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Sandy Paton Origins: Eggs and Marrowbone (23) RE: Origins: Eggs and Marrowbone 02 Apr 04

The Ballad Index may refer to Twain's reference to this song as the earliest, but in 1828 James Hall published Letters from the West (containing the first report of Hugh Glass' amazing encounter with the grizzly) in which he described the song. I don't have a copy of the original book, or its 1967 reprint by Scholar's Facsimile Reprints (Gainesville, FL, 1967) but it is referred to in Michael Allen's Western Rivermen, 1763-1861 (p. 190) thusly:
    James Hall, who collected boatmen's songs, published in 1828 qa tune he has    heard concerning a boatman's infatuation with a lass who was "so neat a maid" that she carried her stockings and shoes in her "lily white hands/ For to keep them from the dews." Another popularsong, "Woman in Our Town," concerned a promiscuous woman who "loved her husband dear-i-lee/ But another man twyste as well."     I hope I have remembered how to italicize properly. If not, maybe a Joe Clone can fix it for me.

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