Irene and Vernon Castle

Jimmy’s black leg knifed right into Aurora’s white skirt; her skirt swirled and entwined him.
The closeness of their limbs with the stillness of their sober faces gave the dance a curious airy thrill,
compounded when they began to twirl and Aurora’s pointed foot flicked up once, around once,
and on the third swoop gave a charming waggle to the side.


A Vaudeville Glossary • Vaudeville sources • Vaudeville circuit map • Playbills • Behind the curtain

“They Didn’t Believe Me”
download the Uri Caine Ensemble “They Didn’t Believe Me” by Jerome Kern, from The Girl From Utah, (1914)

The brilliant Madeline Kahn, performing Bella’s big hit, You’d Be Surprised

For a quick taste of the music, click here to go to an iTunes sampler

All the songs, in order:

The Streets of Cairo, 1895
James Thornton

Whispering Hope, 1868
Septimus Winner

Buffalo Gals, 1844
John Hodges

After the Ball, 1891
Charles K. Harris

I Can’t Do the Sum (from Babes in Toyland), 1903
Victor Herbert

Una Voce Poco Fa, from The Barber of Seville, 1816
Gioacchino Rossini

Early One Morning, 18th C
English Folk Song

The Last Rose of Summer, 1807
Thomas Moore/John Stevenson

Danny Boy, 1910
Frederick Weatherly/Londonderry Air
(sung by Deanna Durbin; Eva Cassidy does a lovely version here)

Songs My Mother Taught Me, 1880
Anton Dvorak

Chanson de Florian (Florian’s Song), 1901
Charles Ives/Benjamin Godard

Mon Homme, 1914

Lakme, Flower Duet (Sous le dôme épais), 1883; or this version, which is beautifully close to Aurora and Clover!
Léo Delibes

The Rosary, 1898
Ethelbert Nevin

Be My Little Baby Bumblebee, 1912
Henry Marshall/Stanley Murphy

Per Valli, Per Boschi
Felice Blangini

Spring Song (Song Without Words, 62), 1844
Felix Mendelssohn

There’s a Long, Long Trail a-Winding, 1913
Stoddard King /Alonzo Elliott

On Wings of Song, exactly as Bella and Aurora might have sung it.
Felix Mendelssohn

Poor Butterfly, 1914
Raymond Hubbell & John Golden
(Deanna Durbin; also here with Judy Garland, as blues)

Helen Gone
Victor Meyers

Castle Walk, 1914
James Europe & Ford Dabney
the Castles dancing (wrong music)

Oh, You Beautiful Doll, 1911
Seymour Brown & Irving Berlin

Pretty Baby

Nocturne for Piano No 11 in E-Flat Major
John Field

To a Wild Rose, Woodland Sketches, Op 51
Edward MacDowell

Life’s a Very Funny Proposition After All, 1911
George M. Cohan

Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life, from Naughty Marietta, 1910
Victor Herbert

I’m Always Chasing Rainbows, 1916
Harry Carroll/McCarthy

Hello, Hello, Who’s Your Lady Friend?
Worton David & Bert Lee, Harry Fragson

By the Banks of the Saskatchewan
Ivan Caryll

They Didn’t Believe Me, 1914
Jerome Kern

Roses of Picardy, 1916
Frederick Weatherley (who also wrote Danny Boy)


A Vaudeville Glossary • Vaudeville sources • Vaudeville circuit map • Playbills • Behind the curtain