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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Frank Hamilton Origin: Sail Away Ladies (39) RE: Origin: Sail Away Ladies 04 Jan 07

I think it should be fairly obvious that songs like "Sail Away Ladies" and many of the old-time Appalachian songs done by Uncle Dave or Gran'pa Jones, Stringbean etc. emanate from the Minstrel Show tradition and the performances of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" popular throughout the South for a short period of time. "Old Dan Tucker", "Angelina Baker" and many variants of these started on the Minstrel Show stage. The words to "O Susannah" would be unacceptable to most audiences today.

It's significant that these songs survive mainly because of white performers in blackface who caracatured the "negro" in the Minstrel Show.

It's ironic that some of those songs were entertaining...and they were and are.

Karen Lin mentions in her book on the banjo that this instrument was largely popular because of the Minstrel Show whereas the popular instrument on the plantation was the fiddle not the banjo.


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