Folk Songs from the Southern Highlands - online songbook

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

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Lam kin
(Child, No. 9i)
When Tolman printed his version in Journal, XXIX, 162, he wrote: "It is the only full American version that I know of." Now we have three full versions in Davis, No. 26, and one with ihe air in Barry-Eckstorm-Smyth, p. 200. The present version with some interpretative comments was first printed in the New Jersey Journal ojEducation, September, 1929, p. 9. It was reprinted in the Journal, XLIV, 61. See also Campbell and Sharp, No. 23; Journal, XIII, 117 (Newell); XXXV, 344 (Tolman and Eddy, a fragment with the air); Brown, p. 9; Jones, p. 301 (a fragment). Mrs. Fannie Hardy Eckstorm suggests that '"Boab King' must be 'Bold Lamkin'." "I think," she continues, "the 'a' in Boab is not pronounced but merely lengthens the 'o'. In that case they probably at some time said 'Bo'd Lamkin', then 'Bo'd Lamking' and in time dropped the 'lam' and got the 'Bo'd King'. As^> and b are labials and d, dental, and all are interchangeable, it made no difference whether they said 'Bo'd' or 'Bo'b.'" Then she extends her comment: "'Miss Fartner' is a little different. 'R' is an uncertain letter in both New England and the South; sometimes you have it and sometimes you don't; so I suggest that this might be pronounced 'Fawtner', not rolling the V. If so, I can get it nicely. It stands for 'faulse nurse' or 'fawlse nourice' and by dropping the ends of the words we get 'fawl(se) nour(ice)'. But you will observe that our word 'false' has a touch of a 't' in it 'faltse', as we often pronounce it. Add this and you have 'fawlt(se) nour(ice)' which is 'Fawltner', or as written, 'Fartner'. The 'Miss' is added because they do not speak of a lady by her last name!"
"Boab King." Obtained from Miss Laura Harmon, Cade's Cove, Blount County, Tennessee, 1928.
1. Boab King was a mason As fine as ever laid a stone. He built a fine castle And pay he got none.

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III