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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If I have been drawn somewhat far afield in my digression on " Home, Sweet Home," the senti­mental interest that attaches to this simple ballad must be my apology. Songs come and go, are written, sung, and forgotten, but " Home, Sweet Home " goes on for ever.
Next of Bishop's ballads to " Home, Sweet Home" in point of popularity is " My Pretty Jane," the words of which are by Edward Fitz-ball. This was first published under the title of "The bloom is on the rye." The story goes that Fitzball wrote the lyric when quite a young man, and found it some years afterwards in a drawer among a bundle of old papers. He sent it to Bishop, with whom he was then collaborat­ing a great deal, and the latter set it, but thought so poorly of it that he threw it into the waste-paper basket, whence Fitzball luckily rescued it. Of its production in public and its immediate success the author has the following to say in his Reminiscences: " ' My Pretty Jane,' inimitably sung by Robinson, made quite a furore ; and was encored every night of the season. Bishop thought nothing of the melody ; I do not believe he would have consented to its being sung but in a moment of necessity, when no other new song could be supplied for Robinson. . . . Of the words I felt there was nothing to boast; yet that melody and those words have never been lost
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