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Music from the South.                     99
movement of his Symphony in A major, by some called the Italian Symphony.
The Russian dance employed with such vigour and brilliancy by Beethoven in the finale to his Symphony in A major, does not offer a more felici­tous example of a composer seizing a national humour and turning it to account. Observe—for it is worth noting—that like the Siciliana and other dances, the Coranto and Passacaglia, which have tempted composers, this is in triple time. I think then, that this may be taken as a rule, with Italian popular melody : the newest example of it, perhaps, being the sickly Santa Lucia, which was but yester­day the favourite ditty of Naples—not to be escaped from by the travellers on their arrival in the bay, while wearily waiting until paternal government should have counted their numbers and called their names, and set them free to go ashore—or by the pilgrim when issuing from the City of the Dead, Pompeii.
I have a collection of the commonest street ditties, which I picked off the wall of a church in Naples, where they hung in fifties—purchased for an Eng­lish shilling or thereabouts; and one and all of these are in the Barcarole or Brindisi measure : to
make an arbitrary use of familiar words. Here,
H 2

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