Annie Lisle

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"Annie Lisle" is the name of an 1857 ballad by Boston, Massachusetts songwriter H. S. Thompson first published by Moulton & Clark of Newburyport, Massachusetts, and later by Oliver Ditson & Co.[1] It is about the death of a young maiden, by what some have speculated to be tuberculosis, although the lyric does not explicitly mention tuberculosis, or "consumption" as it was called then. The song might have slipped into obscurity had the tune not been adopted by countless colleges, universities, and high schools worldwide as their respective alma mater songs.

Alma Maters[edit]

The first college to have used the tune in a spirit song seems to have been Cornell University. In 1870, students Archibald Weeks and Wilmot Smith wrote "Far Above Cayuga's Waters" and used an adaptation of Thompson's melody. Many other colleges and high schools, likely influenced by Cornell's version, have since created their own renditions. Some include:

Sheet music for the alma mater of Cornell University, adopted from "Annie Lisle"

Lyrics[edit]

Down where the waving willows
’Neath the sunbeams smile,
Shadow’d o’er the murm’ring waters
Dwelt sweet Annie Lisle;
Pure as the forest lily,
Never tho’t of guile
Had its home within the bosom
Of sweet Annie Lisle.
CHORUS
Wave willows, murmur waters,
Golden sunbeams, smile!
Earthly music cannot waken
Lovely Annie Lisle.
Sweet came the hallow’d chiming
Of the Sabbath bell,
Borne on the morning breezes
Down the woody dell.
On a bed of pain and anguish
Lay dear Annie Lisle,
Chang’d were the lovely features,
Gone the happy smile.
[CHORUS]
"Raise me in your arms, O Mother;
Let me once more look
On the green and waving willows
And the flowing brook.
Hark! the sound of angel music
From the choirs above!
Dearest mother, I am going;
Surely God is love."
[CHORUS]

In popular culture[edit]

The tune is used in the parting song for the Kellerman Resort in the 1987 film Dirty Dancing, as well as the tune sung by the Purdue University Students in the 1953 Film Titanic.
The tune was featured in Hey Arnold! as the school song of PS-118

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fuld, James J., The Book of World-Famous Music: Classical, Popular, and Folk, 5th Ed. Courier Dove, 2000. ISBN 0-486-41475-2
  2. ^ "Bellevue High School Alma Mater". Bellevue School District. Retrieved 2013-09-17.

External links[edit]