WHITE HOUSE SONG BLOG

4. Music hath charms…

The year was 1914 and the world stood on the brink of its first World War. Woodrow Wilson had just held a formal diplomatic dinner for the Central Powers at the White House. Harpist Melville Clark had provided the music for the evening.

And this is what happened at the end of the night:

Melville Clark wrote: ”When the last distinguished guest had departed, the president asked me to take the harp and go with him to the rear portico of the White House. It became plain that he was gravely worried about the possibility of war and he wished only to sit a while in the soft Maytime air and listen to the harp. I was counting it a privilege to give the president a lift, when he was burdened with the melancholy thought that his guests might soon be his mortal enemies.  The moonlight was all-pervading and [everything] was wrapped in a phosphorescent glow.  … He asked if I could play “Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes.”  And as I bent eagerly over the harp and began softly the familiar melody, much to my surprise, the President began to sing it in his clear, lyric tenor voice. He suggested one after another, and it was nearly midnight when he stood up. And now it pleased me to note, he was amazingly buoyant and relaxed.”

 

Join us for MUSIC IN THE WHITE HOUSE

  • Saturday, January 28th, 2017 at 7:30 PM
    at St. David’s Episcopal Church
  • Sunday, January 29th, 2017 at 3:00 PM
    at Church of the Holy Trinity

TICKETS: https://lyricfest.org/tickets/