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Welcome to the Kenneth Spencer Research Library blog! As the special collections and archives library at the University of Kansas, Spencer is home to remarkable and diverse collections of rare and unique items. Explore the blog to learn about the work we do and the materials we collect.

Love Songs from the Kansas Collection

Among the vast holdings of Kenneth Spencer Research Library’s Kansas Collection is an assortment of printed music, all produced by publishers based in the Sunflower State (RH E165). Song topics include patriotism, candidate promotion, parental affection, Kansas themes, waltzes, and love songs.

The publication of sheet music in the United States and Europe hit its stride during the Victorian era. An increase in the disposable income and leisure time of middle-class households meant that they could purchase pianos and other musical instruments, along with music lessons. The songs came to be known as “parlor music,” and many were composed especially for this type of use. Music in the home became a popular means of entertainment. Open the lid of the piano bench in any home that owned a piano and you would find a collection of sheet music. Phonograph records and radio would eventually replace parlor music as both a means of distributing music and home entertainment.

Since Valentine’s Day is here, this blog entry will focus on some of the love songs in the collection. Enjoy!

Image of a sheet music cover, "I Never Knew," 1920

Sheet music cover, “I Never Knew.” Words and music by Marcus J. Lehman.
Wichita, Kansas: Mid-Continent Co. Publishers, 1920.
Kansas Sheet Music Collection. Call Number: RH E165. Click image to enlarge.

“I Never Knew”

A youthful suitor loved a maid,
How much he never knew.
He with her heart at baseball played,
Until she weary grew.
The more he teased this maiden fair
The more she did despair,
Until one day she went away,
And then I heard him say:

I never knew how much I’d miss you
Till you went away.
But now I want so much to kiss you,
Since you’ve gone to stay.
Your smile,
Your lips,
Your eyes so blue,
Your curls, I miss them, too.
The wealth of love you gave so true,
But most I just miss you.

Image of a sheet music cover, "A Lover's Quarrel," 1922

Sheet music cover, “A Lover’s Quarrel.” Words and music by Rene F. Hartley.
Topeka, Kansas: Rene F. Hartley Music Publishing Co., 1922.
Kansas Sheet Music Collection. Call Number: RH E165. Click image to enlarge.

“A Lover’s Quarrel”

Often you’ll find, Sweethearts so fine,
True to each other but quarreling
When some things gone wrong.
Yes in their love play,
and just then you’ll hear one of them saying…..

It’s just a lover’s quarrel, yes just a lover’s quarrel,
Like all lovers have, but some so many more.
Hush now don’t you cry,
Dear now don’t you sigh,
‘Cause you know for you I’d die.
Long live the day, yes while at work and play,
For you and your winning way,
Right from the start you won my heart,
Now we must never part
Just over a lover’s quarrel.

Don’t say you’re through, that makes me blue,
When I love you and you only.
Still I know you’re mad,
And I’m feeling sad,
Now please gladden my heart dear by saying…..

Image of a sheet music cover, "You Have Always Been the Same to Me," 1912

Sheet music cover, “You Have Always Been the Same to Me.”
Words and music by Louis Weber, for his parents on their 64th wedding anniversary.
Kansas City, Kansas: Weber Brothers, 1912. Kansas Sheet Music Collection.
Call Number: RH E165. Click image to enlarge.

“You Have Always Been the Same to Me”

Many years ago my darling,
I remember well the day,
When I first began to love you,
Sixty years have passed away.
We have been so happy darling,
Now our locks are white, you see,
But our loves been growing stronger.
You have always been the same to me

You have always been the same to me.
You have always been the same to me.
When we reach the golden city
You will always be the same to me.

Many sorrows crossed our pathway,
But our lives were one sweet strain.
We have borne our lot together,
Sharing one another’s pain.
Soon we’ll close life’s pleasant journey,
Soon that city we shall see.
In that home of endless pleasure
You will always be the same to me.

Where the mocking birds are singing,
And the stars their vigils keep,
There beneath the sod my darling,
We shall sweetly sleep.
In the dawning of the morning
We shall ever happy be,
And through all the endless ages
You will always be the same to me.

Kathy Lafferty
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