The Girl Who Sang of Custer

Do you have an item of historical interest to share with the zither community? Did you have an ancestor that played the zither? This is the place to share your stories.

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The Girl Who Sang of Custer

Post by Dave » Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:23 pm

A reader of the web site, Catherine R., sent in this email seeking information on an ancestor who appears to have composed music for the zither. Her email follows:

We are searching for information about a relative...who apparently wrote music for the zither. We have unearthed an original photo which we just had restored and what we though was a picture of two relatives sitting at a piano is more likely intended to photograph the sheet music on the piano. I would be happy to send you the photo in hopes you might be able to give me a hint or two about finding more about the composer.


From the image, I can gather that Max had an association with Arizona, as the dedication reads "Dedicated to the Missing Hunt of Snowflake, Arizona. A book, James Madison Flake, Nov. 8, 1859 - Feb. 4, 1946: Pioneer, Leader, Missionary, by S. Eugene Flake has the following entry on page 196, "When they went back to the fort, one of them, a very fine musician, composed a song and sent us several copies. It was entitled, 'The Girl Who Sang of Custer.' I am sending a copy of the song to you."

Page 197 of the same tome has the following quatrain:

I am sitting idly dreaming, by the fire this dreary day.
Conscious of the embers gleaming, as they glow then fade away.
In those coals I see a cluster, weather in flaming curls of light.
Round the girl who sang of Custer, and the boys who fell in fight.


Very interesting, and thank you for sharing this. If you're able to make more zither connections with your ancestor, please let me know.
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We do not take humor seriously enough. —Konrad Lorenz

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