Familiar Songs - Their Authors & Histories

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

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As touching and sweet as the songs he wrote, but far sadder, is the story of Eobert Tannahill. He was born June 3, 1777, in Paisley, Scotland; and, like his father, was a weaver at its famous looms. His mother possessed a poetic temperament, of which her fourth child inherited a dOURle portion. He was a sweet and kindly boy, loved by all his schoolfellows. Lameness in early life, added to a natural delicacy of constitution, made him averse to the rough games of his mates, and, while they were romping, he sat on the play-ground, making rhymed riddles for them to guess in calmer moments, or little verses to amuse himself. He loved music intensely, and earned pocket-money by playing the fife at the Greenock parades. He was also master of the flute. After his simple education was acquired, and he was at daily work, whenever he could find an old or obscure air which pleased him, he fastened it to his loom, and composed original verses to suit it. He was an eager reader of poetry, but did not dream of becoming a great song-writer; he wrote to relieve the tameness of his employment, and read his work only to his little brother.
Taunahill wrote of love, but he knew it only through the grief it brought him. Jean King, the sister of a poet of his native town, was his first fancy. Years after she had married another wooer, her son used to say his mother always " feared that Rob would write a song about her," but he seems never to have considered her worthy of his lyre.
His next sweetheart, and his last, was also a poet's sister, Mary Allan. Whatever was the unknown motive which kept her from brightening his life, love does not seem to have been wanting; for many years she could not restrain her tears and lamentations at the mention of her lost lover's name.

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