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Subject:

Re: "Ah, vous dirai-je, maman" context

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Date:

Mon, 10 Dec 2001 08:03:27 -0500

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For elucidation on the origins of this tune, I am quoting/paraphrasing
selections from James Fuld's "Book of World-Famous Music":

"The melody was first known as "Ah! Vous Dirai-Je, Maman," the music of
which appeared (without words) in 1761 in "Les Amusements d'une Heure et
Demy" by Mr. Bouin (Paris), p. 1. The words and music appear in a manuscript
entitled "Recueil de Chansons" about 1765 under the title "Le Faux Pas," p.
43. THe earliest known printing of the words and music of the song is in
volume two of "Recueil de Romances" by M.D.L. (De Lusse) published in
Brussels in 1774, p. 75, under the title "La Confidence--Naive." The words
and music also appear in sheet music under the title "Les Amours, de
Silvandre" (Paris, 1780?). Mozart composed his variations in 1778 which were
then published in 1785.

The melody soon became associated with other words in the United States, as
"Mark My Alford" which was included in Carr's "The Gentleman's Amusement,"
published in Philadelphia in 1794-96....

The song came to be sung as A B C D E F G, and appeared as an illustration in
the 1824 issue of "Musikalischer Haus-Freund," opposite p. 28. It then
appear under the title "The Schoolmaster" which was copyrighted by C.
Bradlee, Coston, Feb. 4, 1834.


The words "Bah, Bah, a Black Sheep" first appeared in print about 1744...but
the first printing of those words with this tune were in "Nursery Songs and
Games," copyrighted on Oct. 25, 1879.

The words "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" were written by Jane Taylor and
published in 1806 under the title "The Star" in her "Rhymes for the Nursery"
(London, 1806), p. 10....These words and this tune were probably first
printed together in "The Singing Master" no. III, (London, 1838).


On a different issue, I didn't add more to the Molajoli thread because, in
the time I alotted for a non-exhaustive search, I couldn't find more than his
obituary (he died in Milan in 1939). But I believe it is not he, but rather
Sabajno who is considered allied with Toscanini (I can't imagine Toscanini
liking all the variances of tempo in Molajoli's work). There is a little
more information about Sabajno though not much.

If I weren't so busy I'd be able to provide more info.

Bob Kosovsky -- Librarian
Music Division, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
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