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this character is like trying to give a composite picture of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and the Indian Territory during the last thirty years.
The hundred songs that make up this book are typical and genuine cowboy songs; the river and hobo and outlaw songs that are also a part of the cowboy's repertory having been omitted. A number of songs that belong more specifically to the Central States have also been omitted. Wherever possible, Mr. Thorp has given the names of the authors of the songs and, when these could not be discovered, the cowboys who sang them, or the place where he found them.
The fact that most of these songs are of known authorship, or that some of them appeared originally in print, in no way lessens their genuine folk-quality. Otherwise, many of the old English and Irish broad-sheet ballads which have come down to us through oral tradition, but were, as the term indicates, originally printed, could not be called folksongs. (As indubitable examples of folk-songs with a printed origin and of individual authorship, one may mention the "Suwanee River" and " Old Kentucky Home" and other songs by Stephen Foster. "Auld Lang Syne" is another folk-song, which, if the identity of its celebrated author were forgotten, would be included in all the folk-lore collections.)
The more one examines the evidence, the more one is convinced that it is the we of a song, rather than its origin, which determines what is known as folk-song. Conditions favorable to the production