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drowned the girl, but meanwhile—and since then for that matter—her spirit has been hanging round the scene to save young girls from some villain's lies.
The Antique Flavor Lasts
The moral of all this has been set down so forcefully by the author of the ballad that I am reluctant to try to im­prove upon it:
Young people, oh take warning and listen while I say You must take care before it is too late.
Don't listen to the story some villain's tongue may tell Or you are sure to meet Naomi's fate.
But perhaps you have heard the whole ballad. If so, you are not unique. It sold on phonograph records to the extent of I don't know how many thousand copies. The amazing thing about it and others like it is that it is a con­temporary song-tale. It was born quite recently and lived to win and hold its place in a jazzed-up world of Mean to Mes and Do Do Do Somethings.
There are available today, on more than threescore disks, such records. The songs have to do with old legends or recent occurrences. But the form is that of ancient ballads, the singing of which for years was restricted to the remote mountain-folk. The music is simple and reminiscent of old-time tunes; accompaniments easily fabricated on the fiddle or guitar. They tell such tales as that of the tragic death of Floyd Collins in his mountain cave, the sinking of the great Titanic, the Scopes trial in Tennessee, the death of Floyd Bennett and innumerable railroad wrecks.
You will hear them played nightly in home situated in what it is now considered swanky to refer to as the prov­inces, or before more sophisticated if less reverent audi­ences at parties in the cities.
A New and Profitable Market
The demand for them is almost incredible. They sell by the hundreds of thousands. One of them, The Death of Floyd Collins, has gone past the million mark. Most of
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III