Move over, Britney--here come Rosa, Anna, and Lotta. Don't know these divas? Check the top of the pops for the '60s-the 1860s, that is. Need a "fly copper" to rescue you? Don't call 911--call "Moriarity," one of many colorful characters played by Edward Harrigan and Tony Hart in The Mulligan Guard Ball (1879) or one of its popular sequels set in New York City in the 1880s. And if you were a proper young lady in 1903, you wouldn't be caught "Under the Anheuser Bush" with anyone--but you might sing about it in your own front parlor. You can find these hit songs and many more of the nineteenth century and early twentieth century in a newly released manuscript collection at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, the Enna Massey Walker Collection (Z/1974.000/S). If you're looking for serious music by composers still beloved by piano teachers and symphony conductors, don't look here. This collection is almost entirely popular music that was played and sung in small-town music studios, female academies, and front-room parlors. Although the majority of songs are vocal ballads arranged for piano, you will also find arrangements for guitar and many dance selections: polka, schottische, gallop, barcarole, quadrille, and waltz, among other popular styles (some including the choreography!).
Seawright, Phyllis W.
"Don't Go "Under the Anheuser Bush" with Anyone Else But...,"
The Primary Source: Vol. 23
, Article 2.
Available at: https://aquila.usm.edu/theprimarysource/vol23/iss1/2