American Ballads and Songs

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PREFACE
This anthology is intended to present to lovers of traditional song such selections as shall illustrate the main classes and types having currency in English-speaking North America. The interest attaching to them is partly literary, partly historical, and partly the interest of folk-lore.
The choice of pieces has not been made on the ground of poetical quality, although this has been taken into account. The aim is rather to display the typical songs and ballads liked by the people and lingering among them. The arrangement is neither chronologi­cal nor regional but is based upon type of material. Some of the texts are printed for the first time while others have appeared in various places. Occasionally variant texts have been introduced, to illustrate the multiple forms which may be assumed by a single ballad. In a few instances, where it seemed to have interest, a manuscript version is reproduced literatim. The provenience of the ballad included is entered in the notes, and—where this can be determined—the history of the ballad is sketched. But an effort has been made not to burden the notes with great detail or abundant comment, since the purpose of the an­thology is literary and illustrative rather than scholarly and critical.
The collection is addressed to students of poetry and lovers of folk-song and to those who care for traditional pieces as social documents which reflect the life and traditions of those who preserve them.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III