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Irwin P. Beadle's Songbooks

OWING TO THE CONFUSION likely to result from mistaking the early publications of Irwin P. Beadle when he was working independently of his brother for those published when they were partners, it is necessary to list all of Irwin's songbooks together. The confusion is quite natural, for the first Irwin P. Beadle & Co., as well as the second, had its offices at 137 William Street, although the make-up of the firms was different.

In Part II of this book, under the "History of the Firm," it was mentioned that Irwin Beadle had been publishing penny ballads before 1859. He had probably been publishing them in Buffalo in 1858, if not earlier. These, then, are to be regarded as the first attempts at song publication by either of the Beadles. It is improbable that any copies of these early ballads exist. I remember as a boy, in the early 1880's, seeing such songs, printed in groups of eight or ten on one side of a large sheet of paper and designed for cutting apart. Of course I do not remember who was the publisher, and it is unlikely that he was Irwin Beadle, for original unseparated copies could hardly have survived twenty-five years.

The songbooks, so far as I have been able to trace them, issued by Irwin Beadle in the three different periods when he was not associated with his brother, are listed below.

IRWIN P. BEADLE, Publisher

The Dime Song Book. New and Popular Comic and Sentimental Songs. 72 pages. Price ten cents. Published by I. P. Beadle, 333 Broadway, New York, and 227 Main Street, Buffalo, 1859.

The booklet is about 6 by 3 ¾ inches in size, and has buff wrappers † Fig. 114. There is no illustration on the front, not even an ornamental design. The title and publisher's name and address are simply type-set within a plain box, very similar to the following.

Hie for School. A Book of Seventy Songs for Schools and Families. 72 pages. Same publisher and addresses as the preceding. Dated 1859.

The wrappers are of the same style as the preceding (Fig. 112). The book sold for twelve cents.

The Dime Song Book, No. 2. Irwin P. Beadle, 137 William Street. Appeared probably in October, 1859.

This booklet has the same general appearance as No. 1. It was issued shortly after both Irwin and Erastus had moved their offices to 137 William Street.

The Dime Melodist. Irwin P. Beadle, publisher, 137 William Street. 72 pages, giving both words and music.

Size about 5 7/8 by 3 7/8 inches, cream or buff wrappers. The September, 1859, issue of The Home (which appeared late in August) spoke of the Melodist as already issued, and it was also advertised in the New York Tribune of September 28, 1859. Later issues, printed by Beadle & Co., came out in the usual orange wrappers.

The Dime Song Book, No. 3. Irwin P. Beadle, 137 William Street. Appeared probably in October, 1859.

Mentioned as "In Press," in The Home for October, 1859, which came out early in September.

The Dime Song Book, No. 4. Irwin P. Beadle, 137 William Street.

A book notice in Beadle's Home Monthly for January, 1860, which came out early in December, 1859, announced "Dime Publications lately issued by Irwin P. Beadle, 137 William Street, New York,. . . . . . Thus far have been issued. . . . . . .The Dime Song Books, — (Four)."

Songbooks Nos. 1 to 4 were later reprinted by Irwin P. Beadle & Co., 137 William Street, in exactly the same size and with buff wrappers, but the title of the series was made prominent and the cut of the reverse of a dime was added. Except for the original Nos. 1 to 4, however, which were published by Irwin Beadle before the firm became Irwin P. Beadle & Co., these books belong to the publications of the firm which survived until 1898, and are listed under the heading of Beadle's Dime Song Books, below. Irwin Beadle's Nos. 1 to 4 are, for convenience, described there in more detail since they represent the beginning of the series.

(Irwin Beadle and George Munro)

After Irwin was bought out by the other partners in 1862, as related in Part II of this book, he immediately started a new firm under the old firm name and from the old address (Irwin P. Beadle & Co., 137 William Street) from which Beadle & Co. had moved in 1860. This second Irwin P. Beadle & Co. (Irwin P. Beadle and George Munro) lasted only a little over a year, through 1863 and to February, 1864. The second period publications may easily be distinguished from the first if the copyright dates are examined — those of this period carry the name Irwin P. Beadle & Co., and the copyright date 1863 or 1864. Like the first series, the wrappers are buff.

Ten Cent Song Book for the Million. No. 1.

Many of the songs contained in this booklet are duplicates of those printed in Irwin P. Beadle's Song Book, No. 1, printed in 1859. The title page was deposited for copyright April 18, 1863, but the book was not issued until September, 1863.

Yankee Sailor Song Book. No. 2.

This was advertised in the New York Tribune of November 9, 1863, as "Ready."

The Russian Bear and American Eagle Song Book.

No. 3. December 16, 1863.

Burns' and Moore's Song Book, No. 4. January 15, 1864.

† Irwin P. Beadle & Co., publishers.

† This was the last of Irwin Beadle's Songs while associated with George Munro. No. 5 of the series, The Greeley and Bennett Banjo and Bones Song Book, advertised to appear in February, 1864, is not a Beadle publication. It has the name Munro & Co., 137 William Street, on the wrapper.


Irwin's third attempt at publishing came in 1865, when he started publishing again under the name of Irwin P. Beadle, which later was changed to Irwin & Co. His address was 51 Ann Street, consequently there will be no confusion between these publications and those of the older firm.

Irwin P. Beadle's New No. 1 American Song Book, Comic and Sentimental Song Book for the People. Irwin P. Beadle, Editor and Proprietor, 51 Ann Street. Price Ten Cents.

The booklet is 6 3/8 by 4 1/8 inches in size, has 64 pages, and is enclosed in orange wrappers, much like the original Dime Novels. There is an illustration on the front (Fig. 113) and advertisements on the back. The inside pages of the cover are blank. The book was copyrighted by Irwin P. Beadle, and was issued September 15, 1865. Some of the songs are the same as those in the original songbook No. 1. The title page bears a picture of Irwin Beadle above the publishers' imprint.

Irwin P. Beadle's New No. 2 American Song Book, Comic and Sentimental Song Book for the People.

This was advertised in Irwin P. Beadle's American Novels, No. 2, and was announced for October 3, 1865, but in No. 13, it was still announced as "In Press." I have seen no copy nor any higher number. It may never have been published.

Fig. 112.  Irwin P. Beadle Songbook
Fig. 112. A songbook published by Irwin P. Beadle
while still at 333 Broadway, 1859
Original, 6 x 3¾ inches

Fig. 113.  Irwin P. Beadle Songbook
Fig. 113. Irwin P. Beadle No. 1 Song Book
Original, 6¼ x 4 1/8 inches

† Correction made as per Volume 3.
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