Rainbow Schottische

    1854, arr: Henry Kleber (b. 1818)  [Brass Band Journal, 1854]


Rappahannock Polka

    18--, William H. Hartwell    [26th Regt. NC, C.S.A. Band Books]

        This is another selection copied by the 26th from the band of the 16th Mississippi, of which Hartwell was leader.


Red White & Blue

    1843, Thomas E. Williams  (d.1854)  [Stratton Military Band Journal, 1868]

        Now more commonly known as Columbia, Gem of the Ocean, “RWB” has a rather dubious past. Prior to its Americanization, the song was published in Great Britain as Britannia, Pride of the Ocean. The British claim to have published in 1842 with words by Stephen J. Meany, an Irish journalist, while, in America, the argument was between David T. Shaw and Thomas A'Beckett. Shaw published Columbia, the Land of the Brave in 1843, and when Beckett, a writer of renown, claimed it as his own, it was republished as Columbia, Gem of the Ocean. It might be noted that Shaw had, at one time or another, submitted words to Beckett, but were quickly discarded as rubbish. In 1861, John J. Daly published the work under the title The Red, White and Blue and gave no credit to either, calling it merely a “National Song (& Chorus). The song rivaled The Star-Spangled Banner in popularity. It is also known as The Army and Navy Song, because it pays its respects to both.


Riding a Raid

    1863, Scots Air  [piano]

        James Ewell Brown (JEB) Stuart, was the most flamboyant officer in Lee’s army. The cavalry general played the part of cavalier, from his gold-braided uniform to his black-plumed hat. Though this song is undoubtedly about Stuart, his commanding officer, “Stonewall” Jackson, gets top billing in the lyric. The tune is set to Bonnie Dundee, a Scots Air from around 1620.


Robert du Diable, Quickstep

    from, 1831, Giacomo Meyerbeer  (1792 – 1864) [4th NH, Manchester Cornet Band Books]

        Despite his Italian-sounding name, Giacomo Meyerbeer was a German composer that flourished as a composer of French, Lyric Opera. His 1831 opera, Robert the Devil created a furor and served to alter the course of lyric drama. In the opera’s typically convoluted plot, Robert has entered a tournament to win the hand of Isabelle, but Bertram, the demon who conquered Robert’s mother, forever confounds his efforts. Before he sells his soul to the devil, Robert’s half-sister, Alice, informs him of his mother’s plight, and as he hesitates, Bertram’s powers vanish. The 1847 London production heralded the debut of Jenny Lind, the “Swedish Nightingale.” Here is the 4th NH Band’s arrangement of Robert the Devil Quickstep.


Rock Me to Sleep, Mother

    1860, John Hill Hewitt         [26th Regt. NC, C.S.A. Band Books]

        First published as a poem in the late 1850s, Elizabeth Akers Allen’s (aka: Florence Percy) words were inspiration to many composers, including George F. Root. It is a lament on the loss of mother’s comfort, in one’s old age.


Roll Alabama, Roll

    1862, anon   [piano]


Rory O'Moore  

    18--,  Samuel Lover    arr: 1843,  B.A. Burditt    [piano]

        The title page of the piano score indicates “The Celebrated Rory O'Moore,” perhaps because of the song's interesting history. Lover wrote the lyrics (the tune being traditional Irish) and then, based on its popularity, proceeded to write a novel, Rory O'Moore, A National Romance, and then adapted it for the stage. It ran for 109 nights at the Adelphi Theatre with Tyronne Power, its lead.


Rose of Alabama

    1846, S. S. Steele  [piano: Geo. P. Reed]

        A lot of confusion surrounds this tune – most popular with string bands. While the composition has been credited to the Honorable A.B. Meek, the published edition cited here is credited to S. S. Steele, with “words used by permission of Turner & Fisher,” and “sung by A.F. Winnemore & His Band of Serenaders.” In the song, a suitor crosses state lines to serenade his “sweet tobacco posey” in Alabama, and loses his banjo in the river. He returns nightly to search for his banjo and see his Rose of Alabama.


Rover Quickstep

    1853, Allen Dodworth [Dodworth's Brass Band School (1853)]