The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #11200   Message #864181
Posted By: masato sakurai
11-Jan-03 - 02:06 AM
Thread Name: Sweet Afton - which tune?
Subject: RE: Sweet Afton - which tune?
The Spilman edition (probably the first) is reproduced in Nicholas E. Tawa, Sweet Songs for Gentle Americans: The Parlor Song in America, 1790-1860 (Bowling Green University Press, 1980, pp. 233-234). Tawa, who gives the date as "1838", says (pp. 9-10):

Flow Gently, Sweet Afton, words by Robert Burns and musuc by the American J.E. Spilman (Philadelphia, 1838), is a typical composition by a native composer. Its undemanding accompaniment is distinctively subordinate to the vocal melody. The A-major melody, regularly pausing every four measures, remains within the octave e' to e", except for f" sharp. Aside from a single sharped fourth of the scale, the work is diatonic. The txt is in two stanzas, the second printed following the music. The song provides a consummate illustration of a parlor ballad.