liberty”, since the melody is the old fife tune “The Gobby – O”. The song – text anticipated the Republican success in the presidential election on 1800. The seven verses welcomed the ousting of John Adams (The Reign of Terror is no more) and forecast brilliant achievements by his successor, Thomas Jefferson (His Country's Glory, Home, and Stay). In the American Veteran Fifer of 1905, the tune is called “Paul Revere's Ride.” The original Adams & Liberty was a poem, set to the Anacreon tune (Star-Spangled Banner) by Robert Treat Paine, Jr., whose father signed the Declaration of Independence, and was used in support of Adams’ political campaign of 1796. Paine received $750 for his efforts.  

The Alabama

    1863, King/ F.W. Rosier   [piano]

    The Alabama (#290) was the most notorious raider that James Bulloch had built at Liverpool for the Confederacy. She was completely outfitted in the middle of 1862 and captained by Raphael Semmes. In a period of 2 years this “terror of the sea” captured or destroyed over 80 merchantmen and one warship.


Alabama  (State Song)

    1931 Julia S. Tutwiler / Edna Gockel Gussen   [piano]

    Miss Julia S. Tutwiler, a distinguished educator and humanitarian, wrote the words of Alabama, the state song, in 1917. It was first sung to an Austrian air but in 1931 through the interest of the Alabama Federation of Music Clubs, a tune written by Mrs. Edna Gockel Gussen, of Birmingham, was adopted by the Legislature as the official state song. The bill was introduced by the Hon. Tyler Goodwyn of Montgomery, and was approved by Governor B.M. Miller.

The inspiration for writing the poem “Alabama” came to Miss Tutwiler after she returned to her native state from Germany where she had been studying new educational methods for girls and women. She found the people of Alabama greatly depressed due to reconstruction conditions following the War Between the States. She recalled that in Germany patriotism was kept aflame by spirited songs. She thought that it would be helpful toward restoring the spirits of her own people to give them a new patriotic song.


All Quiet Along The Potomac

    1863, Ethyl Lynn Beers & John Hill Hewitt  (1801 – 1890)  [piano: Miller & Beacham]

    After the defeat at the First Bull Run, Union forces withdrew to the North bank of the Potomac River just outside Washington D.C.  Newspapers printed the statement from the War Department “All Quiet...” daily, causing growing impatience with General McClellan's tactics, until one day in September 1861, the announcement was appended with “A Picket Shot.”  On November 30, 1861 Harper's Weekly published the poem “The Picket Guard” by Mrs. Beers. Confederate cavalry officer, Major Lamar Fontaine, also erroneously claimed authorship. The poem tells the story of how the picket is killed on his watch but since “not an officer was lost, only one of the men” the official War Dept. report read as usual. Several composers were struck by the poem's emotional appeal and set it to music, but Hewitt's version is the one that endures. Hewitt was popularly known as “The Bard of The Confederacy.”


Alpha Quickstep (Be Kind To The Loved Ones /The Dearest Spot of Earth)
  (#19) [1st Brigade Band Books]        

        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. 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.” “Be Kind,” dates from 1847, when a great surge of “home” songs was published, and praises the virtue of love of family and fellow man.

        Little is known about William Thomas Wrighton  (1816 – 1880), but the popularity of The Dearest Spot of Earth to Me Is Home, Sweet Home must have been tremendous as no fewer than 12 different piano settings exist. The sentiment is similar to that other “Home, Sweet, Home,” in the desire to return to the comfort of home. Wrighton also composed Her Bright Smile Haunts Me Still.


Amazon Gallop

    1864, E. Newman   [Coon's Brass Band Music]

    The term “amazon” neither refers to the river nor the tribe of women warriors, but to excellent female equestrians.


tune: God Save the King  (attributed to Henry Carey (1685 – 1743))  [25th Mass Regt. Band Books]
The actual composer of God Save the King has never been determined, as research has shown many plausible connections to Henry Purcell, John Bull, 15th Century plainsong and even Christmas Carols. American songbooks often listed Henry Carey though he never claimed it. His son, in an effort to receive a pension from the British Government, stated his father wrote the words in 1745 or 1746. He had forgotten his father died in 1743! After the Declaration of Independence, many new American words were written and in 1831 Rev. Samuel Francis Smith (1808 – 1895) penned My Country! 'Tis of Thee.


American Hymn, The 

    1860s, Matthias Keller (1813 – 1890)  [J. H. Ross Collection, 1872]

    Matthias Keller was born in Ulm, Germany. Various sources place him in the Philadelphia area from the late 1840s through his death in 1890. Conflicting sources place his death in 1875. His American Hymn: Speed Our Republic, received its highest honor and recognition following an 1872 Peace Festival.

    No indication is given as to the identity of the arranger. Several selections in Ross’s collection were arranged by Ross, while others were arranged by the prolific, Wm. L. Hobbs. Mr. Ross’s collection bears no actual title, but was published in 1872 in small band book, or olio, form.


Annie May Q.S

    18--,  ?   [Brass Band Journal, 1854]


Annie of the Vale Q.S.
  1861, John Rogers Thomas (1829 – 1896)     [19th Battalion Virginia Heavy Artillery Band Books]
J.R. Thomas was the composer of several popular tunes, including Bonnie Eloise, Cottage By the Sea, and Down By the River Side. This last tune should not be confused with the Negro spiritual Ain't Gwine Study War No More. “Annie's” lyric, written by George P. Morris, calls out, in the clear summer night, for that “marvel of duty,” beautiful “Annie of the Vale.”


Anvil Chorus   

    see Grand Fantasia from “Il Trovatore”


Aria from La Traviata & Bolero from Il Vespri Siciliano
  1853, 55, Giuseppe Verdi (1813 – 1901) [25th Mass Regt. Band Books]
        La Traviata (The Strayed One) is based on Alexandre Dumas' novel La Dame aux camélias. The consumptive Violetta, knowing her life will be short, devotes the remainder to gaiety untinged by serious thoughts, after receiving a declaration of sincere love from young Alfredo. She ponders Alfredo’s advance in this aria (Ah, fors’ è lui) and despite her resolution, Violetta goes to live with Alfredo until his father interrupts the liaison as the scandal is preventing his daughter's marriage to an eminent parti. Later, while gambling, Alfredo finds her and suspects she has returned to her former lover, pursuant to the demands of his father. After winning handsomely, he hurls all his gold at Violetta, declaring that now he has paid her in full. His father arrives and admonishes him for his behavior. Violetta takes a turn for the worse and, on her deathbed, longs for Alfredo. Alfredo and his father come to her, repentant and forgiving, but it is too late. She dies among those she loves and who love her. Due to bad casting by the opera producers, the premiere was literally laughed off the stage. A year later, with a new cast, it was received with enthusiasm and has since become one of the best-loved operas in the standard repertory.       

        Eugene Scribe and Charles Duveyrier wrote the Sicilian Vespers for opera. During the French occupation of Sicily, the young noblewoman Elena mourns her brother's execution and meets Arrigo, the French governor's son in disguise as a commoner, and promises to marry him, if he will avenge her brother. The two conspire to overthrow the oppressors and when caught, are imprisoned. Arrigo's father intercedes with promises of clemency, provided Arrigo give up his subversive activities. After pledging this, his and Elena's wedding is announced. Their partner in conspiracy, the fanatical Procida, has incited the Sicilians to attack the French when the wedding bells toll. Upon hearing this, Elena attempts to warn the governor but they are unheeded. The bride, Elena, responds to the flowers given to her with an aria in bolero-form. The wedding takes place, and at the end, the French are massacred.


Arizona Quickstep

    18--,    John F. Stratton   [Stratton Military Band Journal]    

    No Direct info, some history:           

    In the 1850s, petitions were sent to Congress for separate territories in what was then New Mexico. Congress ignored them because the people favored slavery. In 1861, the people elected a delegate to the Confederate Congress, and in 1863, the Confederate government established the Territory of Arizona. Fearing the loss of Arizona gold to the Confederacy, the federal government quickly established boundaries for a new Arizona Territory. It would be another 49 years before Arizona would be granted statehood.


The Army Bean

    18--, anon, tune: “Sweet By and By” written by J.P. Webster   [piano]

    This popular soldier's parody extols the virtues of white beans as the dietary staple for the Army. Considering what many soldiers had to eat (at Vicksburg: pea bread and, if lucky, mule meat, or the regular issue of hard tack, salt pork and coffee) it is no wonder he rejoices at the thought of beans. Webster's friend Sanford Fillmore Bennett ran a drugstore and wrote verse on the side. It is said, one day Webster came by in a gloomy mood and to cheer him up, Bennett jotted a few words about the joys awaiting Christians on the other side of the grave. Webster's musical setting was extremely popular and was later used by Charles Ives in his Second Orchestral Set where it is used to reflect the composer's experience on a New York subway platform the day the Lusitania sank. Webster's grave marker is inscribed “Composer, Patriot, Student, Genius” as well as the opening bars of “Sweet By and By.”


Ashokan Farewell

    1982, Jay Ungar     [piano]

    This tune was used with great success in the PBS production of Ken Burns' The Civil War. Controversy surrounds the origin of this work, as is the case with many tunes from the period. Ungar's tune sounds so authentic, some believed it was an Appalachian folk melody despite Ungar's assurance it was his own. Were the former true, it seems odd to have been “misplaced” for so long.


Attila Q.S. 
  1846, Giuseppe Verdi  (1813 – 1901) [1st Brigade Band Books]

        Yes, there is an opera about the infamous Hun -- and it's by Verdi! The opera is based on Zacharias Werner's 1808 play: Attila, König der Hunnen. The quickstep is taken from Act II, Scene 1 where Ezio, the Roman general, contemplates his fate before he faces Attila on the battlefield, and sings È gettata la mia sorte, “My lot is cast.” This arrangement is by C.S. Grafulla


Auld Lang Syne

    18th Century, lyrics: traditional and Robert Burns  [Dodworth's Brass Band School, 1853]

    In 1791, Burns wrote that the original “air” was mediocre but the song deserved to be re-set. The poem as known today was published in 1794. In Shield's opera Rosina (1783), there is a section where the oboe and bassoons are instructed to imitate bagpipes and play a very similar melody to that we now know. Scholars hereby claimed English origin causing rumblings from Scots authorities. They claimed several old Scottish tunes and publications were the source —in particular, “Sir Alexander Don's Strathspey,” and “Roger's Farewell.” An interesting note: a correspondent for the Manchester Guardian, reported in 1939, that it was “sung on the occasion of an ecclesiastical street procession in honour of St. Lucy,” in Corsica. There they claim it is a “very old Corsican tune.”


Aura Lea

    1861, William Whiteman Fosdick (1825 – 1862) and George R. Poulton (1828 – 1867)     [piano: John Church, Jr.]

    Written for Hooley and Campbell's Minstrels, Aura Lea was enormously popular on both sides during the war. Fosdick was a successful American writer. Poulton was born in England and later moved to U.S. where, by the 1840's, he had published several songs. The endurance of his tune is shown in Army Blue, with new words written for the graduating class of West Point (1865) by L.W. Becklaw and Love Me Tender (1956) by Elvis Presley and Vera Matson.