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Victorian Song By Maurice Willson Disher PDF Free Download
REMEMBER OR FORGET
SAT beside the streamlet,
I watched the water flow,
As we together watched it
One little year ago;
The soft rain pattered on the leaves,
The April grass was wet,
Ah! folly to remember;—
’T is wiser to forget.
The nightingales made vocal
June’s palace paved with gold;
I watched the rose you gave me
Its warm red heart unfold;
But breath of rose and bird’s song
Were fraught with wild regret.
’T is madness to remember;
’T were wisdom to forget.
I stood among the gold corn,
Alas! no more, I knew,
To gather gleaner’s measure
Of the love that fell from you.
For me, no gracious harvest—
Would God we ne’er had met!
’T is hard, Love, to remember, but
’T is harder to forget.
The streamlet now is frozen,
The nightingales are fled
The cornfields are deserted,
And every rose is dead.
I sit beside my lonely fire,
And pray for wisdom yet—
For calmness to remember
Or courage to forget.
O hush thee, my baby, thy sire was a knight,
Thy mother a lady both gentle and bright
but a modern mother, unless married to a knight, could not sing that without libelling both herself and her child; still the tune was so pleasing that it was rapturously clapped in night-clubs of the 19203 as a new dance by a new composer.
There were scores upon scores of other lullabies, some old and some newly taken from shows, concerts, and music-halls, for a happy trait in the character of the Victorians was their habit of serving up nonsense in adult entertainment and then taking it home to pacify the children.
Of course, we are always adapting ancient ballads like “Come lassies and lads” to infant needs, and even “Gossip Joan”, an old ditty which reeked, has been disinfected for schools; reversing this process the radio often turns baby jingles into the latest plug for adults.
But we have lost the happy knack of inventing choruses like “Diddle diddle dumpling”, which an ordinary rednosed comic sang.
From John Beulah’s “If I had a donkey and he wouldn’t go” during the Regency, down to Marie Lloyd’s “Oh, Mr. Porter, what shall I do?” in the 18905, the beery breath of ruffians bellowed sweet simplicities fit for the mouths of babes and sucklings.
If we had to decide which was the most frequently sung of all Victorian ditties the prize would go to:
Twinkle, twinkle, little star, How I wonder what you are, Up above the world so high Like a diamond in the sky
written during the Regency by Jane Taylor, whose sister Ann innocently caused much ribaldry with, “Who kissed the place and made it well?”
The little star would have been one nursery rhyme among many but for the coming of mechanized amusements.
It took first place when magic lanterns were equipped with a double slide, consisting of a coloured star on a square piece of glass and another coloured star on a round piece of glass fixed side by side in wooden frame, with a wire contrivance which caused the round piece to revolve when the operator turned its handle.
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Victorian Song PDF Free Download