Butterfield, James Austin (May 18, 1837–July 6, 1891) was born in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, England in 1837. He learned to play the violin by the time he was four years old. He dreamed of following music, but at age fifteen his parents put him to work in a trade. He came to the United States in 1856, first lighting in New England but shortly moving to Chicago. He gave violin lessons and taught singing schools, and later established Butterfield and Company in Indianapolis, Indiana. His composed When You and I Were Young for lyrics written by George Washington Johnson of Hamilton, Ontario. The tune was first published by Butterfield in 1866 and later by Oliver Ditson and Company. In 1868 he was made director of the Centenary Methodist Episcopal Church choir in Chicago. He moved to Connecticut for a period of time, but returned to Chicago and his directorship of the Centenary Church choir in 1888. He was the second president of the Music Teachers National Association. Though he is usually remembered as a secular composer, he also composed religious tunes -- for example, Victory Over Sin for words by Henry S. Perkins (1833-1914). Butterfield died in Chicago and is buried in Graceland Cemetery, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois. B. L. Andrews used When You and I Were Young as a template for the tune Long Ago, Comrades.
582 Long Ago, Comrades (When You and I Were Young)
Butterfield, James Austin
A Hundred Years of Music in America, William Smythe Babcock Mathews, Chicago, IL: G. L. Howe, 1889, pp. 647-650
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- Page 179, Restoration (268a): Change "Alto from The Sacred Harp, 4th Edition with Supplement, J. L. White, 1911" to "Alto arranged from The Sacred Harp, 5th Edition, J. L. White, 1909 (possibly by Rev. A. B. Carrell)"
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