The first edition of the CLAY MELODIST, comprising seven thousand copies, was issued in the autumn of 1842 immediately after the enthusiastic nomination of Henry Clay and John Davis by the Mass Convention at Faneuil Hall. It was the first publication of the kind in the then opening campaign, and, although several other works, modelled upon it, have since appeared, it is believed no one of them has attained so wide a popularity as the original Melodist. Another edition, much enlarged and improved, has been called for by the numerous Clay Clubs which are forming in every city and hamlet in the Union, and the publisher trusts that the same favor, which was awarded to the first edition, incomplete, as it necessarily was, in comparison with the present, will be extended to the second. He has spared no pains or expense to make it acceptable, and as perfect as his materials will permit. In addition to the fine steel engraving of the great Statesman of the West, fronting the title page, he has procured also a number of original illustrations appropriate to several of the melodies in the volume. The collection of songs, which it contains, is by far the most perfect that has appeared, some of them having been purchased and prepared expressly for the Melodist. Among these the reader will observe "The Bonnie Clay Flag," recently set to music and published in this city; "The Grand Backing Out;" "The Rousing
iiiSong;" "The Kentuckian Broom Girl;" with a number of original melodies. These, with many more capital songs, not before collected, it is believed, will render the volume more acceptable to the public than any other, and ensure for it an increased circulation.
That Mr. Clay will be elected President of the United States at the approaching election, almost by acclamation, hardly admits of a doubt. Certainly no close observer of political occurrences, whatever his party predilections, can fail to see that there is an awakening throughout the land, which points unerringly to that result. It must not be concealed, however, that much is to be done before the battle is fought and won. The indications are, that the campaign is to be prosecuted, on the part of the gallant victors of 1840, with a degree of vigor surpassing even that which carried them so gloriously through that memorable struggle. If so (and in the name of Patriotism, may it be so!) success is as certain as the rising of the morrow's sun. Among the means of contributing to that success, song-singing at Club Meetings, Mass Gatherings and Whig Festivals, holds no subordinate place. With vigilance, and vigorous action, backed by an enthusiastic rally at the polls, the Whigs cannot be beaten; and nothing sooner awakens the one or leads more directly to the other, than the melodious recital of the noble deeds and traits of the candidate, and of the great principles with which he is identified. Song-singing has always been, and always will be, a powerful auxiliary in accomplishing the triumph of a good cause. The effect of the strains, which the great temperance reformation is daily pouring into the popular ear, at concerts and society meetings, is sufficient evidence of this, if abundant testimony were not presented by the Harrison campaigners, whose enthusiastic singing the temperance reformers have so successfully imitated and adopted. It is only the advocates of a bade cause, — one that can awaken no enthusiasm, and neither whose principles or candidates can be made palatable in verse with any better chance of success, than their Jacobinical
ivdoctrines can be defended in plain prose, — that lift their hypocritical handy in pious horror at the song-singing of the enthusiastic Whigs. Such, with their sour-grape vociferations, may well cry out against so laudable and innocent a means of arousing the dormant energies of the nation and enlisting them on the side of good government. They are but echoing the elegant language of Mr. Van Buren, who is pleased to speak of "the mummeries and buffooneries" of the last campaign. A candidate who carried but seven out of twenty-six states in 1840, and who is threatened with the loss of those seven in 1844, may perhaps be excused for attempting to conceal his mortification at so disgraceful a defeat, under such opprobrious language, and thus stigmatizing the great mass of the people of the country. Perhaps as much may be pardoned to the spirit of defeat as to the spirit of liberty; but what will the irritable magician say, at the close of the next campaign, if the defeat of the last, yet rankling in his bosom, give such unbridled license to his tongue?
It only remains, in giving to the public the second edition of the Melodist, to add, that the numerous orders for the work from Clay Clubs during the last month, have induced the publisher to issue it somewhat earlier than he intended. As fast as new songs of merit appear, they will be added to the present collection, either by the addition of new sheets, or by the publication of a second part, as may be deemed most expedient.
J. H. W.
BOSTON, FEB. 22, 1844.
WHIGS OF THE UNION,
Forming one great National Clay Club,
THIS LITTLE VOLUME IS DEDICATED.