This is a blog about music, photography, history, and culture.
These are photographs from my collection that tell a story about lost time and forgotten music.

Mike Brubaker
{ Click on the image to expand the photo }

The Old Band

04 March 2016



The Old Band
by James Whitcomb Riley {1849-1916}



It's mighty good to git back to the old town, shore,
Considerin' I've be'n away twenty year and more.
Sence I moved then to Kansas, of course I see a change,
A-comin' back, and notice things that's new to me and strange;
Especially at evening when yer new band-fellers meet,
In fancy uniforms and all, and play out on the street --
. . . What's come of old Bill Lindsey and the Saxhorn fellers -- say?
I want to hear the  old  band play.









What's come of Eastman, and Nat Snow? And where's War Barnett at?
And Nate and Bony Meek; Bill Hart; Tom Richa'son and that-
Air brother of him played the drum as twic't as big as Jim;
And old Hi Kerns, the carpenter -- say, what's become o' him?
I make no doubt yer new band now's a competenter band,
And plays their music more by note than what they play by hand,
And stylisher and grander tunes; but somehow -- anyway,
I want to hear the  old  band play.










Sich tunes as "John Brown's Body" and "Sweet Alice," don't you know;
And "The Camels is A-comin'," and "John Anderson, my Jo";
And a dozent others of 'em -- "Number Nine" and "Number 'Leven"
Was favo-rites that fairly made a feller dream o' Heaven.
And when the boys 'u'd saranade, I've laid so still in bed
I've even heerd the locus'-blossoms droppin' on the shed
When "Lilly Dale," er "Hazel Dell," had sobbed and died away --
. . . I want to hear the  old  band play.










Yer new band ma'by beats it, but the old band's what I said --
It allus 'peared to kind o' chord with somepin' in my head;
And, whilse I'm no musicianer, when my blame' eyes is jes'
Nigh drownded out, and Mem'ry squares her jaws and sort o' says
She won't ner never will fergit, I want to jes' turn in
And take and light right out o' here and git back West ag'in
And stay there, when I git there, where I never haf to say
I want to hear the  old  band play.




***









Don't you want to hear them play again too?










The names of these 15 musicians are lost,
and their time and place are unknown.
This postcard photograph of a brass band was likely
taken in the 1910 era
somewhere in the United States.
 
I think they could play any tune at the drop of a hat.








This is my contribution to Sepia Saturday
always a fountain of old photograph stories.


http://sepiasaturday.blogspot.com/2016/03/sepia-saturday-320-5-march-2016.html


10 comments:

Wendy said...

Love the voice of the narrator in this poem. It's a perfect pairing with your photo. All together, I wish I had a hat to drop.

Helen Killeen Bauch McHargue said...

And aren't they wearing a fine assortment of hats!! I can almost hear them......

Jo Featherston said...

Some wonderful words in that poem - love 'competenter', and John Brown's Body was always one of my favourite tunes.

Kristin said...

They do look as thought they could come alive and play us a tune.

La Nightingail said...

Always interesting & always fun. The pix are great, the poem devine!

Postcardy said...

James Whitcomb Riley always reminds me of my mother. I have an old book of poetry by him that my mother had as a child.

Titania Staeheli said...

Great "musicianer"; love the poetry, yes where are they? One of my favourite american poets is P.L. Dunbar.

Alex Daw said...

Such a great photo ! Oh and the poem too of course. Splendid post - as always.

Nancy said...

I love how you can dissect a photograph, add words, put the photo back together, and help us step back in time. Thanks!
--Nancy.

Little Nell said...

It’s good to focus on each band member and be reminded that they were musicians all. I take my hat off to them.

nolitbx

  © Blogger template Shush by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP