Samuel Hale Parker and “King Andrew”


Samuel Hale Parker (1781–1864) was a publisher, bookseller, and amateur musician in 19th-century Boston, Massachusetts, who published musical scores as well as novels, sermons, and other titles, operated the Boston Circulating Library, and was among the founders of the Handel and Haydn Society.  Parker was born on May 18, 1781, in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, to Matthew Stanley Gibson Parker and Ann Rust. He worked as a bookbinder in Boston from 1802 to 1811. In 1811 Parker bought the Boston Book Store from William Blagrove. The store sold books, as one might expect, including several hundred books of vocal and instrumental music, and some sheet music for the piano, pianos and other musical wares, mending glues, concert and theater tickets, new sheet music, and works of fiction.

From around 1809 to 1816 Parker and booksellers Edmund Munroe and David Francis ran a joint publishing firm, Munroe, Francis and Parker. Parker also published titles under his own imprint, utilizing Munroe and Francis as printers.  In 1815 Parker and others founded Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society.  In addition to publishing, he ran a library with both circulating and non-circulating collections.  As of 1815, Parker’s reading-room was open from 9 in the morning till 9 at night, and contained all the Boston papers, some of the principal Southern papers and magazines, English reviews, a large collection of music, and some beautiful drawing.

By 1818 Parker’s circulating collection, known as the Boston Union Circulating Library or the Boston Circuldating Library held some 7,000 volumes, the largest of its kind in town. As proprietor of the bookshop and library, Parker benefitted from the efforts of his forebears who had built the enterprise over decades—William Martin, Benjamin Guild, William P. Blake, William Pelham, William Blagrove.  Through the years Parker conducted his business activities from several successive addresses in Boston.  A fire in 1833 caused his move to new premises on School Street.

In 1834, Parker, then at 141 Washington St., published a song ‘King Andrew Glee-Tune Dame Durden,’ in sheet music with original authorship notes reading “n.a.” (i.e., not  available).  The form of composition is ‘strophic with chorus,’ the instrumentation is ‘3-part a cappella voice,’ and the first line reads ‘King Andrew had five trusty Squires, Whome he held his bid to do.’  It is a vigorous anti-Andrew Jackson song. The Whigs called Jackson “King Andrew,” and printed cartoons of him with crown and scepter and royal robes, because he assumed so many powers. The first verse runs:

King Andrew had five trusty squires, whom he held his bid to do,

He also had three pilot fish, to give the sharks their cue.

There was Lou, and Ben, and Lev, and Bill,

And Roger of Tawney hue,

And Blair, the Book, and Kendall, chief cook,

And Isaac surnamed the True.

And Blair pushed Lewis, and Ben touch’d Billy,

And Ike jogged Levi, and Cass touched Amos,

And Roger of Tawney hue,

Now was not this a medley crew

As ever a mortal knew?

The historical references will be obvious. “Lou” is probably Lewis Cass, who held many cabinet posts, including Secretary of War under Jackson from 1831, and eventually became a Democratic presidential nominee (he lost to Zachary Taylor of Santa Anna fame). “Ben” is Benjamin F. Butler, Jackson’s Attorney General after 1833. “Lev(i)” is Levi Woodbury, secretary of the Navy from 1833. “Bill” is postmaster William Taylor Berry. “Roger of Tawney Hue” was Roger B. Taney, he who would later manage the Dred Scott Decision; he was Jackson’s Attorney General from 1831, then took over the Treasury in 1833 (helping Jackson suppress the Bank of the United States), then Chief Justice. “Blair” was newspaper publisher Francis P. Blair, head of a political dynasty that was still influential as late as the Civil War. “Kendall” was Amos Kendall, a journalist who supported the administration. “Isaac” was Senator Isaac Hill, a close Jackson ally.

However, “King Andrew” is not an original song.   The sheet music itself states that the tune is “Dame Durden,” a name for a housewife.  This is a terrifically old traditional English folk melody, with slightly racy words, which Parker apparently adapted to fit the anonymous “King Andrew” text.  Oliver Ditson and Parker established the publishing firm of Parker and Ditson in 1836. The partnership ended in 1842, when Ditson bought Parker’s interest in the firm. Parker belonged to the Trinity Church congregation, where his relative Samuel Parker ministered and also sang in the Trinity Church choir. His son James Cutler Dunn Parker (1828-1916) was a teacher and superintendent of examinations at the New England Conservatory of Music.  S. H.   Parker died on Dec, 25, 1864, at Cambridge, MA.

The following work by Samuel Hale Parker is contained in my collection:

King Andrew (1834).

Marchido School, Ludington, MI



Marchido School

White Pine Village

1687 S. Lakeshore Dr.

Ludington, MI 49431

Historic White Pine Village is a self-guided outdoor museum located three miles south of Ludington, in Pere Marquette Charter Township, Mason County, Michigan, containing nineteenth-century buildings and related historical items. The thirty buildings in the village contain artifacts relating to pioneer lumbering, music, farming, shipping, sports, and businesses. Occasionally performances are done with period-costumed staff employees on blacksmithing, spinning, leatherworking, candlemaking, wood carving, and basket making to show how the early settlers of Michigan in the 1800s lived. The museum’s centerpiece is an 1849 farmhouse. The Admission Building has a research library that has history material covering Western Michigan with emphasis on Mason County. The library contains old photographs, archival original newspapers, obituaries and a genealogy department. The library maintains an on-line research database that can be used to help locate the library material. The general public can use the library for a fee.

The Mason County Historical Society that owns the village was formed in 1937.  The Historical Society acquired the property land in 1967.  The original Pioneer Village outdoor museum of twelve buildings on twenty-three acres opened in 1976 on the weekend of the Fourth of July to thousands of local residents. The first buildings to be reconstructed were the first Mason County Courthouse, Marchido School, Pere Marquette Townhall, Trapper’s Cabin (Mason County’s first post office), General Store, Fire Barn, Abe Nelson Blacksmith Shop, Abe Nelson Lumbering Museum, The Livery exhibit building, the future Maritime Museum, the Village Chapel, and a barn.  The Mason County, rural, one-room Marchido School was built in the 1890s. It was relocated to White Pine Village in 1973. The exhibit was prepared by the Retired Teachers of Mason County with the help of volunteers and represents a typical Michigan school of the late 1800s, where it was common for children to walk two miles to attend school. School children groups often experience the school for the day and do activities that their nineteenth-century contemporaries would have done. The school is completely restored to its original condition.

Samuel Woodworth and “The Hunters of Kentucky”


Samuel Woodworth (January 13, 1784 – December 9, 1842) was an American author, literary journalist, playwright, librettist, song writer, and poet.  Woodworth was born on January 13, 1784, in Scituate, Massachusetts, to Revolutionary War veteran Benjamin Woodworth and his wife Abigail Bryant. He was apprenticed to Benjamin Russell, editor of the Columbian Sentinel. He then moved to New Haven, Connecticut, where he briefly published the Belles-Lettres Repository, a weekly. He next moved to New York City, but recalled New Haven in his A Poem: New Haven.  Woodworth married Lydia Reeder in New York City on September 23, 1810. They had ten children between 1811 and 1829. Woodworth remained in New York for the rest of his life.

Around 1815, Woodworth wrote a song, “The Hunters of Kentucky,” also called “The Battle of New Orleans” and “Half Horse and Half Alligator,” to commemorate Andrew Jackson’s victory over the British at the Battle of New Orleans.  The song was originally published ca. 1821 in Boston and celebrated the courage of the Kentuckians who fought in the Battle of New Orleans. One-fourth of Jackson’s men at the Battle of New Orleans were from Kentucky.   It was sung the way Irish singers told stories in narrative form, and performed to the tune of “Ally Croker and The Unfortunate Miss Bailey” or “Miss Bailey’s Ghost” which Woodworth adapted to his poem.

“Hunters of Kentucky” was first sung in New Orleans in 1822 by Noah M. Ludlow. When Ludlow first performed the song, the audience was filled with boatmen who had floated down the Mississippi River from Kentucky; they refused to let him leave the stage until he sang it two more times.  The “half horse and half alligator” description was a common expression for boatmen like Mike Fink and other backwoodsmen of the period. In both 1824 and 1828 Jackson used the song as his campaign song during his presidential campaigns.  Throughout the terms of Andrew Jackson, “Hunters of Kentucky” proved to be a popular song. This is ironic as Jackson’s “fieriest rival”, Henry Clay, was the one from Kentucky; Jackson was actually from Tennessee, near Nashville.

“Hunters of Kentucky” propagated various beliefs about the war. One of them was calling the Pennsylvania Rifle the Kentucky Rifle. Another was crediting the riflemen with the victory of the Battle of New Orleans, when it could be said it was Jackson’s artillery that was actually responsible for the win. Finally, one stanza said that the British planned to ransack New Orleans, which was unlikely to happen.  Due to a copy of the song being depicted on the front cover of Davy Crockett’s Almanack of Wild Sports in the West, it is thought that “Hunters of Kentucky” might have been sung during the Texas War of Independence (1836), but this is speculation as no other evidence supports the song being sung during that conflict. However, Americans who entered Canada in 1837 and 1838 did sing the song.

Woodworth is best known for the poem “The Old Oaken Bucket.”  He died in New York City, NY, on December 9, 1842, at the age of 56.  Woodworth’s son, Selim E. Woodworth, was a U.S. Navy officer who took part in the rescue of the snowbound Donner Party in California. The USS Woodworth (DD-460) was named for him.

My collection includes the following work by Samuel Woodworth:

The Hunters of Kentucky (1815).

Perfect School, Sunbury, OH



Perfect School

North Old 3 C Road

Sunbury, OH 43074

According to the historical marker on site, “William (1746-1813) and Elizabeth Day (1761-1837) Perfect and their family traveled by carts and wagon from Virginia and Kentucky and arrived in Trenton Township, Delaware County, Ohio in the spring of 1807. William Perfect was one of the first two pioneers in Trenton Township. He purchased military land and built a log cabin on Perfect Creek which was named in honor of the family. In 1893, the Perfect School was built on land previously owned by George W. Perfect, a grandson of William and Elizabeth. The school was in use from 1893-1926.” One of the first schools in the area, this former one room school house is undergoing renovations and being rebuilt to be opened as a museum of sorts.

Xiaogang Ye and his Pipa Concerto

Xiaogang Ye

Xiaogang Ye (born September 23, 1955) is one of China’s most active and most famous composers of contemporary classical music.  Ye was born in Shanghai, China, on September 23, 1955.  He studied at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing from 1978 to 1983, under the composer Du Mingxin. Then he studied at the Eastman School of Music beginning in 1987.  His teachers include Alexander Goehr.  Ye teaches at the Central Conservatory of Music, where he serves as Assistant President and vice dean of the composition department. The Great Wall Symphony (2002) consists of nine movements, with vocal parts and traditional Chinese musical instruments and folk tunes are used in it. Ye composed the soundtrack to the documentary The Rise of the Great Powers.

In the summer of 2006, Ye took part in the inaugural “Composer Alive!” transpacific correspondence project with Accessible Contemporary Music in Chicago, Illinois. This project consisted of Ye composing a piece, Datura, and sending its fragments as they were completed to Chicago, electronically. They were subsequently read by ACM’s performance ensemble and posted to the Internet for Ye’s approval. The project culminated with Ye traveling to the United States for the completed work’s premiere performance.  Ye’s Starry Sky was premiered at the opening ceremony of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.   Some of his other works include Therenody, Tripdus, Ballade, Shenzhen Story, Macau Bride, Dalai VI, Pipa Concerto, and Nine Horses.

The following works by Xiaogang Ye are contained in my collection:

The Last Paradise for Violin and Orchestra.

Pipa Concerto

Symphony No. 2, “Horizons,” for Soprano, Baritone, and Orchestra.

Winter for Orchestra.

The Dangerous Article for Boys

The Dangerous Article for Boys

By Martin Cothran (posted on Feb. 25, 2012)

[Editor’s note:  Remember the bestselling Dangerous Book for Boys a few years ago? Well, Martin Cothran, editor of Memoria Press’s Classical Teacher magazine, responds to a recent article in The New York Times Sunday Book Review on the issue of why boys aren’t reading in his new article, “The Dangerous Article for Boys: Why boys don’t need to get in touch with their feelings and how you can protect them from people who think they do (with a list of books to help you fend these people off).”  WSW.]

It is now well-recognized that boys are not reading. What is the problem? Most commentators want to say that boys have an aversion to books. But the problem is quite the opposite: books—modern books, that is—have an aversion to boys.

A recent edition of The New York Times Sunday Book Review featured a Robert Lipsyte article that attempts to address this problem. Here is the proffered solution:

“[B]oys need to be approached individually with books about their fears, choices, possibilities and relationships — the kind of reading that will prick their dormant empathy, involve them with fictional characters and lead them into deeper engagement with their own lives. This is what turns boys into readers.”

Excuse me while I dab my eyes delicately with my handkerchief, touched as I am by this tender thought.

Okay, let’s get something straight here: solutions like this are part of the problem. I’m normally against shooting spit wads in class, but I am willing to make an exception in this one case. The entire educational establishment has tried for over 50 years to force boys into their effeminate mold, and in the process, they’ve succeeded in evacuating literature of all the things boys like in books: action, adventure, danger, bloodletting—and an iron moral code that is taught, not by smarmy sermonizing, but by immersing them in the moral universe of a story about a hero who not only believes in this code, but enforces it with a vengeance.

Read more:

Ada Little Red Schoolhouse, Ada, MI


AdaMISchoolhouse Pic_1501185508850_10139947_ver1.0

Ada Little Red Schoolhouse

River Street

Ada, MI

The Little Red Schoolhouse was the original Carl School, located on the northwest corner of two roads, now known as Carl and Grand River drives in the Grand Rapids suburb of Ada, MI.  The 159-year-old building stood in that location from 1859 to 1964, until it was relocated to Ada village and used as a florist shop.  Cheri DeVos, daughter of Amway founder Richard DeVos Sr., purchased the village’s historic Little Red Schoolhouse and has big plans for its future.  DeVos relocated the historic structure 300 yards away in the summer of 2017 to a temporary home during reconstruction of the village, fixed up the schoolhouse, and then returned it with full upgrades to its new location on River Street in Ada, restored to its former glory as a candy and ice cream store as part of the riverfront park area along the Thornapple River.  It took six hours to move the building back to its spot on River Street, which has been strengthened with a new basement and foundation.  DeVos’ hope is to make the 900-square-foot original red-painted wood building into a family experience that will also connect to the newly developing riverfront park area. In 1986, there was a petition to shut down the ringing of the schoolhouse bell. Ringing of the bell will return on special occasions, which DeVos hopes residents and local business owners will help determine.