Familiar Songs - Their Authors & Histories

300 traditional songs, inc sheet music with full piano accompaniment & lyrics.

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The words of this song are by Annie (Barry) Crawford, an English actress, who was born in Bath in 1731, and died in 1801. The air is by F. W. Nicholls Crouch, born in England, about 1800. In 1817, he was violincellist in King's Theatre, London, Afterward he taught music at Plymouth, where he composed this song, for the copy­right of which he received £5. He came to the United States with an Italian opera troupe in 1848, and settled in Portland, Maine. There he made many frieuds, and became the instructor of some of the best singers. He was something of a naturalist, and orna­mented his rooms with cages of live snakes. He was a sportsman also, and his game din­ners and his wife's matinees were equally celebrated. He brought out Locke's music to ** Macbeth," and gave concerts with Arthurson, Frazier, and others. There is an answer to "Kathleen Mavourneen," entitled "Dermot Asthore"—the music by Crouch, and the words by his friend, Desmond Ryan.
Crouch set to music a song written by Augustine J. H. Duganne, entitled "Her I Love," and was foolish enough to claim the authorship of the words also. He called it " a madri­gal, after the style of the sixteenth century," and affected the ancient spelling. The first stanza ran as follows:
I knowe a lyttle hande; 'Tysye softest yn ye lande, And I feel yts pressure blande,
Whyle I synge; Lylie whyte and restynge nowe Lyke a rose-leafe on ray browe, As a dove myght fanne my browe
"Wythe yts wynge. Welle I prize all handes above, Thys deare hande of herre I love.
The song was brought out by Arthurson, and became somewhat famous.
Crouch was utterly improvident. He was very free with his money whenever he had it, and consequently seldom had any. It is said that he once assisted a needy Italian in giving a concert, and finding that the receipts were rather meagre, amended the deficiency somewhat by casting in his last ten-dollar bill. From Portland he went to Philadelphia, where he established a sort of musical association. Just before the war he was teaching music in Washington, and he is said to have died in Baltimore during the war,—but as to this, there seems to be some dOURt.
When Mile. Titiens sang in New York, she gave " Kathleen Mavourneen," in response to an encore. Thereupon, a fellow, who in all probability was an impostor, made his way to the stage, introduced himself as Crouch the composer, and with plentiful tears gave her his thanks for rendering the song so finely.

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III