Sounding Childhood

Away to school

"Away to school" has a jaunty tune (as in Juvenile Harrmonist, 1843) which may not match contemporary children's enthusiasm for school, but the impoverished 19th C child whose parents could barely send them to inexpensive Sunday schools, nor afford their weekly attendance when the family needed the child's income, I can imagine plenty of enthusiasm on those trips to school: "Our youthful hearts with learning burn...to science our steps we turn" (v. 1), "in study now we spend our day."  It is a merry picture of "united in a peaceful band,/ We're join'd in heart, we're join'd in hand" (v. 2). 

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