Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 1: No 2) >> Simms's Musical Settings >> Page 8

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Page 8

Secondary Scholarship | 1993
Transcription 8
My particular interest in the musical settings of Simms's poetry began
during a seminar in Southern Literature taught by Professor James Kibler in Fall
1990. In reading The Poetry of William Gilmore Simms: An Introduction and
Bibliography, I was particularly intrigued by this passage: "Students need to
devote more attention to Simms's interest in music and how it affected his craft.
In fact, scholars know very little about the Southerner's musical preferences at all
a field of study which should prove interesting, particularly in light of the
knowledge that parlor music was a chief entertainment of the family of
comfortable means "(p.42). After learning of my newly acquired interest in
Simms and music, Professor Kibler provided me with copies of music to three of
the antebellum works discussed in this article. My own search to expand the list
of musical settings of Simms's poetry is an ongoing project; and the works
discussed in this article represent all the musical settings I have been able to
locate to date, though others probably exist. I ask readers of The Simms Review
to aid and join me in this project.

1. William P. Trent, William Gilmore Simms (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin
& Co., 1892), 2-3.

2. Ibid.

3. Mary C. Simms Oliphant, Alfred Taylor Odell, and T.C. Duncan Eaves,
ed., The Letters of William Gilmore Simms, Vol. II (Columbia: University of South
Carolina Press, 1952-56), 83.

4. Ibid., 154.

5. Survey of poem titles listed in Kibler, 107-62.

6. H. Wiley Hitchcock, Music in the United States, 3rd ed. (Englewood
Cliffs: Prentice Hall, 1988), 54.

7. Nicholas E. Tawa, Sweet Songs for Gentle Americans (Bowling Green:
Bowling Green University Popular Press, 1980), 9-10.

8. Ibid., 123-51.

9. Ibid., 118.

10. Hitchcock, 68.