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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AN HARMONIOUS QUARTET           191
than any of the other composers with whom she was friendly. Few people realise the immense pains taken over some songs to make them a success. He would spend hours, almost days, at the house, trying over little alterations of melody or accompaniment, when a new ballad was being made ready for its launching at the St. James's Hall. But all the unsparing trouble which was taken brought its result in such successes as 'Darby and Joan,' 'Love's Old Sweet Song,' 'Home, Dearie, Home,' 'We'll keep the Old Grey Mare, John,' and 'The Clang of the Wooden Shoon.' "
Of this last we may note en passant a " quaint " observation by "our critic," though doubtless meant to be complimentary to both song and singer: "This new song is most quaint; it is sung by Antoinette Sterling, whose deep con­tralto notes make it still more so ! "
Of "London Bridge" Weatherly has another story to tell. " Molloy and I," he says, "were crossing Waterloo Bridge one evening on our way to his pretty house at Weybridge. He hummed me the burden of an old Devonshire song :—
'Jolly old sow, Jolly old sow, Jolly come with me, jolly old sow.'
' What does it suggest to you ?' he asked me. ' It is the motion of people going over a
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