Familiar Songs - Their Authors & Histories

300 traditional songs, inc sheet music with full piano accompaniment & lyrics.

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Thomas Moore's well-known life began in a corner-grocery, on Angier street, Dublin, May 28, 1779. His father carried on his traffic below stairs, while his mother, a woman of more than ordinary intellect and lovableness, tended her handsome baby up-stairs. To the close of her days she received the undiminished devotion of her gifted son, and when both had died, four thousand letters from him were found among his mother's papers. Moore's marriage to Miss Bessie Dyke, a young actress, was a happy one. Loved as he was, and oourted by the great as he became, he used to say that no applause ever greeted his ear so pleasantly as that which was evoked by a young fellow, who planted himself on the quay, in Dublin, and called out in fine brogue, Byron's dictum, " Three cheers for Tommy Moore, the pote of all circles, and the darlint of his own." "The darlint" of all circles he was also, and funny stories are told of his never-ceasing blunders regarding his invitations. He was always popping in at my Lord's or my Lady's, on the days when he was not expected.
Moore's eldest son proved a renegade; his second son died young, and his only daugh­ter met a tragic fate. She was kissing her hand down the stairs as her father was going out to dine, when she fell over the balusters, and was killed. Moore was as tender-hearted as he was genial and jovial, and after the death of his children he could never command himself enough to sing in public. " Oft in the Stilly Night," he sang with entrancing ten­derness. The song has been unmercifully parodied, and "fond memory" has been in­voked to call up all manner of nightmares; but the phrase is nevertheleless as beautful as ever, and this remains a perfect poem and a perfect song. Moore died at his home, Sloperton Cottage, Devizes, Wiltshire, February 25th, 1852.