Familiar Songs - Their Authors & Histories

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

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The words of this song were written by Longfellow. The composer of the music, Michael William Balfe,was born in Dublin, Ireland, May 15, 1808. At the age of eight, he played a concerto on the violin at a public concert, and a year later he wrote a ballad, "The Lover's Mistake," which Madame Vestris introduced into the opera of "Paul Pry." In 1823 he went to London with Charles Edward Horn, as an articled pupil. He was soon engaged as principal violinist at the Drury lane oratorios, and in the orchestra under Thomas Cooke. He was also cultivating his rich baritone voice. Count Mazzara, fancying he resembled a son whom his wife had lost, took young Balfe to Kome, where the Countess received him tenderly. He studied in Rome, Milan, and Paris, and in the latter city, apĀ­peared as Figaro in the " Barber of Seville," and made a great success. He came to the United States with his wife, and sang in opera, and, returning to London, appeared in his own first opera, " The Siege of Eochelle." From that time he devoted himself especially to composition, and produced his well-known operas, of which " The Bohemian Girl" is the most popular. Balfe died in London October 20, 1870.