“Mother Goose” (1883)
One of the seldom-used marches in the Sousa Band repertoire was this medley of nursery tunes. Reflecting his sense of humor, Sousa used it in a sly manner. On one occasion, a matinee audience seemed unresponsive. He quietly uttered to the band, “If they’re going to act like children, we’ll give them children’s music! Get up ‘Mother Goose,’ gentlemen.” This got to be a joke with the bandsmen, and when Sousa appeared to be perturbed with a matinee audience, they would nudge one another and say, “The Old Man’s about ready to give ‘em ‘Mother Goose’!”
The nursery tunes included are “Come All Ye Young Maids,” “I’se Come to See Miss Jennie Jones,” “Little Jack Horner,” “There Is a Man in Our Town,” “Our Dear Doctor,” and “Down in the Meadow.”
Paul E. Bierley, The Works of John Philip Sousa (Westerville, Ohio: Integrity Press, 1984), 72. Used by permission.