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Mrs Barney Williams featured on the cover of ‘My Mary Ann Polka’ by Louis-Antoine Jullien, London, 1856/57

March 8, 2014

Mrs Barney Williams (1828-1911), American actress, featured on the cover of ‘My Mary Ann Polka’ by Louis-Antoine Jullien (1812-1860)
(colour lithograph music sheet cover by John Brandard (1812-1863), printed by M. & N. Hanhart, the music printed by T. Sharp, 16 Great Tichfield Street, Oxford Street, London, 1856/57)

Jullien dedicated his popular ‘My Mary Ann Polka’ to Mrs Barney Williams, probably in 1856, at the time of her and her husband’s tour of the United Kingdom, during which they appeared at the Adelphi Theatre, London, on various occasions between 1855 and 1857. ‘My Mary Ann Polka’ was described shortly after its publication as ‘a sprightly piece of music, in which the Yankee melodies of ”Bobbing Around,” ”My Mary Ann,” and ”Sing Song Polly,” are very happily introduced and adapted to the Polka step.’ (Caledonian Mercury, Edinburgh, 15 January 1857, p. 3b)

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