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Sweet Violets

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Sweet Violets

Post by Karen on Sun 28 Feb 2010 - 12:03

[img][/img]

Source: Enoch Pratt Free Library


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Mrs. Winks' Sweet Violets

Post by Karen on Sat 5 Mar 2011 - 2:06

VARIETIES, ORIGINAL AND SELECT.

MR. WINKS: "Goodness me! there is a young couple looking at that vacant house next door, and they've got a baby; looks awful cross, too."
MRS. WINKS: "Horror! What shall we do? Can't we scare them off some way? Go tell them the roof leaks and the walls are damp, and - tell them the last tenant died of smallpox."
MR. WINKS: "I'd like to, dear, but it wouldn't do. The landlord would sue for damages."
MRS. WINKS: "Oh, mercy! But something must be done, Mr. Winks, before they decide to take it. Oh! do think of something.
MR. WINKS: "I have it. Run down to the piano and sing "Sweet Violets!"

Source: News of the World, March 14, 1886, Page 6

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C.Y. Lyne Sings Sweet Violets

Post by Karen on Sat 5 Mar 2011 - 2:24

MUSICAL AND DRAMATIC ITEMS.

ST. GEORGE'S HALL. - Some of the members of the London Bicycle Club gave a negro minstrel entertainment here on Tuesday evening before a large and fashionable audience. The programme, which in the titles of its divisions was amusingly reminiscent of the favourite pursuit of the performers, was of the orthodox pattern, and manifested a considerable amount of vocal ability and comic force among the amateurs on the stage. Mr. W.R. Jenkins sang with a quick sense of fun the ditties "Good-bye Susan Jane" and "Sweet Ham Bone," besides taking part in a mesmeric sketch, in which he was an awkward "subject," and in the "Review of General Jumbo's Army," he being the officer in command, and giving a stump oration. Mr. E.C. Saunders gave a grotesque song and dance, and was exceedingly humorous as the mesmeric professor. To please the ladies present Mr. Canary, whose astonishing feats have not only astonished the "wheel world" but all metropolitan sight seers, went through some of his remarkable and indescribable achievements, creating as much admiration by his skill in balancing himself on portions of his machine as he has invariably evoked elsewhere. The sweet voice of Mr. Friar Austen told extremely well in "Grandma" and another ballad, and Mr. C.Y. Lyne was deservedly complimented after his singing of "Sweet Violets." Other songs and sketches were warmly applauded, and the whole performance passed off with the utmost spirit.

Source: News of the World, February 28, 1886, Page 7

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Miss Jenny Hill

Post by Karen on Sat 5 Mar 2011 - 8:17

[img][/img]

Miss Jenny Hill, the well-known music-hall artist, died on Sunday morning at her residence, 241, Brixton-road, after a long illness. For many years Miss Jenny Hill was a leading favourite on the variety stage. She sang songs about 'Arriet long before Mr. Albert Chevalier took the coster in hand. "Sweet Violets" is one ditty lastingly associated with her name. Her vivacity and animation won for her the sobriquet of "The Vital Spark," by which she was widely known. As "leading boy" she was much in request for provincial pantomimes, and she appeared in most of the chief towns of England. Miss Jenny Hill had not been seen at the London halls for four or five years past. Her daughter, Miss Peggy Pryde, is well-known on the music-hall stage, and has much of the peculiar verve of her mother. Jenny Hill's age was inscribed on the coffin as 46, although we had always understood she was much older. The funeral took place on Thursday at Nunhead cemetery, Miss Marie Loftus, Miss Vesta Tilley, and many other friends following.

Source: Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper, July 5, 1896, Page 9

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Pluck From Mother's Grave

Post by Karen on Sat 5 Mar 2011 - 8:57

LILLIE BRIDGE WORKING MEN'S TOTAL ABSTINENCE SOCIETY, held at Ware's Coffee Tavern, West Brompton, on Saturday, May 9th. Mr. P. Luddy conducted the open-air meeting at 7:30, and after speaking for upwards of half an hour, showing the benefits he had received by giving up the drink. He urged everyone present to sign the pledge and keep it. He knew what drinking was; having been a drinker for 20 years he could speak on both sides, and now the Government had put on the extra tax for beer and spirits, and as the liquor-makers and sellers had put out a circular, saying that the men who were teetotalers and non-smokers did not pay anything towards the revenue of the country, he was glad to say he was one of them, and he hoped to remain one as long as he lived. He then invited them inside to hear Mr. Shepherd. Mr. J. Johnson was voted to the chair, and after a brief speech he called on Mr. J. Shepherd, of Chelsea, to speak, which he did for upwards of an hour, showing that teetotalism was good for him as a tailor, and he said that if any working man wanted to get on, the best thing for him to do was to give up the public-house and drinking. The chairman then called on Mr. W. Thompson to sing a song, entitled "Sweet Violets Pluck from Mother's Grave," which was heartily applauded. Mr. M'Donald said he was all the better for being a teetotaler, and he was glad to say that no drink ever entered his home. Thus a very pleasant evening was spent. Mr. W. Garlick then moved a hearty vote of thanks to the speakers and Mr. Thompson, likewise the chairman, for their services. Mr. W. Johnson seconded it in a neat speech, and it was carried unanimously. Open-air meeting on Saturday, May 16th, at 7:30, weather permitting, and Mr. Dudley, of Battersea, is the speaker. These meetings are doing a great deal of good in the open-air; everybody welcome; help wanted.

Source: The Centaur, Saturday May 16, 1885, Page 5


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Procida Bucalossi

Post by Karen on Sat 5 Mar 2011 - 14:48

NEW MUSIC.

There would seem to be a pretty brisk demand for home music just at present, as, if there be any truth in the teachings of political economy, we may fairly judge of that demand by the supply. Messrs. Cramer and Co. are among the most prolific publishers this season. "The Regatta" is a very telling galop, written in F by Procida Bucalossi. It is very prettily got up, as regards printing, by the artistic employment of chromo-lithography, and is, in fact, a most attractive combination of tune and draughtsmanship. "Sweet Violets," by the same composer, has similar merits, differing in character only in its being a waltz. It opens with a cantabile introduction in G, which is very sweet and effective, and is of sufficient length to command attention of itself. The waltz consists of several strains, each distinctly melodious.

Source: Illustrated Times, March 22, 1862, Page 190

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Canary Dies

Post by Karen on Sat 5 Mar 2011 - 14:54

GLEANINGS.

A Brooklyn man played "Sweet Violets" over to a canary a dozen times a day for four months, in hopes that the bird would learn to sing it. At the expiration of the fourth month the canary died.

Source: The Nonconformist and Independent, August 28, 1884, Page 851

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Mr. Meades

Post by Karen on Sun 6 Mar 2011 - 2:48

Smoking Concert at the Jolly Gardeners.

The usual smoking concert took place at the Jolly Gardeners, under the direction of Mr. J. Connolly. There was a very good attendance. Messrs. Lester and Nicholls occupied the chair and vice-chair. Bro. Lester sung "Riding on a 'Bus." Bro. Nicholls recited "The Barber"; Bro. Hancock sung "A boy's best friend"; Bro. Ford, "Thy voice is ever dear to me"; Mr. Sheldrick, "The Chimney Corner;" Mr. Carney, "My Village Home"; Mr. Portch, "Balaclava"; Bro. Baker, "Oh, what a Mug"; Master Ellis, "The Whistler"; Mr. Meades, "Sweet Violets"; Mr. Austin, "Ehren, on the Rhine"; Mr. Robinson, "Won't you tell me why." Messrs. Pearse, Parish, Smithers, Costigan, and others also contributed to the harmony of the evening.

Source: The Putney and Wandsworth Borough News, Saturday November 27th, 1886, Page 5

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Sweet Violets 1833

Post by Karen on Sun 6 Mar 2011 - 2:54

This is the earliest mention of the song "Sweet Violets" that I have found, thus far:

[img][/img]

Source: The Age, Sunday March 24, 1833


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Only a Violet

Post by Karen on Sun 6 Mar 2011 - 3:45

For those who have not heard the song, "Only a Violet I Plucked From Mother's Grave" here is a sound recording:


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Sweet Violets and Bucalossi

Post by Karen on Sun 6 Mar 2011 - 13:07

Contemporary newspaper accounts reported that on the night of Mary Kelly's murder she was heard singing a popular song entitled, "Sweet Violets." Now, although both "Sweet Violets" and "A Violet I Plucked From Mother's Grave" were popular songs sung in music halls and other various concerts, "Sweet Violets" was a much older folk song. At the inquest of Mary Jane Kelly, one of her associates stated that she oftentimes sung Irish and other folk songs; whereas "A Violet I Plucked From Mother's Grave" was a funerary song.

"Sweet Violets" was composed by Procida Bucalossi (1832-1918), who also composed many operettas for Gilbert and Sullivan. And what's more, Procida's son, Ernest Bucalossi (1859-April 1933) went to work for the D'Oyly Carte Company in the early 1880's and succeeded his father as conductor at the Prince of Wales' Theatre in 1881. He was musical director at a variety of London theatres until 1928. Both Procida and Ernest are considered British-Italian light music composers and orchestral arrangers. Now, Mary Kelly, an "artiste of no mean degree;" who possibly sang on stage herself at one point, would certainly be aware of the composer's arrangements, such as "Sweet Violets;" which was much more popular in the music halls. Kelly was also reported to have a relative on the London stage as well.

Recently, I was informed by an individual that Sir Arthur Sullivan had an illegitimate child with a woman named Mary Kelly who became a prostitute. When you consider the aforementioned information, coupled with the numerous individuals from the London music halls, which I have posted on this forum on another thread (see below), you will see certain names such as Miss Mary Davies, Mr. Michael Maybrick, Lawrence Kelly and wife, Kate Collis, you begin to see an interwoven connection forming before your very eyes. There just might be something in that individual's statement.

For more information on the Bucalossi's see:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Procida_Bucalossi

Here is a photo of Ernest Bucalossi whose real name was Procida Ernest Luigi Bucalossi:

[img][/img]

Dr. Forbes Winslow had received a letter signed by "P.R. Lunigi"

Link to various music hall artistes of note:

http://victorianripper.niceboard.org/t1135-mary-davies-lawrence-kellie-and-mrs-kellie

Link to the lengthy report from The Echo, in which is reported that Mary Kelly was heard singing, "Sweet Violets." From The Echo of November 10, 1888.

http://victorianripper.niceboard.org/t1001-accounts-of-kelly-s-murder

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Sullivan-Bucalossi

Post by Karen on Sun 6 Mar 2011 - 21:57

THE RECEPTION.

On Monday evening the Concert Room in the Westminster Town Hall was again filled by the Ruling Councillors of Habitations and by the Delegates, who had already in the morning attended the Business Meeting. The Members of the Grand Council were almost all present and received the guests in front of the dais, where Lord Harris, the Chairman of the Grand Council, had taken up his position. The guests as they arrived were presented by the Chancellor. Over 4,000 passed before Lord Harris and were presented.
The String Band of the Beresford Hope Choir performed the following selection of music during the evening: -

[img][/img]

Lord Harris invited the members of the Grand Council and the Chancellor to meet the Grand Master, Lord Salisbury, at the Burlington Hotel, before the Reception at the Westminster Town Hall. The Marquis of Salisbury sat to the right, and the Duke of Norfolk to the left of the chair. The other guests were - Earl Amherst, the Earl of Yarborough, the Earl of Radnor, the Earl of Limerick, Lord Randolph Churchill, M.P., Viscount Bury, Viscount Valentia, Viscount Curzon, M.P., Baron Dimsdale, M.P., Sir H. Selwin-Ibbetson, M.P., Hon. G.N. Curzon, M.P., Mr. Dixon-Hartland, M.P., Sir W. Marriott, Q.C., M.P., Sir E. Birkbeck, M.P., Sir A. Borthwick, M.P., Sir F. Milner, Sir A. Rollit, M.P., the Hon. C.G. Hay, Sir G. Baden-Powell, M.P., Sir Massey Lopes, Sir W. Hardman, Mr. J.T. Agg-Gardner, M.P. Colonel Howard Vincent, M.P., Sir T. Robertson, M.P., Sir A. Slade, Mr. Mocatta, Lieutenant-Colonel Colville, Mr. Vaughan, Colonel Malleson, Captain James, Mr. T. Gibson Bowles, Mr. Ponsonby Moore, Mr. T. Lennox Irwin, Mr. J.H. Hiley, Lieutenant-Colonel Haig, Captain Philip Green, and Mr. Cusack Smith.

Source: The Primrose League Gazette, May 25, 1889, Page 14

You can also find a catalog which includes many of Bucalossi's musical scores at the Gilbert and Sullivan Online website:

http://www.gilbertandsullivanonline.com/index.htm

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How Sweet Violets Mended a Marriage

Post by Karen on Tue 8 Mar 2011 - 19:35

SWEET VIOLETS.

How Mr. Whiskers was Cured of His Silly Infatuation.

"Swe-e-et V-i-o-o-lets! Sweeter than all the R-o-o-o-ses!"
He did not sing it loud. He was afraid his wife would hear. But all the time that Mr. Billydoo Whiskers had been putting on his snowy shirt, tying his white necktie with the most degage accuracy, donning his low vest, assuming his silk-lined swallowtail and casting a languorous suspicion of Lilas de Perse on his handkerchief which, sweet thought, her own delicate fingers had embroidered for him - it was a falsehood in silk, for she had made her maid do it - all this time Mr. Whiskers had been humming, softly and tenderly, that wonderful song which has caused the death of more organ grinders, the decay of more minstrels, the souring of more milk, and the upsetting of more weak minds than any other mass meeting of augmented half notes in the whole literature of song. When he was finally done and had completely transformed himself from a broker in tweed to an Adonis in broadcloth, he cast at the Adonis in the mirror a deep, languishing, soulful glance, that would have turned the head of any female statue on a pivot, and, in fact, apprised the jealous Parian Diving Girl on the mantel, who was watching him narrowly, that Mr. Whiskers was deeply, very deeply in love.
With a smile on his face of self-admiration that he could not entirely repress he tripped down stairs to the sitting room, where a sweet, calm-faced little woman sat somewhat idly reading the evening paper. She looked up and, being his wife, took in the whole situation at a glance.
"Going out, dear?" said she pleasantly.
"Yes. Little spread at the club. I'll be home early. Ta-ta, dear," he said, airily.
She smiled pleasantly and he went out and away.
As soon as the hall door closed she looked straight ahead of her for some time. Then she leaned her chin on a plump, pretty little hand, her elbow resting on the table, and fell into deep thought. Her face was sad. She had much more strength and much more common sense than the average woman. But they had been married ten years and her husband had gotten used to her. She knew quite well that at heart he loved her. She understood how the Violet in the case, Mrs. Violet - a society widow, had aroused in him an infatuation which had caused him to make a fool of himself in pronounced attentions of the silliest character. She knew perfectly well that this Violet was as cold as she was beautiful, and that her narrow conception of life made the handling of men through their weakness a worthy ambition. But under her calmness the little wife was both deeply hurt and judiciously angry. Her husband was being talked about to his discredit. That wounded her more than his neglect of herself. She thought a long time and then rang the bell.
James O'Meara, the butler, had a quickness of perception that his Irish eyes made it impossible to conceal. He was an old and tried servant. He knew the situation perfectly and was much disturbed at it, for he had a genuine and warm admiration for his mistress. She knew that he knew, and she consequently had determined to utilize him. She did not discuss the situation but she gave certain orders. It took a long time. Despite his dignity James O'Meara very often smiled. At one time he burst out laughing, but immediately begged her pardon. She did not smile. Neither did she frown. She was very quiet and business-like during the whole talk. Then she went quietly to bed.
The next day Mr. O'Meara was very busy. He was gone from the house for hours. He could have been seen in quarters of the city where a fashionable butler never was seen before, talking to people for whom it would seem a fashionable butler has no sort of use. The next day something happened down town which was a little unusual.
Mr. Whiskers' office was in New street, not very far from that yell foundry where men bellow at each other for a long time and then quietly sell to one another some stock. It was a nice office on the first floor, the private office having a window opening about ten feet above the street. Shortly after the adjournment of the morning board, just as Mr. Whiskers was deeply engaged in discussing a heavy transaction with a client, the soft tweedle-deedle of a hand organ floated in from the street outside. It was a familiar tune. It was "Sweet Violets." Mr. Whiskers smiled, caressed his mustache with repressed complacency, and then plunged deeply into business again, for the matter was important.
"Huh! Huh!" A tink-tink sounded at the window. He and his friend turned. A small monkey with the countenance of Methusaleh and a dirty red jacket stood on the window-sill. It took off a cap with a ragged feather in it and bowed profoundly. Around its neck was a little wreath of pretty blue violets.
"Cunning little beast," said Mr. Whiskers, kindly. He put a half dollar in the cup and the monkey went away. The organ played "Sweet Violets" once more, and then all three of them went down the street and played no more within hearing.
Twenty-four hours had elapsed with the usual industry of hours when Mr. Whiskers was in exactly the same place with another important client. As they talked, a peculiar sound as of a very large hand organ was heard. Singularly enough the music was "Sweet Violets." Mr. Whiskers, deep in business, paid no attention until a clatter on the sill made him turn to discover two monkeys, with two tin cups and two dirty red jackets and two wreaths of fresh blue violets around their necks.
He stared at them in astonishment.
"Get out, you -" he said, impulsively, reaching for something to throw.
His visitors dived below the sill, peeled their faces, showed all their teeth, and said: "Huh, huh," still glaring at him. Every time he made a motion they dodged like song and dance men, in unison, and then peeked over the sill like a Conspirators' Chorus of two. His friend laughed. Mr. Whiskers dropped a half dollar in each cup to get rid of them, and the collectors politely departed. Not to be outdone in generosity, the two organ grinders, keeping exact time, played "Sweet Violets" once more, and played it with a delicacy and an expression such as never has been heard before or since that day.
Mr. Whiskers wondered a little that night. The suspicion which had begun to lurk in his mind did not get large enough to vote, however, until after the session next day. He was no sooner closeted in his office than such an infernal jangling as could not be listened to without neuralgia began in the street. It came from four hurdy-gurdies, all on the stone blocks in front of the office. The hurdy-gurdy sounds like the skeleton of a poor, old superannuated piano which some brute has aroused and is tickling to death. The four men turning four cranks were jiggling out of the four instruments a tune which Mr. Whiskers recognized at once and other people somewhat later. It was "Sweet Violets." He had closed his window cautiously, but on the sill, peering pitifully in, were four octogenarian monkeys, all holding pitiful little tin cups, and all wearing collars of sweet, beautiful violets.
Mr. Whiskers blazed. He flew out of his office and found the policeman after a long, hot hunt and notified him that if organ grinders were not kept off his block he, the policeman, would be kept off the force. Then he walked back with a face very red and very conscious. His fellow brokers were "onto it." If there is anything of interest to himself or his brother that a broker will not get "onto" it must be concealed under a brick block. That day and night Mr. Whiskers was certainly the maddest man in town. He knew of course that some malicious rival was at the bottom of it, and if he had found him there would have been murder in all the degrees known to the law.
Strange to say, the talk with the policeman did not the slightest good. There was corruption of the largest kind at work. During the next two days the very bricks in the cornices on New street were singing "Sweet Violets." Hand organs, hurdy-gurdys, orguinettes, German bands - every thing in a great city that could make a noise was making it to the familiar air in New street. Mr. Whiskers sat frothing at the mouth in his office, wondering how much it would cost him to shoot dead a blind tenor who was roaring it under his window under the mistaken impression that he was intoxicating somebody's soul. That night Mr. Whiskers got almost drunk. He was helpless. He could not fight back. It suddenly began to dawn on him that he had been making a fool of himself, not only in the eyes of his Violet but the world in general. "If Mary should hear of it! Good heavens!" thought Mr. Whiskers.
Mr. Whiskers went to his office after the board next day with some trepidation. The street, however, was as usual. There were clerks and idlers and brokers and loafers in only the usual quantity. He sat down and dived deep into business with some gentlemen. For fifteen minutes the consultation continued. Then Mr. Whiskers heard a sound that made his heart stand still.
It was the most unearthly racket that ever turned to turmoil a city street. It was a whole procession. The street was jammed and the street was roaring with laughter. The whole earth seeming to be tweedling and tooting and banging and squealing "Sweet Violets." Like a holiday turnout the procession was:

1. Eight organ grinders abreast. Air, "Sweet Violets."
2. Four hurdy-gurdys, large. Air, "Sweet Violets."
3. Italian tenors, three. Air, "Sweet Violets."
4. Three little German bands. Ten-foot spaces. Air, "Sweet Violets."
Members of civic societies, not in uniform; brokers, clerks, loafers, bankers, etc. Air, "Sweet Violets."

The matinee concert, which took all the paint from the front of his building, turned Mr. Whiskers to pallid, ashen agony. They went away unheeded. He sat for hours alone in his office weary and sore from the futile efforts to kick himself which had nearly broken both his legs.
One thing was fortunate. Mary heard not a word of it all. He hurried her away to Old Point Comfort before it could possibly reach her, and they fell in love over again down there. At present they are one of the cosiest young couples in town. She has been sorely tempted at times to maliciously hum - just hum - a certain song in his hearing, but she is too kind-hearted to do it, and besides she is mortally sure she would laugh. She is quite certain, however, that her husband will never sing it again as long as he lives." - N.Y. Times.

Source: The Abilene Reflector, November 10, 1887, Page 3

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Mr. Hoblitzell's Sweet Violet

Post by Karen on Tue 8 Mar 2011 - 19:55

Cox Sang "Sweet Violets."
How a Congressman's Bouquet Came to be Carried to a Cloak Room.

Washington Dispatch to Chicago News.

When the house was called to order it was noticed that Representative Hoblitzell's desk was ornamented with a magnificent floral harp. It was composed of roses, violets and ferns, and was the only desk on the floor that was laden with hothouse products. For a short time Mr. Hoblitzell was very proud of his possession. It was beautiful, smelled deliciously and attracted attention; but his contentment was short-lived. Members began to come closer. They looked for the card that generally accompanies floral offerings. That card was tucked away and almost hidden among roses and violets. It was brought to light by Mr. Cox of New York. It bore the simple words "From Violet." This was enough for Cox, who is known as the enfant terrible of the house. He soon had a crowd around Hoblitzell. Cox wanted to know who "Violet" was. Mr. Hoblitzell denied all acquaintance with "Violet" and said he believed the harp was for Mr. Cox. "If," said he "there had been a champagne bottle by it, he would have been certain that it was meant for Cox." But he could not get off. His fellow-members plied him with questions and insinuations he could not answer. At each question and at each innuendo everybody laughed. Mr. Hoblitzell got warm. He then got warmer. Mr. Cox of New York begun to him, softly, "Sweet violets, sweeter than all the roses," and Representatives Bland, Hiscock, Townshend, Broadhead and Murphy joined in the chorus. Hoblitzell could stand it no longer. He sent for a page and the harp was taken to a cloak room.

Source: St. Paul Daily Globe, Thursday Morning, February 5, 1885, Page 3

Note: Anecdotes like this and the one directly above, is significant proof of just how popular the tune "Sweet Violets" really was.

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