Familiar Songs - Their Authors & Histories

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

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"Tell my mother that her other sons shall comfort her old age, And I was still a truant bird, that thought his home a cage; For my father was a soldier, and when I was a child My heart leaped up to hear him tell of struggles fierce and wild; And when he died and left us to divide his scantv hoard. I let th em take whate'er they would, but kept my father's sword; And with boyish love I hung it where the bright light used to shine On the cottage wall at Bingen, at Bingen on the Rhine.
" Tell my sister not to weep for me, and sob with drooping head When the troops are marching home again, with glad and gallant tread; But look upon them proudly, with a calm and steadfast eye, For her brother was a soldier, and not afraid to die. And if a comrade seek her love, I ask her in my name To listen to him kindly, without regret or shame, And to hang the old sword in its place (my father's sword and mine), For the honor of old Bingen, dear Bingen on the Rhine.
" There's another, not a sister, in the happy days gone by You'd have known her by the merriment that sparkled in her eye; Too innocent for coquetry, too fond for idle scorning — Oh ! friend, I fear the lightest heart makes sometimes heaviest mourning! Tell her the last night of my life — for ere the moon be risen My body will be out of pain, my soul be out of prison — I dreamed I stood with her, and saw the yellow sunlight shine On the vine-clad hills of Bingen, fair Bingen on the Rhine.
" I saw the blue Rhine sweep along, I heard or seemed to hear The German songs we used to sing, in chorus sweet and clear, And down the pleasant river, and up the slanting hill, The echoing chorus sounded through the evening calm and still; And her glad blue eyes were on me, as we passed with friendly talk, Down many a path beloved of yore, and well remembered walk. And her little hand lay lightly, confidingly in mine — But we'll meet no more at Bingen — loved Bingen on the Rhine."
His voice grew faint and hoarser, his grasp was childish weak, His eyes put on a dying look, he sighed and ceased to speak. His comrade bent to lift him, but the spark of life had fled; The soldier of the Legion in a foreign land was dead. And the soft moon rose up slowly, and calmly she looked down On the red sand of the battle-field, with bloody corpses strewn. Yea, calmly on that dreadful scene her pale light seemed to shine, As it shone on distant Bingen, fair Bingen on the Rhine !
" The Heath this night must be my bed," is the song of Norman in Scott's " Lady of the Lake." Several airs have been written for the song, but I think the one that follows is the work of Joseph, Count Mazzinghi. This distinguished composer was bora in England in 1760. His mother was English, but his father was descended from an ancient Tuscan family. He developed musical ability so early, that he became director of the opera house when but eighteen years old, and he once restored the orchestral parts of a lost opera of Paeisiello's from memory. His own operas—" Paul and Virginia," " The Blind Girl," " The Turnpike Gate," &c, were very popular, and Scott thanked him warmly for the manner in which he adapted several of his lyrics. Mazzinghi died in 1844.

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