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The compiler of this little volume, in preparing it for the press, did not feel himself at liberty to consult his own taste in every instance. The task set before him, was merely to select a single song from the productions of two hundred writers. Of course he had little to do beyond ascertaining which one was the most popular, when adapted to music. With the composer, therefore, in many cases, rests the unenviable responsibility of deciding upon the literary merits of some of the effusions chosen for this work.
All the poets of America have not written songs, which will account for the absence of many names, familiar to the public; and all the song writers of this country are not represented in this volume, which is on account of its dimensions, and not owing to any desire on the part of the compiler to suppress the name of any one who has written either well or successfully. In the hope that a second volume of these Melodies will be acceptable to those who possess the first, he has al. ready commenced his selections for it, and he will feel obliged to the reader for calling his attention to any American song of merit which has been (unintentionally on his part) omitted here. He has no doubt that there are many such ; but as he has had no means of ascertaining the fact or of possessing copies, he trusts that should this be the case, that they will be sent to the publishers, for insertion in the second volume. In con. clusion, he trusts, that as a book of American Melodies is certainly a novelty in letters, that it will meet with as much indulgence from the hands of his fellow labourers in the literary vineyard, as they may find it in their natures to bestow, for although the editor can claim no merit whatever for a mere compilation, yet the case is different with the publishers, who deserve much credit for being the pioneers in a description of book that universally abounds in every country except our own.