Temperance made its mark on American popular culture in the 19th century.
Publishers took advantage of the temperance trend and created the
genre of temperance fiction, a sentimental brand of literature that
focused on the unhappiness of the drunkards home. Philadelphia
author T.S. Arthurs novel Ten Nights in a Bar-Room was
a huge seller and was later made into a successful play. There were
melodramas with temperance themes and temperance halls that put on plays
for the benefit of temperance organizations. Many popular songs, including
"Father, Come Home," used temperance
as a theme.
Here is a vocal clip of "Father, Dear
Father" also known as "Father, Come Home,"
sung by Joe Pontius.
John S. Adams. The Boston Temperance Glee Book.
Boston: Elias Howe, 1848.
Contains lyrics and melodies for numerous temperance songs, including
"Touch Not the Cup" to the tune of "Long Long Ago"
and "Twas the Last, Last Rumseller" to the tune of "Last
Rose of Summer."
T.S.Author. Ten Nights in a Bar-Room.
Boston: L.P.Crown & Co., 1854.
In the 1850s, this book was second only to Uncle Toms Cabin
in popularity, selling over a million copies. William W. Pratt dramatized
the tale, and the stage version played continuously in the United States
from the 1850s until the 1930s, often incorporating the popular temperance
song "Father, Come Home." The narrative contains examples
of three drunken-man themes: one drunkard is banished to the poorhouse,
leaving his family destitute; another is killed in a bar-room brawl;
a third, after causing his own daughters death, makes a vow never
to drink again and is eventually restored to respectability.