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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Claribel, a pseudonym adopted by Mrs. Char­lotte Alington Barnard, was a writer of lyrics as well as of music. She wrote the words of many songs by other composers, as well as her own. The most famous of all the latter was " Come back to Erin," sung by her fellow-composer Sainton-Dolby. The list of Claribel's songs is a very long one, and it is only possible to men­tion a few of the most popular. Such were "I cannot sing the old songs," " Golden Days," ''Strangers yet," "When I was young and fair," "Robin Redbreast," and "Far away in Bonnie Scotland." This composer has sometimes been credited with being the first to introduce the royalty system on songs, though how much truth there is in the assertion I do not know.
Even more popular, perhaps, were the songs of Virginia Gabriel. "Only," "Nightfall at Sea," "You'll not be long away," "Happy Days," "My Secret," "The Forsaken," "Some­body's Darling," and a host of others, were songs that our fathers and mothers are fond of citing when posing as laudatores temporis acti in the matter of drawing-room ballads. Her songs were most simple and melodious, qualities which no doubt had much to do with their popularity.
Sir Charles Santley, in his Reminiscences', has an interesting reference to Virginia Gabriel :
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