Watcher, The

DESCRIPTION: In the cold windy night a mother and her dying baby see a mansion where "a hundred lights are gleaming ... and merry feet are dancing." In the morning she and the baby are dead
AUTHOR: Sara Josepha Hale (1788-1879) (source: Thomson-Pioneer)
EARLIEST DATE: 1856 (Thompson-Pioneer)
KEYWORDS: death poverty dancing baby mother
FOUND IN: US(MA)
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Thompson-Pioneer 84, "The Watcher" (1 text)
WolfAmericanSongSheets, #2499, p. 169, "The Watcher" (1 reference)
ADDITIONAL: Wehman's [Universal Songster] Collection of 101 Songs No. 17 (New York, n.d., digitized by Internet Archive), p. 26, "The Watcher" (1 text) [see notes re source]

Roud #2848
BROADSIDES:
VonWalthour,CDDrive>w>w(186), "The Watcher" ("The night was dark and fearful"), J. Andrews (New York), 1853-1859
NOTES: Regarding Wehman's Collection Norm Cohen writes, "Songbook #6 was undated, but most likely 1884-5." Each page except the first is headed Wehman's Universal Songster. The first page is undated but states, "Published Quarterly --January, April, July and October." Norm Cohen's Finding List ... has WE29, Universal Songster as "monthly serial ... [beginning] 1881" (Norm Cohen, A Finding List of American Secular Songsters Published Between 1860 and 1899 (Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, 2002), p. 150).
Broadside VonWalthour CDDrive>w>w(186): J. Andrews dating per Studying Nineteenth-Century Popular Song by Paul Charosh in American Music, Winter 1997, Vol 15.4, Table 1, available at FindArticles site. - BS
Sara(h) Josepha Hale is also credited with the words for "Mary Had a Little Lamb." This is obviously more interesting. Whether it is better is left as an exercise for the reader. - RBW
Last updated in version 3.5
File: TPS084

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