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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Memorable Melodies: Miss Thomasina Tucker's Repertoire, Part I

In the opening story of Kate Douglas Wiggin’s Ladies In Waiting, our heroine, aspiring singer Thomasina Tucker, finds that her repertoire of old-fashioned ballads and folksongs doesn’t always go over well with audiences, some of whom prefer more modern or sophisticated music. But happily for Tommy, it does succeed in helping her win the heart of one particular listener! His first assumption that she must be Irish undoubtedly comes from the fact that many of these songs have an Irish origin.

My Love’s An Arbutus
The lyrics to this lovely song are by Alfred Perceval Graves (1846 – 1931), who also penned many other Irish ballads, including the well-known “Father O’Flynn,” and the melody is traditional. Piano/vocal sheet music may be downloaded for free here.

Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms
This well-known song also has lyrics by an Irish poet, Thomas Moore, set to a traditional melody. Moore wrote the words in 1808, and the melody dates back to the 18th century.

The Minstrel Boy
Another Thomas Moore composition to a traditional tune, “The Minstrel Boy” became widely popular among Irish-born soldiers serving in the Irish, English and American armies over the years, and has been heard in the soundtracks of many films. This recording is by Irish tenor John McCormack, whose performance also helped to popularize the song in the early 20th century.

Has Sorrow Thy Young Days Shaded?
Yet another Thomas Moore lyric to a traditional Irish tune. This recording by John McCormack online includes the first verse—read the full lyrics here.

The Low-Backed Car
This charming Irish ballad was written by Samuel Lover (1797 – 1868), whose grandson, incidentally, was the well-known composer Victor Herbert. In Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind, it was mentioned as a favorite song of Scarlett O’Hara’s father.

POSTED BY:  Elisabeth Grace Foley

Come back next week for part two of our exploration of Tommy's tunes! In the meantime, check out her sweet romance, and those of Huldah and Kitty, in our newest release Ladies in Waiting.

Ladies in Waiting by Kate Douglas Wiggin
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