Songs & Ballads Of The Maine Lumberjacks

A Collection Of Traditional & Folk Songs of the area with Lyrics & Commentaries -online book

Home Main Menu Singing & Playing Order & Order Info Support Search Voucher Codes

Share page  Visit Us On FB

Previous Contents Next
xx                     Introduction
sixty, I judged, well dressed, intelligent, a kin of the wan­dering minstrel of old — or were the old bards always bachelors?
The man was unique in my experience. As he rose to go ashore, I was tempted to break my speaking engage­ment down the river and follow Friend up in Bangor. I compromised by inviting myself to his house upon my return. His home I found modest, comfortable, and attractive. We sat round the dining-room table, on which he had placed his treasure-hoard of verse. One after another, until we had gone through the little pile, he read to me with a good deal of spirit and pride, point­ing out the merits of special verses or lines. As he read " Mount Hope Chapel," the tears streamed down his face; now and then he shot up his right arm and cried, "Ain't that grand? Ain't that grand?" However crude his verse, here was a man who felt in the depths what he had tried to express with the best art at his command. I bought his broadsides, some for myself and duplicates for the Harvard library, as Professor Kittredge had ex­pressed a wish for them. I print them with the author's permission.
This collection of popular ballads is not to be thought of as complete or final. There are, without doubt, many more ballads still sung in the lumber camps or lingering in the memories of the aged woodsmen and seamen. Soon it will be too late to gather them; those who know them are rapidly passing on. Even now the type of lumberjack of fifty years ago is hard to find. We cannot expect an indefinite continuation of ballad-growth in Maine or else-

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