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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has been connected with musical matters for quite sixty years, and has met with many amusing and interesting experiences during his long career, some of which he has been good enough to relate to me.
Once at a concert at the Albert Hall a singer, whose name was unfamiliar, was down to sing "The Death of Nelson." In the green-room Bird recognised a well-known amateur, who explained that in future he was going to sing as a professional, and exhibit a higher style of intelligence than was usually shown by the ordinary concert artist. He announced that in the last verse of the song he intended to repre­sent the hero as he really was in his dying hour. Accordingly when he came to the words " In honour's cause my life was passed," he made a long pause between each syllable, accompanied by a sort of gasp. The result was a complete fiasco; the audience were convulsed with laughter, and the singer's professional career ended on the night it began.
In Punch of May 4th this year there appeared a reference to Bird's Jubilee Concert, in the form of a poem to " Rara Avis," in which there was an allusion to an incident which is best told in the accompanist's own words :—
"I was engaged," he says, "for a musical party, and one of the singers was to do ' Come
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