American Ballads and Songs

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most abundantly in New England and in the Southern Appalachian region, in the Southwest, and in the Middle West. At least these are the regions which have been canvassed with the best results by collectors. Canada also has yielded material. Nearly any kind of piece may be found in any region; but, on the whole, English and Scottish pieces of the romantic and legen­dary type have been best preserved in New England and in the South. As they have roamed westward they have lost their archaic flavor and many of their distinguishing touches. Pieces of all types which have reached the West, even when ultimately from the Old World, have lost their former associations, and are likely to sound as though they sprang up in the locality which preserves them.
IV. The characters and manners of the American ballads betray their varying origins and the divergent social groups among which they have lingered. In the imported romantic and legendary ballads high­born personages sometimes retain their titles of nobility and their aristocratic adventures are not lost. More often, if such pieces have been long in the New World, the characters, localities, and stories are accom­modated to a New World setting. There is loss of romantic features and disappearance of many archaic
(literary touches in expression. Manners remain ele­mental. The preservation of the bare stories gives no chance for explanation or for subtleties. Evil stands ,.out stark and goodness is equally unqualified. The J "true love" is simple and devoted, the parents stern 1 or harsh; lovers are eternally attached, or faithless \_and murderous. Favorite characters in the imported pieces are knights and ladies, apprentices from London, lovers back from wars, highwaymen, criminals, and thieves. On the whole, the Western songs are those