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The National Music of America. 263
able. It is no exaggeration to state that the Bible itself contains many folk-songs of old Palestine, the mourning-song, as it is used to-day, being prominent in Jeremiah, the wedding-song of the Orient appearing in the Song of Solomon, and the favourite vintage-song, abruptly changing into a mourning-song, being clearly perceptible in Chapter V. of Isaiah.
The character of each nation is indelibly stamped on its folk-music, and the folk-song of Russia, in its deep pathos and its bacchanalian wildness, speaks of serfdom, and the temporary escape from sadness, in intoxication ; the folk-songs of Norway and Switzerland resemble each other in the flavour of mountain life which is apparent in them; the traditional history of England is found in its old folk-ballads; and the most varied, most ancient, and the most beautiful folk-music of all, the songs of Scotland, speak of every phase of Gaelic and modern Scottish life.