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“They Were All Out of Step but Jim”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music is for the song, “They Were All Out of Step but Jim.” The song was written and composed by Irving Berlin. The Waterson, Berlin & Snyder Company of New York City published this sheet music in 1918. The orange and black cover features an illustration of three women waving to a soldier marching with his regiment, who is waving back. Barbelle signed the illustration in the lower right of the cover. There is an inset photograph of Herbert Clifton on the cover, a female impersonator and singer who would have performed this song during Vaudeville shows.

“They Told Me Not to Love Him”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music is for the song “They Told Me Not to Love Him.” The song’s lyrics were written by the poet W.D. Gallagher, and the music was composed by E. Thomas. The sheet music was published by J.W. Davies and Sons of Richmond, Virginia around the middle of the 19th century. The cover is plain white, with the title and publishing information all in black text.

“There's a Little Star Shining for You”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music for the song "There's A Little Star Shining for You" was written by James Thornton and composed by Bonnie Thornton. The music was published by Jos. Stern and Co. of New York, New York in 1897, and appeared as a supplement to the “Sunday World” on February 13, 1898. The cover was white with red text, and features a pencil-drawn illustration of Bonnie Thorton in a circular frame in the center, with a star shining its beams on the upper left portion of the cover.

“There's One Rose That Will Never Bloom Again”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music for the song “There’s One Rose That Will Never Bloom Again” was written and composed by Raymond A. Browne and published by Sol Bloom of New York, New York in 1903. The music appeared as a supplement to the “New York Herald” on May 10, 1903. The cover has an illustration of a young woman holding the bloom of a rose on a rosebush in her hands.

“There's No Love Like the Old Love After All”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music for the song “There’s No Love like the Old Love After All” was written by Will Walters and composed by J. A. T. Noble. The music was originally published by the Oliver Ditson Co. of Boston, Massachusetts in 1898, and this copy appeared as a supplement to the “New York Herald” on March 8, 1903. The cover has a central pencil drawing of a bonneted woman staring sternly at the viewer, framed in dark shading.

“There's Life in the Old Land Yet”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music is for the song “There's Life in the Old Land Yet.” The lyrics to the song came from a poem by James R. Randall and the music was composed by Edward O. Eaton. The sheet music was published by A.E. Blackmar & Brothers in 1862. The song is dedicated to the Maryland Society, and Randall is well known for composing Maryland’s state song, “Maryland, My Maryland.”

“There's Frost on the Moon”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music is for the song “There's Frost on the Moon” that was written and composed by Joe Young and Fred E. Ahlert. Irving Berlin Inc. of New York City published the sheet music in 1936. The purple cover features a frosted crescent moon hanging in a starry sky over a winter landscape. There is an inset photograph of clarinetist Artie Shaw, who successfully introduced the song.

“There's A Quaker Down in Quaker Town”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music for the song "There's A Quaker Down in Quaker Town" was written by David Berg and composed by Alfred Soloman. The music was published by the Joe Morris Music Company of New York, New York in 1916. The blue cover features an illustrated image of a Quaker girl walking through a village, with an image of four white flowers to her right.

“The Voice of the Violet”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music is for the song “The Voice of the Violet” from the play “Old Limerick Town.” Chauncey Olcott wrote the lyrics and composed the music for “Old Limerick Town,” and Olcott’s manager Augustus Pitou wrote the play for him. M. Witmark and Sons of New York City published the sheet music in 1902. The green cover has a full-length cutout image of Chauncey Olcott, who performed the lead role of Neil O’Brien in the play.

“The Vamp”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music is for the song “The Vamp,” a novelty foxtrot composed by Byron Gay. The sheet music was published by Leo Feist Inc. of New York City in 1919. The cover is a portrait illustration of a young woman, with a large flower in her hair. The illustration is signed by Henry Hutt. The song was a lively tune with lyrics describing new steps to a dance called “the Vamp.”

“The Troubles of the Reuben and the Maid”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music is for the song “The Troubles of the Reuben and the Maid.” The lyrics were written by J. Cheever Goodwin and the music was composed by Maurice Levi. The sheet music was published by The Rogers Brothers Music Publishing Company in 1902. The cover features inset illustrations from the song, and the cover is signed by Starmer. The tune came from the musical farce “The Rogers Brothers in Harvard” that was created by John J. McNally.

“The Thing”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music is for the song “The Thing” that was written and composed by Charles R. Grean and published by Hollis Music, Inc. of New York City in 1950. The cover features a green geometric pattern and an inset photograph of Phil Harris holding a record. Harris introduced and featured the song, recording it for RCA Victor Records on RCA record number 20-3968 which lasted 14 weeks on the Billboard charts, and hit #1.

“The Storm”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music for the song "The Storm" was written and composed by Henry Weber, and published by the Oliver Ditson Co. of Boston, Massachusetts in 1879. The cover calls the composition “an imitation of nature composed for the piano.” The font evokes a storm, with the “The” in the title being enveloped in a cloud with lightning bolts, and the font looking like jagged bolts as well.

“The Storm Polka”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music is for the song “The Storm Polka,” composed by Anton Wallerstein. The George Willig Jr. Company of Baltimore, Maryland published the sheet music in the late 19th century. The cover has illustrations of each of the “Four Polkas” in this collection. There is a drawing of ships coming into San Francisco, a hot air balloon, a ship swept away by a stormy sea, and a train full of people.

“The State of the Birds” assesses health of nation’s birds

Smithsonian Insider

One hundred years after the extinction of the passenger pigeon, the nation’s top bird science and conservation groups have come together to publish The State […]

The post “The State of the Birds” assesses health of nation’s birds appeared first on Smithsonian Insider.

“The Star of Glory”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music is for the song “The Star of Glory” that was written and composed by Emmett J. Welch. The sheet music was published by Emmett J. Welch Music Publisher of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1918. The cover features an image of a mother and child praying for their husband and father who is fighting in World War I. The Star of Glory is the star hanging in the window, symbolizing that there is someone from that house fighting “over there.”The back ground of the cover has an illustration of soldiers trenches by “going over the top” of their trenches and charging into no man’s land.

“The Sons of Freedom March”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music is for the song “The Sons of Freedom March” written and composed by Oliver J. Bunten. H. Howard Cheney of Waltham, Massachusetts published this sheet music in 1919. The cover features an illustration of two young men in uniform holding rifles, ready to go to war. The cover is signed “Fisher” in the lower right.

“The Song of Songs”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music is for the song “The Song of Songs.” The song’s lyrics were written by Clarence Lucas, and the music was composed by Moya (Harold Vicars). The sheet music was composed by Chappell-Harms Inc. of New York City in 1914. The cover features an illustration of a pensive woman sitting in the woods.

“The Singing Hills”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music is for the song “The Singing Hills” that was written and composed by Mack David, Dick Sanford, and Sammy Mysels. Santly Joy-Select Inc. of New York City published the sheet music in 1940. The dark cover features a background of silhouetted mountains and a few stars. There is a large overlay photograph of Blue Barron (Harry Freidman’s stage name) who featured the song with his big band.

“The Simpsons” Has Been Secretly Teaching Its Fans Complicated Math

Smithsonian Magazine

Photo: tagh

After Marcia Wallace passed away last month, “The Simpsons” lost one of its characters, the 4th grade teacher Edna Krabappel, whose voice Wallace had provided for years. Mrs. Krabappel probably spent more time cynically cackling in the classroom than teaching math—but she wasn’t the only source of math lessons on the best cartoon television series ever to run. Several writers for The Simpsons, including Al Jean, J. Stewart Burns, Jeff Westbrook, and David X. Cohen, completed degrees in math and physics before they turned to screenwriting, Wired reports. And, ever faithful to their academic roots, those writers have found numerous ways to sneak in mini math lessons in various Simpsons episodes over the years, thanks to a variety of nerdy, clueless and informative characters.

A new book, The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets, takes a deep dive into the math, physics and astronomy specifics of the show, but here are just a few examples, courtesy of Wired:

  • “Treehouse of Horror VI: Homer 3″ (1995): Homer gets sucked into the third dimension, giving viewers a lesson on depth. 
  • “The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace” (1998): Homer’s notes include formulas for the then-elusive Higgs boson, the density of the universe and the geometry of donuts. 
  • “They Saved Lisa’s Brain” (1999): Physicist Stephen Hawking compliments Homer’s donut-shaped universe theory–a serious hypothesis among astronomers. 
  • “Bye Bye Nerdie” (2001): Professor Frink parrots a real-life proposal from 1897 to round Pi down to 3. 
  • “Bart the Genius” (1990): Bart has nightmares about the the trains-traveling-at-different-speeds question
  • “Marge in Chains” (1993): A convenience store owner can recite π to its 40,000th digit. 
  • “Bart the Genius” (1990): Bart struggles to understand why the answer to the calculus problem y = (r3)/3 is worthy of interest. 

More from Smithsonian.com:

The Simpsons Break into the Smithsonian  
Is There a Homer Simpson Effect Among Scientists? 

“The Shepherd Boy”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music for the song "The Shepherd Boy" was written and composed by G. D. Wilson. The song was published by the Armstrong Music Co. of New York, New York in 1903. The cover features an illustration of a shepherd boy sitting on rocks among sheep and doing his best to woo a girl.

“The Scream” Might Have Been Inspired By a Rare Type of Cloud

Smithsonian Magazine

Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” is iconic—but it's also mysterious. Why is the stressed-out subject screaming, anyway? A Norwegian scientist has an intriguing new theory, reports the BBC’s Jonathan Amos: Perhaps the scream was inspired by an atmospheric phenomenon called mother-of-pearl clouds.

The rare clouds got their nickname from the abalone shells they resemble. Also known as nacreous or polar stratospheric clouds, they’re iridescent and pretty unusual. They form in northerly latitudes during the winter when the dry stratosphere cools down.

Normally, the stratosphere is so dry that it can’t sustain clouds, but when temperatures get beneath about 108 degrees below zero, all of the scant moisture in the air gets chilly enough to form ice crystals. When the sun hits the perfect place along the horizon, those ice crystals reflect its rays, causing a shimmering, pearly effect.

Helene Muri, a meteorologist and cloud expert, recently gave a talk at this year's European Geosciences Union General Assembly about how the wavy mother-of-pearl clouds could be portrayed in Munch’s painting. “As an artist, they no doubt could have made an impression on him,” she tells Amos.

The clouds form in icy temperatures and can be viewed only at certain latitudes and times of day. (Wikimedia Commons)

Though the sky in "The Scream" is outlandish, the painting is widely believed to be autobiographical. Munch himself struggled with tragedy and fragile health that scholars believe could have informed the painting’s colors and themes. In a poem in his diary, Munch recalls the sky turning “blood red” after he felt “a wave of sadness” while walking with some friends. He put a similar poem on the frame of one of his versions of the painting.

That description has prompted other scientists to use natural phenomena to explain the origin of the painting. In 2004, physicists theorized that the clouds were created when Krakatoa erupted in Indonesia—an event that caused spectacular sunsets throughout Europe. But it’s tricky to ascribe a particular date, time, or event to a piece of art, especially since painting is by nature so subjective.

It turns out that mother-of-pearl clouds have a dark side: As Nathan Case explains for The Conversation, they cause the ozone layer to further break down by stoking a reaction that produces free radicals, which can destroy atmospheric ozone. That’s something to scream about—but until scientists invent artistic time machines, their theories about the weather events that precipitated history’s greatest paintings will remain mere suppositions.

“The Rose of No Man's Land”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music is for the song “The Rose of No Man's Land.” The lyrics were written by Jack Caddigan and the music was composed by James A. Brennan. The sheet music was published by Leo Feist, Inc. of New York City in 1918. The red cover features an illustration of a nurse in No Man’s Land looking heavenward into a ray of light. The song was written as a tribute to Red Cross nurses serving in World War One, and this is the Patriotic War Edition that was printed on smaller paper to help the war effort.

“The Rosary”

National Museum of American History
This sheet music is for the song “The Rosary.” The lyrics come from a poem of the same name by Robert Cameron Rogers, and the music was composed by Georgia B. Welles. The sheet music was published by Eclipse Publishing Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1908. The cover features a floral print background, and an inset illustration of a dark haired woman clutching a beaded rosary that is signed “Starmer.”
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