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Story Of A War Song

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The man who composed the musio fw Whittier's song, "We Are Coming, Father Abraham, Three Hundred Thousand Strong, " is an old and somewhat decrepit piano tuner, who carries on his business near Windom, Minn. His name is A. B. Irving. One day soon after Lincoln's cali for 800, 000 more men, Irving, then a young man, was on his way to Defiance, O., from Fort "Wayne for the purpose of singing at a political and loyal ineeting. He had considerable reputation as a composer and singer and the Republicans had asked him to come and help them. On the way he read the poem, which had just been published. Irving Btudied it, formulated a tune, hummed it and got the rhythm, and that evening at the Defiance meeting he sang the song for the first time. When he had finished, and the last echoes had died away, men mounted their chairs with wild enthnsiasm, swung their hats and broke loose in cheers that rang with feeling. He sang it again and again, and they would scarcely let him rest. The next night he sang the song at Fort Wayne, and again aroused the same enthusiasm. He wrote out the rnusic and sent it to the publisher who had handled what he had composed, with instractions to publish it on his usual terms of royalty. It was published, and inside of a month more than 40, 000 copies had been sold. In a few days the publisher failed and Irving nfivpr reneived a dollar for the music. -


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News