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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190             A CENTURY OF BALLADS
Sweet Song," "Punchinello," "The Three Beg­gars," and " To-morrow will be Friday."
Nobody, probably, will be found to dispute the claims of " Darby and Joan " as to premier­ship in the matter of popularity. Of this song Weatherly, who, of course, wrote the words, tells me an amusing anecdote. He was playing the accompaniment for a curate's little wife—or a little curate's wife, no matter—when to his astonishment she cut the second verse. After­wards in a quiet corner he asked the curate the reason. The latter gazed at him and murmured, "Of course she couldn't sing it. She's never had a baby, you see."
The song was a great favourite with Antoinette Sterling, and she used to relate a rather amusing incident in connection with it. She had gone off the platform after finishing the song, and when she returned to bow her acknowledgments she found the audience roaring with laughter and gazing up at the gallery. Turning her eyes in the same direction, she saw two people seated in the middle of the front row, each of whom had lost an arm. In the excitement of the moment they had joined forces, and were vigorously clapping their two remaining hands together.
" Molloy," says Mr. Mackinlay in his book, in which the above incident is recorded, "spent perhaps more time at Antoinette Sterling's house
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