The kids are sad, but not Mom & Dad. September marks the end of Summer and the traditional beginning of school terms. All the little and big kiddies (and some of us old geezers) usually return to the classrooms to continue our education. For Moms and Dads, it is a time to rejoice so a few good school and childhood songs should really help us all celebrate. This month, ParlorSongs presents to you a few songs celebrating school and the coming fall.
Music by: E.A. Fenstad arr. Rudy Vallee
Lyrics by: Lincoln Colecord
This song has been around for a long time and I suspect they are singing it right now in the hallowed halls of old University of Maine. Billed as the U of M "drinking song", I'll bet it has had plenty of use over the years.
This particular version was arranged by Rudy Vallee in 1927. Vallee was the premier crooner of the teens, twenties and into the thirties. He was still a fixture in the 50's and 60's and I can recall seeing him regularly on TV. His smooth and mellow low tenor voice just dripped with emotion.
Imagine Rudy singing this song after a few beers with the gang at the frat house.
Music & Lyrics by: Irving Berlin Cover Artist: Barbelle
Well, once the kids go off to school (college or boarding school) after a few weeks or months, they usually get homesick so a nice song by one of the greatest American songwriters seems appropriate.
Irving Berlin wrote hundreds of songs that are still in the current repetoire. Most are well known, some are not. Homesick is one of the more obscure of his songs but is not lacking in that Berlin quality.
Music and Lyrics by: Saxie Dowell Cover artist: HBK
One good thing for the little tykes, well, big ones too, is that we get to renew old friendships and make new ones when we return to school. Going back to school is our chance to be reunited with our playmates and just have a good time along with the learning.
This song from 1940 features a group called "Hal Kemp and the Smoothies" and is a happy tune from a period in history when going to school meant fun and learning, not guns and metal detectors.
Take a trip back to better times with Hal Kemp and Saxie Dowell.
Music by: Pasquale Mondrone Cover artist: unknown
Eventually, as the kids head for school, they have to lay down the toys and dig in to school work. This piano solo work from 1932 is evocative of what the toys do when the kids are away.
Left to their own designs, lonesome and with nothing to do, the toys arrange a parade and have a good old time among themselves. Ok, so I'm still a kid at heart. Image that scene as you listen to the Toy Parade, you will see it too!
Music & Lyrics by: H. Engelmann Cover artist: unknown
Of course some students daydream and we have a song for them too. H. Engelmann wrote a large number of childrens songs from the late 1800s into the 1900s. There are quite a few of his works in the collection. Though the covers are rather simple, they are reflective of the majority of covers from the period.
The music is also simple, but at the same time one of those sweet and pure songs that truly reflect the mood they are intended to depict.
This song is a very special one from the collection. A note scribbled on the cover says "My first piece of sheet music, age 10 I guess. Constance Newcomb". Thus this piece is the very first one from the Forward collection.
Music by: Victor Herbert Lyrics by: Al Dubin Cover artist: IM-HO
Invariably, before Fall takes over, summer gives it one last try and we enjoy an Indian Summer before the frost is on the punkin. This song celebrates that wonderful time of year.
Victor Herbert was a giant of songs and is best known for his operettas from the early twentieth century. I have to admit that many of his songs are too ponderous for me (listen to some of his other works we have published) but he was very very popular.
Indian Summer is a much different song, a lighter ballad that seems to recall those lazy days of late summer that we call Indian Summer. Of all the Herbert songs I have in the collection, I think this is my favorite. The orchestra leader on the cover is Orrin Tucker.
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