Saturday, June 20, 2015

Land of Rest, from Lilly Dale

Thompson, Henry S. (ca. 1824—after 1880) was a New England music teacher and composer. He was born in Manchester, Essex County, Massachusetts. In 1845 he married Sarah E. Oliver of Dorchester. At least as early as 1848 he listed his occupation as “Music teacher”. One of his early ballads is Willie's on the Dark Blue Sea, published by Oliver Ditson & Company in 1849. Henry and Sarah lived with their family in Boston, Massachusetts until at least 1864. He had relocated to Indiana by 1879, when The Musical Record reported that he had established a conservatory of music at Crawfordsville. Thompson was still alive on May 27, 1880 when he deposited with the Library of Congress a copy of Lilly Dale, "The right whereof he claims as Author, in conformity with the laws of the United States, respecting Copyrights." The time of his death and location of his burial are unknown. Thompson’s two most popular songs appear to be Annie Lisle (1857) and Lilly Dale (1852)Annie Lisle was preserved for posterity through its arrangement by colleges, universities, and other schools as their "alma mater" song. The first known instance was at Cornell University circa 1870, when students Archibald C. Weeks and Wilmot M. Smith paired the textFar Above Cayuga's Waters with the Annie Lisle tune. Lilly Dale was made popular in minstrel shows and became a popular tune for revival tune books.[i] Mattison's Sacred Melodies for Social Worship(1859) recommends this tune for at least six of its hymns. In 1864 a newspaper article claimed that Oliver Ditson & Company had cleared "upwards of $70,000" on Lilly Dale at that time. In 1903 Ditson Company President John C. Haynes remembered that the sales of Lilly Dale exceeded 100,000 copies. Its greatest use today may possibly be found in its inclusion via an arrangement by A. S. Kieffer in the 1902 Sacred Harp revision of W. M. Cooper. It is found in other song books, such as Christian Harmony, Good Old Songs, and Harp of Ages.
            430       Land of Rest (Lilly Dale)
Births Registered in the Town of Ipswich for the year 1848
Births Registered in the City of Newburyport for the year 1851, p. 201
Births Registered in the City of Newburyport in the County of Essex for the year 1853, p. 259, Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988
“A Half-Century in the American Music Trade,” by John C. Haynes, in National Magazine, Boston, Volume 19, No. 3, December 1903, p. 381
U. S. Federal Censuses, Essex County, MA, 1850; Suffolk County, MA, 1860
Massachusetts State Census, 1855, Essex County
“Popular Song-Writers,” in The Emporia Weekly News, Emporia, Kansas, Saturday, June 18, 1864 – p. 1
Sacred Melodies for Social Worship, Hiram Mattison, New York, NY: Mason Brothers, 1859, pp. 122, 123, 151, 318, 387, 404 and 420
The Musical Record, edited by Dexter Smith, Number 55, Boston, October 18, 1879, p. 35
The Musical Record, edited by Dexter Smith, Number 89, Boston, June 12, 1880, p. 606

[i] Not everyone was thrilled with its use. For example, one editor wrote: “And it is a comfort to know that we do not now so often hear "Jerusalem, my happy home" arranged with a chorus, "O heaven, sweet heaven," etc., and sung to "Lily Dale;" or "Jesus my all to heaven is gone" adapted to "Dixie;" or "Rosalie the prairie flower," or some German drinking song, or some love-sick serenade fitted to religious words.” ("The Sunday School Muse," in Hours at Home: A Popular Monthly of Instruction and Recreation, Volume 6, No. 6, March 1868, edited by J. M. Sherwood, New York, p. 395)

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