Oh, Dry Those Tears! (1901)

For the past month, I have been lost in researching my cousin Anna Belle McCall Martin Martin Giampino’s life. My plan was to write her up for the second person in my 52 ancestors in 52 weeks series. Right now I am behind by about six weeks. While looking I found a third husband, an eighth child and her death, among other things.

One of these was a newspaper article that described a recital where Anna Belle McCall sang “Oh Dry Those Tears”. I realized that my grandmother Pearl Reed had sung the same song at a different recital.  You can hear this song at the end of the post.

Twenty two year old Anna Belle sang in Montgomery in 1904.  She had graduated from and taught at Alabama State Normal School, where the program was given. At the time she lived at home with her parents and siblings.

My grandmother Pearl sang in Indianapolis Indiana in 1909. She was twenty three and lived at home with her mother and brother. She sang with her church choir at Witherspoon Presbyterian Church on Sundays and regularly in community and church programs. Several years ago I found this news clipping among family photographs.

Sings in Concert at Simpson Chapel

The Indianapolis Star, 08 May 1908, Fri, Page 12

“The violin recital of Clarence Cameron White will be given this evening at Simpson Chapel under the direction of the colored Y.M.C.A. Orchestra. He will be supported by the best local talent.

The following program will be given:

Overture-“Northern Lights,” Y.M.C.A. Orchestra.
Violin- Hungarian Rhapsodie, Clarence Cameron White.
Solo – “Oh, Dry Those Tears.” Miss Pearl D. Reed.
Piano – (a) Valse in C sharp minor: (b) Polaise in A major, Mrs. Alberta J. Grubbs.
Violin – Tran Merci; (d) Scherzo. Clarence Cameron White.
Orchestra – “The Spartan” Orchestra
Vocal – “Good-bye” Miss Pearl D. Reed.
Readings – A.A. Taylor
Selection – “The Bird and the Brook” Orchestra

Anna Belle with her brother James Edward McCall in 1906. From the Detroit Free Press.

An Evening With McCall

Poems of Blind Negro Poet Recited at Normal School
Montgomery Advertiser September 9, 1904.

“A goodly crowd of representative negro citizens of Montgomery was present last night at the chapel of the State Normal School to participate in an “Evening with Poet McCall.” The entertainment consisted of recitations of some of the works of Montgomery’s blind negro poet interspersed with musical selections both vocal and instrumental.

The poems presented were well selected, embracing lyric, epic, didactic and satiric compositions of James Edward McCall and were rendered in a suitable and sympathetic manner by members of his race. The poet himself was present, seated among the audience.

N.H. Alexander acted as master of ceremonies and in a few introductory remarks dwelt upon the character of McCall’s work and stated that the object of the meeting was to pay tribute to the genius of one of their own race.

Also noteworthy were the remarks of William Phillips who gave a sketch of the life of the blind poet and spoke of the favorable appreciation his poems had met with both among his own race and the white people in Montgomery and elsewhere.”

O dry those tears and calm those fears
Life is not made for sorrow
‘Twill come, alas! but soon ’twill pass
Clouds will be sunshine tomorrow
‘Twill come, alas! but soon ’twill pass
Clouds will be sunshine tomorrow

O lift thine eyes to the blue skies
See how the clouds do borrow
Brightness, each one, straight from the sun
So is it ever with sorrow
‘Twill come, alas! but soon ’twill pass
Clouds will be sunshine tomorrow
Then lift thine eyes to the blue skies
Clouds will be sunshine tomorrow
O dry those tears, life is not made for sorrow


words and music by Teresa del Riego
published by Chappell & Co. Ltd., London

8 thoughts on “Oh, Dry Those Tears! (1901)

  1. I have been real lucky lately with newspapers.com and family stories. I remember my grandmother’s voice when it was old and quavery. I wish I could have heard her sing during her prime.

  2. Your family is so well-documented; I always love reading about them!
    By the way, I think I may have encouraged you to do 52 Weeks, but, guess what? I’m also behind. I only did the first week. I have a plan to catch up, though! 🙂


  3. Thanks for sharing, it’s great research work come-together as a portrait of a lovely woman, and she looked beautiful in that photo in the newspaper too. I’ve dropped out of 52 weeks, as I’m doing many more people but perhaps including some historic events and places. Only have so much time in a lifetime.

    1. I’m still writing people up, but I do so much research I may not get to 52 ancestors. Although I usually do 26 people during April for the A to Z.

  4. Very nice post. Interesting too. Are you or have you ever been a member of IAAGHS ? I know they would enjoy your blog especially those that are about your family in Indy.

    1. Karen, I haven’t been a member because I never lived in Indiana. Feel free to share any posts you think they would find interesting with them, would appreciate it!

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