[Dixielandjazz] More about "Lily of the Valley" than you ever wanted to read
box2 at twotonbaker.com
Tue Oct 31 14:30:46 PST 2006
Ah, "Lily of the Valley." As a few of you may know, for many years I've
researched titles and composer credits for the Stomp Off record
label. This tune popped up in recordings by Acker Bilk/Ken Colyer and by
the Grand Dominion Jazz Band. I can't speak to the J. Dorsey recording,
but the trad jazz bands presumably are playing the Barbarin tune. For what
it's worth -- and as a glimpse at the kind of sluething one can get into in
doing research like this, I'll reproduce below the series of notes I made
several years ago when working on this one. I'll try to insert some
explanations of who's saying what, but I apologize that it will have to be
a bit cryptic; the "speaker" if not otherwise noted is myself:
Baker note to Erdos: <4-- Our 3rd edition [of the Stomp Off catalog] notes
Lissauer says music by Anatole Friedland, words by L. Wolfe
Gilbert, 1917. Ewen agrees, but spells it "Anatol."
Steve Abrams: In our hymnal it's credited to L. Wolfe Gilbert &
Erdos: But we've determined that this is different tune from the
Then, right after we'd sent 3rd ed. to printer, Steve Abrams sent note saying,
"I found on Superior-2700 by Frank Welling & John McGhee `Old Time
Lilly of the Valley (E. Hanks)
(Old Time Hymn)
I don't know the year or composer E. Hanks' first name."
He followed up with photocopy of a page from Record Research (August 1961),
which seem to be a complete listing for the Superior record company
compiled by George Kay. It shows Superior 2700 to have on side B "The
Lilly of the Valley," E. Hanks. Shows dates 8/31/31-6/30/32--dates it was
in print? Side A was
Hide Me (Sacred Vocal)."
Can one of our more sacred collectors find sheet music with composer and
verify that it's the same song that's on these CDs? --4>
8/22: Jim Riley sends sheet music to the L. Wolfe Gilbert-Anatol Friedland
song, confirms that it's not our hymn.
8/28, Matthew Caulfield of Library of Congress: Only LC card is for the
9/12: Mike Montgomery found a Lily of the Valley in a Homer Rodeheaver
hymnal. No composer, but called English melody. It's not our Lily of the
Valley, which has, among other things, the melodies we know as "How Dry I
Am" and "What a Friend We Have in Jesus."
July 2000 got several different Lilies from the Levy online collection,
compared them all to our hymn. Alas, none is what we want: J. E. Müller
(1830? 1880?); C. Kinkel (march); S. Smith (Mazourka); H. Maylath
(nocturne); Carl S. Gungl (schottisch); Wm Frye.
Don Rouse found a The Lily of the Valley midi file at the Cyberhymnal web
site (http://tch.simplenet.com/htm/l/lilyvall.htm) that he thinks is our
song, but I dont think so. This one says words Charles William Fry, 1881,
music William Shakespeare Hays, adapted by Fry.
Laundry Fat reports (8/00):
This is in almost all of our old hymnals, but with a different
tune than most jazz bands use. Words are by C. W. Fry, music is arranged
by Ira D.
Sankey in our Gospel Hymns No. 5, pub. 1887.
("Happy Day": The "How Dry I Am" tune, as inserted in "Lily of
the Valley," is words P. Doddridge, music E. F. Rimbault in Songs of
Perfect Love (Christian Witness Co. Publishing, 1922). We think this was
an "insert"; they often did this with short hymns. "Must Jesus Bear the
Cross Alone?" is stuck into many other recordings, in the middle of other
hymns. We think they did this with "O Happy Day" and that it was not an
integral part of "Lily of the Valley.")
Well, I found the Charles W. Fry/William Shakespeare Hays "The Lily of the
Valley" in Library of Congress Music Collection. Charles Davis listened to
the Bilk/Colyer and Grand Dominion recordings, then played the music for
me, and we figured out that the jazz Lily is definitely based on the
Fry/Hays Lily, but its decidedly jazzed up and the "How Dry I Am" tune is
interpolated into it. It would be misleading to simply attribute our tune
to Fry/Hays without a long explanation, so well leave it as
The Lily that jazz bands play is definitely based on the Fry/Hays Lily, but
within the jazz realm, it appears to qualify as by "traditional."
Dick Baker - Now in Chattanooga!
box2 at twotonbaker.com
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