Folk Songs from the Southern Highlands - online songbook

Southern Appalachians songs with lyrics, commentary & some sheet music.

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INTRODUCTION.
The discovery in recent years that the traditional ballads of England and Scotland are still perpetuated in oral transmission to a somewhat surprising extent in the Southern Appalachians of America has not only turned the attention of scholars in that direction, but has added a new element of romance to that deeply interesting region. The charm and lure of these highlands are gripping. Let the traveler once tread their paths and he will be drawn to them again and again irresistibly because of the peculiar attractiveness and friendliness of these southern peaks and ranges with the soft blue atmosphere. "A pastoral charm seems to rest upon the scenery,2 said an English traveler many years ago. Owing to climatic conditions and to the fact that these regions were not affected during the glacial period, the mountains are often cultivated, or are used for orchards or for grazing purposes, to much higher altitudes than are those in the northern ranges of America. "Nearly all of them," says Horace Kephart, "are clad to their tops in dense forest and thick undergrowth. Here and there is a grassy *bald': a natural meadow curiously perched on the very top of a mountain. There are no bare, rocky summits rising above timberline, few jutting crags, no ribs and vertebrae of the earth exposed. Seldom does one see even a naked ledge of rock. The very cliffs are sheathed with trees and shrubs, so that one
1  The Introduction is in part rewritten from various articles by the editor appearing in 'I he New YorkBvemng Post ("Outings" page), some of which are: (i) "The Blue Ridge of North Carolina", March 23, 1923; (2) "North Carolina Trails", August 13, 1923; (*) "South as a Summer Resort", August 17,1923; (4) "Trampcrs'Trails through North ( .irolina Highlands", August 31, 1923 (Copied in Asheville Citizen, October 8, 1923, and followed October 9 by an editorial entitled, "Our Mountain Trails"); (5) "North Carolina Trails", October 31, 1923, (6) "North Carolina Field for Exploring Hikes", December 28, 1923; (7) "Hunting Mountain Ballads", August 22, 1930; (8) "Adventures in the (Treat Smokies", August 29, 1930; etc.
The editor's articles and head-notes to ballads in the New Jersey Journal of Education have also been drawn upon as material for the Introduction. These may be found in the following issues: February, 1926, p. 5; March, 1926, p. 6, September, 1926, p. 20, February, 1927, p. 7; June, 1927, p. 9, December, 1927, p. 11, March, 1928, p. 13; February, 1929^. 10; March, 1929, p. 12; April, 1929, p. 10; May, 1929, p. 9, September, 1929, p. 9; November-December, 1929, p. 10; January, 1930, p. 10; March, 1930, p. 8; October, 1930, p. 4; November-December, 1930, p. 6; January-February, 1931, p. 15.
2  Charles Lanman- Adventures m the W'tlds of North America, London, 1854, p. 177.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III