The charming, fairytale-looking cottage home of Washington Irving provided the inspiration for this waltz, composed in 1850. “Sunnyside Waltz” was written by Henry T. Oates and dedicated to a Miss Ella Ford of Augusta, Georgia. An original copy of the score sits on the rosewood piano found in Irving’s living room.
“We are not musical”, reviewed the Southern Literary Messenger in 1850, “but that we are not insensible to sweet sounds…we are therefore under many obligations to Mr. Charles Oates of Charleston [presumably a relation of the composer] for a batch of his latest publications of new music. Among these are two little gems…bearing the titles of Sunnyside Waltz and Hyperion Polka.”