"In ancient legend, there are types of swans that either sing most beautifully when they are dying or never sing until just before death. Despite being untrue, the legend has survived from antiquity into modern times, probably because it lends itself so well to poetic allegory. Today it lives on primarily in the idiom swan song (sometimes swan-song), which refers to the last performance or work by someone who is retiring or dying. A swan song isn’t necessarily the greatest work of one’s career, but it is seen to have extra significance, especially if its creator produces it knowing it is to be his or her last work" ( from the Grammarist.)
Franz Schubert memorialized the use of Swan Song in music with his Schwanengesang ("Swan song"), D 957, a collection of songs written by Franz Schubert at the end of his life and published posthumously. The collection was named by its first publisher Tobias Haslinger, presumably wishing to present it as Schubert's final musical testament to the world.
This article, has no relationship to Schubert but is presented as the last song (article) of the Parlorsongs.com. I started this web site in 1996 as a part of a personal web site. the original idea was to showcase sheet music covers from American music from its early years and the music in MIDI format so that viewers could listen to the music as well as appreciate the covers. With small articles about each song, the site gained popularity and attention to the extent that it became its own separate site under the name of Parlorsongs. That change was initiated by Robert L. Maine who joined me as a partner in the web site's development and design way back in 1997. .Over the years the site reached thousands of listeners, grew to include full score visibility and detailed articles relating to aspects of America's music. Later, Rich Beil, joined me and added yet new dimensions to the site with actual vocal performances of some of the songs, production of CD and a number of scholarly articles that elevated the site's stature.
With substantial critical reviews and use of our materials across a wide spectrum of the educational world, the site became a template for many sites who followed our example. I am proud of what I have accomplished in the 23 years of this project and am eternally grateful to Robert L. Maine, Beverly Maine and Richard Beil for their support and assistance in making the site so successful.
Sadly, all things come to an end and with this article, I am providing a final chapter in the site with an article that represents my swan song. I am retiring from the site for age and health reasons and will continue to maintain it for another year at which point, unless someone cares to buy it or maintain it, the site will become another memory in the development of the web. My thanks to all of those over the years who have supported us.
This article is not tied to any theme as most of our previous articles have been. It is instead a compilation of many songs that I completed for publication that I never managed to publish. In total, I hope you enjoy my final presentation for your enjoyment.
NOTE: To view and print the "scores" links in this article, you must have the Sibelius "Scorch" player. To obtain the player, go to: the Scorch Download page
Carrie Jacobs-Bond songs.
.Bond speaks to the heart with her music. In fact, during her heyday she was described as a writer of "Heart Songs." Her music and life has fascinated me for years and of course I have featured her music not only in a biography but in numerous articles.(see our music catalog for other CJB songs) Her ability to combine melody and lyrics in such a way as to touch the heart has, in my opinion, rarely if ever been matched by any composer of popular music. To that end, I have studied her music and collected almost every song she ever wrote. Many of her works never made it to our site but I continued to work with her music and have a number of works that I prepared for publication. Some of her works were little known as they were considered to be less than songs and more a display of her of musical expertise. Here I want to share with you a recording I made of her beautiful "Reverie" a work for piano that is so expressive and beautiful it is an exemplar of her mastery of melody and emotion in music. Listen to Carrie Bond's "Reverie" (wave audio version), the MIDI. or view and print the score using the Sibelius "Scorch" plug in0 Another of her rarely heard works is a wonderful piece called Chimney Swallows, (wave audio file), MIDI or view and print the score. I think you may enjoy it as well. In her earliest years, one of her songs was Going to Church with Mother, (WAV audio,the MIDI or score ) a short but endearing song. Of course her most famous work was A Perfect Day. Here I present for you a violin version of this wonderful song (WAV Audio, MIDI or score). As a violinist, I was happy to find the violin score. Finally, in collecting her music I obtained four orchestral scores of her songs, I present the wav version of these songs for your enjoyment. (all in wav audio format) A Little Pink Rose, My Soul, God Remembers when the World Forgets and The Shepherdess. If any of you would like copies of the scores for any of these works, email me. and I will email you a pdf of them.
Military and Organization Marches and Songs
Over the years we have also featured many marches and military/war songs, especially from the Civil War and our World war music series.Even at that though, I have other such songs that I was never able to publish due to no relevant article. So, I will present to you a few the unpublished military related works unpublished.
First, three songs dedicated to the Valiant United States Coast Guard. An often overlooked but heroic part of America's military. One of my grandchildren, Jack Redshaw proudly serves in the Coast Guard so this section is also dedicated to him and his shipmates who protect our waters and serve those in distress on the seas. The first is The Coast Guard March, listen to wav file, MIDI or score . The second work is The Coast Guard Forever, a 1930 song that was recorded by Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians on Decca..enjoy the Wave audio, MIDI or get the score. Yet a third CG work is The Silver Shield "Fighting Song of the U.S. Coast Guard". This song was written during WWII in honor of the Coast Guard's part in fighting the war. Listen to the WAV audio, the MIDI or view or print the score.
Another March song unpublished is The Columbia March, a 1917 song by Seneca Lewis. Listen to the WAV audio, the MIDI or enjoy the score.This next one is not really a military song but it is sort of a march. My alma mater, The Ohio State University "Buckeye Battle Cry" (WAV audio only) is a rousing song designed to stir the Buckeye fans into a winning frenzy. I sang this one many times at home games during my time at OSU. I seem to have lost or misplaced the sheet music so can't display the cover.
As a violinist and a classical music fan for decades (I played violin with a community orchestra) I often sequenced and produced wav and MIDI files from several of the classical scores I had in my collection. Although I did do at least one article about Classics in the Parlor, I have several unpublished works that I would like to share with those of you who enjoy classical music. Some of these were produced from full orchestral scores and as a result are much more robust than many of the piano solo works we presented over the years. Some are incomplete but pleasant.
Among the classics for your listening pleasure are: The Bach Double Violin Concerto, listen to the WAV audio, the MIDI or score.The Hebrides Overture.a leghthy score. Listen to the Hebrides in WAV audio format, MIDI or view the score (over 100 pages). A Favorite is the Egmont Overture for piano. I published this one in December 2001 as a part of the article mentioned above.. Listen to the MIDI, or view the score. One I never finished and appropriately a good way to end this section of the article is The Overture to the Magic Flute (Die Zauberflote) by Mozart. It is only 1:14 long but shows the promise of how MIDI can create beautiful and complex music. Listen to the WAV audio, MIDI or view the score .Perhaps one day I will finish it.
Stuff I really could not publish..
(Still Can't but, what the heck, this is the last installment of the Parlor Songs saga.) But these are some of my favorites and are a few that exceed the limit of Public Domain. Some of the best were scores of Art Tatum Jazz arrangements of standard songs, they are sublime. You can see them below. Another are two special requests I received from fans to produce MIDI's and wav files of a couple of 1960's, Vietnam era songs. We Gotta Get Out of This Place was a favorite of many of the men who had the misfortune of experiencing the horror of Vietnam. Using a full score as a source, this was the only "rock" song I ever created in MIDI. A Marine Vet asked me to make that one. Listen to the MIDI. Yet another piece from that period was the complex and long jazz work, Hymn to Freedom sent to me by a loyal fan of Parlorsongs.com. Hear this MIDI. That one was one of the most difficult to work out due to the complexity of meter and ornamentation.
The Art Tatum arrangements are absolute gems of piano mastery and every time I listen to them I am impressed and immensely entertained. Here are some samples:(all MIDI only) At Sundown, Don't Get Around Much Anymore, I Got it Bad And That Ain't Good, Sunday and I'll Never Be The Same.The Tatum works were also some of the most difficult to sequence due to the changing meter and complex performance ornaments.Tatum was a master of the piano without question.
Several Years Ago, a Friend in England, teamed up with me to produce a midi version of the Broadway Show "Girl Crazy." A school in England was going to produce the show and could not afford an orchestra so opted for use of a recorded track generated by MIDI. It took me many months of tedious work but managed to produce a complete score of the show. I share some of the best pieces for your consideration. Despite that, these were done in a period while I was still learning MIDI and scoring so they really represent some of my earliest work and in light of later years work, can be considered somewhat elementary and immature work by me. Nonetheless, these works bring you full circle with regards to my work. Here are some of the songs (all MIDI), Embraceable You, They Can't Take That Away From Me, Nice Work If You Can Get It and I Got Rhythm.. The most interesting piece within the show for me was a short, (1:11) scene change interlude that used a number of sound effects such as whistles and car horns. It is my favorite! Listen to Scene Change No. 19a.
That concludes this last article and my Swan Song. I am saddened to end this era but it is time. If anyone out there wants to take on the mantle of continuing the Parlorsongs site, please contact me. Otherwise, when my current ownership of the domain expires, this site will cease to exist. I want to thank Robert and Beverly Maine for their wonderful help in developing the site in the early years and the non-profit organization we managed for decades. I also want to express my great admiration and thanks for the musical talents of Lt.Col Richard Beil for his contribution of music, research and some of the best articles in our history. I will always be thankful for his help and the quality he brought to the site.
Finally, I cannot say enough to all of the loyal visitors and fans who have supported us over the years. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
Richard A. Reublin,
Founder of Parlorsongs.com
Copyright 2019 by Richard A. Reublin.