Folk Songs from the Southern Highlands - online songbook

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

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Ballads and Songs
169
ELIZA JANE
See Sandburg, p. 133; Bradley Kincaid (Favorite Old-Time Songs and Mountain Ballads, Chicago, 1929), p. 29; Cf. also Journal, XLI, 575; Fuson, p. 172; Thomas, p. 30; Natalie Curtis-Burlin, Hampton Series Neg^o Folk-Songs, Book IV, p. 41, a dance-game song. Add Journal, XL, 97; Thomas, p. 30; Journal, XXVIII, 178.
Professor Newman I. White, in his American Negro Folk-Songs (p. 172), has so illuminating a note on this song that it is given entire as follows:
"Various songs about Eliza Jane are sung by both whites and Negroes, in addition to other songs into which a stanza, or a line, or a part of the chorus, has been attracted from the Eliza Jane songs. Probably they go back to one or more common originals, but I have seen no printed version older than several here given. A comparison with other published versions shows that they all depend on five episodes, generally treated in distinct songs; a proposal, a sleigh-ride, a visit to Eliza Jane, goodbye, and Eliza's death on the train.
"'Goodbye, Eliza Jane' was copyrighted in 1903 by Harry Von Tilzer, author of several other ragtime 'coon' songs which have found their way into popular tradition; for example, 'Alexander/ 'Please Go Way and Let Me Sleep' (Cf. XIV, no. 32), and 'What you Goin' to Do When the Rent Comes Round?' (cf. no. 43, in this chapter).
"Intrusions from other songs are common. In particular the sleigh-ride, which looks suspicious in a Negro song, has become very much mixed with a mule song.
"1 find the following Eliza Jane variants: J. A. F. L., 1890, p. 290 (from Virginia); ibid., 1893, p. 131 (from North Carolina mountain whites); Perrow, 1915, pp. 178180 (eight variants, from Tennessee, Mississippi, Indiana, and Kentucky, all but two from whites); Burlin (Hampton Series), 1919, iv, 41; Talley, 1922, p. 134; Odum, 1925, pp. 235, 237 (republished from J. A. F. L., 1911), 1926, p. 180; Scarborough, 1925, pp. 8, 169, 192, 227."
A
Obtained from Mr. C. L. Franklin, Crossnore, Avery County, North Carolina, July 7, 1930.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III