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DTStudy: Beautiful Dreamer (Stephen Foster)

DigiTrad:
BEAUTIFUL DREAMER
BEAUTIFUL HOME
BEAUTIFUL TEAMSTERS
BRIGHTER DAYS IN STORE
CAMPTOWN RACES
COME TO THY LATTICE, LOVE
DON'T BET YOUR MONEY ON DE SHANGHAI
GENTLE ANNIE
GENTLE ANNIE 2
GLENDY BURKE
HARD TIMES COME AGAIN NO MORE
I DREAM OF JEANNIE WITH THE LIGHT BROWN HAIR
I WOULD NOT DIE IN SUMMER TIME
MASSA'S IN DE COLD, COLD GROUND
MOLLY DO YOU LOVE ME
NELLY BLY
OH! BOYS CARRY ME 'LONG
OH, SUSANNA
OLD BLACK JOE
OLD DOG TRAY
OLD FOLKS AT HOME
OLD KENTUCKY HOME
SOME FOLKS DO
THE SONG OF ALL SONGS
UNCLE NED
UNCLE NED
WHEN THIS DREADFUL WAR IS ENDED
WILLIE, WE HAVE MISSED YOU


Related threads:
Opinions: Old Black Joe (49)
Lyr Add: Nelly Was a Lady (Stephen C. Foster) (1)
Lyr/Chords Req: My Old Kentucky Home (S Foster) (10)
(DTStudy) Lyr Add: Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair (Foster) (24)
Lyr Add: Fairy-Belle (Stephen Foster) (1)
Lyr Add: Old Folks at Home (Stephen Foster) (18)
Lyr Add: Ring, Ring de Banjo (Stephen C. Foster) (6)
Lyr Req: Old Black Joe (Stephen Foster) (64)
Lyr Add: Farewell, My Lilly Dear (Foster) (2)
Lyr Add: Massa's In De Cold Ground (Foster) (5)
Lyr Req: Ah! May the Red Rose Live Alway (S Foster (13)
Lyr Add: There's a Good Time Coming (S Foster) (6)
Lyr Add: There Are Plenty of Fish in the Sea (3)
Lyr Req: Uncle Ned (Stephen Foster) (7)
Add Tune/Verse: Old Dog Tray (6)
Lyr Req: Virginia Belle (Stephen Foster) (4)
Lyr Req: Oh Suzanna? / Oh Susanna (30)
Lyr Add: I'll never play the banjo again/Uncle Ned (13)
Lyr Add: White House Chair (Foster, 1856) (5)
Chord Req: Linger in blissful repose (Foster) (3)
New Stephen Foster CD (13)
Lyr Req: That's What's the Matter (Stephen Foster) (7)
Lyr/Chords Req: Beautiful Dreamer (Stephen Foster) (4) (closed)
Lyr/Chords Req: Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair (2)
Oh Suzannah / Oh! Susanna (7)
Lyr Add: Massa's in de Cold Ground (Stephen Foster (2)


Nigel Parsons 23 Jan 03 - 07:02 AM
Nigel Parsons 23 Jan 03 - 07:03 AM
Richie 23 Jan 03 - 07:20 AM
Nigel Parsons 23 Jan 03 - 07:34 AM
catspaw49 23 Jan 03 - 08:48 AM
Nigel Parsons 23 Jan 03 - 01:29 PM
masato sakurai 24 Jan 03 - 10:00 AM
GUEST,Q 24 Jan 03 - 02:29 PM
Uncle Jaque 24 Jan 03 - 03:28 PM
Jim McLean 24 Jan 03 - 06:25 PM
masato sakurai 24 Jan 03 - 09:13 PM
Richie 24 Jan 03 - 10:56 PM
masato sakurai 24 Jan 03 - 11:15 PM
cobber 25 Jan 03 - 07:54 PM
Mary in Kentucky 25 Jan 03 - 07:54 PM
Nigel Parsons 26 Jan 03 - 09:08 AM
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Subject: DTStudy: Beautiful Dreamer
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 23 Jan 03 - 07:02 AM

This is an edited DTStudy thread, and all messages posted here are subject to editing and deletion.
This thread is intended to serve as a forum for corrections and annotations for the Digital Tradition song named in the title of this thread.

Search for other DTStudy threads




BEAUTIFUL DREAMER
(Stephen Foster)

Beautiful Dreamer, wake unto me,
Starlight and dewdrops are waiting for thee;
Sounds of the rude world heard in the day,
Lulled by the moonlight have all passed away.

Beautiful dreamer, queen of my song,
List while I woo thee with soft melody;
Gone are the cares of life's busy throng,
Beautiful dreamer awake unto me!
Beautiful dreamer, awake unto me!

Beautiful dreamer, out on the sea,
Mermaids are chaunting the wild lorelie;
Over the streamlet vapors are borne,
Waiting to fade at the bright coming morn.

Beautiful dreamer, beam of my heart,
E'en as the morn on the streamlet and sea;
Then will the clouds of sorrow depart,
Beautiful dreamer awake unto me!
Beautiful dreamer, awake unto me!

@love
filename[ BEAUTDR
TUNE FILE: BEAUTDR
CLICK TO PLAY
SW
apr97



PLEASE NOTE: Because of the volunteer nature of The Digital Tradition, it is difficult to ensure proper attribution and copyright information for every song included. Please assume that any song which lists a composer is copyrighted ©. You MUST aquire proper license before using these songs for ANY commercial purpose. If you have any additional information or corrections to the credit or copyright information included, please e-mail those additions or corrections to us (along with the song title as indexed) so that we can update the database as soon as possible. Thank You.

Gracenote Search


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Beautiful Dreamer
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 23 Jan 03 - 07:03 AM

I have taken for my text lyrics taken from the "Stephen Foster Sesquicentennial song book" where the sheet music is reproduced as published by "Wm. A. Pond & Co. 547 Broadway"
copyright notice on this edition "Entered according to Act of Congress 1864 by Wm. A. Pond & Co in the Clerks Office of the District Court of the Southern District of New York"
The cover of the sheet music notes this as being "the last song ever written by Stephen C Foster composed but a few days previous to his death.
The above may be included in the final 'notes' dependant upon what else the DTStudy throws up

(corrected lines)
"lull'd by the moonlight have all pass'd away" (these contracted forms appear in each of the versions at 'Levy')
"Beautiful dreamer, beam on my heart,
Then will all clouds of sorrow depart

Nigel


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Beautiful Dreamer
From: Richie
Date: 23 Jan 03 - 07:20 AM

Nigel,

I'm not sure exactly what info you are looking for, other lyrics, performances, or versions.

Here's the Traditional Ballad entry:

Beautiful Dreamer

DESCRIPTION: "Beautiful dreamer, wake unto me, Starlight and dewdrops are waiting for thee." The singer tells how the "sounds of the rude world" have faded in the night, and hopes for an end to sorrow
AUTHOR: Stephen C. Foster
EARLIEST DATE: 1864
KEYWORDS: dream love nonballad
FOUND IN: US
REFERENCES (4 citations):
Silber-FSWB, p. 261, "Beautiful Dreamer" (1 text)
Saunders/Root-Foster 2, pp. 237-244+437, "Beautiful Dreamer" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fuld-WFM, p. 135, "Beautiful Dreamer"
DT, BEAUTDR*

Notes: The 1864 sheet music to this piece lists it as Foster's last song, composed shortly before his death (and Spaeth says the song "undoubtedly" belongs to the last two weeks of his life), but Fuld notes a curious reference to a Foster song "Beautiful Dreamer" in 1863, and the copyright claim on the 1864 sheet music appears to have been altered (though the LC records report the song as entered in March 1864).
Note that while the cover of the sheet music gives the date as 1864, the copyright on page 2 still appears to read 1862.
Even so, it appears that "Beautiful Dreamer" was Foster's last noteworthy song; while there is no real evidence that it went into tradition, it at least has endured in popular circles, unlike anything else he wrote after 1860 at the latest.
As an aside, "She was all the World to Me" was also marketed as Foster's last song, as was "Our Darling Kate."
Thus the possibility must be admitted that the song is in fact older, and had been sitting in someone's files for some time, only to be pulled out to capitalize on Foster's death. (It's quite likely, in fact, that the song was typeset in 1862 but not issued at the time.)
This was by no means uncommon -- the Saunders/Root bibliography lists 16 songs credited to Foster but first printed in 1864 and after (though many of these are the works of others).
Two of these posthumous claims are rather humorous; "Give this to Mother" is listed as "Stephen C. Foster's last musical Idea" (!), while "Little Mac! Little Mac! You're the Very Man" refers to events which took place months after Foster's death (Spaeth suggests Foster's daughter Marion actually wrote the piece). - RBW
File: FSWB261

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions

The Ballad Index Copyright 2002 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Beautiful Dreamer
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 23 Jan 03 - 07:34 AM

Richie: thanks for the notes, The details from the "Traditional Ballad Index" should have been in my first post.
The point of these DTStudies is to point out corrections to the songs already held in the DT, and to offer a chance to make any further clarifications, or add any supplementary notes, before the song is re-cast into the DT in a new hopefully complete/correct form (or in a choice of forms, each seperately identified).
The first of these DTStudies is less than a year old, and several of them have brought together information sources which had prevously not been compared.
The DTStudy is an opportunity to add to the knowledge offered in the DT whilst avoiding the BS (as an 'edited thread' any BS creeping in can be excised)

Nigel


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Beautiful Dreamer
From: catspaw49
Date: 23 Jan 03 - 08:48 AM

Just out of curiosity Nigel, do you actually like this song? Personally, I have always hated it. It seems to be a favorite of outlandish theatre organ enthusiasts and those with pseudo-operatic voices that can sterilize frogs.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Beautiful Dreamer
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 23 Jan 03 - 01:29 PM

Spaw: that's a question that rarely gets raised in this forum. Yes. I like the song, and occasionaly get to sing it with piano accompaniment at the local drinking club (I'm a non-instrumentalist unless you count basic mouth organ and/or penny whistle). I have also been known to spot it among lists of songs on karaoke, and then performed.(Usually the best one can expect on karaoke lists is 'pop' folk)

Nigel


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Beautiful Dreamer
From: masato sakurai
Date: 24 Jan 03 - 10:00 AM

From A Treasury of Stephen Foster (Random Hpuse, 1946, p. 159) [Historical notes by John Tasker Howard]:

       This song is popularly supposed to have been the last that Stephen Foster composed. The tradition began with the publisher's statement, on the title-page of the original edition, that it was "the last song ever written by Stephen C. Foster, composed but a few days previous to his death." In making this claim, the publishers were guilty of a deliberate misstatement, for incontrovertible evidence shows that the manuscript of the song had been in their possession for at least two years before Foster's death.
       Careful examination of the first edition, which was actually entered for copyright March 10, 1864 (two months after Foster's death), shows that the copyright notice at the bottom of the first page of music is dated 1862. Further, in July of 1863, when the same publishers (Firth, Pond & Company) issued Foster's Willie Has Gone to the War, they announced on the title-page that it was composed by the author of Beautiful Dreamer. These facts indicate that Firth, Pond & Company actually bought Beautiful Dreamer from Foster in 1862, and had the plates for the song engraved. For some reason they did not issue the song at that time, but when they subsequently published Willie Has Gone to the War they overlooked the fact that Beautiful Dreamer had not been issued, and mentioned it on the title-page of the "Willie" song. After Foster's death (January 13, 1864) other publishers began to turn out "last songs" by Foster, so Firth, Pond & Company, who had been Stephen's principal publishers in his best years, apparently decided that they too must have a last song. Since Beautiful Dreamer was already engraved, they issued it in a hurry, and shamelessly announced it as his last work.

       See the title pages of "Beautiful Dreamer" (which seems not to be the first edition since there's no copyrigth notice on the music page) and "Willie Had Gone to the War" (at the Levy Collection):

Title: Beautiful Dreamer. "The Last Song Ever Written" by by Stephen Foster. Composed But a Few Days Previous to His Death.
Composer, Lyricist, Arranger: Composed by Stephen Foster.
Publication: New York: Wm. A. Pond & Co., 547 Broadway, 1864.

Title: Willie Has Gone To The War. Song & Chorus.
Composer, Lyricist, Arranger: Words by George Cooper, Esq. Music by Stephen C. Foster.
Stephen C. Foster Publication: New York: Wm. A. Pond & Co., 547 Broadway, 1863.

"The earliest known copy" is reproduced in The Music of Stephen Foster, vol. 2 (pp. 237-241) by Saunders and Root.

Interestingly, the publishers altered the words ("the latest song" to "one of the latest songs"; "but a few days previous to his death" to "a short time before his death") in a later edition:

Title: Beautiful Dreamer. One of the Latest Songs of Stephen C. Foster. Composed a Short Time Before His Death.
Composer, Lyricist, Arranger: Composed by Stephen Foster.
Publication: New York: Wm. A. Pond & Co., 547 Broadway, 1864.

~Masato


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Beautiful Dreamer
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 24 Jan 03 - 02:29 PM

Has anyone ever heard the song "Ever My Spirit Awakens to Thee," by Maggie Williams and E. Mack, released in 1865: "An Answer to Beautiful Dreamer"?
The Levy site says it speaks of supernatural beings, but all that is expressed is human spirits- "Ever my spirit," and mention of the mermaid.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Beautiful Dreamer
From: Uncle Jaque
Date: 24 Jan 03 - 03:28 PM

(Two previous attempts have been made to post this, but for some reason it seems not to "take":
So let's try one more time...)

I suppose that some of these old songs require that a bit of our hearts yet somehow linger amidst the mists of the 19th Century long past, in order for us to fully appreciate them, especially in the manner in which they were probably originally intended to be rendered.

I perform the piece in "G", although it works pretty well in "C" as well.

As a function more of luck than virtuosity, I think, I happened to stumble on to a fingerpicking guitar pattern that fits it to a tea, with appreggio or "pinches" on appropriate chords keeping up the peculiar beat to it's 9/8 time. I'm not much of a Dancer, but I would think that it would be a daisy of a tune to waltz to.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Beautiful Dreamer
From: Jim McLean
Date: 24 Jan 03 - 06:25 PM

In our house there was a strange superstition that somebody close to us would die after the song 'Beautiful Dreamer' was heard.
has anyone else experienced this?
Jim McLean


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Beautiful Dreamer
From: masato sakurai
Date: 24 Jan 03 - 09:13 PM

Harry Dichter & Elliott Shapiro, Handbook of Early American Sheet Music 1768-1889 (1941; reprinted Dover, 1977, p. 92) says that the sheet music announced as "one of the latest songs" (linked to above: Date: 24 Jan 03 - 10:00 AM) is the third edition. This edition is also at HERE (UNC-Chapel Hill Music Library).

According to Calvin Elliker, Stephen Collins Foster: A Guide to Reseach (Garland, 1988, p. 66), Frédéric Louis Ritter's Music in America (1890) concludes with "the oft-repeated myth that Beautiful Dreamer was Foster's last composition." The myth continues even now. See, for example, Songwriters Hall of Fame: Stephen Foster, which says: "His death followed the completion of his last great song 'Beautiful Dreamer'. Written two weeks earlier, Foster wrote in his trademark sentiment about escape from bitter realities."

~Masato


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Beautiful Dreamer
From: Richie
Date: 24 Jan 03 - 10:56 PM

Thanks Masato for clearing up the myth about this being Foster last compostion.

According to Nigel: "The point of these DTStudies is to point out corrections to the songs already held in the DT, and to offer a chance to make any further clarifications, or add any supplementary notes, before the song is re-cast into the DT in a new hopefully complete/correct form (or in a choice of forms, each seperately identified).
The DTStudy is an opportunity to add to the knowledge offered in the DT whilst avoiding the BS (as an 'edited thread' any BS creeping in can be excised)"

I'm glad he set the ground rules for this one! Any more comments about the song...gentlemen?

Richie


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Beautiful Dreamer
From: masato sakurai
Date: 24 Jan 03 - 11:15 PM

'Beautiful Dreamer' - Dick Curless [RealAudio], from The Record Lady's All-Time Country Favorites.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Beautiful Dreamer
From: cobber
Date: 25 Jan 03 - 07:54 PM

Just as a matter of interest, here in Australia we have a song called "A Pub With No Beer" written by Gordon Parsons around a poem by Dan Sheahan and recorded by Slim Dusty. It made it onto the charts in a lot of countries and sold millions of records and then was the subject of a law suit that decided that the tune was a variant of Beautiful Dreamer and the royalties were paid to the Foster estate. If you don't like the words to beautiful dreamer (I do, actually) you could always find this one in the database.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Beautiful Dreamer
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 25 Jan 03 - 07:54 PM

Here's a topic I know just a little about. But if some of the above comments get edited out, then my comments won't make much sense.

I think most people around here know me as an opera lover and a person who just happens to live in Bardstown, home of "The Stephen Foster Story." I've heard "the drama" as we refer to it many times...one of my friends played "Jeanie" back in the 60's. She has a beautiful voice and sang at my daughter's wedding. All this to say...I've always felt that "Beautiful Dreamer" and "I Dream of Jeanie With the Light Brown Hair" (and several other Foster songs) were IMO a bit irritating. Perhaps it's because of the vocal range required to sing them, perhaps because we hear them butchered by poor singers...but I've heard them in the context of a lot of Foster songs in a beautiful outdoor setting...and they still grate on my nerves. (and I love opera.) So I understand what Spaw said, even though I would not have phrased it quite that way. ;-)

Does it take a good tenor to sing these songs? Has anyone else heard IvanB (here at Mudcat) sing Hard Times or Gentle Annie? Or Jon Freeman singing Old Black Joe? I'd love to hear Uncle Jacque sing Beautiful Dreamer. Then, there's nothing quite like several hundred drunken fraternity guys singing "Weep No More My Lady..." ;-)


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: Beautiful Dreamer
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 26 Jan 03 - 09:08 AM

One or two comments above may seem to have nothing to relate to, this is because a slight degree of vituperation has already been edited out.
---Thanks, Joe---

Nigel


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