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COMPOSERS OF SULLIVAN'S DAY 167
Reginald de Koven's " Oh, Promise Me," P. de Faye's "Tell her I love her so" and "Over the Hills of Normandy," J. W. Cherry's "Will of the Wisp," and the songs of Lord Henry Somerset may all be said to belong to this period.
An immensely popular song of the day was "Eileen Alannah," by J. R. Thomas, who also wrote "'Tis but a little faded flower." "Eileen Alannah " was originally published by Hopwood and Crew, with whom it had a very small sale, and they eventually disposed of it to Hutchings and Romer for the mere cost of the plates. In the latter's hands, and those of Evans and Co., who purchased it at Hutchings and Romer's sale, it had a very considerable success, after being considered practically dead for a good many years.
Horace Bernton, the composer of "Canst thou ask me if I love thee?" and "When first we met," may be briefly mentioned, if only for the sake of quoting an amusing (if somewhat crushing) criticism of the first-named song from the pen of our critic before referred to. He says :—
"Of all the rubbish that was ever written we have now certainly a specimen. The words are of a very sentimental nature, and to obtain an idea of the quality of the music sing the word