Ballads & Songs of Southern Michigan-songbook

A Collection of 200+ traditional songs & variations with commentaries including Lyrics & Sheet music

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

Share page  Visit Us On FB

Previous Contents Next
14          Ballads and Songs of Michigan
or Scottish ballad in manuscript form. Professor Child gives thirty versions of eighteen surviving English and Scottish ballads which he obtained from the Atlantic States and which he thought sug­gested a wealth of similar material stored away in the minds of American people and preserved by oral transmission.
Upon the death of Professor Child his successor at Harvard, Pro­fessor George Lyman Kittredge, and other scholars in various parts of the country endeavored, by stimulating interest in the oral col­lection of folk songs throughout America, to carry on the work for which their illustrious predecessor had paved the way. Many of these songs were printed in The Journal of American FolI-Lore and in the publications of folklore and folk-song societies which were organized in several states. Interest in the subject was heightened when the late Professor C. Alphonso Smith, of the University of Virginia, prevailed upon the United States Commissioner of Edu­cation to provide for the collection of English and Scotch ballads in America and implied that the study of ballads was an important phase of American literature.10 With the passage of time American Ballads and Songs, by Professor Louise Pound, of the University ot Nebraska, and the regional collections listed in our Bibliography have been published.11 As the potentialities of the study of tradi­tional song have become increasingly apparent, research in that field has gained a recognized place in American scholarship.
Scholars, however, are not the only ones who appreciate folk song, for there are many evidences of popular interest in the subject. Among these are the appointment in T933, under the Carnegie Foundation, of Professor John Lomax and his son, Alan Lomax, of the University of Texas, to collect American folk song for the Li­brary of Congress; and the yearly folk festivals celebrated in many states. Of outstanding importance among these is the annual Na­tional Folk Festival, which was instituted in April, 1934, as part of the dedication of the great Municipal Auditorium in St. Louis, Missouri. During a three-day period, with three sessions each day, thousands of urban people attended programs presented by singers, dancers, actors, and story tellers from colorful folk groups through­out the United States. These included the loggers of Michigan, who had the honor of being awarded the first prize for their performance. The festival was attended by musicians, composers, dramatists, poets,
MSee "Ballads Surviving in the United States/' The Musical Quarterly, II (January, 19x6), 109-129.
u For a discussion of the work of collectors m America since the completion of Professor Child's compilation see H. M. Belden, "Balladry in America," JAVU XXV, x~23.

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