American Ballads and Folk Songs: page - 0359

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American Ballads and Folk Songs
not invariably so. That rested with the singers, who, singing for their own joy, neither knew nor cared if they sang in key, especially if they were roystering young blades riding home from a long dance around five o'clock in the morning. There were, as of most other dance songs, lawless and high colored versions for such tunes, versions which could not be given unexpurgated before ladies. But the sedatest could take no offence at the authorized ballad, which indeed was often used as a lullaby: