Monday, 15 August 2016

Musical Connections

Glenn Miller's "Don't sit under the apple tree" and "The Tenessee Waltz" are well-known pieces of American popular music.  But why - and how - are they connected to the Liverpool & Manchester Railway?

The answer is their composer: Thomas Haynes Bayly, 1797-1839

One of his most popular songs was "Long, Long Ago" writtend  in 1833 but only published posthumously, in the United States, in 1844 where it became incredibly popular.

The tune - sped and jazzed up a little - is that for "Don't sit under the Apple Tree" popularised by Glenn Miller in 1942.

But how does Glenn Miller and  popular early nineteenth century song-writer relate to the Liverpool & Manchester?

MUSIC. Of course!

From documentary evidence we know that there was a trumpeter or 'bugleman' who sent off every train from Liverpool Road Station, Manchester with the strains of "I'd be a butterfly", written by Bayly in 1828 and  one of the most popular songs of its day.

Writing in 1836 Edward Herapath, however, described the sending out of trains as akin to 'a few cracked notes from an old broken down cavalry trumpet". Not very flattering.

But here's what the song sounded like. Enjoy.

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