"Willie, Johnny, and the Vacant Chair: Depictions of the Common Soldier in the Parlor Music of Civil War America."

major bill

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Aug 25, 2012
I am going to a convention where one of the hour long presentations will be Willie, Johnny, and the Vacant Chair: Depictions of the Common Soldier in the Parlor Music of the Civil War America, being given by Emily Lapisardi. Does anyone know of Emily Lapisari? I am not sure what "parlor music" is. Her talk is right after a have hour break and I could skip the lecture and use the hour and a half to take my wife out to a late lunch.

So does 'This presentation will trace the evolution of the parlor song's depiction of the lives, deaths, and wartime experiences of common soldiers through a summary of the repertoire and analysis of the songs' rolls both on the home front and in the military camps' sound interesting?
 

John Hartwell

Major
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Central Massachusetts
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"The Vacant Chair" was written in memory of 18-year-old 2nd Lt John William ("Willie") Grout, Co. D, 15th Mass., killed in action at the battle of Ball's Bluff, Oct. 21, 1861.

The Vacant Chair
by H. S. Washburn
set to music by George F. Root​
We shall meet, but we shall miss him,
There will be one vacant chair:
We shall linger to caress him,
When we breathe our evening prayer.

When a year ago we gathered,
Joy was in his mild blue eye;
But a golden cord is severed,
And our hopes in ruin lie.

At our fireside, sad and lonely,
Often will the bosom swell
At remembrance of the story, —
How our noble Willie fell;



How he strove to bear our banner
Through the thickest of the fight,
And upheld our country's honor
With the strength of manhood's might.

True, they tell us, wreaths of glory
Evermore will deck his brow;
But this soothes the anguish, only,
Sweeping o'er our heart-strings now.

Sleep to-day, O early fallen!
In thy green and narrow bed:
Dirges from the pine and cypress
Mingle with the tears we shed.

We shall meet, but we shall miss him,
There will be one vacant chair
We shall linger to caress him,
When we breathe our evening prayer.
Since 1894, the Worcester, Mass. SUVCW has been the Willie Grout Camp No. 25.
 
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major bill

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Aug 25, 2012
I could skip the the lecture prior to the afternoon break and still have an hour and a half to have lunch with my wife. I do not think the hour lunch break would give us time to drive to a restaurant and back. Would it be acceptable to call and have a pizza delivery to her room instead of taking her out lunch?
 

Claude Bauer

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Jan 8, 2012
I am not sure what "parlor music" is.

Here's a good definition:

"...parlor music -- that genre of music created primarily for music-making in the home -- became very fashionable [in the 19th Century] as increased importance was placed on musical proficiency as a hallmark of good taste and moral reputability. Musical prowess, particularly keyboard playing, was highly prized, and a commonly-held value was that a proper education was incomplete without the study of music. Parlor music repertoire frequently included sentimental songs about romantic and maternal love, odes and tributes to historical figures and leaders of the day, and patriotic songs."

https://www.loc.gov/collections/music-of-nineteenth-century-ohio/articles-and-essays/parlor-music/
 

Claude Bauer

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Jan 8, 2012
I could skip the the lecture prior to the afternoon break and still have an hour and a half to have lunch with my wife. I do not think the hour lunch break would give us time to drive to a restaurant and back. Would it be acceptable to call and have a pizza delivery to her room instead of taking her out lunch?
My wife would certainly prefer to have pizza delivered to her room rather than going out for a nice lunch! And I much prefer sleeping on the couch, too. :bounce:
 

major bill

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Aug 25, 2012
I would probably find parlor music a bit too sentimental. The lecture might give some insight in to the mind set of the people of the period.
 
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