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SONGS OF TO-DAY AND YESTERDAY
AS already foreshadowed in a former chapter, the "Songs of To-day and Yesterday" will be found to refer chiefly to some further composers of the Sullivan era, who are still actively engaged in song-writing to-day.
The first names that occur to the mind are those of two composers with whom the writing of ballads holds only an incidental place, and who are known chiefly by their orchestral or choral works—Dr. Cowen and Edward German ; but it is with their songs only, of course, that I have to deal here.
Probably the three most famous of Cowen's "popular" ballads are "The Better Land," "The Children's Home," and "The Promise of Life." The words of "The Better Land," which are by Mrs. Hemans, were brought to Cowen by Antoinette Sterling, with a request that he would set them. He took them away with him to the Isle of Wight, and one wet afternoon took them out and read them through. All at once the
melody came to him, and the whole song was