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Songs have always been a staple of popular entertainment in American society. In the mid-nineteenth century a great flowering of song spearheaded by the works of Stephen Foster produced much of the music we associate with the century as a whole. As if to compensate for these riches, the 1870s and 1880s were a comparatively fallow period for American popular music. Songwriters continued to turn out sentimental, patriotic, and comic songs for voice and piano, but only a few pieces from these decades like James A. Bland's "Carry Me Back to Old Virginny" have survived the test of time. But good melodists and clever lyricists cannot be denied, and as the century drew to a close another wave of inspiration hit the musical scene in John Philip Sousa's rousing marches, the rising popularity of operetta and musical theatre, and above all the advent of ragtime.

 
Carry Me Back to Old Virginny : song and chorus / words and music by James Bland.
Bland, James A. (James Allen), 1854-1911.
Boston, Mass. : Oliver Ditson : J.F. Perry, copyright, c1878
1 vocal score (3 p.) : ill. ; 36 cm.
Image ID: WWM9937/G99C802/001

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