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Songbooks: A Basic Folk Library

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Joe Offer 21 Dec 99 - 06:34 PM
Bill D 21 Dec 99 - 08:25 PM
Sandy Paton 21 Dec 99 - 10:18 PM
Roger in Baltimore 21 Dec 99 - 10:56 PM
DonMeixner 21 Dec 99 - 11:24 PM
raredance 22 Dec 99 - 12:14 AM
22 Dec 99 - 12:39 AM
Sandy Paton 22 Dec 99 - 02:51 AM
Joe Offer 22 Dec 99 - 03:27 AM
_gargoyle 22 Dec 99 - 04:01 AM
Abby Sale 22 Dec 99 - 10:34 AM
Sandy Paton 22 Dec 99 - 06:00 PM
Martin Ryan 22 Dec 99 - 06:37 PM
Rick Fielding 22 Dec 99 - 06:39 PM
Sandy Paton 22 Dec 99 - 09:04 PM
Joan 22 Dec 99 - 09:47 PM
Murray on Saltspring 23 Dec 99 - 12:37 AM
Big Mick 23 Dec 99 - 01:52 AM
lamarca 25 Dec 99 - 02:05 PM
Joe Offer 27 Mar 00 - 06:42 PM
GUEST,Jim Dixon 27 Mar 00 - 07:36 PM
Charlie Baum 28 Mar 00 - 01:17 AM
GUEST,Dan Keding 28 Mar 00 - 10:12 AM
Hollowfox 28 Mar 00 - 10:24 AM
northfolk/al cholger 28 Mar 00 - 04:35 PM
Art Thieme 29 Mar 00 - 11:26 AM
GUEST,bigJ 29 Mar 00 - 03:05 PM
RitchieOne 29 Mar 00 - 08:46 PM
wysiwyg 28 Aug 00 - 05:22 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 28 Aug 00 - 05:33 PM
Burke 28 Aug 00 - 05:47 PM
rabbitrunning 29 Aug 00 - 12:15 AM
Sandy Paton 29 Aug 00 - 01:15 AM
SINSULL 29 Aug 00 - 09:26 AM
Shanti 29 Aug 00 - 09:35 AM
pastorpest 29 Aug 00 - 10:59 AM
mousethief 30 Aug 00 - 05:51 PM
Joe Offer 01 Sep 00 - 05:23 PM
Nancy-Jean 01 Sep 00 - 06:34 PM
Lindsay 15 Oct 00 - 11:23 AM
pastorpest 15 Oct 00 - 12:51 PM
Art Thieme 16 Oct 00 - 01:42 PM
Art Thieme 16 Oct 00 - 01:50 PM
Liam's Brother 16 Oct 00 - 02:26 PM
GUEST,Becky N 17 Oct 00 - 01:25 AM
wildlone 17 Oct 00 - 04:11 PM
Joe Offer 16 Apr 01 - 02:50 PM
Peter T. 16 Apr 01 - 05:32 PM
Joe Offer 16 Apr 01 - 05:56 PM
Stewie 16 Apr 01 - 08:27 PM
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Subject: A Basic Folk Library
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Dec 99 - 06:34 PM

I'm frustrated.
I've been trying to research "12 Days of Christmas," and I'm not finding much information that sounds authoritative. I found a nice little story in a book by Alan Lomax, but that's all I ever find in Lomax - nice little stories and very few facts. I'm looking for books that have good scholarship and solid information about the stories behind the folk songs we love. What can you recommend?
-Joe Offer-
Let's talk about songbooks and books about folk music in this Basic Folk Library thread. This thread (click) is a better place to discuss the Twelve Days of Christmas.

See also Basic Folk Library New Resource and Basic Folk Library PermaThread.

Thanks.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: A Basic Folk Library
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Dec 99 - 08:25 PM

well, Joe...there are lots of categories...here are 4 quick ones

"Scottish Border Battles & Ballads" by Michael Brander
1775 Clarkson N. Potter Inc., Publisher ISBN 0-517-552500-3 LC-75-44444

"American Murder Ballads and their Stories" by Olive Woolley Burt
1958 ..Oxford Univ.Press LC 58-5382

"Deep the Water, Shallow the Shore"..essays on shantying in the West Indies
Roger D. Abrams LC-73-19540.(American Folklore Society)

"Scalded to Death by the Steam"...Katie Letcher Lyle
stories of railroad disasters and the ballads about them
Algonquin Books, Chapel Hill, NC ISBN-0-912697-01-6
(this one is great!...and may even be easy to find)

also thinking of JoAnna Colcord's book on shanties...and a few others...

any specific areas, Joe


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Subject: RE: A Basic Folk Library
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 21 Dec 99 - 10:18 PM

Joe Hickerson prepared a superb bibliography for Duncan Emrich's American Folk Poetry, An Anthology, Little, Brown and Company, Boston-Toronto, 1974. This is a collection of texts, no tunes, but good footnotes pointing to sources, and a wonderful selection of songs. Find the book, if you can, and check out the bibliography.

Another significant study would be D. K. Wilgus' Anglo-American Folksong Scholarship since 1898, Rutgers University Press, 1959. Either of these books will direct you to other worthwhile studies.

Beware the addiction!

Sandy


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Subject: RE: A Basic Folk Library
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 21 Dec 99 - 10:56 PM

Yeah, Joe, remember you are semi-retired and the big bucks aren't just rollin' in like they used ta.

Big RiB


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Subject: RE: A Basic Folk Library
From: DonMeixner
Date: 21 Dec 99 - 11:24 PM

I recall a book about the songs of the Catskills by Norman Cazden. I think I'd reccomend that scholarly effort

Don


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Subject: RE: A Basic Folk Library
From: raredance
Date: 22 Dec 99 - 12:14 AM

Ah the life of a retired government worker, would that I could join the tribe and do some serious reading. On to the list.

Every time I look up something in the Frank C Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore I find that I am learning something new about that song that I didn't know before.

"The Ballad Of America" by John Anthony Scott includes a couple of background paragraphs on most of the songs in the volume.

Railrods, it's hard to beat "Long Steel Rail" by Norm Cohen

Cowboy and western material seems fairly abundant in the USA. Some with background material along with the songs are: "He Was Singin' This Song" by Jim Bob Tinsley; "The Hell-bound Train" by Glenn Ohrlin; "The Whorehouse Bells Were Ringing" by Guy Logsdon; "Songs of the Great American West" by Irwin Silber; the annotated version of "Songs of the Cowboys" by N Howard "Jack" Thorp with variants, commentary, notes and lexicon by Austin e & Alta S Fife.

Northwoods I like "Ballads & Songs of the Shanty-Boy" by Franz Rickaby, and "Lumbering Songs from the North Woods" by Edith Fowke.

For a very narrow focus, i.e. a book about one song look for "Hold the Fort! The Story of a Song from the Sawdust Trail to the Picket Line" by Paul Scheips (Smithsonian Studies in History & Technology #9, 1971) it's only 57 pages.

rich r


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Subject: RE: A Basic Folk Library
From:
Date: 22 Dec 99 - 12:39 AM

Check out the Library of Congress. They used to have bibliography/discography list on lots of different subjects. Don't know if they still to or how often they update them but if you can get them they are worth it.


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Subject: RE: A Basic Folk Library
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 22 Dec 99 - 02:51 AM

Cazden's collection (mostly Catskills) was published as The Abelard Folk Song Book. New York, 1958.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: A Basic Folk Library
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Dec 99 - 03:27 AM

Looks like my addiction is doing pretty well. I have over half of the books you guys have listed, but I've been looking for a year for Long Steel Rail without any luck. Now that I'm fully retired, I can devote more time to finding that book.
I'm going to dare to differ a bit with Sandy, though. Norman Cazden's The Abelard Folk Song Book is much better than your run-of-the mill folk song book, and maybe a bit better in detail than the Lomax books. In 1982, the State University of New York Press published Folk Songs of the Catskills, edited by Norman Cazden, Herbert Haufrecht, and Norman Studer. If you do not have a copy of this book, remind me to hide mine before you come to visit, to help you avoid temptation. This is one heck of a good piece of work, often with two or three pages of fascinating text to tell the story behind one song. That's what I'm looking for - not just collections of songs, but books that tell the story behind the songs.
It will be interesting to see what else gets added to the list. I'm looking for folk music books of all varieties.
There is one particular area where I'm really lacking - gospel songs and spirituals, both black and white. I've got lots of hymnals, but they don't have the old-time religious songs that really have some power in them.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: A Basic Folk Library
From: _gargoyle
Date: 22 Dec 99 - 04:01 AM

Most of the depression era, "Writer's Project" books include sections with folk songs, the stories are immediate to the local area's history, rather than a "lineage of development" but the history is "real" to the immediate people involved.

Some day would like to have a collection from 48 states.


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Subject: RE: A Basic Folk Library
From: Abby Sale
Date: 22 Dec 99 - 10:34 AM

Joe,

Try ABE - Advanced Book Exchange. Better than eBay for folk books but eBay is good too. It will turn up sooner or later. _Long Steel Rail_ is worth waiting for. (I don't have it yet - but did read it off Inter-Library Loan.)


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Subject: RE: A Basic Folk Library
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 22 Dec 99 - 06:00 PM

George Pullen Jackson may have exhibited slight "racist" tendencies, but his White Spirituals in the Southern Uplands and other collections (Spiritual Folk-Songs of Early America; Down-East Spirituals and Others; White and Negro Spirituals, Their Life Span and Kinship; Another Sheaf of White Spirituals) set the standard for other collectors.

You're right, Joe. Abelard is primarily a songbook, designed for popular use. The 1982 SUNY publication (which I don't have) would certainly be better. I, too, have been scrounging around for Norm Cohen's Long Steel Rail for at least as long as your search has gone on -- to no avail, as yet. I don't sing a lot of railroad songs, but my library is incomplete without his book. Dammit! Now that you have more time on your hands, you'll probably beat me to it when it suddenly appears on some used book web site.

The Bertrand Bronson volumes of the Child ballads are essential to a folksong library, but they are painfully expensive these days. Now that Greenhaus has taken over Camsco, he won't have as much time as he once had to devote to getting Bronson's material into the DT. But the books are worth mortgaging the farm to obtain. I see that the Dover five-volume paperback edition of Child is being offered for $750 on one of the book sites. Unbelievable! One might even find the four volumes of Bronson for less than that! Keep looking!

Jazus! (as Big Mick would say), building a folksong library is becoming an expensive enterprise! Time to investigate Inter-library loan and invest in a good copy machine?

Sandy (the impoverished addict)


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Subject: RE: A Basic Folk Library
From: Martin Ryan
Date: 22 Dec 99 - 06:37 PM

Now - this is a thread! Maybe we should keep it open for requests/recommendations on good background books - rather than modern songbooks.

Regards


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Subject: RE: A Basic Folk Library
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 22 Dec 99 - 06:39 PM

Yeah Sandy, but you're probably a lot smarter than me. I have lent out SO many old books and mags, and never got them back. Course I've forgotten who they went to, and it is kind of a compliment that people appreciated my taste and ....um...um... Oh shit, why didn't I write them down?
Rick (poorer and no wiser)


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Subject: RE: A Basic Folk Library
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 22 Dec 99 - 09:04 PM

Rick: I apparently loaned my old copy of Belden's Ballads and Songs Collected by the Missouri Folk Song Society (a fine regional collection) to someone with the same return-policy as your friends enjoy. Looked for a long time to replace it, but good old "Liam's Brother" beat me to it. The shocker was, he got it to give to me! With friends like that, who needs philanthropists?

Keeping the thread going, however, I find Vance Randolph's Ozark Folksongs, four volumes, Columbia, Missouri, 1946-1950, invaluable. Vance did more research among old songsters than almost any other folksong collector, most of whom limited their studies to the more scholarly collections. Maybe that's because he was self-taught and not a timid academician unwilling to go out on a limb. I loved him!

The Frank C. Brown collection of North Carolina material, mentioned above, is a very important source, I agree, but be a little cautious. I can't tell you the page number, but I had to laugh when I saw that they printed "T for Texas, T for Tennessee" with the notation: "We have not found this piece reported in other collections." Randolph would have recognized it!

Sandy


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Subject: RE: A Basic Folk Library
From: Joan
Date: 22 Dec 99 - 09:47 PM

We have The Country Bookshop here in Plainfield, VT that specializes in used folksong and folklore books. If you're after a particular collection or set, you can e-mail, write or call and see if they have it, or maybe they can get it for you. I've also stumbled upon some gems just poking around in there, and have seen a number of titles mentioned above.

Probably other resources for used folksong collections--couldn't hurt to search for what you're looking for on some of the used book websites, or folk links. j


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Subject: RE: A Basic Folk Library
From: Murray on Saltspring
Date: 23 Dec 99 - 12:37 AM

Reference Books for Folklore and Folksongs: [I'm thinking of books likely to be in libraries; if you want to BUY them, you may have trouble!!]
For Nursery Rhymes: English ones are pretty well treated in Iona & Peter Opie, The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (2nd edition, 1997)--and see their other books as well (The Oxford Nursery Rhyme Book, The Puffin Book of Nursery Rhymes; The Lore and Language of Schoolchildrenm Children's Games in Street & Playground, The Singing Game). They have a pretty good collection (selection) of The Classic Fairy Tales, with notes and nice illustrations.
For general folklore, consult Funk & Wagtnalls Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology and Legend (1949-50, new ed. 1972; and a wee while ago in paperback). Edited by Maria Leach. This covers a lot of ground, but falls short in many many respects which I haven.t the patience to go into right now.
I don't know if all the requisites are still in print; but you may have access to a good library, so try to find Bernard Bronson's Traditional Tunes of the Child Ballads; and the magisterial work on ballads by Francis James Child [reprinted by Dover a long time since--Dover's current catalogue might be interesting for stuff]. For tunes, there's Simpson's The British Broadside Ballad and its Music; and the older work of Chappell, Popular Music of the Olden Time.
Stith Thompson, The Folktale; his Motif-Index in 8 volumes tries to list all the little events and personalities one finds in tales and ballads etc., though it's irritating to use sometimes.
For bawdy songs, and limericks, and jokes, find the works of Gershon Legman, I'm sure they're in print yet. There's always the web, of course. For a lot of info on old songs, ballads and whatnot, consult Bruce Olson's excellent page: www.erols.com/olsonw.
Others will doubtless have other ideas.


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Subject: RE: A Basic Folk Library
From: Big Mick
Date: 23 Dec 99 - 01:52 AM

Well.......that'll about do it........whatever hope I had of ratholing some money just went down the tubes. This is a marvelous thread and is going to piss off my missus royally as some of these tomes start mysteriously showing up, as there is a corresponding dip in the savings account.......thanks.


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Subject: RE: A Basic Folk Library
From: lamarca
Date: 25 Dec 99 - 02:05 PM

Greetings from frozen Minnesota! I have been indulging in the used book websites for about a year now, and have had wonderful luck in filling out my book collection, at the expense of my bank account. I've ordered song collections from bookstores in the US, Canada, France and Australia, a found wonderful things. At the risk of giving myself more competition, here is a good link to multiple used book search engines:

http://www.rarebooks.org/searcheng.htm

Rarebooks.org is also a good site to learn more about book collecting in general.

Now if I could just find a copy of volume 1 of Bronson that doesn't cost more than my house...


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Subject: RE: A Basic Folk Library
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Mar 00 - 06:42 PM

About once every three months, I go on a shopping spree, looking for CD's and songbooks in Berkeley and El Cerrito, California. One of my stops is Down Home Music (click) home of the Arhoolie Records label, and probably the best folk music store in the San Francisco Bay area. Well, yesterday I noticed that they have several copies of the out-of-print treasure, Sam Henry's Songs of the People, at $29.95 paperback and $39.95 hardcover (which is less than I paid for the book there two years ago, dangit). I don't see the book listed on their Website, but they said you can order it by phone or e-mail (click)
The book is a terrific collection of (mostly Irish) folk songs, with tunes for most. Lots of good background information, too.
The store also has a number of books from the "Music In American Life" series published by the University of Illinois Press.
-Joe Offer, who is not connected with Down Home or any commercial enterprise whatsoever-


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Subject: RE: A Basic Folk Library
From: GUEST,Jim Dixon
Date: 27 Mar 00 - 07:36 PM

"Folk Song in England" by A. L. Lloyd.

"The Oxford Book of Carols"

"The Oxford Book of Ballads"

"The Penguin Book of English Folk Songs" ed. by Ralph Vaughan Williams and A. L. Lloyd.

And here's another web site to keep your eye on: http://www.bibliofind.com/


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Subject: RE: A Basic Folk Library
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 28 Mar 00 - 01:17 AM

A search on the night of March 27/28 turned up copies of some of Bronson actually available--for those with champagne pocketbooks. Vol 1 for $250, Vol 2. for $350, and Vols 1 AND 2 for $750. As a note on one of the sellers mentions, "invaluable, very scare..." If interested, check www.bookfinder.com or www.bibliofind.com.

--Charlie Baum


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Subject: RE: A Basic Folk Library
From: GUEST,Dan Keding
Date: 28 Mar 00 - 10:12 AM

Joe,
Thanks for starting this thread. I've been collecting books on ballads, folktales, fairy tales, etc. for over twenty years. Have about 2,000 plus volumes.
Here's a few that haven't been mentioned yet:
  • "The Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection" edited by Patrick Shuldman-Shaw, Emily Lyle, & Adam McNaughtan. This is an eight volume set on Scottish folk song.
  • "The Critics & the Ballad" edited by MacEdward Leach & Tristm Coffin. Essays on the ballad.
  • "A Literary History of the Popular Ballad" by David Fowler. Talks about the development of the ballad.
  • "Come All Ye Bold Miners" edited by A.L.Lloyd. Ballads & songs from the mines.
  • "The Ballad Book" edited by MacEdward Leach. A great source for ballad lyrics.
  • Two studies by G.Malcolm Laws, "Native American Balladry" and "American Balladry from British Broadsides".

Good hunting!
Dan
Line Breaks <br> and some other fancy stuff added for easier reading.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: A Basic Folk Library
From: Hollowfox
Date: 28 Mar 00 - 10:24 AM

There's some great stuff on this thread, and I love it to bits but I don't think any of these titles will help much in answering Joe's original question about 12 Days of Christmas. I couldn't find an answer to that one either, but some related stuff on seasonal/ritual songs is in A. L. Lloyd's Folksong in England (mentioned above) and R. J. Stewart's Pagan Imagery in English Folk Song. This book is also called Where is Saint George: pagan imagery in English folk song Sometimes this author publishes under "Bob", sometimes "Robert J.", sometimes "R. J." The book is out of print under either title, of course. All the neat books I really want are out of print. Long live interlibrary loan and the photocopier!


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Subject: RE: A Basic Folk Library
From: northfolk/al cholger
Date: 28 Mar 00 - 04:35 PM

Try the following for used books online: bookfinder.com addall.com

for new try;

abebooks.com bibliofind.co

I have had good luck finding out of print and rare reference books, and I like it better than giving my $$$ to amazon (which also is a productive resource, and gets more business from me than I care to admit)


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Subject: RE: A Basic Folk Library
From: Art Thieme
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 11:26 AM

I do believe that Norm Cohen's Long Steel Rail is about to be reissued (new edition) by the University Of Illinois Press (Urbana, IL).

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: A Basic Folk Library
From: GUEST,bigJ
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 03:05 PM

Surely It's about time someone (Dover?) reprinted the Bronson volumes.


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Subject: RE: A Basic Folk Library
From: RitchieOne
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 08:46 PM

Anyone know, FOLKSONGS OF BRITAIN AND IRELAND? It's edited by Peter Kennedy, Oak Publications- 360 songs, a fine book.


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Subject: RE: A Basic Folk Library
From: wysiwyg
Date: 28 Aug 00 - 05:22 PM

Refresh.

So.... is there a dictionary or encyclopedia of trad folk words no longer in *current* use?

Stuff that would not appear in a regular dictionary?

~S~


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Subject: RE: A Basic Folk Library
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 28 Aug 00 - 05:33 PM

What sort of words do you mean?


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Subject: RE: A Basic Folk Library
From: Burke
Date: 28 Aug 00 - 05:47 PM

There's a United Methodist site that adds the information about a new hymn each week. Here's the archive HISTORY OF HYMNS.

The histories are written by William Reynolds who has written the hymnal companion for the Southern Baptist hymnal and was a historical consultant on the 1991 revision on the Sacred Harp.


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Subject: RE: A Basic Folk Library
From: rabbitrunning
Date: 29 Aug 00 - 12:15 AM

Well, I pulled out "Oxford Book of Carols" and didn't even find 12 Days of Christmas, but there's a version in Ruth Crawford Seeger's "American Folk Songs for Christmas" and the notes refer you to "Folksongs of Florida" by Alton C. Morris, Univ. of Florida Press, p.416; Archive of American Folkt Song, Folklore Section, Library of Congress 989 A1; and game directions from "Folk Songs of Old New England" Eloise H. Linscott, copyright 1939, Macmillan, p.52

The song has a section explaining that 12 days of Christmas was used as a "forfeit" song, where each person has to sing it alone correctly or pay a forfeit.

Does that help at all?


Let's talk about songbooks in this thread. this thread (click) is a better place to discuss the Twelve Days of Christmas. Thanks.
(but I made sure this message was in both threads, because of all the songbooks that are mentioned)
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: A Basic Folk Library
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 29 Aug 00 - 01:15 AM

Cohen's Long Steel Rail is now back in print. I now have the Catskill collection, Joe. Your observations were right on the money! Now let me point people to Sandy Ives' (that's Dr. Edward Ives) studies of the lumbercamp songmakers Larry Gorman and Joe Scott. Sandy also recently published a superb study of "The Bonnie Earl o' Murray," and two song collections from New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. Reading Sandy's notes is like chatting with him over a cup of coffee in his kitchen. I love his writing! Wish all scholars were half so human.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: A Basic Folk Library
From: SINSULL
Date: 29 Aug 00 - 09:26 AM

This thread has "Teal" written all over it. I wonder if a "wish list" is feasible? Each of us submitting what we are looking for with response from those who have found it. I have loaned or given away so many books over the years, I feel as if I am starting from scratch. I always thought my memory would serve but ...
I am thinking of a virtual card catalogue with synopses /reviews by Mudcatters. Any interest? Or ideas on what would work best at least to start?


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Subject: RE: A Basic Folk Library
From: Shanti
Date: 29 Aug 00 - 09:35 AM

Another source, not for the particular song mentioned, but for lots of others is BALLADS AND SONGS COLLECTED BY THE MISSOURI FOLKLORE SOCIETY. It was edited by H.M. Belden, and published by the U of MO Press, sometime in the 40s. It was reprinted in the 60s, but I don't know if it's still around now. Try the ALIBRIS website for out of print and hard to find books.


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Subject: RE: A Basic Folk Library
From: pastorpest
Date: 29 Aug 00 - 10:59 AM

Joe:

Thanks for starting this thread! I hope you make it a permanent reference. I am an avid colletor of folk song books and I will add them to the list as I dig them out of my library.

Songs of England, Ireland & Scotland: A Bonnie Bunch of Roses: by Dan Milner: Oak Publications
The American Songbag: Carl Sandburg (out of print)
Maritime Folk Songs: Helen Creighton: Ryerson Press (out of print)
The Christmas Revels Songbook: compiled by Nancy & John Langstraff: Revels Inc. Publisher (includes an excellent CD)
The International Book of Christmas Carols: Walter Ehret & George Evans: Waltons Music Corporation Ft. Lauderdale, FL
The Robert Burns Song Book, Volume 1 by Serge Hovey ( a set of classical arrangements with excellent notes and historical detail) Hovey died in the middle of the project and sadly there will be no volume 2: Mel Bay
Folk Songs of Canada, Volume 1
Folk songs of Canada, Volume 2
Folk songs of Quebec
by Edith Fowke & Richard Johnson: Waterloo Music (These books have excellent notes, comb backs so they lie flat, and are available from Empire Music in Vancouver over the net)
Fireside Book of Folk Songs: selected and edited by Margaret Bradford Boni: Simon and Schuster, 1947 (out of print)
Old-Time String Band Songbook: edited by John Cohen and Mike Seeger: Oak Publications


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Subject: Twelve Days of Christmas - moved
From: mousethief
Date: 30 Aug 00 - 05:51 PM

I hope you guys don't mind. I moved all the "Twelve Days of Christmas" stuff over to this thread (click). It was getting a bit far away from the topic of a basic folk library.
Thanks.
-Joe Offer-
This is a PermaThread from here on down. Any messages posted after this one are subject to editing, to preserve this thread as a reference bibliography of folk music books.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: A Basic Folk Library
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Sep 00 - 05:23 PM

I see that Hard Hitting Songs for Hard-Hit People has been reissued. It was compiled by Alan Lomax, Woody Guthrie, and Pete Seeger, and first published by Oak Publications in 1967. You'll find a list of the 165 songs in this book here (click). If you're interested in the songs of the activists in the U.S. in the first half of the twentieth century, you need this book.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: A Basic Folk Library
From: Nancy-Jean
Date: 01 Sep 00 - 06:34 PM

For the New England Region, books by Helen Hartness Flanders (and various collaborators) describe the Flanders Ballad Collection at Middlebury Vermont (4500 folk songs and ballads collected over a 30 year period). The titles are:
  • Vermont Folksongs and Ballads
  • A Garland of Green Mountain Song
  • The New Green Mountain Songster
  • Ballads Migrant in New England
  • Ancient Ballads Traditionally Sung in New England (4 volumes)
Anyone interested in making arrangements to hear the field recordings should get in touch with Mr. Terry Simpkins (tsimpkin@middlebury.edu). He is most enthusiastic about people interested in the Collection. I know. I spent a week there in May.

Nancy-Jean


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Subject: RE: A Basic Folk Library
From: Lindsay
Date: 15 Oct 00 - 11:23 AM

As a member of historical reenactment group, i.e. 42nd Highland Regiment circa 1758, I am most interested in obtaining the music to "shanties". We already have a substantial library of words, but it would be so much easiser to learn the songs if we had the correct melody. Also, my wife is fairly accomplished on the flute (as well as piccolo, fife, recorder and tin whistle). I would certainly improve our music if she could accompany us. No, we are not professional performers! We simply enjoy singing the songs. Something about all the male voices blending together (okay, blending on a really good day).

Thank you in advance for any assistance provided.

Terry Wessling, aka Pvt Michael Lindsay, 42nd Regiment of Foote (but the corporal only bawls "LINDSAY!!!" when I'm in trouble.


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Subject: RE: A Basic Folk Library
From: pastorpest
Date: 15 Oct 00 - 12:51 PM

Carl Sandburg's "American Songbag" has been reissued with an intro by Garrison Keillor. What a great folk song collection for all, but especially for Americans!


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Subject: RE: A Basic Folk Library
From: Art Thieme
Date: 16 Oct 00 - 01:42 PM

A new book that I am definitely giving to a select small group of people for Christmas in this year of 2000 is one by my old friend and a great photographer, Rich Remsberg. Actually, it's not a music book -- unless by music you include the sounds of heavenly singers making their joyful noise.

The book is a new one from the UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS PRESS. (See my previous post here for the blue clicky thing to their website.)

The title of the book is RIDERS FOR GOD---The Story Of A Christian Motorcycle Gang. Photpgraphically and also through lyrically splendid printed rhetorical sections, the photographer/author from Bloomington, Indiana "takes us into a world generally inaccessible to outsiders, one situated at the crossroads of two seemingly incongruous realms; motorcycle gangs and Spirit-filled Christians."

Rich Remsberg, a photo journalist with an amazing eye, is also a long-time afficianado of things folk. He did a fine tape of folksongs a short few years ago.

I highly recommend this volume from Judy McCulloh and the U. of Illinois Press. Included is a beautiful situational perspective afterword by COLLEEN McDANNELL -- the Sterling M. McMurren Professor of Religious Studies and a professor of history at the University of Utah.

As Woody Guthrie might've said, "These pitchurs is good !!"

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: A Basic Folk Library
From: Art Thieme
Date: 16 Oct 00 - 01:50 PM

Sorry if that was thread creep---but this old heathen folkie loves this book ! Any of the volumes listed in this thread would make great and loving mounds of love under the tree.

Art


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Subject: RE: A Basic Folk Library
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 16 Oct 00 - 02:26 PM

This is almost like a parent trying to pick his favorite child...

Here are some of my favorites:

Irish Street Ballads and More Irish Street Ballads, O Lochlainn

Sam Henry's Songs of the People, Huntington, Hermann, Moulden

Bothy Songs and Ballads, Ord

Traditional Singers and Songs from Ontario, Fowke

Shantymen and Shantyboys, Doerflinger

Songs of the American Sailormen, Colcord

Shanties from the Seven Seas, Hugill

I'm also very fond of a number of books mentioned above such as Belden, Sandburg, Cazden, Lomax, Flanders, etc.

All the best,
Dan Milner


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Subject: RE: A Basic Folk Library
From: GUEST,Becky N
Date: 17 Oct 00 - 01:25 AM

I don't think anybody's mentioned Traditional American Folksongs from the Anne & Frank Warner Collection, edited by Anne Warner (Syracuse Univ. Press, 1984). Wonderful, and way overdue. Some of the original field recordings are now on the CD, The Warner Collection, Vol. 1: Her Bright Smile Haunts Me Still.

Cazden, Haufrecht & Studer's Catskill text was the result of my first foray into on-line used books. I love it. (The book, and the used books on-line!) Where are the original recordings from that project?

- Becky Nankivell Tucson, Arizona


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Subject: RE: A Basic Folk Library
From: wildlone
Date: 17 Oct 00 - 04:11 PM

I have a copy of
Music for Patriots,Politicians and Patriots
harmonies and discords of the first hundred years
1975, Vera Brodsky Lawrence
that seems to have been printed for the Bicentenial that i picked up of my local rubbish dump,this must be one of my best finds


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Subject: RE: A Basic Folk Library
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Apr 01 - 02:50 PM

I have a soft spot in my heart for the sentimental songs of the 19th century. Here are some books I'd recommend:
  • Heart Songs (National Magazine & Chapple Publishing Co., 1909)
    The magazine surveyed its readers for suggestions for a collection fo the "popular melodies of today and the days gone by"). The book is available as a $40 paperback reprint from a genealogy publishing house, but I find copies on the original in used book stores for under $10.
    The magazine also published two volumes of sentimental poetry titled Heart Throbs - the poetry books don't seem to be as easy to find as the songbook.
  • Read 'Em and Weep (1926 & 1945) and Weep Some More, My Lady (1927), by Sigmund Spaeth.
    These are very interesting and entertaining studies of the old, sappy classics. Spaeth also wrote an handy book called Barber Shop Ballads and How to Sing Them, and a number of other books on old popular music and on classical music.
  • Songs That Never Grow Old (syndicate Publishing Co., 1909)
    This is a nice collection of familiar songs. There are some interesting photos of singers in the first several pages. I wouldn't say this is an "essential" book, but it's nice. Readily available for under $20.
  • Lost Chords: The Diverting Story of American Popular Songs (by Douglas Gilbert, Doubleday Dorand and Co., 1942)
    Gilbert isn't as entertaining as Spaeth, but he tells some fascinating stories about the songs in his book.
  • Song Dex Treasury of Humorous and Nostalgic Songs (Song Dex, Inc., 1956)
    This is an early fake book, designed, I suppose for electronic organs. It has 740 songs, enough to make you cry a big bucket of tears.
  • My Pious Friends and Drunken Companions: Songs and Ballads of Conviviality (Frank Shay, 1927)
    I guess you'd call these songs "barroom ballads." They're certainly entertaining, although I wish the book had tunes for more of the songs. There's a More Pious Friends sequel, and both books are also available bound in a single volume.
I'd say the Spaeth books and Heart Songs and maybe Pious Friends are the "essential" books in this category.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: A Basic Folk Library
From: Peter T.
Date: 16 Apr 01 - 05:32 PM

I know this will probably offend all purists, but I have always found Jerry Silverman's books to be a Godsend for the tunes that everyone knows but you can't find anywhere. I have often scoured the library for something, and ended up finding at least one version in one of his collections.

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: A Basic Folk Library
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Apr 01 - 05:56 PM

You're certainly right about Jerry Silverman's books, Peter. You'll find at least a dozen Silverman books in my library. My favorites are his huge Folk Song Encyclopedia and his Yiddish Songbook. For some reason, Mel Bay publishing has remaindered a number of Jerry Silverman songbooks over the last couple of years. You can still find a few at bargain prices at www.hamiltonbook.com (click here for songbooks).
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: A Basic Folk Library
From: Stewie
Date: 16 Apr 01 - 08:27 PM

And if you are looking for a book on the blues, don't go past Lawrence Cohn (Ed) 'Nothing But the Blues: The Music and the Musicians' Abbeville Press 1993. Paperback edition ISBN 0-7892-0607-2. It has the appearance of a large coffee table book but, in content, it is nothing of the sort. It has excellent photos and essays by Sam Charters, Dave Evans, Dick Spottswood, Charles Wolfe, Mark Humphrey etc.

--Stewie.


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