Songs in the Northwest Troubadour series were popular between 1840 and 1880, and all musical arrangements and lyrics heard in the series are based on original sheet music and other sources from those decades. Nothing from later years is used.

The authentic words, harmonic details, and occasionally even the tunes are sometimes a bit different from the versions we know today—the surprises are fascinating and add 19th-Century color and charm to the songs. These original versions bring the language and musical styles of those times to life.

Songs are shown below in the year when they were first published or documented in print, and a few significant events and notable publications are included for context.

1805

The Last Rose of Summer(Thomas Moore/traditional tune)

Banjo

1823

Home! Sweet Home! (Payne & Bishop)

1840

U.S. population reaches 17 million.

1841

The first few dozen wagons, travel west on the Oregon Trail.

1843

Western emigration begins in earnest; 1000s head west.

The Boatmen Dance (Daniel Decatur Emmett)

Long, Long Ago (Thomas Haynes Bayly)

Open Thy Lattice, Love (Stephen Foster)

O We Won't Go Home Until Morning (William Clifton)

1844

Samuel F.B. Morse sends the first telegraph message.

The Blue Juniata (Marion Sullivan)

Wait for the Wagon (R. B. Buckley)

Open Thy Lattice, Love (Stephen Foster)

1847

O Susanna (Stephen Foster)

The Spider and the Fly (Jesse Hutchinson)

  Bet. 1841 & 1848, c.17,000 emigrants traveled overland to Oregon, California, & Utah.

1848

The US wins the war with Mexico and acquires the western territories.

Gold is discovered in California. In 1848 most miners were already living in California.

1849

The California Gold Rush begins. In one year, 80,000 people travel to California, overland or by ship.

O California (Jonathan Nichols. To the tune of O Susanna)

Nelly was a Lady (Stephen Foster)

1850

U.S. population: 23 million    •    California becomes the 31st state

Disastrous year on the Oregon Trail. Thousands die of cholera and dysentery

Levi Strauss “bibless overalls” (blue jeans) introduced in San Francisco

New York Times begins publication    •    Singer Sewing Machine is patented

Seeing the Elephant (John A. Stone. To the tune of The Boatmen Dance)

What was your name in the States? (trad.)

Kentucky Home

Ah! may the Red Rose Live Alway (Stephen Foster)

Twenty Years Ago (Smith & Willing)

1851

Gold rush in Northern California in Siskiyou County

1852

Gold rush in Southern Oregon around Jacksonville

Wells, Fargo, & Co. is founded

Elisha Otis invents the safety elevator

Uncle Tom's Cabin (Harriet Beecher Stowe)

The Miner’s Farewell (James L. Pierpont)

My Old Kentucky Home (Stephen Foster)

Do They Miss Me at Home? (Mason & Grannis)

The Old Log Hut (R. M. Sinclair) ("Row, Row, Row Your Boat")

Lilly Dale (H. S. Thompson)

1853

The first U.S. World's Fair takes place in New York

Commodore Perry and a U.S. Naval fleet arrive in Japan to establish diplomatic contact

1854

Hard Times (Charles Dickens)

 

Hard Times, Come Again No More (Stephen Foster)

1855

End of the California Gold Rush. Gold becomes harder to find and more expensive to extract.

Leaves of Grass (Walt Whitman)

Listen to the Mockingbird (Milburn & Winner)

Over the Summer Sea (anon. arrangement of "La donna e mobile" from Verdi's Rigoletto)

Miner’s Lament (John A. Stone. Tune: Lilly Dane)

Love's Old Sweet Song

The Ship That Never Returned (Henry C. Work)

Some Folks (Stephen Foster)

1856

Western Union Company founded

Sweet Betsy from Pike (John A. Stone)

Gentle Annie (Stephen Foster)

1857

The Miner’s Song (Swett & Kemp)

1858

The California Stage Company (John A. Stone)

Champagne Charlie (Alfred Lee)

Billy’s Back Room (Rob Roy)

1859

On the Origin of Species (Charles Darwin)

Tale of Two Cities (Charles Dickens)

1860

U.S. population reaches 31 million.

In the Days of 49 (Charles Bensell)

I’ll Twine ’Mid the Ringlets ("Wildwood Flower") (Joseph Philbrick Webster and Maud Irving)

1861

Civil War hostilities begin at Ft. Sumter.

Western Uniion completes the Transcontinental telegraph line

James Lingenfelter of Jacksonville becomes the first Oregonian killed in combat in the Civil War

Roughing It by Mark Twain, describing his journey from the midwest to San Francisco.

1862

People Will Talk (S. M Grannis)

Bonnie Blue Flag (Harry McCarthy) plus several Union versions.

1863

All Quiet Along the Potomac To-night (Fontaine and Hewitt)

We're Tenting Tonight on the Old Campground (Walter Kittredge)

When Johnny Comes Marching Home (Patrick Gilmore, as Louis Lambert)

1864

Salvation Army is founded

Beautiful Dreamer (Stephen Foster)

Battle Cry of Freedom (George Frederick Root) plus the Confederate version.

1865

The Civil War ends

Song of the Overland Stage Driver (Nat Stein)

Marching Through Georgia (Henry Clay Work)

1866

Eating Goober Peas (anon)

1867

Don’t Marry a Man if He Drinks (Mrs. Kidder)

1868

First professional Baseball Club: The Cincinnati Red Stockings

The Man on the Flying Trapeze (Richard Leybourne)

1869

First transcontinental railroad is completed

1870

U.S. population reaches 38 million.

1869

First intercollegiate football game: Rutgers–Princeton

Campbell Soup Co. and H. J. Heinz Co. are established

Song of the Sewing Machine (Will Hays)

Up in a Balloon (Harry Birch)

The Flying Velocipede (Brio)

1872

A Second Wave of the anti-alchohol Temperance Movement begins

The Catholic Total Abstinence Union of America is founded

Courting in the Rain (Vincent Davies)

1874

The Women's Christian Temperance Union is founded

Lips That Touch Liquor Shall Never Touch Mine (Booth & Evans)

1875

Ulysses Grant becomes president

 

Oh Papa, Don’t Drink Any More (French & Blake)

Oh Barney, Take Me Home Again (George W. Brown)

1876

I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen(T. P. Westendorf)

My Grandfather’s Clock (Henry Clay Work)

Have Courage, My Boy, to Say No(Penrose & Keens)

1877

The Wondrous Telephone (Thomas Paine Westendorf)

Charlie the Telegraph Clerk (T. Brigham Bishop)

1878

The Electric Light Waltz (Hazelton & Spencer)

1879

WCTU membership reaches 12,000

I’m a Western Union Telegraph Boy (Herbert Spencer)

trad.

 

The Water is Wide
O Shenandoah

I am a Roving Gambler

Jack o' Diamonds / Rye Whiskey

   more...

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