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sight of by the public for twenty years. I was absolutely assured not long since that five hundred pounds had been refused for their undivided copyright." This was written in 1839; now, some seventy years later, it is almost equally true to say that the song has " never been lost sight of by the public."
It was, of course, one of Sims Reeves's favourite ballads. Says Fitzball: "Sims Reeves has taken up the air lately, and charmingly he sings it; but it ought to be sung in the open air, under the moonlit summer trees, as at Vauxhall." Plenty of people, however, would have been content to hear Sims Reeves sing it anywhere.
Ben Davies is perhaps the only singer who sings this song much to-day. He relates that a few years ago he received a letter from an old gentleman, quite unknown to him, saying that he attended every ballad concert at which the popular tenor was singing, in the one hope that he should hear him sing "My Pretty Jane." The letter closed with a pathetic appeal to have his longing realised.
The music of the song "Oh no, we never mention her," referred to in the last chapter, the words of which were by Haynes Bayly, has been attributed by some authorities to Alexander Lee, and by others to Sir Henry Bishop. It is curious that in the British Museum Music Catalogue the song is entered thus : "The poetry by