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Music from the West.                   235
I find therein such a heap of disconnected elements —French, German, English-Puritan, and Negro; music of times old and times new, without any present individuality, that I will forbear to enter into a maze of which no living person seems as yet to hold the clue.
Such character as the people of the country have shown in their imaginative literature seems not as yet to have wrought itself out in art, or only capriciously. Their Painting has as yet no Wash­ington Irving—their Music is till now without its Nathaniel Hawthorne. Though they are full of instincts for singing, both the white and the dark population—-as was shown to us most quaintly by the Hutchinson family, and later to satiety by the parties who have called up a host of imitators, and have degraded the sentimental word' Serenader' into something suggestive of a monkey and a blacking brush—there is as yet surprisingly little either in their scng-words or music that can be called their own. I believe that I possess the largest collection of 'Little Warblers' from across the Atlantic, that could be found in England; and with the exception of a slang song or two, such as I can fancy made by a machine in our parish of St. Giles', I find nothing

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