Ballads & Songs of Southern Michigan-songbook

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

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Introduction
21
in another ballad, "The Farmer's Curst Wife," in which there is also a supernatural character, the devil, to be guarded against Here the refrain has assumed the corrupt form:
Jack a fie gent to rosim Marie
As the dew blows over the green vallee
Striking variations in titles, which may have been conscious or unconscious, are "The Cup of Cold Poison" for "Lord Randal"; "The Wealthy Merchant" for variants under the titles "Jackie Fraisure," "Jack Went A-Saihng," "Jack Munro," "The Wars of Germany," and "Jackaro." The Michigan song entitled "The Jealous Lover" appears elsewhere as "Poor Florella," "The Weeping Willow," "Pearl Bryan," "Flonlla," "Emma," "Nellie," "Lena," "Aurilla," "Ella," "Abbie Summers," "Flora Ella," and "Dear Edward." The titles under which one of the Michigan songs passes are "The Banks of the River Dee," "The Banks of the Obadee," "On the Banks of the Old Pedee," "On the Banks of the Old T. B.," and "On the Banks of the Old Knee." If the memory of an informant fails him when he is asked for the name of a song, he may give the first line of the song, an old method of identifying all songs, or he may give the name of another song which comes to his mind, or possibly a name connected with some local situation or tragedy with which he is familiar and which is somewhat similar to that of the piece in question. An example of this is "Michigan-I-O," which is a local title of a Canadian song, "Canaday-I-O," and two cowboy songs, "The Buffalo Skinners" and "Hills of Mexico."
EDITORIAL USAGE IN THE PRESENT STUDY
We have arranged our collection in groups according to subject matter, but within each group we have given first place to what we consider ballads, the oldest ones first, and second place to songs of similar character in which the narrative and impersonal elements are not so prominent as they are in ballads. Although we realize that many songs and ballads might appropriately be included under any one of several groups, we have made the following headings: "Un­happy Love," "Happy Love," "War," "Occupations," "Disasters," "Crimes," "Religion," "Humor," and "Nursery."
As a general principle, unless the discussions and references in sources which are listed in the Bibliography and referred to in the notes have some special significance for our songs, we aim not to repeat them. But we do try to indicate recently published variants of our items and to present any new information which we have found concerning them.







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