Ballads and Songs of Indiana - online book

A collection of 100 traditional folk songs with commentaries, historical info, lyrics & sheet music

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Brewster: Ballads and Songs of Indiana           125
(Child, No. 95)
Only one variant of "The Maid Freed from the Gallows" has been recovered. It is nearest, save for dialect, to "The Hangman's Tree," trans­mitted to Child by Miss Backus as "an old English song , . . brought over to Virginia before the Kevolution" and included by him in his collection (V, 296).
For other American texts, see Barry, No. 25; Brown, p. 9; Campbell and Sharp, No. 24; Cox, No. 18; Davis, p. 360; Hudson, No. 15; Hudson, Folksongs, pp. 111-14; Journal, XIX, 22; XXI, 56; XXIV, 337 (melody only); XXVI, 175; XXX, 319; XIII, 272; Pound, Ballads, No. 13; Sandburg, p. 72; Scarborough, pp. 35, 39, 41; Scarborough, Song Catcher, pp. 197-200; C. A. Smith, pp. 6, 10; Smith, No. 10; Smith, Ballads, No. 10; Thomas, pp. 164-65; Wyman and Brockway, p. 44; Smith and Rufty, American Anthology, p. 37; JFSS, V, 228; Folk-Lore, VI, 306; Cambiaire, East Tennessee and Western Virginia Mountain Ballads, pp. 15-16; Cox, Traditional Ballads, Mainly from West Virginiat p. 29; Henry, Folk-Songs from the Southern Highlands, p. 93.
Hungarian versions are given in Buday and Ortutay (No. 38 "Az aspis kigyo") and Bartok, Hungarian Folk Music (No. 157). For an exhaustive study of this ballad, see Erich Pohl's "Die deutsche VolksBallads von der Losgekauften" (FFC, 105).
No title given. Communicated by Mr. John West, of Oakland City, Indiana. Gibson County. Mr. West, who is eighty-two, learned this song from his grandmother many years ago. March 7, 1935.
1.   "Slack your rope, hangs-a-man;
0  slack it for a while;
I think I see my father coming, Riding many a mile.
2.   "O Father, have you brought me gold,
Or have you paid my fee? Or have you come to see me hanging On the gallows tree?"
3.   "I have not brought you gold;
1  have not paid your fee,
But I have come to see you hanging
On the gallows tree.'

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