Popular Music of 1912

posted in: 1912, Music, Titanic | 0

We took a look at the Music on the Titanic, but what about the other music from 1912. There were songs that were written and published after the Titanic sank in April. So let’s take a look at some of the better known songs written, recorded and released in 1912.

On Moonlight Bay was first published in 1912. The lyrics are by Edward Madden and music by Percy Wenrich. A musical with Doris Day and Gordon MacRae was made using the same title.

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling was written as a tribute to Ireland. The song was written for a production of The Isle O’Dreams.

In the Garden is a gospel song by Austin Miles. Miles was reading John 20 and the song is told from the view point of Mary Magdalene when she comes upon the newly risen Jesus Christ.

It’s a Long Way to Tipperary is a British music hall song. The song was written by Jack Judge, but Henry James Williams is also credited with the writing of this song. Judge’s parents came from Tipperary, Ireland. Legend has it the song was written for a bet of five shillings and performed the following night, in January 1912. The song became very popular during World War I.

The Old Rugged Cross was written by evangelist and song-lead George Bennard. The hymn is still very popular today.

Be My Little Baby Bumble Bee was a very popular song. The lyrics were by Stanley Murphy and music by Henry I. Marshall. The song was featured in the Doris Day/Gordon MacRae film, By the Light of the Silvery Moon.

And the Green Grass Grew All Around is a popular children’s song today. The words are by William Jerome and music by Harry Von Tilzer. This is an example of a calmative song, where each verse is built upon the next one. This song has many variations.

Keep Away from the Fellow Who Owns An Automobile was written by Irving Berlin.


I Love You Truly was a parlor song written by Carrie Jacobs-Bond. This was the first song written by a woman to sell one million copies. The song is still a popular wedding song.

When I was Twenty-one & You Were Sweet Sixteen was written by Harry MacDonough.

New Rag by Scott Joplin.

My Melancholy Baby became a popular song when published in 1912. The music was written by Ernie Burnett and the lyrics by George A. Norton. The song was first publically sung by William Frawley {actor that played Fred Mertz on I Love Lucy}. A legend mentioned on Wikipedia is “Ernie Burnett, who composed the music, was wounded fighting in the First World War, and he lost his memory together with his identity dog-tags. While recuperating in hospital, a pianist entertained the patients with popular tunes including “Melancholy Baby”. Burnett rose from his sickbed and exclaimed “That’s my song!” He had regained his memory.” Frawley later sung the song on the Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour in 1958.

Ragtime Cowboy Joe is credited to Grant Clarke for the lyrics and Lewis F. Muir and Maurice Abrahams for the score. The song was inspired when Maurice Abrahams nephew arrived dressed as a cowboy {the nephew’s name was Joe}. Bob Roberts first performed the song in 1912, and the song became number one on the charts. The song was the theme song for Cowboy Joe’s Radio Ranch {1976-1988}.
Waiting for the Robert E. Lee was written by Lewis F. Muir {music} and Wolfe Gilbert {lyrics}. This ragtime song was made popular by Al Jolson.

The Rose of Tralee is an Irish Ballad. The song is about a woman named Mary, who is known as the Rose of Tralee because of her beauty. This nineteenth Century song was very popular in 1912. The song is credited to Mordaunt Spencer and Charles William Glover, but some believe the song was written by another man {who was Protestant} who was in love with his parents poor Catholic maid.

Ragtime Mockingbird was written by Irving Berlin.

Roamin’ in the Gloamin is a popular Scottish song written in 1911 by Sir Harry Lauder. The love song was made popular when Lauder recorded it in 1912.

Musical Theatre
Forty-Five Minutes From Broadway is a Broadway revival opened at the George M. Cohan Theatre on March 14 and ran for 36 performances.

Gypsy Love is a London production that opened at Daly’s Theatre on June 1 and ran for 299 performances.

Under Many Flags is a Broadway production opened at the Hippodrome on August 31 and ran for 445 performances

The Wall Street Girl was a Broadway production that opened at the George M. Cohan Theatre on April 15 and ran for 56 performances

The Ziegfeld Follies Of 1912, is a Broadway revue that opened at the Moulin Rouge Theatre on October 21 and ran for 88 performances

Classical Music
June 26 – Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 is premiered in Vienna by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Bruno Walter

Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire debuts in Vienna

Sir Edward Elgar was the big name in Britian.

Popular Singers in 1912:
Broadway’s Nora Bayes
French Revue Star Gaby Deslys