|Visit Us On FB
BISHOP AND "HOME, SWEET HOME" 89
Sicilian air, but there can be no doubt but that it is Bishop's own. Mr. Fitzgerald in his book, before referred to, explains this by saying that Bishop was asked to edit a collection of national melodies, and having no Sicilian air, wrote " Home, Sweet Home," and dubbed it Sicilian. Whether this is so or not, it seems quite certain that Bishop was the composer.
The song, of which over 300,000 copies were said to have been sold in the first year alone, has always been a favourite item in the repertoire of many famous singers. Jenny Lind used to sing it frequently as an encore. Once, when singing in America, she was told that Payne was among the audience. The scene was the National Hall at Washington, and the Philadelphia Record, as quoted by Mr. Fitzgerald, in describing the occasion said: "When she had charmed the audience with her singing, she turned her face to where Payne was sitting and sang ' Home, Sweet Home,' at the close of which a whirlwind of excitement and enthusiasm swept through the vast audience."
This was in 1850, when Jenny Lind was engaged by Barnum to make a tour of the United States, where she remained for nearly two years. She was accompanied by Sir Julius (then Mr.) Benedict, and the tour is said to have realised a profit of ^20,000, the whole of which