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with the crescendo and diminuendo of the whirling spokes; of the crooning "By-ee . . . By-ee . . ." that lulls little chil­dren to sleep; of the laugh and leap of dancers bounding through "Cripple Creek" at the bidding of a man told off to call the figures; of red firelight flickering over an impromptu play party—neighbor lads and girls singing and romping through all the evolutions of those intricate games of court­ship, in which the couples are never finally mated, saluting and pirouetting, and following and flouting; of wilder nights at "protracted meeting," when, an awed and fascinated child, I clung to the wall or clambered on the benches to be out of harm's way; of the ripple of water and the drone of bees___
Had I but words to say how these tunes are bound with the life of the singer, knit with his earliest impressions, and therefore dearer than any other music could ever be—im­possible to forget as the sound of his mother's voice!
Crude with a tang of the Indian wilderness, strong with the strength of the mountains, yet, in a way, mellowed by the English of Chaucer's time—surely this is folk-song of a high order. May it not one day give birth to a music that shall take a high place among the world's great schools of expression?
NOTE: For assistance in writing the score of these melodies, I am indebted to Professor Roy L. Smith and to Mrs. Arnold, of Chattanooga.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III