Mudcat Café message #477332 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #35089   Message #477332
Posted By: Ferrara
06-Jun-01 - 01:20 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Whispering Hope
Helen, thanks for that fourth verse! I have two different sheet music versions. One has two verses, the other has three.

I dearly love this song. My mom asked to have it sung for my sister's memorial service.

[Irrelevant aside: The next morning as I was waking up, I had a strong intuition that I needed to turn on the radio RIGHT NOW. I didn't really want to move, but the little inner voice said in so many words that if I waited,I would miss hearing something that would comfort me about my sister's death. So I turned on the radio and they were just starting to play "Whispering Hope." I've always felt that little inner prompting came from my sister somehow.... Or maybe it was just a bizarre series of coincidences? No way to find out, but it WAS comforting at the time.]

Another aside, but relevant: The song was published under the name of Alice Hawthorne. This was a pseudonym of a fellow named Septimus Winner, who churned out songs just about as fast as they could be published. Some were darned good, too! He also wrote the lyrics of "Listen to the Mockingbird." I have an old book containing a slave song called "Heaven is a Great Ways Off," as adapted by Septimus Winner. He really got around!

Anyway, I believe he sometimes added more verses when a song went into multiple printings. The Levy site has two or three sheet music versions of "Listen to the Mockingbird" which have a third verse printed ABOVE the music staves. I suspect they were added to make it even more salable.

It was pretty common at that time (about 1880) for authors to revise their songs when they were reprinted. There are multiple authentic versions of "Tenting Tonight" by Walter Kittredge, for example, with small changes here and there. (Not to be confuse with pirated versions of "Tenting Tonight," where his tune was used but the words were entirely rewritten.)

Well, how's that for useless information?