Studies In Folk-song And Popular Poetry

An Extensive Investigation Into The Sources And Inspiration Of National Folk Song

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vulgarity of thought is as rare as immoral sugges­tion, even in the rude satires and humorous narra­tives.
The beginning of all folk-song is in the cooing melodies which the mothers chant by the inspira­tion of nature by the cradles of their drowsing in­fants, and in which the affections of their hearts take an articulate form as naturally as the songs of birds. The berceuses, or cradle songs, of the Breton peasantry have all the elements of deep feeling and childish simplicity of expression which characterize the voice of motherhood in every clime and every station in life, and unite the queen and the peasant in a common bond. The same lovely and touching images suggest themselves, and the same simple and soothing melody flows naturally from the lips. This Breton cradle song might find its parallel in thought and language in many
nations: —
Toutouie la, la, my little child, Toutouie la, la.
Your mother is here, my little child, To rock you softly, little dear.
Your mother is here, my little lamb, She will sing you a little song.
The other day she wept sorely ; Now she smiles, the little mother.
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