Titles of Songs (Song of Songs, Song of All Songs, Song of Song Titles)

DESCRIPTION: Lyrics composed of titles or pieces of other songs, e.g. "Mickey O'Flannigan he had a Bull Pup, Down Where the Pansies Grow, Don't You Leave Your Mother, Tom, For Mary Kelly's Beau."
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1863 (Foster's sheet music)
KEYWORDS: lyric nonballad parody
REFERENCES (8 citations):
Randolph 515, "Titles of Songs" (4 texts, 1 tune)
Randolph/Cohen, pp. 380-381, "Titles of Songs" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 515A)
BrownIII 234, "Working on the Railroad" (1 text plus two unrelated fragments, the "B" and "C" fragments probably belong with "Roll on the Ground (Big Ball's in Town)"; the "A" text is a jumble starting with "Working on the Railroad" but followed up by what is probably a "Song of All Songs" fragment)
Dean, p. 131, "Reminiscences" (1 text)
Spaeth-ReadWeep, pp. 45-46, "The Song of All Songs" (1 text)
Saunders/Root-Foster 2, pp. 339-342+450, "The Song of All Songs" (1 text, 1 tune)
WolfAmericanSongSheets, #2181, pp. 146-147, "The Song of All Songs" (7 references); probably also #2182, p. 147, "The Song of All Songs, No. 2" (10 references); #2183, p. 147, "Song of All Songs. No. 3" (2 references); #2188, p. 147, "Song of Many Songs" (3 references); #2189, p. 147, "Song of Many Songs" (2 references)
ADDITIONAL: Leslie Shepard, _The Broadside Ballad_, Legacy Books, 1962, 1978, p. 144, "The Chaunt Seller, Or, a New Batch of Ballads" (reproduction of a broadside page)

Roud #7598, 7599
cf. "Songs of Old Ireland" (theme)
cf. "Scotch Medley (II)" (theme of song titles)
cf. "O! They Marched Through the Town (The Captain with His Whiskers)" (tune of some texts, according to broadsides)
NOTES [145 words]: There are actually several pieces which go under this title (Randolph's A, B, and C form one group, his D another; Dean's a third, specifically of Irish songs; Stephen Foster with Tony Pastor produced the piece printed by Spaeth in 1863 and cited by WolfAmericanSongSheets, though Saunders and Root note that the lyrics are not by Pastor or Foster, and suggest John F. Poole as the writer). The Shepard broadside is particularly interesting, because it appears to be a Song of All Songs made into a street cry -- the seller is hawking the broadsides he sells!
All these songs have a common mechanism, however, and since it is often hard to tell one from another, I am lumping them here.
This has, of course, no relation to the Song of Songs (Song of Solomon, Canticles) in the Bible. For one thing, the Biblical book is erotic (arguably obscene), while this is clean. - RBW
Last updated in version 3.5
File: R515

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2018 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.