Familiar Songs - Their Authors & Histories

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

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Elizabeth Hamilton, author of the words of " My Ain Fireside," was born in Belfast, Ireland. Her noble Scottish ancestors had left their country on account of religious opin­ions. Miss Hamilton's father died a year after her birth, leaving his widow destitute, with three children. An aunt in Scotland took the little Elizabeth, and when, soon after, the mother died also, permanently adopted her. The girl was carefully educated by this aunt whose care she rewarded with the most faithful love. After the death of nearly all their kindred, Miss Hamilton and her sister made their home in Edinburgh. Here Miss,—or, as she was by courtesy entitled, Mrs.—Hamilton, received the attention and friendship which she deserved, and which her then popular writings,—among them, the story of " The Cottagers of Glenbumie,"—naturally brought her. In youth, she formed an unfortunate attachment, and she never married. In hope of recovering her health, she visited the baths of Harrowgate, England, where she died in 1816.
At one time Mrs. Hamilton left her home, to take care of the motherless family of a nobleman. She remained with them six months, and it was on returning to her own hearthstone that she wrote the song, " My Ain Fireside."