A Century Of Ballads 1810-1910, Their Composers & Singers

With Some Introductory Chapters On Old Ballads And Ballad Makers - online book.

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CHAPTER VI
THE BALLAD FIFTY YEARS AGO
I N this chapter I propose taking a general view of the ballads that were in vogue fifty years or so ago, just before the advent of Sullivan. The composers mentioned in the preceding chapters stood, of course, still high in popular favour, but it is to the consideration of the songs of some of the other song-wrriters of the period that we have to turn our attention now.
There are very few songs, even of those already mentioned, that have had a more lasting popu­larity than "Alice, where art thou?" which still enjoys the distinction of being the favourite item in the repertoire of every itinerant cornet-player. This song was written by Joseph Ascher, a pianist, and the curious part of it is that he seems to have written no other song that achieved any popularity at all, unless it were u I'll think of thee." Indeed, though he wrote a number of piano pieces, the list of songs standing to his name could be reckoned on the fingers of one hand, and Ascher must be regarded practically as a one-song man.
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