On the Counter


"On the Counter" can be found as the 28th song in Ives's song collection 114 Songs. The song is a parody of the formulaic technique used to write a popular song.

Composer's Note (at the bottom of the score):

Though there is little danger of it, it is hoped that this song will not be taken seriously, or sung, at least, in public.


The audio recording of "On the Counter," provided in the audio player to the right, features Rayanne Dupuis, soprano, and Antoine Palloc, piano. These songs are from the album The Side Show: Songs of Charles Ives, and are available thanks to the generosity of the performers. To listen, please click on the track name itself.

On the Counter
by Charles Ives

Tunes we heard in "ninety two,"
soft and sweet,
always ending "I love you" -
phrases nice and neat;
The same old chords, the same old time,
the same old sentimental sound,
Shades of ah, ah, ah in new songs abound.

Audio PLaylist