The Music of Henry Clay Work

Henry Clay Work


Henry Clay Work was born in Middletown, CT on 1 October 1832 to the parents of Alanson Work and Amelia A. (Forbes) Work. He married Sarah Parker (b. 15 Oct 1835; d. ????) on either 1 or 14 Jan 1857. She was the fourth child of Daniel and Polly (White) Parker. Henry and Sarah (Parker) Work had four children: Waldo Franklin Work (b. 2 Oct 1857; d. 2 Jul 1871); Willie Lovejoy Work (b. 10 Dec 1861; d. 22 Jul 1862); Ellen (or Nellie) Work (b. 9 Oct 1863; d. 15 Mar 1895); and Clara Etta Work (b. 13 Apr 1868; d. Aug 1868). He had three sisters named Loiusa, Etta and Lizzie. He had at least one brother named Alanson. He apprenticed as a printer in Hartford. He published his first song, We Are Coming, Sister Mary, in 1853. He worked for the periodical Song Messenger of the Northwest (published by Root and Cady). He died, at the age of 51, in Hartford, CT on 8 June 1884. In 1868 he published a book of a serio-comic poem called The Upshot Family.

Among his most popular songs were Brave Boys Are They! (1861), Kingdom Coming! (1862), Grafted into the Army (1862), Little Major (1862), Babylon Is Fallen! (1863), Come Home, Father! (1864), Marching Through Georgia (1865) and Grandfather's Clock (1876).

His nephew, Bertram G. Work, published 37 of his songs in The Songs of Henry Clay Work in 1884, which was reprinted in 1920 and 1974. Also in 1884, 18 of his songs were included in S. Brainard's Sons' Our National War Songs among 14 by George F. Root, two by P. P. Bliss, and several others. An outstanding article about Work, by Richard S. Hill, appeared in Notes 10 (1953) in two parts: in March, pp. 211-225; and June, pp. 367-390. Read contemporary comments about Work.

NOTE: the (online) source column has data refering to Box/Item numbers at the Levy site or the filenames stored at the LoC (Library of Congress' American Memories website) which also happen to be the songs' copyright registration numbers.

SPECIAL NOTE: I have Compiled and Edited the Kallisti Music Press publication (as of 28 January 2002), Henry Clay Work: Complete Songs and Choruses, ISBN 0-9645431-2-5, 292 pp., $69.00 ppbk. Two numbers from Work's numbered opuses which were not used, may possibly exist. They are Nos. 69 and 71, both should have been published in 1882. Any help in locating copies of them would be greatfully appreciated.


Lyrics Source
We Are Coming, Sister Mary [No. 1] Work 023/083
Lilly-Willy-Woken [No. 2] Work 051/048
Beautiful Rose [No. 8] Work --
Brave Boys Are They! [No. 4] Work 087/058
Grandmother Told Me So [No. 19] Work 088/057
Little Hallie [No. 5] Alvin Robinson --
Lost on the 'Lady Elgin' [No. 3] Work 182/029
Our Captain's Last Words [No. 7] Work 089/093; Our National War Songs (1884)
God Save Our Nation (A Battle Hymn) [No. 15] Theodore Tilton Our National War Songs (1884)
Grafted Into the Army [No. 13] Work 088/054; Our National War Songs (1884)
Kingdom Coming! (The Year of Jubilo) [No. 10] Work 088/121; Our National War Songs (1884)
Little Major [No. 17] Work 088/138; Our National War Songs (1884)
Nellie Lost and Found [No. 6] Work 106/054
Sleep, Baby, Sleep [arranged] M. B. Denman? --
The First Love Dream [No. 12] Work --
There Is a River We All Must Cross (Hymn) Work The Silver Chime: p. 27
Uncle Joe's Hail Columbia! [No. 11] Work 090/090; Our National War Songs (1884)
We'll Go Down Ourselves [No. 14] Work 090/140; Our National War Songs (1884)
Babylon Is Fallen! [No. 21] Work 087/014; Our National War Songs (1884)
Sleeping for the Flag
(A Companion Piece to Brave Boys Are They) [No. 22]
Work 090/005; Our National War Songs (1884)
Song of a Thousand Years [No. 20] Work 090/026; Our National War Songs (1884)
The Days When We Were Young [No. 16] Work 129/030
The Girls at Home [No. 9] Work 088/034
Watching for Pa [No. 18] Adapted by Work 053/088
Columbia's Guardian Angels [No. 24] Work Our National War Songs (1884)
Come Home, Father [No. 26] Work 098/053
Corporal Schnapps [No. 23] Work 087/097; Our National War Songs (1884)
The Picture on the Wall (No. 27) Adapted by Work Songs of Henry Clay Work, pp. 100-102
Wake Nicodemus! [No. 28] Work @Levy
Washington and Lincoln [No. 25] Work Our National War Songs (1884)
Marching Through Georgia [No. 29] Work 137/087; LoC; Our National War Songs (1884)
Now Moses [No. 33] Work 053/012
Ring the Bell, Watchman! [No. 30] Work @Levy
The Ship That Never Returned [No. 32] [29 Sep] Work 183/072; Chicago, IL: Root & Cady, Plate No. 497-4
'Tis Finished; or,
Sing Hallelujah [No. 31]
Work 090/073; Our National War Songs (1884)
When Sherman Marched Down to the Sea (arranged] [Tune: Old Rosin the Boy (1838)] S. H. M. Byers Our National War Songs (1884): p. 99
Andy Veto [No. 36] Work 006/002
Lillie of the Snowstorm; or,
"Please, Father, Let Us In!" [No. 35]
Work 131/021
Poor Kitty Popcorn; or,
The Soldier's Pet [No. 34]
Work 089/125
When the Evening Star Went Down [No. 38] Work @Levy
Who Shall Rule This American Nation? [No. 37] Work 090/160; Our National War Songs (1884)
Come Back to the Farm! [No. 40] Work 130/030
Dad's a Millionaire [No. 39] Work --
A Thousand Years (Hymn) [9 June]
[words adapted to the music of Song of a Thousand Years (1863)]
William Orcott Cushing The Triumph: p. 283
Agnes By the River [No. 43] Work --
Our Last Grand Camping Ground [No. 42] Work Our National War Songs (1884)
The Song of the Red Man [No. 41] Work --
Crossing the Grand Sierras
(Continental Railroad Chorus) [No. 46]
Work 057/075
No Letters From Home! [No. 44] Work --
The Buckskin Bag of Gold [No. 45] Work --
Georgie Sails To-Morrow! [No. 47] Work --
Joy in Heaven! or,
The Returning Wanderer's Welcome [No. 49]
Work --
Take Them Away! They'll Drive Me Crazy [No. 48] Work 135/058
Traveling Homeward
[music=Marching Thru Georgia] [5 Jul]
Cadet Otis, U.S.M.A. --
Grandfather's Clock [No. 52] Work 132/153; LoC
Phantom Footsteps [No. 55] Work 01795@LoC
Sweet Echo Dell [No. 51] Work --
The Mystic Veil [No. 50] Work --
Touch the Sleeping Strings Again [No. 53] Work LoC
Used-up Joe [No. 54] Work Our National War Songs (1884)
Crying for Bread [No. 56] Work LoC
Farewell, My Loved One! [No. 60] Work LoC
King Bibler's Army [No. 59] Work 098/127; LoC
Mac O'Macorkity [No. 58] Work LoC
Shadows on the Floor [No. 57] Work 134/104; LoC
The Fire Bells Are Ringing [No. 61] Work --
Tie the Knot Tightly [No. 62] Work LoC
Pity Me, Loo!
(The California Bird Song) [No. 64]
Work LoC
Sequel to Grandfather's Clock [No. 63] Work 134/100; LoC
Come to Me, Sunbeam, I'm Dying [No. 65] Work LoC
The Old Village Doctor; or,
Come, Take Your Medicine [No. 66]
Work 14298@LoC; 13398@LoC
Don't Be Cruel to the Motherless Darlings [No. 68] Work LoC
The Parrot and the Billy Goat, The Monkey and the Mule; or,
Doctor Quibble's Comic Opera [20 Dec] [No. 72]
Work 21684@LoC
When You Get Home, Remember Me [No. 70] [16 Sep] Work Willis Woodward & Co.; Stephen B. Luce's Naval Songs (1883), pp. 113-4
Where's My Billy Goat Gone To? [No. 67] Work 14020@LoC
Come, Pretty Schoolgirl; or,
The Little White Cottage on Evergreen Square [7 Jul]
Work LoC
The Lost Letter [31 Mar] Work --
The Prayer on the Pier [31 Mar] Work 06070@LoC
The Silver Horn [7 Sep] Work 15753@LoC
Drop the Pink Curtains [24 Nov] Work LoC

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Copyright © 1998-2009 by Benjamin Robert Tubb.
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Created November 1998.
Last updated 12 February 2009.