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I Hear A Song Comin' On

May 10, 2012 10:55 AM | 0 comments

If you should ever decide to delve into the Brooklyn Sheet Music Collection,  you will be amazed at the variety of styles and genres that songwriters have used to celebrate the borough of Brooklyn. We've got Marches, Waltzes, Cake-walks, Rags and Two-Steps, celebrating everything from Coney Island to Bushwick High School; and quite possibly the first song ever written about a logjam of people crossing a bridge:The Brooklyn Daily Eagle Bridge Crush March.


The music in our collection dates from 1869 with Crossing on the Ferry all the way to 1987 with No Sleep Till Brooklyn by the Beastie Boys.  Beginning in the 1930's with the rise and popularity of motion pictures, the marriage between music and movies produced such popular titles as Take it From There, sung by Betty Grable in "Coney Island;" An Old Fashioned Love Song sung by Danny Kaye in "The Kid from Brooklyn;" and My Brooklyn Love Song immortalized by Eddie Cantor in the 1947 musical "If You Knew Susie".

The early 1900's were a period of increased immigration, and many songs were written that spoke to the immigrant experience. Our collection contains Mariutch (Make-a the Hootch-a Ma Kootch) Down at Coney Isle, and our featured song, Born and Bred in Brooklyn (Over the Bridge).



This little number comes from the musical "The Rise of Rosie O'Reilly" which opened on December 23rd, 1905 at The Liberty Theater and ran for 87 performances. Written by George M. Cohan, it tells the story of a millionaire and a beautiful young Irish girl who sells flowers under the Brooklyn Bridge, in the area now known an DUMBO. Sticking to her working-class roots she shuns the millionaire's advances and settles down with a gentleman of humbler means.

A sheet music cover is all very well, but nothing brings music--even, it must be admitted, less than sublime music--to life like a performance.  So without further ado, here for your listening and viewing pleasure is Born and Bred in Brooklyn (Over the Bridge), performed by librarians of the Brooklyn Collection and with photographs drawn from our collections.  And not to worry, we're not quitting our day jobs!