Songs And Ballads Of The Maine Lumberjacks
With Other Songs From Maine

Collected And Edited By Roland Palmer Gray includes Lyrics, Histories & Commentaries.

Copyright, 1924 by harvard university press

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Songs And Ballads Of The Maine Lumberjacks About This Book
FOLK-SONGS and popular ballads are great human documents. They narrate, in unpremeditated art and verse, the experience of an individual or group, and are usually addressed and sung to this group. In "The Jam at Gerry's Rock," for instance, is related an event which actually happened during a lumber operation on the Penobscot River in Maine. The logs in the river had jammed, and "six brave shanty boys" and their foreman, young Monroe, volunteered to break the jam. This was perilous work, in which the men lost their lives. Only the mangled body of young Monroe was recovered. His lover, Clara Vernon, died of grief, and her last request, to be buried by young Monroe, was granted. The ballad opens with the direct appeal: Come all you brave shanty boys, and list while I relate Concerning a young shanty boy and his untimely fate. The motif that gave birth to this ballad was love's tragedy. The sheaf of songs and ballads comprising this volume I gathered in Maine during a long residence there while a professor in the State University. The ballads from Maine in the present volume have been collected from various sources. Many of them have been taken down as woodsmen sang or recited them. They have been transmitted by word of mouth and have been traditional in Maine, some of them, for over half a century. As in the days of Homer, they have been handed down from memory within the family, in the lumber camps, and in the river towns, and have traveled with the singers of them, not only to various parts of Maine but to distant states. Their exact origin is often uncer­tain, frequently elusive of the most careful search, and at times frankly evident.

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