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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no             A CENTURY OF BALLADS
"The Merry Zingara," and, of course, "Come into the garden, Maud " and " Killarney."
"Come into the garden, Maud " will always be inseparably associated with the name of Sims Reeves ; it was written specially for him, and it ranks as one of his most successful songs. Balfe got the inspiration for it while staying in Paris, and immediately sent off the opening bars of the melody to Reeves. A few days afterwards they came back with the laconic in­scription "This will do.—S. R."
It was sung by Joseph Maas at the Paris Exhibition of 1879, which was visited by the late King Edward when Prince of Wales, and was almost as popular in Paris as in London.
With regard to "Killarney," A. H. Behrend, Balfe's grandson, told me the following story, which is well worth repeating. It appears that Boucicault wanted a song for his play and brought the words of " Killarney" to Balfe. Mrs. Balfe took them upstairs to her husband, who straightway sat down to the piano. Hardly had she left the room when her husband called her back, saying excitedly, "I have done the song; it is great. Tell Boucicault to come and hear it!" But Mrs. Balfe, who, like John Gilpin's wife, "had a frugal mind," pointed out that if it were known how quickly he had com­posed the song he would never get anything
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