Friday, 18 February 2011

For your 1906-1913 Mixtape

I've been focusing this week on sounds and music to add depth to the Lethbridge 1906-1913 exhibit. Bobbie Fox found me a lot of these songs (and I have a fabulous mixed CD to listen to) and some I came across while researching for other stuff.

Many of the songs have been stuck in my head all week. So on this Friday of a long weekend I thought I'd share a short list of some songs you may know that were written between 1906 and 1913.

Teddy Bears' Picnic"
John Walter Bratton - 1907
The version of this that Bobbie found has a bear growling at different times throughout the song. She thinks we should have the song playing from the bear in the zoo in the exhibit so it appears that the bear is growling at you. What do you think?

Let Me Call You Sweetheart
Leo Friedman (M) and Beth Slater Whitson (L) - 1910
This "swoon tune" was written in 1910 and sold approximately 6 million copies in the first decade. Be honest, how many of you played it or sang it on Valentine's Day? This song always makes me think of box socials and hay rides or what I imagine they would have been like.

Oh, You Beautiful Doll
Nat D. Ayer (M) and Seymour Brown (M) - 1911
Anine Vonkeman, our Marketing and Communications Coordinator, thinks that kids going through half of the exhibit should carry "potato dolls." Now when I hear this song, I have visions of potato dolls in my head.

When Irish Eyes are Smiling
Ernest Ball (M), Chauncy Olcott and George Graff Jr. (L) - 1912
This song was written in 1912 for a Chauncy Olcott stage show. The more research I did into this time period, the more I realized that all of those songs that I thought were traditional Irish songs are very modern and very not Irish.

It's a Long, Long Way to Tipperary
Jack Judge and Harry Williams - 1912
From what I've been able to find on this song, it was originally a ballad titled It's a Long Way to Connemara (written in 1909) but in order to win a bet in 1912 that he could have a new song ready in 24 hours, Jack Judge rewrote the shelved ballad as a march and changed the destination to Tipperary. Then in 1914 one of the British regiments was heard singing the song in France and the song became associated with a vision of hope and became the military song it is known as today.

Danny Boy
Tune Adapted and Lyrics written by Fred E. Weatherly - 1913
This song had its start in 1913 when a poem written by Fred Weatherly was combined with an old tune and this "traditional" Irish song was born.

Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral (That's An Irish Lullaby)
James Royce Shannon - 1913
As can be seen from even this short list, Irish ballads and songs were popular during this time period and this falls into that category.

And, yes, I know the title to this blog is anachronistic -- both in that tapes didn't exist in the 1906-1913 time period and that no one uses tapes today. I'm a product of the 1980s and always will be.

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