American Song Sheets, Popular Music Lyrics. Nellie E. Gale.
American Song Sheets, Popular Music Lyrics.
American Song Sheets, Popular Music Lyrics.
American Song Sheets, Popular Music Lyrics.
Laments for her Dead Mother Hand Written Lyrics, Pasted-in Printed Song Sheets, Newspaper Clippings of Songs

American Song Sheets, Popular Music Lyrics.

Keene, New Hampshire, 1870-1885. Item #756

Folio.  330 x 210 mm., [13 x 8 ½ inches].  77 pp. of ruled paper  Bound in contemporary calf backed boards over marble paper; leather joints and edges worn, with loss of pieces of spine; embossed stamp and bookplate of W.H. Spalter & Co., Bookseller & Stationers, Keene, N. H.


Scrapbook of late 19th century American popular music including manuscript lyrics (18 songs), pasted-in printed broadside song sheet (22 song), lyrics clipped from newspapers and laid-in (7 songs), and one manuscript lyric from torn from another ledger and laid-in. The scrapbook was formerly an account book for a “Saloon”, with most of the leaves now pasted over with song sheets or erasure of accounting information overwritten by manuscript lyrics.  This might suggests that the songs may have been part of the entertainment offered to customers by the New Hampshire saloon keeper.


The broadside song sheets, mostly printed by Henry J. Wehman, the song publisher in New York, measure 9 ½ x 5 ½ inches and each lyric is printed on a buff colored paper and set within a decorative typographical border.  The manuscript lyrics are written in blue, red, and black ink and in most cases are highly legible.


The song titles includeRoll on Silver Moon, A Boy’s Best Friend, I Want to See the Cotton Fields, and The White Pilgrim. But for the most part, the lyrics focus on songs about “Mother” including


Whisper Softly, Mother's Dyin, Save My Mother's Picture from the Sale, What is Home without a Mother?I'm Lonely Since My Mother Died, Why Did They Dig Ma's Grave so Deep?, eighteen songs dedicated in all.


This scrapbook was kept by New Hampshire resident Nellie E. Gale (1837-1905), whose name appears written in ink on many of the song sheets. She is probably Nellie Ellen Dodge Gale of Walpole, wife of Amos, a farmer.  Her married her first husband Charles C. Rich of Stoughton Mass. In 1858 and was widowed.  The focus on songs dedicated to ‘Mother” may be the result of the death of Nellie’s mother Fanny Graves Dodge in February 1885, when this scrapbook appears to be put together.

Price: $600.00

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