Monday, January 19, 2009

Singing School Songbook: "Twenty Years Ago"

I got an old Singing School songbook from a friend for Christmas this year. It is named _The Star of Bethlehem_ and was edited by J.H. Hall and J.H. Ruebush. It was published in 1889. I'll upload a couple of pictures later.

There are several sections, called "Departments", to the book, and it contains secular as well as sacred songs. I am going to post lyrics from a song once a week for awhile. Here is the first, from "The Singing School Department":

Twenty Years Ago

1. How wondrous are the changes
Since twenty years ago!
When girls wore woollen dresses;
And boys wore pants of tow;
When shoes were made of cowhide,
And socks from homespun wool,
And children did a half-day's work
Before they went to school.

Chorus: Just twenty years ago,
Just twenty years ago,
The men and the boys
And the girls and the toys,
The work and the play
And the night and the day,
The world and its ways
Are all turned around,
Since twenty years ago.

2. The girls took music lessons
Upon the spinning wheel,
And practiced late and early,
On spindle, swift and reel;
The boys would ride the horse to mill
A dozen miles or so
And hurry off before 'twas day,
Some twenty years ago.

3. The people rode to meeting
In sleds instead of sleighs;
And wagons rode as easy,
As buggies nowadays;
And oxen answered well for teams
Though now they'd be too slow,
For people lived not half so fast,
Some twenty years ago.

4. Oh! well do I remember
That Wilson's patent stove,
That father bought and paid for
In cloth our girls had wove;
And how the neighbors wondered
when we got 'the thing' to go
And said 'twould burst and kill us all
Some twenty years ago.

5. Yes, everything is altered,
I cannot tell the cause,
For men are always tamp'ring
With nature's wondrous laws;
And what on earth we're coming to--
Does anybody know?
For everything has changed so much
Since twenty years ago.

1 comment:

G.L.H. said...

Wonderful! Thanks for sharing!

We could rewrite the thing, you know: No internet, twenty years ago. No cellphones, twenty years ago. Our children actually had to be at the place appointed, instead of "call me when you get here, Mom, and I'll come out to the car...", twenty years ago.