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Joe Offer Origins: State of Illinois/Elanoy (18) DT Correction: Plains of Illinois ELANOYS2 05 Apr 19


I think I'd delete this version from the Digital Tradition, since it's so similar to the version from Fold Songs of the Catskills.

THE PLAINS OF ILLINOIS

1. Come all you good old farmers that on your plow depend,
Come listen to a story, come listen unto a friend;
Oh, leave your fields of childhood, you enterprising boys;
Come travel west and settle on the plains of Illinois.

2 Illinois, it is as fine countree as ever has been seen,
If old Adam had traveled over that, perhaps he would say the same,
"All in the garden of Eden, when I was but a boy,
There was nothing I could compare with the plains of Illinois."

3 Perhaps you have a few acres that near your friends' adjoin,
Your family is growing large, for them you must provide,
Come, leave your fields of childhood, you enterprising boys,
Come travel west and settle on the plains of Illinois.

Source: The Abelard Folk Song Book, Norman Cazden, 1958.

In Carl Sandburg's "American Songbag," you'll find ELANOY, a much less complimen
tary version of this song.

@American @farm @settler
filename[ ELANOYS2
JRO

The DT lyrics for this version are exactly the same as what's on pp 62-63 of Norman Cazden's Abelard Folk Book (1958). It is almost exactly the same as the DT version from Cazden's Folk Songs of the Catskills, so we probably should not include this second version in the Digital Tradition.

Here are the notes from the Abelard Folk Song Book
    PLAINS OF ILLINOIS, THE. Logically this should be a well-known song. It has somehow been overlooked, and ought to be taken up by “boosters” and by various state organizations. Yet there is only one other version of the song known in tradition, and this is Elanoy, in Sandburg’s American Songbag. Even here the text is fragmentary, and the resemblance closest in the image relating to Adam’s preference of Illinois over Eden. The tune given by Sandburg is not related to George Edwards’ version, and it employs a refrain that would not fit the pattern here. Sandburg’s version has been reprinted by Carmer. On a closely related theme and with similar formation of lines is a song called The Banks of the Ohio, printed in 1842. George Edwards’ tune for THE PLAINS OF ILLINOIS is of a strain found also in versions of The Rambling Cowboy (Lomax) and The Girl I Left Behind (Gardner). How the song worked its way east from its presumed illinois origin we cannot tell.
    Canner 2 189; Gardner 2 98°; Lomax 2 192°; Sandburg 162.


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