HISTORICAL NOTES 1 for SOLOS FOR TREBLE INSTRUMENT
ESPECIALLY SOPRANO RECORDER
COLLECTION 1: AFRICAN-AMERICAN AND JAMAICAN MELODIES
Arranged/composed by Clark Kimberling
Titles of arrangements begin with the letters A-Y.
Titles of new compositions begin with the letter Z.
Most of the 330 solos in Collection 1 can be accessed by clicking SOLOS 1 - but first, read this: the solos occupy 306 pages and may take a minute to download, and your computer must have a PDF reader.
After viewing the solos, you may wish to print them and put them in a really BIG notebook. However, before clicking SOLOS 1, you really should browse these Historical Notes, in which you'll find many links to in-depth information. Along with spirituals and other traditional music, the collection represents 55 African-American composers in 175 melodies.
Forty-six of the finest solos in Collection 1 are published elsewhere; just click (recorder edition) or (flute edition).
Black Patti Waltzes 1-2, Chicken, Lulu
Alton A. Adams
Virgin Islands March, Waltz
John Tyler’s Lamentation
Heel and Toe Polka, La Belle Créole, La Capricieuse Valse, La Coquette Grande Polka, La Créole Polka Mazurka, La Louisianaise, La Rosace Valse, Les Folies du Carnaval, Mamie Waltz, Regina Waltz, Temple of Music Polka Mazurka
Eliza Waltzes 1-2
Thomas Green Bethune
James Hubert Blake
James Allen Bland
Carry Me Back to Old Virginny, Midst Pretty Violets, Oh Lucinda
Uncle Rufe’s Hymn
John W. Boone
Aurora Waltz, Dinah’s Barbecue, Melons Cool and Green
Carnaval Waltz, Empire State Quick Step, Liela Liela
James T. Brymn
Josephine, My Jo
Slavery Chains Broke at Last
Please Just Stay a While
The Maiden with the Dreamy Eyes
Aaron J. R. Conner
American Polka Quadrille, Cellarius Polka Quadrilles 1-3, Chesnut Street Promenade Quadrilles 1-5, Fashionable London Polka Waltz, Finale, Five Step Waltz, General Taylor’s Gallop, La Poule, My Cherished Hope―My Fondest Dream, Pantalon, Philadelphia Polka Waltz, Polka Quadrille, Seraphine Gallopade
Will Marion Cook
Red Red Rose
Gussie Lord Davis
McGuffin’s Home Run, Sing Again that Sweet Refrain, Will She Meet Me Tonight with a Smile,
Till Snowflakes Come Again
The Colored Regimental Guard
Chicago Waltz, Méphisto Masqué, Nocturne
Run Home Levi
John Thomas Douglass
Joys of Life, Scudder Lanciers, Watch Hill Polka Redowa
James Reese Europe
Castles’ Half and Half, Congratulations, Liken’ Ain’t Like Lovin’
Harry P. Guy
Down in Mobile, Sixty-Six
Beautiful Lake Erie Waltzes 1-2, Daffney Do You Love Me, Evansville Favorite Waltz, Idlewild Mazurka, The Seven-thirty to Eleven Galop, Those Charming Feet, Thoughts of You
Davis Quick Step, Le Duc de Bordeaux, The Miercken Polka Waltz, Miss Lucy Neal Quadrille,
The Terpsichore (Elisabeth), The Terpsichore (Susana), The Terpsichore (Washington)
Bonnets of Blue, Cupid’s Frolic, A Favorite Cotillion, Hop Waltz, Kitty Clover, Miss Willing’s Waltz, New Years Cotillion, The Philadelphia Hop Waltz, Philadelphia Serenading Grand March, That Rest So Sweet
John Leubrie Hill
Rock Me in the Cradle of Love
Sweet Little Kate McCoy
The American Girl, The Arrival, Augustus, Battle of New Orleans (1815!), Caroline Cotillin, Castilian, The Cymbals, Introductory, Johnson’s Jig Cotillion, Maria Caroline, The Orphan’s Cotillion, The Princeton Grand March, Quadrille, Virginia Cotillion, William
J. Rosamond Johnson
Oh, Didn’t He Ramble
The Favorite, Felicity Rag (with Scott Hayden), The Rosebud March
Ida Lewis Rescue
Miss Hannah from Savannah
Hannah Boil Dat Cabbage Down, That’s What the Little Bird Whispered to Me, You Know the Sort of Fellow I Mean
Fred C. Lyons
Great Day in the Morning, The Lime-Kiln Band, Somebody’s Laughing Laughing
Listen to the Mocking Bird
Good Old Times
William Joseph Nickerson
The New Era March
A. J. Piron
I Wish I Could Shimmie
Joseph William Postlewaite
Bessee Waltz, Concert Hall Favorite Waltz, Dramatic Schottisch, Galena Waltz, Lewellyn Waltz,
Minnesota Waltz, O Yes I’ll Share Thy Cottage Shade, Veiled Prophet Grand March
James S. Putnam
Aunty Green, I’ll Be There
Edward de Roland
Clarinda Polka Quadrilles 1-4, Deux Tems Quadrilles 1-5, Ladies Polka Quadrilles 1-3, Philadelphia Assembly Grand Polka, Roland’s Five-Step Waltz
Jacob J. Sawyer
Listen to Dem Ding Dong Bells, Lotta Schottisch, Ring Dem Chimin’ Bells, Yes I’ll Be There
Francis V. Seymour
Seymour’s Polka Quadrille
After All that I’ve Been to You, Barnyard Rag
Fred S. Stone
Thomas Million Turpin
St. Louis Rag
Horace Weston’s Best Schottische
Henry F. Williams
Chitarra Polka, The Coquette, Croton Waltz, Parisian Waltzes 1-4
There are 330 solos covered by these notes, and 284 of them are in SOLOS 1. That leaves 46 solos that are published separately, as noted above. In the list below, the 46 solos are indicated by an asterisk (*).
AFRICAN COUNTING SONG(*), an African-American folk song in Dorothy Scarborough’s On the Trail of Negro Folk Songs. Scarborough quotes Uncle Israel: “My mother learned it from an African from her country.” For more on Scarborough’s sources and others, visit Guide to Life and Literature of the Southwest.
AFTER ALL THAT I’VE BEEN TO YOU! composed by Chris Smith (1879-1949), published by Haviland, New York, 1912. Between 1890 and 1920, Smith performed in vaudeville acts with Elmer Bowman and Billy Johnson. He composed several very popular songs with lyricists Bowman, Cecil Mack, and James Tim Brymn. Visit The African American Registry for biographical information.
AMEN(*), a spiritual popularized by Jester Hairston’s arrangement in the 1963 movie Lilies of the Field, starring Sidney Poitier. For a tribute to Hairston and his contributions to African-American music, visit Wikipedia.
THE AMERICAN GIRL(*), composed by Francis Johnson (1792-1844). A copy of the original can be downloaded from the Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music. The copy shows no date or name of publisher, but another song by Johnson, The American Boy, was published by Osbourn’s Music Saloon, Philadelphia, probably between 1835 and 1845. Johnson was born in Philadelphia (not in Martinique, West Indies) in 1792, and died April 6, 1844 in Philadelphia, where he was a well known band leader. During 1837-38, he and several of his bandsmen performed in London. Visit Keffer Collection of Sheet Music for further biographical information.
AMERICAN POLKA QUADRILLE(*), composed by Aaron J. R. Conner ( ? - 1850), the first in a collection entitled The American Polka Quadrilles, published by A. Fiot, Philadelphia, 1846. (See Finale for the the fifth quadrille.) Conner’s name is sometimes spelled Connor. Visit the Keffer Collection of Sheet Music: Philadelphia Composers and Well-Known Soloists.
AN ANDANTE(*), composed by Justin Holland (1819-1887), included in The Music of Justin Holland for Solo Guitar, compiled and edited by Ernie Jackson, Cherry Lane Music Company, 1995. Born in Norfolk County, Virginia, in 1833, Holland moved to the Boston area and studied music. His studies continued during the early 1840s at Oberlin Conservatory. In 1845, Holland settled in Cleveland, Ohio. Among his best known works were two guitar methods published in 1874. Visit The African-American Registry.
THE ANGEL ROLLED THE STONE AWAY, possibly first published in Saint Helena Island Spirituals, 1925; included in James Weldon Johnson’s collection, The Second Book of Negro Spirituals, 1926.
THE ARRIVAL, composed by Francis Johnson, published in George Willig’s Musical Magazine, Philadelphia, 1818. No music by an African-American composer is known to have been published earlier than 1818. The Arrival is one of several cotillions by Johnson, published as a set of pieces scored for piano. To see them, visit the American Sheet Music Digitalization Project at the University of North Carolina. See also The American Girl.
AUGUSTUS(*), composed by Francis Johnson, published in George Willig’s Musical Magazine, Philadelphia, 1818. Augustus is possibly named for one of a group who danced to Johnson’s cotillions. Other pieces in the same set (with arrangements in this collection) are named Maria Caroline, Castilian, Caroline, and William. See also The Arrival and The American Girl.
AUNTY GREEN, composed by James S. Putnam (birth date and death date unknown), published by John F. Perry, Boston, 1882. In the references at the end of these notes, Putnam is notably missing, except for a brief mention in Brooks and several references in Simond, who, on page 25, writes, “We have some famous composers [including] Jim Putnam.”
AURORA WALTZ(*), composed by John William Boone (1864-1927), published by Allen Music Co., Columbia, Missouri, 1907. Boone was known as “Blind Boone,” having lost his sight during infancy. He gave his first professional concert in 1879 in Columbia. The Blind Boone Concert Company, consisting of up to six musicians, toured the United States for many years and toured twice in Europe.
BANANA BOAT SONG, a Jamaican folk song also called Day, Dah Light, sung at daybreak by banana loaders waiting to be paid according to the number of clusters they had loaded. Harry Belafonte’s recording of Day-O, an arrangement of the banana boat song by Irving Burgie (Lord Burgess), was a big hit. Visit Harry Belafonte website.
BANYAN TREE(*), traditional Jamaican song, also called Moon shine tonight. This song is cited in an account of Mento style at Ska History.
BARN DANCE, composed by Fred S. Stone (1873-1912), published by Jerome H. Remick & Co., Detroit, 1908. For a biographical sketch, visit Perfessor Bill Edwards.
BARNYARD RAG, composed by Chris Smith, published by Harold Rossiter Music Company, Chicago, 1911. See After All That I’ve Been to You.
BATTLE OF NEW ORLEANS, composed by Francis Johnson, probably in 1815. This music is found in a manuscript composition book preserved at the Library Company of Philadelphia. The cover page of the manuscript book identifies the work by these words: Presented to Mrs. A. Rush by Frank Johnson, a Black Musician of our Balls and parties, in 1820. The recipient was Mrs. Phoebe Anne Ridgway Rush, a leading figure in the social life of Philadelphia. Visit the Ridgway Library. Johnson’s composition, Battle of New Orleans, consists of segments numbered and captioned as follows:
10 Battle of N Orleans,
11 the Attack,
12 The combat, including “galloping of Horses”,
13 The Bride,
14 the Battle, including “Firing of the musquetry,”
15 trumpet announces the victory,
16 the victory Ours.
The present arrangement is based on segments 14 and 16. It seems likely that this music and the other items in Johnson’s manuscript book are the earliest known compositions by an African-American composer. See The American Girl.
BEAU MATIN MO CONTRÉ MANETTE(*), the final melody in Irène Thérèse Whitfield’s Louisiana French Folk Songs. Whitfield places this song without comment right at the end of the chapter on Creole folk songs. The words are printed not only in French, but also Creole patois. Perhaps this fine Aeolian-mode melody was known, in nearly the same form, in France, several centuries ago.
BEAUTIFUL LAKE ERIE WALTZ 1, composed by Henry Hart (1839-1915), published by Balmer & Weber, St. Louis, 1874. Hart left his native Kentucky when he was about fourteen years old. He learned to play violin in Cleveland and met his wife-to-be, Sarah, a professional pianist, in New Orleans. They settled in Evansville, Indiana, in 1867. About seven years later, he organized a minstrel group that included Sam Lucas. In 1879, the Harts moved to Indianapolis. Four of the five Hart daughters became musicians. One of Henry Hart’s patrons was Colonel Eli Lilly, who established the now thriving Eli Lilly and Company in the 1870’s. Hart and members of his family were interred at Oak Hill Cemetery, Evansville. Among them was Hazel Hart Hendricks (1884-1932), a principal of an Indianapolis school that now bears her name. Another daughter, a harpist, is commemorated by an Internet organization named in her honor: Myrtle Hart Society. Visit a detailed account of Hart and his family at Wikipedia.
BEAUTIFUL LAKE ERIE WALTZ 2, composed by Henry Hart, published by Balmer & Weber, St. Louis, 1874. This is the second of three waltzes published together as On the Beautiful Lake Erie Waltzes, dedicated to Miss Lou Lander of Vincennes, Indiana. The front cover refers to Hart’s Gipsey Queen Waltz, possibly now lost, and 7:30 Galop (listed below as Seven-thirty to Eleven Galop).
BEHOLD THAT STAR, a spiritual often sung as a choral arrangement during the Christmas season. Published as early as 1928 by H. T. Burleigh.
BELLE LAYOTTE, in Slave Songs of the United States, 1867. The seven songs at the end of this famous 1867 collection are followed by a description: "...obtained from a lady who heard them sung, before the war, on the Good Hope plantation, St. Charles Parish, Louisiana. The language, evidently a rude corruption of French, is that spoken by the negroes in that part of the State." At the time that President Jefferson purchased Louisiana Territory from Napoleon – that is, in 1803 – the predominant cultural roots in Louisiana were French, Spanish, and West African, with Caribbean influences. During the years of slavery, many Creole people of Louisiana, being only partly of African descent, were free, and a distinctive kind of song evolved among these people. Arrangements of five Creole songs in Slave Songs are included in this collection: Belle Layotte, Caroline, Lolotte, Michie Banjo, and Remon.
BESSEE WALTZ(*), composed by Joseph William Postlewaite (1837-1889), published by J. Ballhouse, St. Louis, 1855. The waltz is dedicated to Miss Bessee Story. Postlewaite was born in St. Louis and died there. See Samuel A. Floyd’s article, “J. W. Postlewaite of St. Louis: A Search for His Identity,” Black Perspective in Music 6, no. 2 (1978) 151-167.
BETTER WALK STEADY(*), the chorus of a pre-Civil War spiritual, possibly first published in Robert Emmet Kennedy’s More Mellows, 1931, a sequel to his 1925 book, Mellows: A Chronicle of Unknown Singers, in whose Foreword we find that “Mellow is the Negro word for melody, and by this term their devotional songs are called in southern Louisiana. So redolent of this quality are they that we are reminded of the words of Renan…: ‘Like emanations from above they fall, drop by drop, upon the soul and pass through it like the memories of another world.’”
BIDDY, BIDDY(*), in Olive Lewin’s Forty Folk Songs of Jamaica, 1973.
BIG BOAT’S UP THE RIVER, included, possibly as a fragment of a song no longer known in its entirety, in Mary Wheeler’s Steamboatin’ Days, 1944. She wrote that it could still be heard “among very old Negroes.” First verse:
Big boat’s up the rivuh,
An’ she won’t come down.
I b’lieve to my soul
that she’s watuh boun’.
Wheeler’s book contains a number of African-American songs not found elsewhere. Many were sung as work songs on late nineteenth-century steamboats on the Ohio River.
BLACK PATTI WALTZ 1(*), composed by William J. Accooe (?–1904), published as the first of three waltzes and a Finale as Black Patti Waltzes by Oliver Ditson, Boston, 1896. The title refers to soprano Sissieretta Jones, to whom the music is dedicated. For a biographical sketch of “The Black Patti”, visit Women in History. Accooe’s birthplace seems to be unknown. He collaborated with Will Marion Cook in In Dahomey, performed more than 1,100 times in the U. S. and England during 1902-1905. For details, visit In Dahomey.
BLACK PATTI WALTZ 2(*), composed by William J. Accooe. (See Black Patti Waltz 1.) These waltzes were re-published by Ditson under the title, Love’s Enchantment Waltzes, dedicated to Victor Herbert, in 1897. And yet again, as Southern Blossoms, by M. Witmar & Sons, in 1901, with the composer’s name shortened to Will Accooe.
BONNETS OF BLUE, composed by James Hemmenway (1800-1849), published by George Willig, Philadelphia, 1828. Bonnets of Blue is fourth in Hemmenway’s collection, The Fifth Set of Quadrilles. For a biographical sketch, visit The Keffer Collection.
CALVARY(*), possibly first published in James Weldon Johnson’s The Book of American Negro Spirituals, New York, 1925.
CARNAVAL WALTZ, arranged by William Brady (?–1854), published by Atwill, New York, 1845. At the head of the music: “Subject taken from GIVE ME A COT IN THE VALLEY I LOVE, these being the opening words of a song, A Home that I Love, composed by Stephen Glover, published by Firth and Hall, New York, 1843. You can view both Glover’s song and Brady’s arrangement at the Library of Congress.
CAROLINE, published in Slave Songs of the United States, 1867, with French lyrics. This Creole dance-song was used for the counjaille. For more on this dance and other Creole dances, visit StreetSwing.
CAROLINE COTILLIN(*), composed by Francis Johnson, published as Caroline in George Willig’s Musical Magazine, Philadelphia, 1818. The tune is in Johnson’s first set of cotillions. His alternate spelling of “cotillion” has been added to the tune-name in order to distinguish it from another tune in this collection entitled Caroline. See The Arrival and The American Girl.
CARRY ME BACK TO OLD VIRGINNY(*), composed by James Allen Bland (1854-1911), copyrighted August 5, 1878. Bland also wrote the words to this song, which became the official state song of Virginia in 1940. On February 17, 1997, Virginia Governor George Allen signed legislation that changed the status from "state song" to "state song emeritus." For details, visit Netstate.
CASTILIAN(*), composed by Francis Johnson, published in George Willig’s Musical Magazine, Philadelphia, 1818. See The Arrival and The American Girl.
CASTLES’ HALF AND HALF(*), composed by James Reese Europe (1881-1919) and F. T. Dabney, published by Jos. W. Stern & Co, New York, 1914. The front cover includes the words “As played by Europe’s Society Orchestra.” Vernon and Irene Castle were one of the world’s best known ballroom dancing duos during 1910-1920. The half-and-half was one of their dances. The distinctive five-beat rhythm essentially that of a five-step waltz. (Five-step waltzes by Conner and Roland are included in this collection.) Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire starred in the 1939 movie, The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle. For more information about the movie and the Castles, including a photograph of the famous duo, visit Reel Classics.
CELLARIUS POLKA QUADRILLES 1-3, composed by A. J. R. Conner, published by A. Fiot, Philadelphia, 1848. These are the first three of The New Six Figures Cellarius Polka Quadrilles. The six “figures” are new dances, “composed and dedicated to his friend Cellarius” by “Jules M. Martin, of Philadelphia.” The steps for the six new dances are printed on a single page. A portrait of Henri Cellarius appears on the front cover, along with inscriptions “Taught in London by Madame Lecomte,” Taught in Paris by Cellarius,” and “Taught in Philadelphia by The Author.” For another connection between Conner and Cellarius, see Five-Step Waltz. See American Polka Quadrille.
CHESNUT STREET PROMENADE QUADRILLES 1-5(* for 3,4), composed by A. J. R. Conner, published by Edward L. Walker, 160 Chesnut St., Philadelphia, 1850. The quadrilles are “adapted to the new figures composed by Mons[ier] Jules Martin and respectfully dedicated to his pupils by A. J. R. Conner.” (The modern spelling of the street name in the title and the publisher’s address is C-h-e-s-t-n-u-t.)
CHICAGO WALTZ(*), composed by Edmond Dédé (1827-1903), published as Chicago Valse, Grande Valse à l’Américaine, by E. Fromont, Paris, 1892. Dedicated to Dédé’s cousin, Samuel L. Armstrong, of New Orleans. Dédé was born in New Orleans and moved to France in about 1868. He was director of the L’Alcazar Theater orchestra in Bordeaux, France, for twenty-five years. For a biographical sketch, visit The African American Registry.
CHICKEN(*), composed by Will Accoee, published by Howley, Haviland & Co., New York, 1899. Accooe also published as William J. Accooe and Willis Accooe. See Black Patti Waltz 1.
CHINK, PINK, HONEY, an African-American work song. In Mellows (1925), Kennedy writes of this song, “Let us listen to a group of women in a bean field where they are picking butterbeans for market. They are ranged in rows down the long aisles of glossy bean vines growing on upright cane-reed poles placed like the ribs of an Indian’s tepee. They have been at work since sunrise and it is nearing time for resting. One woman takes the lead, singing each line of the chant alone, the other women forming the chorus singing in unison with perfect rhythm and sympathy. Two of five verses:
Chink, pink, honey, O Lula,
Chink, pink, honey, One ole faded hankchuh.
Chink, pink, honey, O Lula,
Chink, pink, honey, Washed it in de bayou.
CHITARRA POLKA, composed by Henry F. Williams (1813-1903), published by Oliver Ditson, Boston, 1853. Williams was born in Boston and died there. He performed on several instruments and was associated with renowned bandmaster Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore. For further information visit Well-known Soloists.
CLARINDA POLKA QUADRILLES 1-4(* for 3,4), composed by Edward de Roland (1803-1894), published by S. Winner, Philadelphia, 1852. These are the first four of five in the publication. Roland was born in Haiti, attended the Quaker School in Philadelphia, and was one of the musicians who gave concerts in London with Frank Johnson during 1837-38.
THE COLORED REGIMENTAL GUARD(*), composed by Harry Davis (birth and death dates unknown), published by Chicago Music Co., 1881. Davis is not mentioned in Southern or Floyd, but he is briefly mentioned twice in Simond.
CONCERT HALL FAVORITE WALTZ(*), composed by [G.] W. Postlewaite, “respectfully dedicated to Mr. Xaupi & his Pupils by the Publisher,” James Phillips, 44 Market St., St. Louis, 1850. This piece is not listed in the usual listings of known compositions by J. W. Postlewaite; as no G. W. Postlewaite is mentioned in research published on the St. Louis band leader, J. W. Postlewaite, it seems likely that the “G” on the cover of this waltz should have been a “J”. Postlewaite’s earliest known published music, entitled Concert Hall Grand Waltz, was published by Balmer & Weber, St. Louis, undated but estimated at 1845. See Bessee Waltz.
Visit Center for Black Music Research.
CONGRATULATIONS(*), a waltz composed by James Reese Europe (1881-1919), published by G. Ricordi & Co., New York, 1913. Eileen Southern writes, “Europe was one of the leading musicians of his time, along with Harry T. Burleigh, Will Marion Cook, and J. Rosamond Johnson. He was a strong advocate of Negro music, both the folk music and the composed music, and he published widely in newspapers…” For extensive details about Europe, his family, and his leading role in early recording of African-American music, see Tim Brooks’s Lost Sounds. The New York Times noted Europe’s passing on May 12, 1919:
When Europe took his negro musicians abroad, already a good military band, he studied the French music, concluded that his own men could operate extra batteries of horns as well as the Frenchmen, enlarged his force, and presently produced an organization which all Americans swore, and some Frenchmen admitted, was the best military band in the world. It was in itself a creditable artistic accomplishment, if a small one: and Europe might have done much more if he had lived. Ragtime may be negro music, but it is American negro music, more alive than much other American music; and Europe was one of the Americans who was contributing most to its development.
THE COQUETTE, composed by Harry F. Williams, published by Oliver Ditson, Boston, 1876. See Chitarra Polka.
CREOLE CLÉMENTINE(*), a Creole song in Mina Monroe’s Bayou Ballads: Twelve Folk-Songs from Louisiana, 1921.
CROTON WALTZ, composed by Henry F. Williams, published by A. Fiot, Philadelphia, 1844. See Chitarra Polka.
CUPID’S FROLIC(*), composed by James Hemmenway, published by Bacon & Co., Philadelphia, undated. Cupid’s Frolic was published together with Miss Willing’s Waltz. See Bonnets of Blue.
THE CYMBALS, composed by Francis Johnson, published by George Willig, Philadelphia in Willig’s Musical Magazine, 1818. See The American Girl.
DAFFNEY DO YOU LOVE ME(*), composed by Henry Hart, published by White, Smith & Co., Boston, 1875. See Beautiful Lake Erie Waltz 1.
DAVIS QUICK STEP(*), composed by Isaac Hazzard (1804-c.1864), published in Philadelphia, 1843, dedicated to the Haydn & Handel Association. Southern writes that “By the 1830s he had developed a dance orchestra of about twenty men, which was in great demand to play for Philadelphia’s dancing schools, military parades, and fancy dress balls and assemblies of the elite.”
DEUX TEMS QUADRILLES 1-5(* for 3), composed by Edward de Roland, published by Lee and Walker, Philadelphia, 1849. The publication includes dance steps composed by D. L. Carpenter, a celebrated dance teacher. See Clarinda Polka Quadrilles 1-4.
DINAH’S BARBECUE(*), composed by John W. Boone, published by Kunkel Brothers, St. Louis, 1893. See Aurora Waltz.
DO, LORD, REMEMBER ME(*), a spiritual in Mary Allen Grissom’s collection, The Negro Sings a New Heaven, published by the University of North Carolina Press, 1930.
DOCTOR BIRD(*), a Jamaican folk song about the national bird, the swallow-tail hummingbird. The name possibly refers to magical powers suggested by the opening words “Docta Bud a cunning bud.” For more on this bird, noted for highly iridescent feathers and magnificent colors, visit Jamaica.
DON’T YOU LET NOBODY TURN YOU AROUND(*), in Clarence Cameron White’s Forty Negro Spirituals, 1927.
DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE, in W. A. Fisher’s Seventy Negro Spirituals, Boston, 1926. The refrain has the phrase, “Ain’t goin’ to study war no more,” and the song is also as Study War No More.
DOWN IN MOBILE, composed by Harry P. Guy (1870-1950), published by Shapiro, Remick & Co., Detroit and New York, 1904. For a biographical sketch, visit Harry P. Guy.
DRAMATIC SCHOTTISCH, composed by J. W. Postlewaite, published by H. Pilcher & Sons, St. Louis, 1856. See Bessee Waltz.
EARLY IN THE MORNING, in Bruce Jackson’s collection: Wake Up Dead Man: Afro-American Worksongs from Texas Prisons, Harvard University Press, 1972. Early in the Morning was an “axe song,” applied to logging operations. Jackson’s Introduction notes that the songs were all used in connection with work activities by black inmates in the Texas Department of Corrections. “White and Latin-American inmates do not sing these songs…,” and “with a few exceptions these songs do not exist in the outside world” and are sung outdoors, in daylight only.
ELIZA WALTZ 1, composed by Francis Beler, published by J. W. Postlewaite, St. Louis, 1858. Dr. Samuel A. Floyd’s research has shown that the 1859 St. Louis Directory carries the entry “BELER & POSTLEWAITE (Francis Beler and Joseph Postlewaite,) band office...” See Bessee Waltz.
ELIZA WALTZ 2, composed by Francis Beler. See Eliza Waltz 1. Actually, the sheet music consists of an Introduction in common time, followed by waltzes numbered 1 to 4 and a coda. Eliza Waltz 2 is number 4 in the original publication. The front cover shows that the work is dedicated to Miss Fannie Pritchard and is presented “as played by Postlewaite’s Quadrille Band.” One wonders if any existing records tell Beler’s racial identity or other compositions.
EMPIRE STATE QUICK STEP, composed by William Brady, published by Atwill, New York, 1845. Dedicated to Capt. James N. Olney of the Brooklyn City Guard. See Carnaval Waltz.
EN AVANT, GRÉNADIERS!(*) in Creole Songs from New Orleans in the Negro Dialect, set to music by Clara Gottschalk Peterson, 1902. Mrs. Peterson was the sister of famed pianist and composer Louis Moreau Gottschalk, born in New Orleans in 1829. A brief but vivid description of Creole music well before the Civil War appears in a biographical sketch of Gottschalk.
EV’RY TIME I FEEL THE SPIRIT(*), a spiritual possibly first published in H. T. Burleigh’s Plantation Melodies Old and New, New York, 1901. Popularized by the 1946 arrangement by William A. Dawson, who in 1931 organized the school of music at Tuskegee Institute. Visit William A. Dawson.
EVANSVILLE FAVORITE WALTZ, composed by Henry Hart, published by P. J. Dittoe, Evansville, Indiana, 1874. For information on one-time Evansville resident Hart, see Beautiful Lake Erie Waltz 1.
FAIS DO-DO, FAIS DO-DO(*), a Creole song in Whitfield’s Louisiana French Folk Songs, 1939.
FAN ME SOLDIER MAN(*), a Jamaican folk song, mentioned in connection with World War II.
FASHIONABLE LONDON POLKA WALTZ, arranged by A. J. R. Conner, published by Lee and Walker, Philadelphia, 1845, “As performed by F. Johnson’s Band at Mademoiselle Mallet’s Soirees.” A piece of the same title, probably the original for Conner’s arrangement, is listed among Francis Johnson’s compositions in the International Dictionary of Black Composers, apparently published during 1837-38 without name of publisher. For notes on Johnson, see American Girl, and for Conner, American Polka Quadrille.
THE FAVORITE, composed by Scott Joplin (1868–1917), published by A. W. Perry & Sons, Sedalia, Missouri, 1904. Eileen Southern writes that Joplin was “the first American to write genuinely American folk operas and ballets; he established the piano rag tradition, and he was the first to successfully fuse the Afro-American folk tradition with European art-music forms and techniques.” Joplin was known as the “King of Ragtime” during his lifetime, but thereafter for several decades his music was rarely heard. Interest grew greatly during the second half of the twentieth century. His opera Treemonisha was premiered in 1972, and the film The Sting (1973) used some of his rags, among which the best known are The Entertainer and Maple Leaf Rag. Visit the Cradle of Ragtime in Sedalia and [Wikipedia]
A FAVORITE COTILLION, composed by James Hemmenway, published by George Willig, Philadelphia, undated. See Bonnets of Blue.
FELICITY RAG, composed by Scott Joplin and Scott Hayden. See The Favorite. Visit Scott Joplin: King of Ragtime.
FINALE, composed by A. J. R. Conner, the fifth and final piece in a collection entitled The American Polka Quadrilles, published by A. Fiot, Philadelphia, 1846. See American Polka Quadrille.
FIVE STEP WALTZ, possibly composed by A. J. R. Conner, published by A. Fiot, Philadelphia, 1847, under the French title Valse à cinq temps. However, the piece also occurs in Elia Howe's Collection, "The Musician's Companion...", 1844, without attribution. Remarkably, this piece, in 5/4 time, appears as Five Step Waltz in Ira W. Ford’s Traditional Music of America without mention of the composer. Could this piece be the earliest surviving music composed in 5/4 time for the five-step waltz? Several other five-step waltzes were published afterwards in the United States, but for any early historical account, we must look abroad. Henri Cellarius wrote in 1847, “I will [give] account of a new waltze composed, during my residence in London, by my friend, [ballet master Jules-Joseph] Perrot, and which he has had the kindness to dedicate to me…called the waltze à cinque temps…known in Paris only by hearsay. The step of this waltze in itself has nothing very complicated; the principal difficulty consists in the time, which is little used, but of which nevertheless we find an example in Boieldieu's celebrated air, ‘Viens, gentile dame.’” However, this now rare air is not in 5-beat time! Perhaps it was performed with an added beat, leaving open the possibility that Conner’s waltz, published the same year that Cellarius wrote about the new waltze, was the first actually written in 5/4 time. In case you’d like to try dancing the five-step waltz, you can find the steps described at Streetswing. See Black Patti Waltz 1.
Or, hear the music and watch the dance.
FIZZ WATER, composed by James Hubert “Eubie” Blake (1883-1983), published by Jos. W. Stern, New York, 1914. Visit The Eubie Blake National Museum and Cultural Center.
GALENA WALTZ, composed by J. W. Postlewaite, published by Balmer & Weber, St. Louis, 1850. This piece was arranged for piano by C. Balmer (the publisher). It seems likely that the only surviving 19th-century copy is the one owned by the Kansas City Public Library; unfortunately, its middle two pages are missing. See Bessee Waltz.
GENERAL TAYLOR’S GALLOP, composed by A. J. R. Conner, published by J. G. Osbourn’s Music Saloon, Philadelphia, 1846. The gallop is a dance. This one is marked Vivace and “Composed & Respectfully Dedicated to the Ladies of Miss Carpenter’s Dancing Assembly.” See Finale. For information on General Taylor, visit The White House.
GIVE ME THAT OLD TIME RELIGION, a spiritual published in T. F. Seward’s Jubilee Songs, Chicago, 1872.
GO DOWN, MOSES, the earliest published African-American spiritual that is still well known. In 1861, it had “been sung for about nine years by the Slaves of Virginia,” and was known as The Song of the “Contrabands”—O! Let My People Go. A contraband was a slave who escaped to the north during the Civil War.
GO, TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN, first published in the third edition of Thomas P. Fenner's Religious Folk-Songs of the Negro as Sung as Sung on the Plantations, Hampton, Virginia, 1909. See Clark Kimberling, "Three Generations of Works and Their Contributions to Congregational Singing," The Hymn 65 (Summer 2014) 10-17.
GOING HOME IN THE CHARIOT, in John W. Work’s American Negro Songs and Spirituals, 1940.
GOOD BY, MOTHER, a semi-spiritual sung by an African American woman in Virginia, as described by John A. Lomax and Alan Lomax in American Ballads and Folk Songs. First verse:
Good-by, Mother, good-by,
Your voice I shall hear it no mo’,
Death done flamished yo’ body,
An’ de grave is nailed over yo’ do’.
GOOD OLD TIMES, composed by Henry Newman (birth date and death date unknown) as Dem Good Ole Times, Plantation Song & Chorus by White, Smith & Co., Boston, 1877. The front cover indicates that Newman was “Basso & Warbler of the Troubadour Quartette (Colored.)” On the first page of music, are the words “Words and music by Henry Newman” and “Sung by the author with great success, with Callender’s Georgia Minstrels.”
GOT GLORY AND HONOR, a spiritual in R. Emmet Kennedy’s More Mellows, 1931.
GOT NO MONEY, a folk song in John W. Work’s American Negro Songs and Spirituals, 1940.
GOT RELIGION ALL AROUND THE WORLD, probably first published by Frederick J. Work in New Jubilee Songs as Sung by the Fisk Jubilee Singers, 1902.
GRASSHOPPER BLUES, in Kennedy’s Mellows, 1925 (see Chink, Pink, Honey). Kennedy heard this melody whistled and “got up to see where the sound came from, and just outside the window…there was a young colored man sitting on the soft grass, with his feet across the gutter. He had a twig in his hand and he was raking the scattered camphor leaves into a pile, whistling his melancholy chant over them very like a lyric grasshopper lamenting the departure of summer...”
GREAT BIG STARS, one of the spirituals selected by Ashley Brown for his collection, All Night, All Day: A Child’s First Book of African-American Spirituals, 1991.
GREAT DAY! possibly first published in James Weldon Johnson’s The Second Book of Negro Spirituals, New York, 1926.
GREAT DAY IN THE MORNING, composed by Fred C. Lyons (birth date and death date unknown), published by J. N. Pattison, New York, 1881. A number of Lyons’ pieces can be downloaded from the Library of Congress. Although not mentioned in Southern or Floyd, he is remembered in Simond as an accomplished banjo player.
HALLE, HALLE, HALLE, a traditional Caribbean melody, possibly of Jamaican origin. Increasingly popular in recent years, and included in African American Heritage Hymnal, GIA Publications, Inc., Chicago, 2001. “Halle” is short for “Hallelujah.”
HANNAH BOIL DAT CABBAGE DOWN, composed by Sam Lucas (1850-1916), published by White, Smith & Co., Boston, 1878. Lucas was born in Washington, Ohio, where he became a barber and self-taught guitarist. He then spent many years in minstrel acts as a singer and actor. Southern writes, “Lucas was regarded by his contemporaries as the ‘dean of the colored theatrical profession’ and was called ‘Dad’.” Visit Wikipedia.
HE IS KING, a spiritual published in Religious Folk Songs of the Negro as Sung on the Plantations, arranged by the Musical Directors of The Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute, Hampton, Virginia, 1918.
HE ROSE, in Alexander Sandilands’ A Hundred and Twenty Negro Spirituals, 2nd ed, Basutoland: Morija Sesuto Book Depot, 1964. An earlier version appears as Dust An’ Ashes in Hampton and Its Students…With Fifty Cabin and Plantation Songs, arranged by Thomas F. Fenner, New York, 1874.
HE’S GOT THE WHOLE WORLD IN HIS HANDS, earliest known publication in Edward Boatner’s Spirituals Triumphant—Old and New, Nashville, 1927.
HEEL AND TOE POLKA, arranged by Basile Jean Barès (1845-1902), copyrighted in 1880 by J. Flanner; publisher’s name not given. This piece, subheaded “The Wedding,” is dedicated to Miss Celeste Stanffer, of New Orleans. The heel-and-toe-polka was a popular dance in the 1880’s. Barès was born in New Orleans. He became one of the most popular musicians of that city, and he died there. His musical career included several months in Paris, where he studied music at the Paris Conservatory and played piano in public concerts.
HOP WALTZ, arranged by James Hemmenway. Unlike the familiar three-step waltz, the hop waltz was a two-step dance. See also Hemmenway’s Philadelphia Hop Waltz.
HORACE WESTON’S BEST SCHOTTISCHE, composed by Horace Weston (c.1825-1890), published by S. S. Stewart, Philadelphia, 1883. Weston was a banjo player, and this Schottische is arranged from a piece for banjo. Weston's father, Jube Weston, was a music and dancing-school master. Horace and his brother were professional minstrel performers with several different companies. During the Civil War, he served in the Union Army.
I CAN BUCKLE A WHEELER, in Bruce Jackson’s collection of prison songs (see Early in the Morning). Some of the inmates were muleskinners (workers with mules; skinner possibly derives from the role of the whip); a wheeler is a mule next to the wheels, on the opposite end of the train from the leader. The words of this song comprise a conversation between the muleskinner and a guard:
Good mornin’, Captain
Good mornin’, Shine.
Shine, I want another skinner
for to roll my line.
I can buckle your wheeler, Captain, man,
I can roll your line, Whoa,
I can press my initials
on a mule’s behind, mmmm.
I FOLD UP MY ARMS AND I WONDER, a spiritual in Kennedy’s Mellows, 1925.
I SHALL NOT BE MOVED, in Irene V. Jackson’s Lift Every Voice and Sing: a Collection of Afro-American Spirituals and Other Songs, 1981, and African-American Heritage Hymnal,G.I.A. Publications, Chicago, 2001.
I STOOD ON THE RIVER OF JORDAN, published in Charles H. Pace’s Negro Spirituals, 1927 and subsequent collections.
I WANT JESUS TO WALK WITH ME, an African-American spiritual, published many times during the past decade, but the earlier publication history is elusive. Appears in Edward Boatner’s Spirituals and Choruses, 1925.
I WENT UP ON THE MOUNTAIN TOP, in Dorothy Scarborough’s On the Trail of Negro Folk Songs.
I WISH I COULD SHIMMIE, composed by Armand John Piron (1888-1943), published by A. J. Piron & Co., New Orleans, 1919. Southern writes that “During the 1920s-30s Piron’s band was one of the top bands in New Orleans.”
I’LL BE THERE, composed by James S. Putnam, published as I’ll Be Dar by White, Smith & Co., Boston, 1880. See Aunty Green.
I’M GOING HOME ON A CLOUD, a spiritual in Kennedy’s Mellows, 1925.
I’VE GOT PEACE LIKE A RIVER, a spiritual, of which any record of early publication seems elusive. Included in many recent collections, as far back as Sing ’n’ Celebrate, by K. Kaiser, S. Salsbury, B. R. Hearn, and C. F. Brown, Word Inc., Waco, Texas, 1971. Appears as Hymn 368 in The Presbyterian Hymnal, 1990.
IDA LEWIS RESCUE, composed by Sidney Lambert (c.1838–?), published as Rescue Polka Mazurka by Cory Brothers, Providence, 1869. Sidney Lambert was a son of Richard Lambert, who was a well established music teacher in New Orleans. Several members of the family became widely recognized musicians, but not much seems known about them. It is recorded that Sidney was a musician in the court of the king of Portugal and that he later became a music teacher in Paris. The cover of Rescue Polka Mazurka shows a picture of Miss Lewis with this inscription: “Respectfully dedicated to the Heroine of New Port Lime Rock, Miss Ida Lewis, in costume as in the rescue of March 25, 1865.” Idawalley Zorada Lewis was the keeper of the Lime Rock Lighthouse for at least thirty-nine years. For a description of her famous rescue, visit Ida Lewis. Lime Rock was renamed Ida Lewis Rock, and the lighthouse itself was renamed in her honor. For details, visit Women in Transportation: Changing America’s History.
IDLEWILD MAZURKA, composed by Henry Hart, published by Root & Cady, Chicago, 1871. The piece is dedicated to Capt. Gus Fowler, who in 1874 was captain of the riverboat Robert Mitchell, owned by the Evansville and New Orleans Packet Co. See Evansville Favorite Waltz and Beautiful Lake Erie Waltz 1.
INTRODUCTORY, composed by Francis Johnson as Number 1 in Voice Quadrilles. (See Quadrille.) The composer was known as Frank Johnson, and above the first measure of Introductory appears the name FRANK. Midway through the piece is a strain marked “SOLO. Cornet a Piston,” indicating that the composer himself probably performed this solo.
IRON BAR, a traditional Jamaican song. Published in Jamaican Folk Songs, by The Music Mart, Kingston, Jamaica (undated). Popularized by Harry Belafonte’s singing of an arrangement by Lord Burgess (see Banana Boat Song). For commercial reasons, folk origins of great melodies often get slighted. Iron Bar, arranged with title changed to Jamaica Farewell, is an example that found its way into court.
JAMAICA, possibly the oldest tune in Collection 1, derives from a 1656 English broadside ballad entitled “Joy after Sorrow, being the Sea-mans return from Jamaica.” Possibly the tune was sung in Jamaica, and certainly it was sung in England. A copy in The Dancing Master, dated 1670, is preserved at the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library, London, and the song is included in Cecil Sharp’s famous collection of 1911.
JOHN CROW, published in Forty Folk Songs of Jamaica, collected and transcribed by Olive Lewin. The name “John Crow” refers to the vulture and is significant in Jamaican folklore. The lyrics tease a particular person, and the derogatory name John Crow is a substitution for the person’s real name. For more on the bird, visit Go-Local Jamaica.
JOHN GILBERT IS THE BOAT, a work song sung by African Americans, with reference to the riverboat named the John Gilbert, after Captain John Gilbert of Evansville, Indiana, who was president of the Ohio and Tennessee River Packet Company. Included in Mary Wheeler’s Steamboatin’ Days, 1944.
JOHN TYLER’S LAMENTATION, composed by William Appo (c.1808-c.1878), published by E. W. Roberts, Utica, New York, 1844. The present arrangement is based on Appo’s piece, sung, according to the cover, by the Utica Clay Glee Club, in three parts: 1st tenor, 2nd tenor, and bass. The cover states that the piece is “Respectfully Dedicated to Palmer V. Kelloff, Sheriff.”
JOHNSON’S JIG COTILLION, composed by Francis Johnson, published by George Willig, Philadelphia, 1818. This piece and The Cymbal are numbers 1 and 6 in A Collection of New Cotillions, Sett 1, with the earliest known date of any publication of music composed by an African-American. See also The American Girl.
JOSEPHINE, MY JO, composed by James T. Brymn (1881-1946), published by Shapiro, Bernstein & Von Tilzer, New York, 1901. Brymn was a leader of dance orchestras and military bands. The song, Josephine, My Jo, with words by Brymn’s long-time associate Richard McPherson (professional name Cecil Mack) was sung in the drama The Fatal Wedding. There were several productions of this name during various decades. It appears that the particular drama for which this song was written was a hit in Australia. You can download the sheet music for the song from The National Library of Australia.
JOSHUA FIT THE BATTLE OF JERICHO, possibly first published in H. T. Burleigh’s Plantation Melodies Old and New, by G. Schirmer, New York, 1901.
JOYS OF LIFE, a polka composed by John Thomas Douglass (1847-1886), published by Oakes & Clayton, New York, 1872. Douglass was a concert violinist.
JUST A CLOSER WALK WITH THEE, an African-American Gospel song, possibly composed during the 1930s, but in any case, a representative of the genre designated as Gospel by Georgia bluesman Thomas Dorsey. Published by R. E. Winsett and Red Foley in 1948, but probably recorded and published earlier.
KEEP INCHING ALONG, published in Religious Folk Songs of the Negro as Sung on the Plantations, 1918. Alan Lomax’s commentary in connection with the distinctive words of this spiritual concludes with a quote from Fisk University’s Unwritten History of Slavery:
I am no mathematician, no biologist, neither grammarian;
but when it comes to handling the Bible,
I knocks down verbs, breaks up prepositions
and jumps over adjectives.
I am a God-sent man. All the education I got,
it was out in the fields...
the blade of my hoe was my pen,
and my slate was the ground.”
KITTY CLOVER, composed by James Hemmenway, published by George Willig, Philadelphia, 1828. Kitty Clover is number 5 in Hemmenway’s collection, The Fifth Set of Quadrilles. See Bonnets of Blue.
KUM BA YAH, a spiritual probably originating with the Gullah, an African-American people who live on the Sea Islands and coastal regions of South Carolina and Georgia. Recordings of Kum Ba Yah were made in the 1920s, and published versions first appeared in the 1930s. It appears that American missionaries taught the song in Angola, Africa, and that the song then moved back to America, where it was widely sung after 1950. The words “O Lord, Kum ba yah” mean “O Lord, Come by here.”
LA BELLE CRÉOLE, composed by Basile Barès, published by A. Élie, Editeur de Musique, Nouvelle Orléans, 1866. Dedicated “à mon ami Eugéne Macarthy.” Except for the copyright notice, the language used with the music is all French, as is the case with other pieces by Barès published in New Orleans. The full title of the piece, of which the present arrangement is based on the fourth movement, is La Belle Créole Quadrille des Lanciers Américain, pour le piano. See Heel and Toe Polka.
LA CAPRICIEUSE VALSE, composed by Basile Barès, published by A. E. Blackmar, New Orleans, 1869. Dedicated to Mademoiselle Thérèsa Labranche.
LA COQUETTE GRANDE POLKA, composed by Basile Barès, published by A. Élie, New Orleans, 1866. Dedicated to Madame Louise Hunt. See Heel and Toe Polka.
LA CRÉOLE POLKA MAZURKA, composed by Basile Barès, published by A. E. Blackmar, New Orleans, 1884. For a description of the dance, visit Polka-mazurka. See Heel and Toe Polka.
LA LOUISIANAISE, composed by Basile Barès, published by A. E. Blackmar, New Orleans, 1884. See Heel and Toe Polka.
LA POULE, composed by A. J. R. Conner, published by T. J. Williams, Philadelphia, 1846. This is the third of five in I. O. O. F Quadrilles. “I.O.O.F.” abbreviates “Independent Order of Odd Fellows.” See American Polka Quadrilles and Pantalon.
LA ROSACE VALSE, composed by Basile Barès, published as the fifth and final movement of Variétés du Carnaval, by Louis Grunewald, New Orleans, 1875. The title page depicts costumed men over an inscription, Pro Bono Publico, and the piece is dedicated to His Royal Majesty Rex King of Carnival, in connection with Mardi Gras.
LADIES POLKA QUADRILLES 1-3, composed by Edward de Roland, published by Lee & Walker, Philadelphia, 1849. These are the first three of five, “as Danced at D. L. Carpenter’s Academy and Private Soirees, Composed for the Piano Forte and Respectfully Dedicated to the Ladies of Philadelphia.” The Ladies Polka Quadrilles are reproduced in Samuel A. Floyd, Jr. and Marsha J. Reisser’s article, “Social Dance Music of Black Composers in the Nineteenth Century and the Emergence of Classic Ragtime,” in The Black Perspective in Music, vol. 8, no. 2 (Autumn, 1980) 161-193. See Clarinda Polka Quadrilles.
LE DUC DE BORDEAUX, arranged for Piano Forte by Issac Hazzard, published by Osbourn’s Music Saloon, Philadelphia, 1844. The front cover indicates that this was already a popular waltz prior to Hazzard’s arrangement, but possibly only this version has survived. See Davis Quick Step.
LEAH AND TIGER, a Jamaican folk song found in Jamaican Song and Story, a Dover reprint of Walter Jekyll’s book first published in 1907. Leah and Tiger, as a song, is printed along with an elaborate story of the same name. For connections between this Jamaican story and African roots, visit Sacred Texts.
LES FOLIES DU CARNAVAL, composed by Basile Barès, published by A. E. Blackmar, New Orleans, undated. The publisher is identified only on the back cover, along with advertisements, including this one: "Les Folies du Carnival – (Valse Brilliante)...dashing and showy waltz for advanced players. Grotesque Carnival Scene upon the title page." Actually, the cover design is an attractive portrayal of dancers in elaborate costumes of a sort worn for New Orleans Mardi Gras.
LET US BREAK BREAD, a spiritual in Old Plantation Songs, 1899, and more fully in Folk Songs of the American Negro, Nashville, 1907.
LEWELLYN WALTZ, composed by J. W. Postlewaite, published by Balmer and Weber, St. Louis, 1851. See Bessee Waltz.
LIELA, LIELA, composed by William Brady, published as Liela, Liela Cease Thy Lay, by Atwill, New York, 1845. See Carnaval Waltz.
LIKEN’ AIN’T LIKE LOVIN’, composed by James Reese Europe, published by Victoria Music Co., New York, 1907. See Congratulations.
THE LIME-KILN BAND, composed by Fred C. Lyons, published in 1883. It is unclear who the publisher was. You can download the music from the Library of Congress. See Great Day in the Morning.
LINSTEAD MARKET, a traditional Jamaican song published as early as 1907 in Walter Jekll book, and much more recently as a hymn tune in several hymnals. Visit Linstead Market at Wikipedia. For a map showing Linstead, visit Caribbean-on-line.
LISTEN TO DEM DING DONG BELLS, composed by Jacob J. Sawyer (c.1859-?), published by Brainard’s Sons, Cleveland and Chicago, 1885. The front cover of this song includes the words “Sung Nightly by the Nashville Students with Immense Success. Words and Music by Prof. Jacob J. Sawyer.”
LISTEN TO THE MOCKING BIRD, composed by Richard James Milburn (c.1814-?). Milburn was a Philadelphia barber. As explained by Fuld in The Book of World-Famous Music, “[Milburn’s] imitation of the warbles of the mocking bird was overheard by Septimus Winner...[who was] born in Philadelphia in 1827, became a composer and publisher and died in 1902.” Using the pseudonym “Alice Hawthorne,” Winner was one of the most prolific American composers of popular music. Fuld writes that “President Lincoln is said to have likened this song to the ‘laughter of a little girl at play’.” Claghorn’s 1937 biography of Winner states that he sold his copyright for Listen to the Mocking Bird for $5.00, and that fifty years later, some 20 million copies had been sold worldwide.
LITTLE DAVID PLAY YOUR HARP, in Religious Folk Songs of the Negro as Sung on the Plantations, arranged by the Musical Directors of The Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute, 1918.
LONG HOT SUMMER DAYS, in Bruce Jackson’s collection of prison songs (see Early in the Morning). Inmates sang this while flatweeding with hoes. “They stick to a hoe-strike every six beats, even when they get involved in a couple of 5/4 measures.” (In SOLOS 1, these are measures 18 and 63.)
LORD, I WANT TO BE A CHRISTIAN, a spiritual in Religious Folk Songs of the Negro as Sung on the Plantations, arranged by the Musical Directors of the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute, Hampton, Virginia, 1918.
LOTTA SCHOTTISCH, composed by Jacob J. Sawyer, published by G. D. Russell, Boston, 1882. The cover depicts “The Inimitable Lotta,” elsewhere described as the “quintessential female entertainer of her time and a true child of the Gold Rush,” who left her estate, estimated at $4,000,000, to veterans, aging actors, and animals.” Not a lot is known about Sawyer, but a lot is known about Lotta. Visit San Francisco History.
LULU, composed by Will Accooe, published as Lulu, I Loves Yer, Lulu, by Hugo V. Schlam, New York, 1901. Accooe also wrote the words (e.g., “Sunshine is jealous of my baby’s eyes”). His wife, Alice Mackey Accooe, was a noted contralto.
McGUFFIN’S HOME RUN, composed by Gussie Lord Davis (1863-1899), published by Willis Woodward & Co., New York, 1891. Visit Home Sweet Home: Minstrel Songs.
McKEE, adapted from the spiritual, “I know the angel’s done changed my name,” sung in the late 1800s by the Jubilee Singers. In 1905, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor published an arrangement for piano in his widely acclaimed Twenty-Four Negro Melodies. H. T. Burleigh named the tune in honor of the Rev. Elmer M. McKee, rector of St. George’s Church, New York, where Burleigh sang for many years.
THE MAIDEN WITH THE DREAMY EYES, composed by Robert Allen “Bob” Cole (1868-1911), published by Jos. W. Stern, New York, 1901. The cover is inscribed, “as sung by Anna Held , ‘The Little Duchess,’ Direction of Florence Ziefeld, Jr.” This is a reference to Ziegfeld’s Follies; for an account, including Ziegfeld’s “marriage” to Anna Held, visit Florenz Ziegfeld. For a biographical sketch of the composer, visit Bob Cole.
MAMIE WALTZ, composed by Basile Barès, published by Junius Hart, New Orleans, 1880.
MANGO WALK, a traditional Jamaican song, in Folk Songs, published by The Music Mart, Kingston, Jamaica (undated). For lyrics, visit Mango Walk.
MARCH TIMPANI, composed by Thomas Greene Bethune (1849-1908) in New York, 1880. Born blind into slavery, the composer was also known as Blind Tom. For an extensive biographical sketch, visit Twainquotes.
MARIA CAROLINE, composed by Francis Johnson, published in George Willig’s Musical Magazine, Philadelphia, 1818. See also The Arrival and The American Girl.
MARIANNE, a Creole folk song entitled Z’Amours Marian in Mina Monroe’s Bayou Ballads: Twelve Folk-Songs from Louisiana, 1921.
MELONS COOL AND GREEN, composed by John W. Boone, published by Drumheller-Thiebes Music Co., St. Louis, 1894. See Aurora Waltz.
MÉPHISTO MASQUÉ, composed by Edmund Dédé, published by L. Bathlot & V. Heraud, Paris, 1889. See Chicago Waltz.
MICHAEL ROW THE BOAT ASHORE, earliest publication possibly in Slave Songs of the United States, 1867.
MICHIE BANJO, a Creole dance-song for the bamboula, a dance which came to Louisiana from Haiti. Beatrice Landeck published Michie Banjo in Echoes of Africa, and, regarding the bamboula, she writes that “as in all African dances, large groups of people take part, singing, dancing, clapping hands and stamping feet, or patting out a complicated rhythm on knees or thighs.” Visit Bamboula.
MIDST PRETTY VIOLETS, composed by James Allen Brand, published by White, Smith & Co., Boston, 1881. See Carry Me Back to Old Virginny.
THE MIERCKEN POLKA WALTZ, composed by Isaac Hazzard (1804-c.1864), published by Couenhoven and Duffy, Philadelphia, 1851. See Davis Quick Step.
MINNESOTA WALTZ, composed by J. W. Postlewaite, published by Oliver Ditson, Boston, undated. The front cover has the words “Minesota Grand Waltz, composed and respectfully dedicated to Miss Fanny Graham by J. W. Postlewaitd.” The last letter of the composer’s name should have been e. The spelling M-i-n-e-s-o-t-a is found on both the cover and the first sheet. See Bessee Waltz.
MISS HANNAH FROM SAVANNAH, composed by Tom Lemoinier (1870-1945) for Sons of Ham (1900), published by Jos. W. Stern & Co., New York, 1901. For information on Sons of Ham, visit The Development of an African-American Musical Theatre 1865-1910.
MISS LUCY NEAL QUADRILLE, composed by Isaac Hazzard, published by George Willig, Philadelphia, 1844. See Davis Quick Step.
MISS WILLING’S WALTZ, composed by James Hemmenway, published by Bacon & Co., Philadelphia, undated. See Bonnets of Blue.
MON L’AIMÉ TOI, CHÈRE, a Creole folk song in Whitfield’s Louisiana French Folk Songs, 1939.
MOUCHÉ MAZIREAU, in Peterson’s Creole Songs from New Orleans, 1902. (See En Avant, Grénadiers!) “A skit on a very penurious gentleman of the times,” with this translation:
Mister Maziereau in his old office
Seems like a bullfrog in a pail of water.
Dance dance, Calinda dim sin! Boum boum.
Dance dance, Calinda dim sin! Boum boum.
MY CHERISHED HOPE, MY FONDEST DREAM, composed by A. J. R. Conner, published in The Anglo-African Magazine, vol. 1, no. 2, February, 1859. Most respectfully dedicated to Miss Sarah Matilda Cornish. The words of this endearing song were also written by Conner. (This piece is one of several in which the name is spelled Connor.) See Finale.
MY LORD GOD ROCKING IN THE WEARY LAND, a spiritual in Kennedy’s Mellows, 1925.
MY LORD, WHAT A MORNING, a spiritual in Hampton and Its Students...With Fifty Cabin and Plantation Songs, arranged by Thomas F. Fenner, New York, 1874.
MY SOUL’S BEEN ANCHORED TO THE LORD, probably first published in Frederick J. Work’s New Jubilee Songs as Sung by the Fisk Jubilee Singers, 1902.
THE NEW ERA MARCH, composed by William Joseph Nickerson (1865-1928), published by L. Grunewald, New Orleans, 1900. Nickerson was born in New Orleans and died there. He was an orchestra conductor. According to Southern, Nickerson invented a piano-muffler and an attachment that caused a piano to sound like a mandolin.
NEW YEARS COTILLION, adapted by James Hemmenway, published by Osbourn’s Music Saloon, Philadelphia, 1844.
NO HIDING PLACE, in John W. Work’s American Negro Songs and Spirituals, 1940 and in Lydia Parrish’s Slave Songs of the Georgia Sea Islands, 1942.
NOBODY KNOWS THE TROUBLE I’VE SEEN, a spiritual traced back to an 1865 diary in which the melody and words are written out along with the comment, “This song is sung considerably in our schools” – in Charleston, South Carolina. First publication probably in Slave Songs of the United States, 1867.
NOCTURNE, composed by Edmond Dédé, published as Si j’étais lui in New Orleans. No date or name of publisher appears on the sheet music, archived in the University of Alabama library. See Chicago Waltz.
O CAÏTANNE! a Creole folk song in Whitfield’s Louisiana French Folk Songs, 1939.
O LORD, HOW LONG? a spiritual in Kennedy’s Mellows, 1925.
O MARY, DON’T YOU WEEP, in William Arms Fisher’s Seventy Negro Spirituals, Boston, 1926.
O MOTHER GLASCO, an African-American lullaby in John W. Work’s American Negro Songs and Spirituals, 1940.
O YES I’LL SHARE THY COTTAGE SHADE, composed by J. W. Postlewaite, published by J. Ballhouse, St. Louis, 1856. The front cover show these words: “O Yes, I’ll Share Thy Cottage Shade; in Answer to Share My Cottage Gentle Maid. Ballad. Most respectfully dedicated to Miss Jenny E. Coons, of Saint Louis.” The precedent was Oh! Share My Cottage Gentle Maid, Ballad, composed by R. G. Shrival, published by F. D. Benteen, Baltimore, 1843. Postlewaite’s melody is similar in form to Shrival’s, but is original – not merely an arrangement. It appears that Postlewaite wrote the words, also, in answer to Shrival’s words. The first of Postlewaite’s three verses follows:
O Yes I’ll share thy cottage shade
Nor refuse a wish so kind
Thy image dear can never fade
From this fond heart of mine
I’ll to the happy woodbine home
No longer shallt thou sigh
And never will I wish to roam
If thou art always nigh.
OH, DIDN’T HE RAMBLE, arranged from a folk melody by Bob Cole and James Rosamond Johnson, as “Will Handy”, published by Jos. W. Stern & Co., New York, 1902. For an account, visit James Weldon Johnson's 1922 Preface.
OH, FREEDOM! in Religious Folk Songs of the Negro as Sung on the Plantations, 1918. First verse:
Oh freedom; oh, freedom;
Oh, Lord, freedom over me,
And before I’d be a slave,
I’ll be buried in my grave,
An’ go home to my God and be free.
OH, LUCINDA, composed by James Allen Bland, published by J. W. Pepper, Philadelphia, 1881. See Carry Me Back to Old Virginny.
OH, YES! in M. F. Armstrong’s collection, Hampton and Its Students, By Two of Its Teachers, Mrs. M. Armstrong and Helen W. Ludlow. With Fifty Cabin and Plantation Songs, Arranged by Thomas F. Fenner, 1874.
THE OLD ARK’S A-MOVERING, an African-American spiritual, possibly first published in Thomas P. Fenner and Frederic G. Rathbun’s Cabin and Plantation Songs as Sung by the Hampton Students, New York, 1892.
OLD ZION’S CHILDREN MARCHING ALONG, in John W. Work’s collection, American Negro Songs and Spirituals, 1940, and several more recent collections.
ON MY WAY TO MEXICO, in Bruce Jackson’s collection of prison songs (see Early in the Morning). Lyrics:
Well I was on my way to California,
and I stopped by Mexico.
I got arrested four miles from Memphis,
and I won’t go there no more.
Had to sleep in the jailhouse, partner, all night long,
Oh Lord, Had to sleep in the jailhouse, partner, all night long.
OPEN THE WINDOW, NOAH, in Jean Taylor’s collection, Six Spirituals, 1925.
THE ORPHAN’S COTILLION, composed by Francis Johnson, published by George E. Blake & Co., Philadelphia, 1822. Johnson dedicated this cotillion to the Orphan’s Society. The measures containing very high notes in descending chromatic tones are marked “Orphans crying” both times. The crying passages, when played as written (very high) on soprano recorder are good exercise – with listeners at some distance away.)
PANTALON, composed by A. J. R. Conner, published by T. J. Williams, Philadelphia, 1846. This is the first of five in I. O. O. F Quadrilles. See American Polka Quadrilles and La Poule.
PARISIAN WALTZES 1-4, composed by Harry F. Williams, published by Oliver Ditson, Boston, 1867. See Chitarra Polka.
PAUV’ PITI MOM’ZELLE ZIZI, in Peterson’s Creole Songs from New Orleans, 1902, and as Lolotte in Slave Songs of the United States, 1867.
PEEP SQUIRREL, in Harold Courlander’s Negro Songs from Alabama, 1960, collected from the singing of Celina Lewis.
PETER, GO RING THE BELLS, published in Religious Folk Songs of the Negro as Sung on the Plantations, 1918 and many subsequent collections.
PHILADELPHIA ASSEMBLY GRAND POLKA, composed by Edward de Roland, published by Lee and Walker, 1846. From the cover: “As performed by the late Fr. Johnson’s band.” Francis Johnson had died two years earlier. See Clarinda Polka Quadrilles.
THE PHILADELPHIA HOP WALTZ, composed by James Hemmenway, published by George Willig, Philadelphia, undated. See Bonnets of Blue and Hop Waltz.
PHILADELPHIA POLKA WALTZ, composed by A. J. R. Conner, published by A. Fiot, Philadelphia, 1846. Inscribed on the cover: “Composed for Monsieur Jules Martin, to whose pupils it is most respectfully dedicated.” See Black Patti Walzes.
PHILADELPHIA SERENADING GRAND MARCH, composed by James Hemmenway, published by George Willig, Philadelphia, before 1831. See Bonnets of Blue.
PINNING LEAVES, possibly first published in Edward Avery McIlhenny’s Befo’ De War Spirituals, 1933, a large collection that deserves to be better known. The author’s Introduction tells vividly of conditions before and after the Civil War at Avery Island, Lousiana, where his ancestors owned slaves and founded the company that makes Tabasco sauce. The cleverness of the lyrics of Pinning Leaves shines through the first verse:
Gawd called Adam,
Adam ‘fused to answer;
Adam in de garden la’in’ low.
Gawd called Adam,
Adam ‘fused to answer;
Adam in de garden la’in’ low.
Eve, where is Adam—Oh,
Eve, where is Adam,
Oh, Eve, where is Adam,
Oh, Eve, where is Adam;
Adam in the garden pinnin’ leaves.
Visit McIlhenny's Jungle Gardens and Bird City at Avery Island.
PLEASE JUST STAY AWHILE, composed by Dudley C. Clark (birth date and death date unknown), published by George D. Newhall, Cincinnati, 1880. Clark is mentioned briefly in Simond, but not in Southern or Floyd. Please Just Stay Awhile is dedicated to George Bohee, mentioned in both Floyd and Simond in connection with the Bohee Brothers minstrel team. Although little is known about Clark, he published a 22-page book, The Jolly Songster, in 1890. At least one copy has survived, and it is owned by the Library of Congress. An introductory page includes several Press Notices, one of which records Clark’s reputation as “the only original colored Dutch Comedian on the American stage.”
POLKA QUADRILLE, composed by A. J. R. Conner, published by Edward L. Walker, Philadelphia, 1850. This quadrille is the first of five under the title Connor’s Third Sett of Polka Quadrilles.
POSSUM GRAVY, an African-American folk song in Kennedy’s Mellows, 1925. The lyrics include the line, “Gwine-a smell dat possum gravy by-an-by.”
THE PRINCETON GRAND MARCH, composed by Francis Johnson, published by Osbourn’s Music Saloon, Philadelphia, 1840. First performed at the Annual Commencement Ball of the College of New Jersey, at Nassau Hall Hotel, Princeton.
QUADRILLE, composed by Francis Johnson as L’Ete, number 2 in Voice Quadrilles, published by George W. Hewitt, Philadelphia, 1840. See The American Girl. A quadrille is a dance, and a voice quadrille is one during which members of the band sing. Johnson’s Voice Quadrilles opens with an instrumental Introductory, followed by L’Ete, then If You Consent to Dance with Me, then Hark the Merry Trumpet, and finally Laughing Finale. Lyrics appear with the last three pieces, as well as dancing instructions for all except Introductory.
QUAN’ MO TÉ DAN’ GRAN’ CHIMAIN, in Peterson’s Creole Songs from New Orleans, 1902.
RATTLER, in Bruce Jackson’s collection of prison songs (see Early in the Morning). Jackson writes, “Rattler is the superhound; he can do all the things that any dog sergeant would want his best dogs to do if they were smart enough…he prefers tracking convicts to chewing on a bone…” Rattler, Jackson continues, “is one of the most frequently heard flatweeding songs…and there is always at least one dog on every farm that bears the name Rattler.”
RED RED ROSE, composed by Will Marion Cook (1869-1944), published by The Gotham Attucks Music Co., New York, 1908. The cover includes these words: “as sung by Abbie Mitchell Cook in Williams and Walker’s sensational production, ‘Bandanna Land.’” Abbie was Will’s wife. His musical training included study at Oberlin Conservatory, violin with Josef Joachim in Berlin, Germany, and the National Conservatory of Music in New York, under the direction of renowned Czech composer Antonin Dvorak. Visit Will Marion Cook Family Residence.
RED SEA, a spiritual often sung at work on riverboats. The first verse and chorus as in Mary Wheeler’s Steamboatin’ Days, 1944:
When Moses was leadin’ the Israelites, Red Sea,
Pharoah tried to ketch them jes’ fo’ spite, Red Sea
Oh, Pharoah got drownded, drownded, drownded
Oh, Pharoah he got drownded in the Red Sea.
REGINA WALTZ, composed by Basile Barès, published by Louis Grunewald, New Orleans, 1881. Inscribed “Hommage à mon elève Melle R. Genois.”
REMON, in Slave Songs of the United States, 1867, with Creole lyrics. Mentioned in “New Orleans Jazz and Caribbean Music” at the Potomac River Jazz Club.
RING DEM CHIMIN’ BELLS, composed by Jacob J. Sawyer, published by National Music Company, Chicago, 1883.
RISE, SHINE, FOR THY LIGHT IS COMING, a spiritual in John W. Work’s American Negro Songs and Spirituals, 1940.
THE RIVER BEEN COMING DOWN, a Jamaican folk song, mentioned, for example, at Mento Music.
ROCK ME IN THE CRADLE OF LOVE, composed by John Leubrie Hill (1869-1916), published by Jerome H. Remick, New York and Detroit, 1914. Hill wrote both the music and the words for this number from the Ziegfeld Follies.
ROCK-A MY SOUL, a spiritual probably first published in Slave Songs of the United States, 1867. The refrain is built on the words, “Rock a my soul in the bosom of Abraham.”
ROLAND’S FIVE-STEP WALTZ, composed by Edward de Roland, perhaps a few months before or after A. J. R. Conner’s better known Five-Step Waltz was composed. See Clarinda Polka Quadrilles.
ROLL ‘N’ ROCK, possibly first published in Edward Avery McIlhenny’s Befo’ De War Spirituals, 1933. See Pinning Leaves.
ROLL, JORDAN, ROLL, an example of an African-American spiritual based on a white spiritual. In the arrangement in this book, the earlier version is quoted (measures 1-16) from the Original Sacred Harp and is then developed using African-American rhythms and blues notes. Alan Lomax gives a particularly interesting account of Roll, Jordan, Roll on pages 451-2 of The Folk Songs of North America.
THE ROSEBUD MARCH, composed by Scott Joplin, published by John Stark & Son, St. Louis, 1905. Atop the first page: “Respectfully dedicated to my friend Tom Turpin,” owner of the Rosebud Cafe. This site, once advertised as “Headquarters for Colored Professionals and Sports,” has been recreated by the state of Missouri at Scott Joplin House State Historic Site. See also The Favorite.
RUN HOME LEVI, composed by Pete Devonear (birth date and death date unknown), dedicated “To my Friend Sam Lucas,” published by White, Smith & Co., Boston, 1876.
RUN MONGOOSE, a traditional Jamaican song, published in Folk Songs, by The Music Mart, Kingston, Jamaica (undated). For more, visit the Music section of Jamaica Information Service.
ST. LOUIS RAG, composed by Thomas Million Turpin (1873-1922), published by Sol Bloom, New York, 1903. “In 1885, Tom...bought an interest in a gold mine and moved to Nevada… The mine yielded little gold, however,” and Tom moved back to St. Louis and in 1900 opened The Rosebud Cafe. Turpin’s friend Scott Joplin composed of The Rosebud March.
SALANGADOU, in Peterson’s Creole Songs from New Orleans, 1902. A footnote explains that the song is “founded on a sad negro story of a little girl who has been abducted and the bereaved mother wanders calling her child”:
Cote piti fille la ye,
Translation: Salangadou, Where is my little girl gone?, Salangadou.
SCUDDER LANCIERS, composed by John Thomas Douglass, published by Oakes & Clayton, New York, 1872. Dedicated to Mr. D. H. Scudder of New York. The present melody is from the second of six pieces under the title Scudder Lanciers. See Joys of Life.
SEPADILLA, a Jamaican folk song found in Jamaican Song and Story, a Dover reprint of Walter Jekyll’s book first published in 1907. The song is presented along with a story (pages 205-206) and has no name of its own. For present purposes, the name “Sepadilla” is borrowed from the lyrics of the song. Jekyll writes, “Sepadilla is really a fruit something like medlar, but the name is given to all sorts of fruit, notably Granadilla.” (That’s an alternate spelling of Grenadilla, and the fruit is often called Passion Fruit. Grenadilla, being very dense, is one of the choicest woods of which recorders are made.)
SERAPHINE GALLOPADE, arranged by A. J. R. Conner, published by Lee & Walker’s Music Store and Circulating Library, Philadelphia, 1845. Attributed merely to “Strauss.” See Finale.
THE SEVEN-THIRTY TO ELEVEN GALOP, composed by Henry Hart, published by Balmer & Weber, St. Louis, 1873. On the front cover, the title is written with numbers: 7:30-11: Galop, and dedicated to John E. Martin Esq, Sec’r. of E&C R.R., implying that the numbers refer to a railroad schedule. The railroad was the Evansville and Crawfordsville, of which Martin later became President.
SEYMOUR’S POLKA QUADRILLE, composed by Francis V. Seymour (birth date and death unknown), published as Polka Quadrille by Lee and Walker, Philadelphia, 1847. Little is known about Seymour. However, Southern writes that he was one of the musicians who went to England with Francis Johnson in 1837 and gave concerts there.
SING AGAIN THAT SWEET REFRAIN, composed by Gussie Lord Davis, published by Spalding and Gray, New York, 1894. See McGuffin’s Home Run.
SINNER PLEASE DON’T LET THIS HARVEST PASS, a spiritual probably first published in Frederick J. Work’s New Jubilee Songs by the Fisk Jubilee Singers, 1902.
SIXTY-SIX, composed by Harry P. Guy, published by Jerome H. Remick, Detroit, 1907. See Down in Mobile.
SLAVERY CHAINS BROKE AT LAST, composed by Samuel Butler (birth date and death date unknown), published as De Slavery Chains Am Broke at Last by John F. Perry & Co., Boston, 1880. Butler is mentioned in Simond but not in Southern or Floyd. This piece is dedicated to Billy Kersands, a well-known minstrel described in Southern.
SOMEBODY’S KNOCKING AT YOUR DOOR, a spiritual possibly first published in Religious Folk Songs of the Negro as Sung on the Plantations, arranged by the Musical Directors of The Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute, Hampton, Virginia, 1918.
SOMEBODY’S LAUGHING, LAUGHING, composed by Fred C. Lyons, published by M. D. Swisher, Philadelphia, 1884. See Great Day in the Morning.
SOMETIMES I FEEL LIKE A MOTHERLESS CHILD, possibly first published in William E. Barton’s Old Plantation Hymns, Boston, 1899.
SOON-A WILL BE DONE, a spiritual published in R. Nathaniel Dett’s Religious Folk-Songs of the Negro as Sung at Hampton Institute, 1927.
SUGAR BLUES, composed by Clarence Williams (1898-1965), published by Williams & Piron, Chicago, 1919. For a biographical sketch, visit Clarence Williams: “Williams claimed to be the first songwriter to use the word jazz on a piece of sheet music, and his business card touted him as ‘The Originator of Jazz and Boogie Woogie.’”
SUZETTE, LA BONNE ENFANT, a Creole folk song in Whitfield’s Louisiana French Folk Songs, 1939.
SWEET LITTLE KATE McCOY, composed by Ernest Hogan (1865-1909), published by Broder & Schlam, San Francisco, 1894. Eileen Southern writes that “Hogan is credited with staging the first ‘syncopated-music’ concert in history in 1905. He organized a group...called The Memphis Students...booked into Hammerstein’s Victoria Theater on Broadway for two weeks in May, but…held over for five months.” For details, see Tim Brooks’s Lost Sounds.
SWEET PATATE, a Creole dance-song for the bamboula (see Michie Banjo). The words for this song, as printed in Landeck’s Echoes of Africa, are about eating a hot sweet potato. In order to appreciate the rhyme, note that “patate” is pronounced “patot” – here are the words:
When sweet patate is hot,
you got-ta eat him done or not!
When bake or mash or boil or hash
or burn to ash, eat him fas’!
SWING LOW SWEET CHARIOT, a spiritual first published in Jubilee Songs, as sung by the Jubilee Singers of Fisk University, Nashville, Tennessee, 1872.
TALL ANGEL, a spiritual in Kennedy’s Mellows, 1925.
TEMPLE OF MUSIC POLKA MAZURKA, composed by Basile Barès, published by A. E. Blackmar, New Orleans, 1871. See Heel and Toe Polka.
TENK YOU FOR DE CHRISAMUS, in Lewin’s Forty Folk Songs of Jamaica, 1973.
THE TERPSICHORE, composed by Issac Hazzard, published by I. Hazzard, Philadelphia, 1836. This music consists of seven individual pieces, each bearing a name. Three of them, Washington, Elisabeth, and Susana, are included in the present collection. The cover identifies the pieces as “a new Sett of Quadrilles for the Piano Forte [for] the Washington Dancing Assembly.” See Davis Quick Step.
THAT REST SO SWEET, composed by James Hemmenway, published in Samuel C. Atkinson’s magazine, The Casket, Philadelphia, 1829-30. See Bonnets of Blue.
THAT SUITS ME, a spiritual possibly first published in Kennedy’s Mellows, 1925.
THAT’S WHAT THE LITTLE BIRD WHISPERED TO ME, composed by Sam Lucas, published by White, Smith & Co., Boston, 1885. Lucas wrote the lyrics also, consisting of seven verses. The first and third follow:
It chanced I was walking one morning of late
And wandring along in a half dreamy state
A robin was singing a song in the tree
And some how it seemed he was singing to me
On reaching the tree there my steps I delayed
And sat down to smoke my cigar in the shade
And while I reclined at my ease ‘neath the tree
Strange things the little bird whispered to me.
The torch light processions are marching again
Some people are shouting for Logan and Blaine
And Cleveland and Hendricks have shouters as well
And who’ll be elected the future will tell
Ben Butler is quiet at present I hear
But you never can tell when old Ben will appear
Like jack-in-the-box quite uncertain is he
That’s what the little bird whispered to me.
For more on Lucas, see Hannah Boil Dat Cabbage Down.
THERE’S A MAN GOIN’ ROUN’ TAKIN’ NAMES, in R. E. Kennedy’s More Mellows, 1931.
THOSE CHARMING FEET, composed by Henry Hart, published by Kunkel Brothers, St. Louis, 1870. See Beautiful Lake Erie Waltz 1.
THOUGHTS OF YOU, composed by Henry Hart, published as My Thoughts Are of Thee by Root & Cady, Chicago, 1871. On the cover are the words “To my Friend T. C. Gardner, Evansville, Ind.” See Beautiful Lake Erie Waltz 1.
TILL SNOWFLAKES COME AGAIN, composed by Gussie Lord Davis, published by George Propheter, Cincinnati, 1887. See McGuffin’s Home Run.
TONE THE BELL EASY, a little-known African-American spiritual published in Lomax and Lomax (see Good-By, Mother). First verse and chorus:
When you hear dat Ise a-dyin’,
I don’ want nobody to moan.
All I want my frien’s to do
Is give dat bell a tone.
Well, well, well, tone de bell easy (sung thrice),
Jesus gonna make up my dyin’ bed.
TRAVELING SHOES, in Harold Courlander’s Negro Folk Music, U. S. A., Columbia University Press, 1963.
UNCLE RUFE’S HYMN, composed by Harry Bloodgood (birth date and death date unknown), published by White, Smith & Co., Boston, 1881. The composer is mentioned twice in Simond, but not in Southern or Floyd.
VALSE VENICE, composed by James Scott (1886-1938), published by John Stark, St. Louis and New York, 1909. Republished in The Music of James Scott, edited by S. DeVeaux and W. H. Kenney, Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C., 1992. Southern states that in 1906, Scott visited Scott Joplin in St. Louis. She writes, “He was regarded as the leading rag composer of the period after Scott Joplin.”
VEILED PROPHET GRAND MARCH, composed by J. W. Postlewaite, published by Balmer & Weber, St. Louis, 1880. According to Eric Marshall’s article on Postlewaite in the International Dictionary of Black Composers, Veiled Prophet Grand March was Postlewaite’s last known composition. Marshall writes, “The most significant instance of public recognition [was] the invitation to participate in the Veiled Prophet Pageant...'an elite affair for those in the highest echelons of St. Louis society.' ” See Bessee Waltz.
VIRGIN ISLANDS MARCH, composed by Alton Augustus Adams (1889-1987), published as an arrangement for piano by Walter Jacobs, Boston, 1920. Adams was a Bandmaster in the United States Navy, and this march is dedicated to Captain William Russell White, U.S.N. For further information, visit The Virgin Islands, photographic image, and The Alton A. Adams Society.
VIRGINIA COTILLION, composed by Francis Johnson, published by George Willig, Philadelphia, undated. Virginia is the fifth of six pieces published together as La Fayette Cotillions. See The American Girl.
WADE IN THE WATER, a slave song published in Alan Lomax’s The Folk Songs of North America, and other collections.
WALK IN JERUSALEM, a spiritual having many variants, at least one of which was published before 1900, in William E. Barton’s Old Plantation Hymns, Boston, 1899.
WALTZ, composed by Alton A. Adams, published as Doux reve d’Amour (Valse) by Burt M. Cutler, Columbus, Ohio, 1912. See Virgin Islands March.
WARBLING BIRDS, composed by Charles-Lucien Lambert (c1828-1896), published by Oliver Ditson, undated. Born in New Orleans, Lucien and his brother Sidney (see Ida Lewis Rescue) learned music from their father, Charles Richard Lambert, a free black musician from New York. For biographical sketches of composers in the Lambert family, see the International Dictionary of Black Composers.
WASH AND BE CLEAN, in Lewin’s Forty Folk Songs of Jamaica, 1973.
WATCH HILL POLKA REDOWA, composed by John Thomas Douglass, published by S. T. Gordon, New York, 1872. The piece is dedicated to Mr. George M. Nash. See Joys of Life.
WATER COMES INTO MY EYES, a Jamaican folk song, popularized as Come Back Liza by Harry Belafonte. Earliest publication of the melody unknown, but the lyrics are well known; e.g., Mento Music.
WE ARE CLIMBING JACOB’S LADDER, a spiritual possibly first published in Religious Folk Songs of the Negro as Sung on the Plantations, Hampton, Virginia, 1918.
WERE YOU THERE, an African-American spiritual published with the familiar text in William E. Barton’s Old Plantation Hymns, Boston, 1899.
WHEN THE SAINTS GO MARCHING IN, a spiritual possibly first published by J. M. Black, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, 1896. Remarkably, there seems to exist no earlier record.
THE WHITE HORSE PAWING IN THE VALLEY, a spiritual in Kennedy’s More Mellows, 1931. Kennedy took the words and music from the singing of an old man named Amos Rabb. The “white horse” refers to Rev. 6:2.
WILL SHE MEET ME TONIGHT WITH A SMILE, composed by Gussie Lord Davis, published by John Church, Cincinnati, 1882. See McGuffin’s Home Run.
WILLIAM, composed by Francis Johnson, published in George Willig’s Musical Magazine, Philadelphia, 1818. See also The Arrival and The American Girl.
WON’T YOU SIT DOWN, a spiritual published as early as 1948 as “Oh, Won’t You Sit Down: Negro camp meeting song.”
YES, I’LL BE THERE, composed by Jacob J. Sawyer, published as Yes, I’ll Be Dar by National Music Co., Chicago, 1883.
YOU BETTER GIT RELIGION, SINNER MAN, in Kennedy’s More Mellows, 1931, taken from the singing of Angeline Keys, a young woman who stated that the song was already well known when she came into this world.
YOU HAVE LEFT ME ALONE, in Peterson’s Creole Songs from New Orleans, 1902, as Zélim to Quitté la Plaine. Translation from the French-Creole:
Zelim, you have left me alone.
Since you left me to mourn,
my eyes cease not to shed tears.
Since you have departed,
all night in my cabin in my sleep I dream of you.
In daytime when cutting cane,
it is of you, still, that I think.
YOU KNOW THE SORT OF FELLOW I MEAN, composed by Sam Lucas, published by White, Smith & Co., Boston, 1881. See Hannah Boil that Cabbage Down. The first of Lucas’s four verses follows:
Now, I do not wish to joke
but there are some funny folk
Living in this world of our just nowadays
I am speaking of a kind
not difficult to find
You can tell them very easy by their ways
There’s a certain class of men
That we drop on now and then
In the streets most any day they may be seen
So if you’ve a little time
and will listen to my rhyme
You will know the sort of fellow that I mean.
YOUN, TOU, TOU, a Creole folk song in Whitfield’s Louisiana French Folk Songs, 1939.
ZACADEE-ZWINGADOO, composed especially for recorder or flute, using characteristics of African-American music, by Clark Kimberling during 2003-2005. Following is a list of all the Z-solos:
Zackadee, Zada, Zag Rag, Zallipso, Zam Bo Ree, Zamaica, Zamaya, Zambastic, Zanadu, Zarr Be Do, Zellafane, Zelly Do Boomba, Zesto, Zi Bi Zi Bah Bi, Zi Pa De Boom, Zi Pa Do Lu Ah, Zikkiddy Dack, Zilladilla, Zimmie Doh, Zincopation, Zinnamon, Zippa Dolla, Zippiddidoo Zippiddidooda, Ziska Bob, Zomperaily, Zu La Ba Lu Du, Zumbalaya, Zumble, Zumplepum, Zwingadoo
Kathleen A. Abromeit, An Index to African-American Spirituals for the Solo Voice, Greenwood Press, Westport, Connecticut, 1999.
William Francis Allen, Charles Pickard Ware, and Lucy McKim Garrison, compilers, Slave Songs of the United States, A. Simpson & Co., New York, 1867.
Tamara Brooks, Director, The Music of Francis Johnson and His Contemporaries, compact disk, Musicmasters, Ocean, New Jersey, 1990; performances on nineteenth-century instruments of music composed by F. Johnson, A. J. R. Conner, I. Hazzard, J. Hemmenway, and E. Roland.
Tim Brooks, Lost Sounds: Blacks and the Birth of the Recording Industry, 1890-1919, University of Illinois Press, Urbana and Chicago, 2004.
Samuel A. Floyd, Jr., editor, International Dictionary of Black Composers, Center for Black Music Research, Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, Chicago, two volumes, 1999.
James J. Fuld, The Book of World-Famous Music: Classical, Popular and Folk, Third Edition, Dover Publications, New York, 1985.
Walter Jekyll, Jamaican Song and Story: Annancy Stories, Digging Sings, Ring Tunes, and Dancing Tunes, David Nutt, London, 1907. Reprinted by Dover Publications, 2005.
Charles K. Jones and Lorenzo K. Greenwich II, A Choice Collection of the Works of Francis Johnson, 2 vols., Point Two Publications, New York, 1983-1987.
Robert Emmet Kennedy, Mellows: A Chronicle of Unknown Singers, Greenwood Press, Westport, Connecticut, 1925.
Robert Emmet Kennedy, More Mellows, Dodd Mead & Co., New York, 1931.
Beatrice Landeck, Echoes of Africa in Folk Songs of the Americas, second revised edition, David McKay Company, New York, 1969.
Olive Lewin, Forty Folk Songs of Jamaica, General Secretariat of the Organization of American States, Washington, D. C., 1973.
Alan Lomax, The Folk Songs of North America, Doubleday & Company, Garden City, New York, 1960.
Clara Gottschalk Peterson, Creole Songs from New Orleans in the Negro-Dialect, L. Grunewald, New Orleans, 1902.
Dorothy Scarborough, On the Trail of Negro Folk Songs, Harvard University Press, 1925.
Ike Simond, Old Slack’s Reminiscence and Pocket History of the Colored Profession from 1865 to 1891, reprinted by Bowling Green University Popular Press, 1974. This volume, reproduced from an original at Harvard Theatre Collection, is a goldmine of information about Black Minstrelsy (as contrasted to blackface minstrelsy).
Eileen Southern, Biographical Dictionary of Afro-American and African Musicians, Greenwood Press, Westport, Connecticut, 1982.
Lester Sullivan, Composers of Color of Nineteenth-Century New Orleans: The History Behind the Music, Black Music Research Journal, Vol. 8, No. 1., 1988, pp. 51-82.
Irène Thérèse Whitfield, “Creole Folk Songs,” Chapter 6 in Louisiana French Folk Songs, Louisiana State University Press, 1939.
Most of the melodies arranged for this collection are out-of-print. In some cases, only one archival copy is known to exist. The arranger is grateful to owners of such rare materials for providing copies and information. These owners include the following:
Blind Boone Memorial Foundation, Inc., Papers, 1886-1976, Western Historical Manuscript Collection, Columbia, Missouri.
Center for Black Music Research (website below)
The Historic New Orleans Collection, in The Williams Research Center
Kansas City Public Library
Library Company of Philadelphia
Louisiana State University Library
Keffer Collection of Sheet Music, University of Pennsylvania
Missouri Historical Society, Columbia, Missouri
Music Department, Library of Congress
Music Department, Newberry Library, Chicago
St. Louis Public Library
Sheet Music Collection, Music Department, Free Library of Philadelphia
San Francisco Public Library
Resources, Reading, Research
Jamaican culture and music
Jamaica Cultural Development Commission
Francis "Frank" Johnson
Minstrel Show (Scroll down to Black minstrelsy.)
Clicking will take you to Historical Notes, and from there you can download solos as PDFs (except for Collection 2, for which all the solos are published commercially).
Historical Notes for Collection 2: Christmas Carols; click here for access to the carols.
From Collection 1
Chink, Pink, Honey (work song), tenor recorder
Concert Hall Favorite Waltz (Joseph William Postlewaite), tenor recorder
The Favorite (Scott Joplin), tenor recorder
Fizz Water (James Hubert Blake), soprano recorder
Go Tell It on the Mountain (spiritual), tenor recorder
Good By, Mother (folk song), bass recorder
Heel and Toe Polka (Basile Jean Barès), alto recorder
Introductory (Francis Johnson), sopranino recorder
Johnson's Jig Cotillion (Francis Johnson), tenor recorder
Liken' Ain't Like Lovin' (James Reese Europe), alto recorder
Linstead Market (Jamaican), alto recorder
Listen to the Mocking Bird (Richard Milburn), alto recorder
The Maiden with the Dreamy Eyes (Bob Cole), tenor recorder
Méphisto Masqué (Edmond Dédé), tenor recorder
Philadelphia Assembly Grand Polka (Edward de Roland), tenor recorder
Possum Gravy (folk song), soprano recorder
Roland's Five-Step Waltz (Edward de Roland), tenor recorder
The Rosebud March (Scott Joplin), alto recorder
Run Mongoose (Jamaican), alto recorder
Sweet Patate (Louisiana Creole), alto recorder
Sugar Blues (Clarence Williams), tenor recorder
Tall Angel (spiritual), tenor recorder
There's a Man Goin' Roun' Takin' Names (folk song), soprano recorder
Those Charming Feet (Henry Hart), tenor recorder
Todalo (Joe Jordan), alto recorder
Veiled Prophet Grand March (Joseph William Postlewaite), tenor recorder
Wade in the Water (spiritual), tenor recorder
Were You There (spiritual), tenor recorder
Zag Rag (composition), soprano recorder
Zilladilla (composition), soprano recorderZincopation (composition), soprano recorder