Mudcat Café message #955588 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #2745   Message #955588
Posted By: GUEST,Q
19-May-03 - 02:30 PM
Thread Name: Lyr/Origin Req: Twilight Is Stealing / ...Falling
Subject: RE: Twilight is stealing
In a collection of old papers from around 1910, I found a penciled copy of "Twilight is Stealing." Here is what I have found out about the song.
It was written by Aldine S. Kieffer, grandson of Joseph Funk, a Mennonite and self-taught musician, under the title "Twilight is Falling." Joseph Funk is noted for the publication in the early 1800s (Ruebush-Kieffer Publishing Co.) of "Harmonia Sacra," a large book of hymns, which is on-line, along with its Sacred Harp version. Funk was located at Singer's Glen, VA: Virginia tours
Scroll down about 1/4 of the screen and find EDOM- The note about Singer's Glen is in that section of the Univ. Virginia write-up.

The song became very popular and appeared in several gospel and hymn books. Many sources label it traditional.
There are recordings by Doc Watson Family, the Blue River Boys, Mae Robertson and Eric Garrison, and Utah Phillips, as well as Jean Ritchie Family (Folkways 1959) and Stecher and Brislin (Our Town, Rounder), both noted above.
Printed versions that I have found are close to that posted above from Ritchie, but some differences.
In the chorus, line 1, most have:
"Far away beyond the starlit skies."

Verse 2:
Voices of loved ones! Songs of the past,
Still linger round me while life shall last;
Lonely I wander, sadly I roam,
Seeking that far off home.

Verse 3:
Come in the twilight, come, come to me.
Bringing some message over the sea;
Cheering my pathway, while here I roam,
Seeking that far off home.

Two versions are in Max Hunter: Max Hunter
Both of the singers had trouble with "yore," one calling it your and the other you're.

The title is found in The Oremus "Church Hymnal" (Church of Ireland), 1874-1895, but may be another song.

I am trying to check on Benjamin C. Unseld (mentioned as co-author by Dale Rose, above) and will add any information later.

Harmonia Sacra, index page: Harmonia Sacra pdf
Both seven shape and four shape.