Darling Little Blue-Eyed Nell & Stolen Kisses are the Sweetest

    1859, Frederick Buckley (18331864) [26th NC, C.S.A. Band]

            With words by Benjamin E. Woolf, Buckley’s song, first published in 1859, was a favorite of Buckley’s Serenaders. It was dedicated to Joseph H. McCann of Louisville, KY. Buckley’s Serenaders consisted of Frederick, his father, James, and his brothers, George Swaine and Richard Bishop, composer of “Wait for the Wagon.” The Buckleys were very popular from New Orleans to New York and even toured England for 2 years. After their start in the 1840s, they established a new for of Minstrel show, the operatic parody. They performed lengthy satires on the popular operas of the day¾The Bohemian Girl, Norma, Lucia di Lammermoor, Cinderella, and The Sleepwalker (La Sonnambula). They also did instrumental parodies, where Frederick imitated, violin virtuoso, Ole Bull, and brother Richard portrayed the conductor and composer, Louis Antoine Jullien. “Nell” is a typical, bittersweet, Victorian song about a young lady who sleeps forever under the weeping willow near a placid stream.

Many songs were published with variations of the title “Stolen Kisses are the Sweetest.” One publication indicates it is from “An opera by Offenbach;” however, both the words and music are credited to other composers. The variant, “Stolen Kisses Sweetest Are,” is taken from an operetta by LeCocq, yet it also has new words. Only one of 7 variants had lyrics that fit the music quoted here. Those lyrics, by Frank Dumont, instruct young ladies to never give away their kisses, but make their courtiers “steal them.”


Darling Nelly Gray  

    1856,  Benjamin Russell Hanby (1833-1867)   arr: G.B. Ware [piano: Oliver Ditson & Co., 1858]

            Hanby, an Ohio teacher-minister-songwriter had over 80 song titles to his name including Santa Claus (Up On A Housetop). The idea for “Nelly” came after runaway slave, Joseph Selby, died at Hanby's home while en route to Canada to earn money to buy the freedom of his lover, Nelly Gray. The song became known as the “Uncle Tom's Cabin of Song” for its abolitionist fuel. A detailed account of the story and of Hanby's career is found in the Congressional Record  (89th Congress, First Session, 1965).


Dead March in Saul

    1739, George Frederich Handel   (1685 – 1759) [Squire's Cornet Band Olio, Set #1, 1871]

            This selection was used for funerals in England as early as 1775 and was considered the most appropriate music for state memorials. Many references to this tune during the Civil War are found in diaries and officers' reports.


The Dearest Spot of Earth (To Me is Home)

    1857, William Thomas Wrighton  (1816 – 1880)   [Stratton Mil. Band Journal]

            Little is known about the composer, 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. Wrighton also composed Her Bright Smile Haunts Me Still.


Dearest, I Think of Thee: Grand March

    18--, William H. Hartwell  (16th Miss)  [26th NC, C.S.A. Band Books]

        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.


Dear Mother, I've Come Home to Die  (Dead March)

    1863, Henry Tucker   [Squire's Cornet Band Olio, Set #1, 1871]

        Gustave Bideaux was a very popular French balladeer. He was known to move audiences to tears with his rendition of this wonderful song. E. Bowers wrote the words. To complete the funeral march, arranger A. Squire, has added an introductory dirge.


Delavau's Q.S.  

    1852, Claudio S. Grafulla (1810 – 1880)   [4th NH, Manchester Cornet Band Books, also J.W. Pepper, 1881]

        Grafulla dedicated this selection to Joseph Delavau, a friend of Grafulla's, about which little is known apart for his likeness on the cover of the piano sheet music edition. The firm of J.W. Pepper used the title Eureka Quickstep when it published the work in 1881. The U.S. Marine Band performed a transcription of the tune in the 1860's; however, the Pepper version added a Coda.


Dixie Galop

    186-, Frederick B. Helmsmueller  (?– 1865)  [piano]

        Helmsmueller's “Galop” includes the first section of Emmett's “Dixie's Land.” During the early 1850's, he was associated with Boston's Germania Orchestra. Later, in New York, He managed the famous singer Henriette Sontag and led his own “Germania” ensemble. He became Bandmaster of the 22nd Regiment New York State Militia in 1861. His band played a concert for wounded veterans after Gettysburg. 


Dixey's Land Medley

    Emmett / Downing   [4th NH, Manchester Cornet Band Books]


Dixie's Land, 1859, Daniel Decatur Emmett  (1815 – 1904)   [Squire's Cornet Band Olio, Set #1 1871]

                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 Brig. Gen. Albert Pike, whose War Song of Dixie called “Southrons to Arms.” 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 “captured” and, 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 when Carlo Patti, music director of the Variety Theatre, used it 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.

Conflicting stories surround Mr. Hermann Arnold’s acquisition of the tune, but what is known is that he arranged the tune as a quickstep for the inaugural parade of Jefferson Davis, February 18, 1861. Arnold claimed to have heard Emmett perform the tune at the New Montgomery Theater, when John Wilkes Booth starred at its opening. Arnold transcribed the tune onto the wallpaper of the theater, and later arranged it for his band. That segment of wallpaper is now housed in the Alabama Department of Archives and History Building, in Montgomery. However, in a 1924 interview, Mr. Arnold said that the tune was an old German song, and that after showing Emmett the tune; Emmett added words and published it as his own.

Though many composers claimed to have written Dixie, none were successful in their challenge. This is not to say Emmett merely “pulled the song from thin air.” He later made conflicting statements as to its origin, stating it was an old circus tune or even a nursery song. It is very likely he heard it, or something quite similar, as a child in Knox County, Ohio. That was also the home of the Snowden Family Band, a family of free blacks, who supplemented their income by giving concerts throughout the region. Two sons, Ben and Lew, continued performing into the 1900s. Their common headstone is inscribed: “They taught ‘Dixie’ to Dan Emmett.”


Dixie's Land  (Jeff Davis Inaugural), 1859, Daniel Decatur Emmett  (1815 – 1904)   [Herman Arnold Collection, Alabama Archives]

         This band arrangement was dictated to Mr. Arnold by “Old” Dan Emmett, himself, while on a tour of the south in 1860, and written on the wall of the Alabama Theatre in Montgomery, Alabama. Mr. Arnold's band was the top band in the South, and during Emmett's Southern tour, he asked the composer if there was an arrangement for brass band. Emmett worked out the parts and wrote them on the wall. Arnold copied the parts, correcting some of the errors made in haste by Mr. Emmett and performed it regularly, including for the Inaugural of Jefferson Davis. The piece of wallpaper is in the Alabama Archives, Montgomery.


Dixie Medley Q.S.  ,  186-, Emmett and J.R. Thomas  “Cottage By The Sea”   [25th Mass. Band Books]

        Thomas' song of nostalgia was very popular in both the U.S. and Great Britain. It was still in print in the 1890's. The slow tempo of the original is difficult to imagine after hearing how easily it fits the quickstep mold.


Dixie (#56) w/ Reels 1-3, 1864, Emmett and L.L. Sanburn  “Tecumseh's Q.S.”   [1st Brigade Band Books]

         Dixie, although associated with the Confederacy, was present, in one form or another, in every Union Band Book, having been a favorite of President Lincoln and just one Hell of a good tune. When the 3rd Wisconsin reorganized as the 1st Brigade Band, their first assignment was Huntsville, AL.— staging area for Sherman's campaign to Atlanta. . The second melody presented is an old fife and drum tune known as “Post’s Quickstep.” During the Civil War, the tune was revived by L. L Sanburn and published under the titled “Tecumseh’s Quick Step.” The combination of Dixie and the quickstep honoring William Tecumseh Sherman was, indeed, an irony. Of course, the song could have been about the American Indian chief that fought the U.S. during the War of 1812, instead.