The Riverside song book (1893)
edited by W. M. Lawrence and O. Blackman
2511551The Riverside song book1893

The Riverside Literature Series












The Riverside Press, Cambridge

Copyright, 1893,


All rights reserved.

The Riverside Press, Cambridge, Mass., U.S.A.

Electrotyped and Printed by H. O. Houghton & Company.


This collection has been prepared mainly for use in schools. Believing that in the preparation of school song books too little attention has been paid to the character of the words sung, we have made our selections for the most part from the writings of American poets of high standing. With these before us, we have sought for music of an equally high order with which to wed the words, and where we have introduced old and familiar songs, we have edited the music with care. In nearly all the part songs, the melody can be sung alone with good effect. We desire to acknowledge our special indebtedness to Professor C. E. R. Mueller for valuable aid rendered in the work of musical revision.

The several indexes with which the book is provided record the contents, and show the origin of the words and the music. By means of the Topical Index, the teacher may readily discover the adaptability of the book to those special occasions, like national holidays and birthday celebrations, which form an important element in school life.

We submit the result of our work to teachers and superintendents, with the hope that it may strengthen in our schools that spirit of loyalty to American ideals already nobly expressed in American poetry.



Title of Song.

Author of Words.

Composer, or Source, of Music.

My Country, ’t is of Thee

First sung at a Sunday-School celebration in the Park Street Church, Boston, July 4, 1832.

Samuel Francis Smith

Unknown 1
Air: God Save the King, the English national anthem.

The Flower of Liberty

Oliver Wendell Holmes

Carl Wilhelm 2, 3
 Air:Die Wacht am Rhein.

True Freedom
From Stanzas on Freedom.

James Russell Lowell

Friedrich Silcher 4

Our Country’s Call

This poem aroused great enthusiasm during the dark days of the Civil War.

William Cullen Bryant

Unknown 5

Air: Der Tannenbaum. The well-known songs, Lauriger Horatius and Maryland, my Maryland, are sung to this same air.

Sail on, O Ship of State!

From The Building of the Ship.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

German air 6, 7

The Poor Voter on Election Day

John Greenleaf Whittier

German air 7, 8

Concord Hymn

Sung at the completion of the Battle Monument, April 19, 1836.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ludwig van Beethoven 9

The Falcon

James Russell Lowell

Friedrich Silcher 10

Old Ironsides

Written when it was proposed to break up the U. S. Frigate Constitution, called Old Ironsides, as unfit for service. This appeal was greatly instrumental in saving the ship, which is still in existence.

Oliver Wendell Holmes

Unknown 11
 Air: Andreas Hofer.

Hail, Columbia!

Written in 1798 when a war with France was thought to be inevitable.

Joseph Hopkinson

Phyla 12, 13

The music of this song, called The President’s March, written by a Philadelphia musician, Professor Phyla, was first played when Washington came to New York in 1789 to be inaugurated.

The Star-Spangled Banner

Written during the bombardment of Fort McHenry by the British in 1814, under the title The Defence of Fort McHenry. It was set to a popular song, Adams and Liberty.

Francis Scott Key

Samuel Arnold 14, 15

Air: Anacreon in Heaven, an old English hunting song.

The Red, White, and Blue
 (Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean.)

The editors have taken several liberties with this song, the chief of these being the use of the more appropriate title, The Red, White, and Blue, and the insertion in the third stanza of the name with which our veteran soldiers fondly greet the national banner. Old Glory. In singing the last stanza the Salute to the Flag can be given with good effect.

David T. Shaw

David T. Shaw 16, 17

A Ballad of the Boston Tea Party

Oliver Wendell Holmes

Unknown 18, 19, 20
 Air: Yankee Doodle.

A Song of the Flag

M. Woolsey Stryher

Unknown 20
 Air: Yankee Doodle.

Ode for Washington’s Birthday

Written for the celebration of the Mercantile Library Association, in Boston, February 22, 1856.

Oliver Wendell Holmes

Ludwig van Beethoven 21

From the choral setting of Schiller’s Hymn of Joy at the close of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

The Sword of Bunker Hill

William Ross Wallace

Bernard Covert 22, 23

Song of the Negro Boatman

From the poem At Port Royal.

John Greenleaf Whittier

Wenzel Müller 24, 25   1767-1835.

Hymn sung at St. Helena’s Island, S. C.

John Greenleaf Whittier

Albert Gottlieb Methfessel 26   1785-1869.

Where the Eagle is King

Thomas Buchanan Read

William F. Hartley 27, 28, 29


Philip Paul Bliss

Philip Paul Bliss 30, 31

Laus Deo!

Written on hearing the bells ring on the passage of the constitutional amendment abolishing slavery.

John Greenleaf Whittier

Jonathan Battishill 32

Swanee River

This song, Old Folks at Home, one of the best known ever written, is one of Foster’s famous Plantation Melodies.

Stephen Collins Foster

Stephen Collins Foster 33


Phoebe Cary

Unknown 34, 35

Battle Hymn of the Republic

Written in Washington during the Civil War, where the author had listened for hours to the tramp of marching troops going to the front.

Julia Ward Howe

Unknown 36, 37
Air: John Brown's Body.

The melody was first known to be used in a negro Presbyterian church in Charleston, S. C, in 1859. Soon after it was used in the North with the words, "Say, brothers, will you meet us?" During the Civil War this song became very popular with the soldiers and the people.

The Sweet Little Man

Dedicated to the Stay-at-Home Rangers.

Oliver Wendell Holmes

Scotch Air 38, 39  Air: Bonnie Dundee.

Our Country

From the poem read at a celebration on July 4, 1883.

John Greenleaf Whittier

Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy 40, 41

Tenting on the Old Camp-Ground

Written while the author was preparing to go to the front as a soldier.

Walter Kittredge

Walter Kittredge 42, 43

Decoration Day

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Johann Aegidius Geyer 43

The Flag

James Riley

L. V. H. Crosby 44

Air: Dearest Mae. Also, It was my Last Cigar.

Centennial Hymn

Written for the Centennial Exposition held in Philadelphia, 1876.

John Greenleaf Whittier

John Knowles Paine 45

O Captain! My Captain!

Written shortly after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, April 14, 1865.

Walt Whitman

C. M. Wyman 46, 47


Joaquin [Cincinnatus Hiner] Miller

Arr. from the German 47, 48

Under the Trees

Richard Henry Stoddard

U. Munjinger 49

The Fishermen

John Greenleaf Whittier

Christian Gottlob Neefe 50

The Storm Song

Bayard Taylor

Christoph Willibald Gluck 51, 52

The Voyagers

Bayard Taylor

Friedrich Silcher 53

Air: Die Lorelei.

The Hunter’s Serenade

William Cullen Bryant

German air 54, 55

Wind and Sea

Bayard Taylor

Johann Abraham Peter Schulz 56, 57

A Life on the Ocean Wave

Suggested by a morning walk on the Battery in New York, and the sight of ships and small craft under full sail.

Epes Sargent

Henry Russell 58

For an Autumn Festival

John Greenleaf Whittier

Johann André 59

The Corn Song

John Greenleaf Whittier

German air 60, 61

The Raven

Edgar Allan Poe


Home, Sweet Home

First sung in an opera written by Sir Henry Bishop, produced in Covent Garden Theatre, London, in 1823. The author, who was all his life a wanderer, has been called "the homeless bard of home."

John Howard Payne

Sicilian air 62

Home Again

Marshall S. Pike

Marshall S. Pike 63

Around the Hearth

George Howland

Scotch air 64
 Air :Auld Lang Syne.

If I were a Sunbeam

Lucy Larcom

German air 65

A Midsummer Song

Richard Watson Gilder

Franz Abt 66, 67

God Speed the Right

William E. Hickson

German air 67

Rain on the Roof

Coates Kinney

Johann Gottlieb Naumann 68

Woodman, Spare that Tree

The author heard a friend make an appeal voicing the sentiment of the song. On payment of ten dollars the woodman signed a bond to spare the tree.

George Pope Morris

Johann Adam Hiller 69

The Old Oaken Bucket

The well is still standing in Scituate, Mass., the birthplace of the author.

Samuel Woodworth

G. Kiallmark 70
 Air :Araby’s Daughter.

Speed Away!

The words of this song were based on the following statement current at the time the song was written, though it had probably little, if any, foundation in fact. "Among the superstitions of the Senecas is one which, for its singular beauty, is already well known. When a maiden dies, they imprison a young bird until it first begins to try its powers of song, and then loading it with kisses and caresses, they loose its bonds over her grave, in the belief that it will not fold its wings, nor close its eyes, until it has flown to the spirit land, and delivered its precious burden of affection to the loved and lost. 'It is not infrequent,' says the Indian historian, 'to see twenty or thirty birds loosened at once over one grave.' "

Isaac Baker Woodbury

Isaac Baker Woodbury 71

The Indian Girl’s Lament

William Cullen Bryant

Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy 72

Ye say they all have passed away

From the poem Indian Names.

Lydia Huntley Sigourney

Wellington Guernsey 73
 Air :I’ hang my harp on a willow tree.

My Mother’s Memory

John Boyle O’Reilly

Karl Gottfried Wilhelm Taubert 74

The Death of Minnehaha

From The Song of Hiawatha.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Charles Crozat Converse 75, 76, 77

Child and Mother

Eugene Field

Arr. from Voigtlaender 78, 79


Phoebe Gary

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 80, 81

The Captain’s Daughter

James Thomas Fields

Isaac Baker Woodbury 82, 83

The Little House on the Hill

Referring to the author's childhood home.

Alice Cary

Franz Peter Schubert 84


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Unknown 85

The Bridge

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

M. Lindsay 86,87,88,89

The Heritage

James Russell Lowell

Arr. from the German 90

Baby Charley

Sidney Lanier

Old college air 91

Will and I

Paul Hamilton Hayne

Unknown 92

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod

Eugene Field

Giovanni Paisiello 93, 94, 95

The Proposal

Bayard Taylor

Christoph Willibald Gluck 96

May, the Maiden

Sidney Lanier

Joseph Barnby 97

Air: Sweet and Low.


Alice Cary

Friedrich Ludwig Seidel 98, 99

She came and went

Written on the death of the author’s daughter.

James Russell Lowell

German air 100, 101

Stars of the Summer Night

From The Spanish Student.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Isaac Baker Woodbury 101    1819-1858.

Near in the Forest

Bayard Taylor

Kreipel 102

In Absence

Phoebe Cary

Johann Michael Hayden 103

Ben Bolt

Written in 1842, at the request of N. P. Willis, and published in the New Mirror. Set to music it became one of the most popular songs ever written, as great a favorite in England as in America.

Thomas Dunn English

Nelson Kneass 104, 105

W. G. Becker 111

The Katydid

Oliver Wendell Holmes

Germair air 106, 107

A Dream of Summer

John Greenleaf Whittier

Arr. from the German 108, 109

Thine Eyes still shined

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Konrain Kreutzer 109, 110

The Fortune in the Daisy

Phoebe Cary

W. G. Becker 111

The Summers come and go

Bayard Taylor

Johann Abraham Peter Schulz 112, 113


Alice Cary

Judson Hutchinson 113, 114

A member of the well-known Hutchinson Fam- ily of singers.

 Air: The Old Granite State.

Afternoon in February

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

John Hullah 115

The Humble-Bee

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Germair air 116, 117


From the poem Woodnotes. This extract refers to Emerson's intimate friend, Henry D. Thoreau, the noted author and naturalist.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wenzel Müller 117

The Fountain

James Russell Lowell

German air 118
 Air:Buy a Broom.

The Harp at Nature’s Advent strung

From The Tent on the Beach.

John Greenleaf Whittier

German air 119

The Light that is felt

John Greenleaf Whittier

Albert Gottlieb Methfessel 120, 121


John Greenleaf Whittier

Theodore Stein 121

Don’t be sorrowful, Darling

Alice Cary

Joseph Philbrick Webster 122, 123, 124

Learn to live, and live to learn

Addressed to the author’s little daughter.

Bayard Taylor

English air 125

The Poet

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friedrich Wilhelm Kücken 126,127

Baby’s Ring

Phoebe Cary

English air 128, 129

Alike are Life and Death

From the poem Charles Sumner.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Johann Christian Heinrich 129

The Old Year and the New

John Godfrey Saxe

J. M.Sayles 130, 131

To Mother Fairie

Alice Cary

Unknown 132, 133, 134

Air:What’s a’ the steer, Kimmer.

There is no End for Souls like his

From the poem Charles Sumner.

John Greenleaf Whittier

Joseph B. Sharland 135

The Open Window

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Alfred Scott Gatty 136, 137

My Psalm

John Greenleaf Whittier

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 138, 139

Nearer Home

Phoebe Cary


The Rainy Day

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

William Richardson Dempster 140, 141


William Dean Howells

Halfdan Kjerulf 142, 143, 144

I know not what the Future hath

From The Eternal Goodness.

John Greenleaf Whittier

W. Irmer 144

To stay at Home is best

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

A. ten Cate 145

The Fatherland

James Russell Lowell

C. G. Bellman 146, 147

What the Chimney sang

Francis Bret Harte

Edwin J. Hopkins 148, 149

A Schleswig-Holstein Battle Hymn.

Lord of All Being

From the poem A Sun-Day Hymn.

Oliver Wendell Holmes

Francis Linley 149

Summer Studies

Harriet Beecher Stowe

William H. Hutchinson 150, 151

Air :Dream Faces.

The Reaper and the Flowers

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

L. O. Emerson 151

Kriss Kringle

Thomas Bailey Aldrich

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 152,153

Air:Drink to Me only with Thine Eyes. County Guy, a little song by Sir Walter Scott, is also sung to this air.

Long Time Ago

George Pope Morris

Charles Edward Horn 154

Originally a Southern negro glee beginning: "Way down in the raccoon hollow," and subdued by Horn’s genius to a sweet and plaintive song.

Kind Words can never die


Edward E. Whittemore 155

Waldeinsamkeit (Forest Solitude)

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy 156, 157

Air:Farewell to the Forest.

Softly now the Light of Day

George Washington Doane

Friedrich Wilhelm Kücken 157

Nearer, my God, to Thee

Sarah Flower Adams

Lowell Mason 158

There is hovering about me

From the poem Intimations.

Alice Cary

Franz Abt 159, 160, 161

My Own shall come to me

John Burroughs

E. W. Foster 162, 163, 164, 165

Angel of Peace

A Hymn of Peace sung at the National Peace Jubilee, in Boston, June 15, 1869.

Oliver Wendell Holmes

Matthias Keller 166,167,168

Air:American Hymn.

My Birthday

John Greenleaf Whittier

Johann Friedrich Reichardt 169

The Poet and the Children

Longfellow’s seventy-second birthday was widely celebrated by the school-children of America. His death occurred three years later.

John Greenleaf Whittier

Ferdinand Gumbert 170, 171

A Psalm of Life

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Henry Smart 172

Acknowledgment is due to the following publishers and authors for permission to use the poems contained in this volume, controlled or written by them:—

Messrs. D. Appleton & Co. W. C. Bryant.
Messrs. Charles Scribner’s Sons Sidney Lanier, R. H. Stoddard.
The Century Co. R. W. Gilder.
J. B. Lippincott Co. T. Buchanan Read.
Cassell Publishing Co. J. Boyle O’Reilly.
Eugene Field.
Joaquin Miller.

The music of the following songs is used by arrangement with The Oliver Ditson Co.: Keller’s American Hymn (Angel of Peace), Foster’s Old Folks at Home (Swanee River), Kittredge’s Tenting on the Old Camp-Ground, Webster’s Don’t be sorrowful, Darling, Emerson’s Reaper and the Flowers, Pike’s Home Again, Mason’s Nearer, my God, to Thee, Woodbury’s Stars of the Summer Night, and Paine’s Centennial Hymn.

This work was published before January 1, 1929, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.

Public domainPublic domainfalsefalse