Philadelphia was the songwriting capital of the world in the 19th century courtesy of Septimus Winner.
Winner’s hits, still sung today, feature dark subject matters set to upbeat tunes. They include Listen to the Mockingbird (with Richard Milburn) which concerned a mockingbird singing over the grave of a lover; Der Deitcher’s Dog (Oh Where, Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone), in which the subject dog is kidnapped by Germans and turned into sausage; and Ten Little Indians, in which nine of them die tragically.
You would think he was a man without hope, except he is also the author of the great hymn Whispering Hope, also still common today.
For what it’s worth, The Three Stooges were fans of Winner. Listen to the Mockingbird was their theme, and the only full-length song they ever performed in a film was Winner’s The Spelling Bee which they called Swinging the Alphabet.
Septimus Winner William Lawrence Sr. Omnibit 11-28-17