Every year brings forth a new crop of “songs that touch the heart”. The harvest never fails. An American music publisher has given the secret away to an interviewer. Roughly speaking (he said), you can divide popular songs into seven classes as follows:
1. The straight love song, with a girl played up strong.
2. The “mother” song.
3. The song that appeals to patriotism (if you can hash up a medley of national tunes in the chorus accompaniment all the better).
4. The “misunderstanding” song (parted lovers, quarrels between husband and wife, etc.)
5. The piece with a locality refrain (such as ‘She was Bred in Old Kentucky’).
6. The ‘plucky poor’ ballad (including the tenement local colour brand, such as ‘The Sunshine of Paradise Alley’ and ‘Down in Poverty Row’)
7. The ragtime brigade – straight, blended, and un-African.
– Evening Post, Wellington,16 June 1906