The Music of Harrison Millard


AFTER

Composer: Harrison Millard

Lyricist: George Cooper

Publisher: G. Schirmer, 701 Broadway, New York

Dedicated to Miss Fanny Reed (publisher George Reed's daughter)

Entered according to Act of Congress, A. D. 1867 by Beer and Schirmer in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Southern District of New York.


Lyricist George Cooper (1840-1927) was Stephen Foster's friend and nurse in his last days. He was a law student who wrote music on the side, 23 songs with Foster. He went on to become a seasoned and prolific writer of commercial songs with Henry Tucker and Harrison Millard among others. In his obituary in the New York Times of September 28. 1927, he is credited with over two hundred songs. He fought at the battle of Gettysburg and was active in American theater from 1866-1880. He lived long enough to be the last surviving link with Stephen Foster.

Music composer Harrison Millard , a contemporary of Cooper and Foster, born in Boston, November 27, 1830, was a famous songwriter and voice teacher and nationally known concert singer. His vocal teaching method was florid and based essentially on the Bel Canto style of Nicola Vaccai, adapted to the emerging American music of the day. He was actively composing during the Civil War and wrote: FLAG OF THE FREE and WHISPER GOOD NIGHT LOVE, about 1863; and OUR LADY OF THE HOSPITAL (with Miles O'Reilly) about 1865. In 1861 he wrote VIVA L'AMERICA which was his biggest hit. It was played for Lincoln at the Washington Naval Yard that year by Harvey Dodsworth's band. Millard sang alto in the prestigious Handel and Haydn Society in Boston in 1845 at the age of 15. He studied music in Italy and toured Great Britain with Catherine Hayes in 1854. According to contemporary music critic John Sullivan Dwight (Dwight's Journal of Music) Millard's voice was weak and his interpretation ineloquent.

Millard was a 1st Lieutenant in the US infantry, saw four years of action and was severely wounded at Chickamauga in 1863. He returned to New York as a U.S. Customs Clerk. He wrote about 350 songs in his lifetime, along with church anthems, four services, four Te Deum settings, a Grand Mass and an opera to an Italian Libretto, DEBORAH.

He died in Boston, September 10, 1895

WEEPING

Composer: Harrison Millard

Lyricist: Thomas Moore

Published by: D. G. Russell & Co., 126 Tremont St., Boston

Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1873 by Harrison Millard, in the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington

Handwritten at the bottom of the page is the date, April 6, 1873

The title of this editon is: Harrison Millard's Latest Songs. Featured on the cover is a picture of Harrison Millard with photograph by Gurney & Son, New York, engraved by W. F. Walker of Boston

This particular piece, WEEPING, is an unremarkable composition. The lyrics are stilted, representative of the times and the accompaniment unimaginative by current standards. It is possible, indeed probable, that this and other pieces of Millard's material were specifically written to exhibit his florid voice. Performance directions are much more in evidence throughout than they appear in later vocal works, leaving the performer with little possibility of originality. Possibly this is because Millard was an instructor in vocal arts and quite demanding of his pupils who were less than extraordinary. The name CLAYTON appears at the bottom of the last page without explanation.

Beneath the picture is a listing of Millard's songs including:

WEEPING (the featured song)
DREAMING
SWEETHEART
WHEN THE TIDE COMES IN (in D)
WHEN THE TIDE COMES IN (in E)
FOR YOU

Publisher G. D. Russell was the former chief clerk of publisher George Reed. He was a partner with wealthy Boston concert pianist Nathan Richardson with whom he went to Europe. Russell vowed to purge the nation of pop "trash.
Lyricist Thomas Moore was a celebrated Irish Poet, distinguised for true genius, easy versification and charming fancy. He was born in 1799 and died in 1852. He was a friend of George Gordon, Lord Byron. Moore's poem, Lalla Rookh, was his most elaborate and profitable work. Irish melodies and Thomas Moore's poetry in particular were the most popular songs in America in the second and third decades of the nineteenth century.

Music in the 1800s in America was dismal according to a visitor to Philadelphia: "The summit of musical entertainment seldom reached higher than the accompanying of a song so as to set off a tolerable voice and/or a weak one, and the attracting of a circle of beaux around a young lady while she exhibits the nimbleness of fingers in the execution of a "darling" waltz or touches the hearts of fond youths with a plaintive melody accompanied with false notes." That sort of thing is apparently what Russell was trying to amend by his selection of European material to be published and Millard was trying to correct through his classical teaching methods.

WHISPER GOOD NIGHT LOVE or THE WARRIOR'S SERENADE

Composer: Harrison Millard
(Although he is only identified on the cover page as "the author of KISS ME GOODBYE and VIVA L'AMERICA)

Publishers:

John Church. Jr., 66 West 4th St., Cincinnati
Firth, Pond & Co., New York
O. Ditson & Co., Boston
Lee & Walker, Philadelphia

Entered According to Act of Congress AD 1863 by John Church Jr. in the clerk's office of the Southern District of Ohio.

This sentimental offering my Harrison Millard seeks to join the elements of undying love and the departing soldier. It is all tied together by an introductory note by publisher John Church, who obviously thought some sort of introduction was necessary to sell this lackluster effort.

He writes:
"This beautiful song was written the day before the battle of Murfreesboro where the Author so highly distinguished himself as Aide de Camp to Gen. Rousseau."


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