"After the Ball" lyrics
"A little maiden climbed an old man's knee,
Begged for a story, 'Do, uncle, please!
Why are you single; why live alone?
Have you no babies, have you no home?'
'I had a sweetheart, years, years ago;
Where she is now, pet, you will soon know.
List to the story, I'll tell it all,
I believed her faithless, After The Ball.'"
"After The Ball is over,
After the break of morn,
After the dancer's leaving;
After the stars are gone;
Many a heart is aching,
If you could read them all;
Many the hopes that have vanish'd
After The Ball."
"Bright lights were flashing in the grand ballroom.
Softly the music, playing sweet tunes,
There came my sweetheart, my love, my own,
'I wish some water; leave me alone.'
When I returned, dear, there stood a man,
Kissing my sweetheart, as lovers can.
Down fell the glass, pet, broken that's all,
Just as my heart was, After the Ball.'"
"Long years have passed, child. I've never wed,
True to my lost love, though she is dead.
She tried to tell me, tried to explain;
I would not listen, pleadings were vain.
One day a letter came from that man;
He was her brother, the letter ran.
That's why I'm lonely, not home at all;
I broke her heart After The Ball.'"
Music Publishing and Tin Pan Alley
A flood of sheet music swept over 19th-century America, as numerous music-publishing firms sprang up to supply pianists with dance tunes, songs, variations, and the latest European compositions. The arrival of ragtime, Tin Pan Alley, jazz, and musical theater sparked another burst of publishing in the 20th century.
Tin Pan Alley was New York's music-publishing district in the early 1900s. The nickname came from the din of tinny pianos that poured from every window. Its business was to sell sheet music to the millions of piano owners across the country, all hungry for the latest tunes. Its workers were the countless piano players who wrote songs to order and pounded them out for prospective customers.
The players came from a variety of different cultures--New Yorker and Midwesterner, African American, immigrant Eastern European, Jewish, Irish, Italian, and German. Often self-taught and untrained, these players scrambled to make a living in a dog-eat-dog business, pumping out song after song and creating the traditions of American popular music. From the 1890s, music publishers clustered near New York's theaters and vaudeville houses. As the entertainment district migrated from the Bowery to Times Square, Tin Pan Alley followed.