Stephen Collins Foster Biography - online book

A Biography Of America's Folk-Song Composer By Harold Vincent Milligan

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girl's father, who was a poor working man and a neighbor whom he esteemed. He gave up all thought of going to the party and remained all night with the dead child and her afflicted parents, endeavoring to afford the latter what comfort he could.
"On another occasion he had bought a small clock, run by springs, and set it on the mantelpiece of his chamber. The thing had a very loud tick, and there was no way of stopping it after it was once wound up. He could not get to sleep, for the clock with its monotonous clang drove slumber away. He wrapped a blanket around it and shut it up in a bureau drawer. But the dull throbbing sound which reached his ears from that retreat was, as he said, worse than the loud, open, defiant tick from the mantelpiece. He then lit a candle, and took it down to the dining room cupboard, but still he could hear it faintly. At length, in despair, he carried the ticking monster down to the cellar, in the profound-est depths of which he covered it with a washtub; and then returning to his room, carefully closed every door behind him and at last found rest."
After three or four years of apathy, 1858 saw a re­newal of energy in composition, four songs being pub­lished in that year, six in 1859 and eleven in 1860. With the exception of three negro songs in 1860, these composi­tions are all of a sentimental character, many of them sorrowing over the departed joys of the past. "Under the Willows She's Sleeping," "Sadly to My Heart Ap­pealing," "Linda Has Departed," "Kiss Me, Dear Mother," "Poor Drooping Maiden," and "None Shall Weep a Tear for Me," are examples of these tearful bal­lads. Others are more cheerful: "Beautiful Child of Song," "Jenny's Coming o'er the Green," "Fairy Belle," "Parthenia to Ingomar," and "Thou Art the Queen of My Song."

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