A Century Of Ballads 1810-1910, Their Composers & Singers

With Some Introductory Chapters On Old Ballads And Ballad Makers - online book.

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72              A CENTURY OF BALLADS
' I wish to goodness, madam, such difficulties were impossible.'
"I ought, perhaps," Fitzball goes on, "to apologise for this digression in favour of ballads and ballad singing, which I am always ready to champion, looking upon their sweet combination as a sort of national art."
From this it would appear as though the popular ballad had, for a time at any rate, gone out of favour; but the period of depression cannot have been a very long one. Ballad operas continued to flourish, and individual ballads to be written and sung to an even greater extent than ever. Nor does there seem to have been any falling off in either their simplicity or their tunefulness, which attributes, however much they may be scoffed at by superior critics, are very essential qualities in any song that is to reach the hearts of the people.
A ballad which had immense popularity in the first half of this century was "Meet me by moonlight alone," by J. A. Wade, who was also the composer of "Love was once a little boy." The sales of "Meet me by moonlight' were said to be something enormous for many years after its publication. Unfortunately Wade was a very intemperate man, throwing away one chance after another, and was soon reduced to a state of almost destitution. Eventually he was
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