Familiar Songs - Their Authors & Histories

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

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" What are the wild waves saying,
Sister, the whole day long, That ever amid our playing,
I hear but their low, lone song? Not by the seaside only,
There it sounds wild and free ; But at night, when 'tis dark and lonely,
In dreams it is still with me."
"Brother! I hear no singing!
'Tis but the rolling wave, Ever its lone course winging
Over some lonesome cave! 'Tis but the noise of water
Dashing against the shore, And the wind from some bleaker quarter
Mingling, mingling with its roar."
"No! It is something greater, That speaks to the heart alone; The voice of'the great Creator, Dwells in that mighty tone.
" Yes ! But the waves seem ever
Singing the same sad thing, And vain is my weak endeavor
To guess what the surges sing! What is that voice repeating.
Ever by night and day? Is it a friendly greeting,
Or a warning that calls away?"
" Brother ! the inland mountain,
Hath it not voice and sound? Speaks not the dripping fountain,
As it bedews the ground? E'en by the household ingle,
Curtained and closed and warm, Do not our voices mingle
With those of the distant storm?"
" Yes! But there 's something greater, That speaks to the heart alone; The voice of the great Creator Dwells in that mighty tone!"
The words of this song were written by Caroline Gilman, nee Howard, who was born in Boston, Mass., October 8, 1794. When sixteen years old, she wrote a poem on " Jairus' Daughter," which was published in the North American Review. In 1S19, she married Rev. Samuel Gilman, and removed to Charleston, South Carolina. She published a series of volumes of prose and poetry, most of which are embodied in her last book, " Stories and Poems by a Mother and Daughter" (1872). Since the war, Mrs. Gilman has resided in Cambridge, Mass. Of her little song, " Trancadillo," she writes: " The following graceful harmony, long consecrated to Bacchanalian revelry, has been rescued for more genial and lovely associations. The words were composed for a private boat-party at Sullivan's Island, South Carolina, but the author will be glad to know that the distant echoes of other waters awake to the spirited melody. A portion of the original chorus has been retained, which, though like some of the Shakesperian refrains, seemingly without meaning, lends anima­tion to the whole."
The air of " Trancadillo" was composed by Francis H. Brown, a New York composer and music-teacher, who now resides in Stamford, Connecticut.