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Spirit & Heritage In Song – ‘Listen To The Mockingbird’ – 1855

 

Spirit & Heritage In Song is a series highlighting Traditional American Music.

In the last half century many of these traditional songs have been forgotten in a flood of contemporary music and international cultural influences. Yet these songs, ballads, melodies and hymns reflect the events, cultural backgrounds, aspirations, land and faith that make up the soul of the American People far more than the strains of moderne music that have washed upon the nation’s shores. This series is offered as a reminder of the Spirit of America as given voice in song.


 
 

” I’m dreaming now of Hally, sweet Hally, sweet Hally;
I’m dreaming now of Hally,
For the thought of her is one that never dies ”

 
 


Listen To The Mockingbird

Listen to the Mocking Bird” (1855) is an American folk song of the mid-19th century. Its lyrics were composed by Septimus Winner under the pseudonym “Alice Hawthorne”, and its music was by Richard Milburn.

It relates the story of a singer dreaming of his sweetheart, now dead and buried, and a mockingbird, whose song the couple once enjoyed, now singing over her grave. Yet the melody is moderately lively.

“Listen to the Mocking Bird” was one of the most popular ballads of the era and sold more than twenty million copies of sheet music. It was popular during the American Civil War and was used as marching music. Abraham Lincoln was especially fond of it, saying, “It is as sincere as the laughter of a little girl at play.”

The song’s melody was reprised by Louis Prima & Keely Smith for their 1956 version of the song, with new lyrics, entitled “Nothing’s Too Good For My Baby”. Its verse was the instrumental introduction to a number of the early short films by The Three Stooges, rendered in a comical manner with birds chirping in the background. The first Stooges short to employ this theme was 1935’s Pardon My Scotch; in later shorts the song was replaced with “Three Blind Mice”.

“Listen to the Mocking Bird” was parodied in the television series, The Flintstones, as a swinging jazz tune called “Listen to the Rocking Bird”.

In the movie The Alamo (2004), Davy Crockett plays “Listen to the Mocking Bird” on his fiddle to a crowd, although the song was not composed until 1855, 19 years after the Battle of the Alamo where Crockett died.

Source – Wikipedia

 

Lyrics below

 

Various renditions:

Ladies & Love Songs of the Civil War-Tom Roush

 

By Johnny Jake

 

Wayne Shrubsall and Accompaniment

 


See other songs of the American Spirit in History and at Music

 

Lyrics

I’m dreaming now of Hally,
\sweet Hally, sweet Hally;
I’m dreaming now of Hally,
For the thought of her is one that never dies:
She’s sleeping in the valley,
the valley, the valley;
She’s sleeping in the valley,
And the mocking bird singing where she lies.

Chorus:
Listen to the mocking bird,
listen to the mocking bird,
The mocking bird still singing o’er her grave;
Listen to the mocking bird,
listen to the mocking bird,
Still singing where the weeping willows wave.

Additional Verses:
Ah! well I yet remember, remember, remember,
Ah! well I yet remember,
When we gather’d in the cotton side by side;
’Twas in the mild September, September, September,
’Twas in the mild September,
And the mocking bird was singing far and wide.

When the charms of spring awaken, awaken, awaken:
When the charms of spring awaken,
And the mocking bird is singing on the bough.
I feel like one forsaken, forsaken, forsaken.
I feel like one so forsaken,
Since my Hally is no longer with me now.

Chorus:

 


America remember and honor your history – it will give direction,
purpose and security to your future.

 

Plow & Hearth

 

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