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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188               A CENTURY OF BALLADS
though, to mention only a few others, " Prince Charming," "The Helmsman," "In the Old, Old Way," "The Storm-fiend," "The Skippers of St. Ives," and " Roses all the Way " were all immensely popular.
The ballad known as "The Three Old Maids of Lee" ("A Bird in the Hand") is, of course, a household word. The composer himself tells the story of this, perhaps one of his greatest " hits " in the way of songs. " When Weatherly brought the words to me I said, i This will never do. No one will sing these words.' I put them aside for a year or more. One day I happened upon them, read them over, and the music came in ten minutes. I said to Weatherly, 'I've set "A Bird in the Hand.'" 'You're too late,' he replied ; l a lady has been before you.' The lady, however, very kindly gave up the words when asked to do so. The success of the song was immediate and immense. Young girls sang it for the pleasure of poking fun at their aunts.
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