The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #10342   Message #71274
Posted By: Ferrara
16-Apr-99 - 07:45 AM
Thread Name: Origin: Gentle Annie (Australian version)
Subject: RE: Australian 'Gentle Annie' - history?
This is the first time I've used TXT2MIDI and haven't figured it all out yet (don't worry, I'll get there.) Thanks so much, Alan, for the tune.

But I want to make a comment on the Stephen Foster tune. It shouldn't sound martial. It is a lyrical ballad in the 18th century sense of the word ballad, and it should sound lyrical and sweet. I've heard some midi versions that sounded martial because they had a somewhat choppy accompaniment, but I think midi files tend that way anyway. At the time the song was written, it would have been performed onstage in the bel canto style with lots of ornaments and overdone dramatic effects from today's point of view. But people playing it in their home would probably have done what I did when I learned it from a book of Foster's music: Play and sing it with an expression that was appropriate to its sweet, sentimental tone. I'm very fond of this kind of parlor song. They were often played by middle- and upper-class women (a real lady was supposed to number musical training among her accomplishments) and they tended to be very, very sad and sentimental, especially in the U.S.