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Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings

05 Sep 01 - 05:10 PM (#542836)
Subject: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: Joe Offer

It's a real pleasure to have people like Jean Ritchie among us. She goes by the Mudcat name of "Kytrad," and you can click here to see most of her Mudcat contributions. You can learn more about her and order her books and recordings by visiting her Website, I'd like to make this thread into a Jean Ritchie Bibliography/discography, and I'd like to invite Jean to post her comments. Jean, it's wonderful to have you here. -Joe Offer-

05 Sep 01 - 05:19 PM (#542839)
Subject: Index: Folk Songs of the Southern Appalachians
From: Joe Offer

Jean Ritchie's Folk Songs of the Southern Appalachians was published by Oak Publications in 1965. It was reissued by The University Press of Kentucky in 1997, and is for sale at Jean's Website. It's in the familiar Oak Publications songbook format.
I'll post the Table of Contents below, and maybe I'll change the songs names into clickable links later.
Jean, any comments on the book? Any background information/comments on the Oak Publications songbook format?

Swapping Song
False Sir John
Killy Kranky
Nottamun Town
London Bridge
Sister Phoebe
Dear Companion also (click)
Sweet William and Lady Margaret
The Cuckoo
Old Betty Larkin
Lord Lovel
Fair And Tender Ladies
Goin' To Boston
Skin and Bones
The Old Woman and the Pig
The Turkish Lady
Oh, Love Is Teasin'
The Little Devils
What'll I Do With The Baby-O?
The Hangman Song
There Was A Pig Went Out To Dig
Golden Ring Around Susan Girl
The Lyttle Musgrave
Down Came An Angel
Among the Little White Daisies
Bachelor's Hall
Carol of the Cherry Tree
Shady Grove
God Bless the Moonshiners
Little Cory
See the Waters A-Gliding
The Holly Bears the Berry
I Saw Three Ships
Father Get Ready
Amazing Grace
The Day Is Past and Gone
I've Got A Mother Gone to Glory
Guide Me, Oh Thou Great Jehovah
Twilight A-Stealing
Lord Randall
Two Dukes A-Roving
The May Day Carol
Darby Ram
Little Bitty Baby (Children Go Where I Send Thee)
Brightest and Best
Keep Your Garden Clean
Bow Your Bend to Me
The Unquiet Grave
The Flower Carol
Lord Thomas and Fair Ellender
The Old Soap-Gourd
Joe Bowers
Love Somebody, Yes I Do
Old Virginny
The Death of Cock Robin
Pretty Saro
The Miracle of Usher's Well
Gentle Fair Jenny
I Wonder When I Shall be Married
Over the River Charlie
Barbry Ellen
Lonesome Sea
Cedar Swamp
Hiram Hubbard also click for info
Fair Annie of the Lochroyan
The Gypsy Laddie
Old King Cole
Dance to Your Daddy
My Little Carpenter
Bangum Rid by the Riverside
Cambridgeshire May Song
Mama Told Me
Black Is the Color
Lovin' Henry
Reckless and Rambling Boy
Her Mantle So Green
Loving Hannah

05 Sep 01 - 05:46 PM (#542853)
Subject: Index: Celebration of Life (Ritchie)
From: Joe Offer

Jean Ritchie's Celebration of Life: her songs...her poems was published by Geordie Music Publishing in 1971. It was distributed by Music Sales Corporation, which had some sort of connection with Oak Publications. It's still in print and available at Jean's Website. I don't know the name of the publisher of the current edition.
This book has many of the songs Jean wrote, along with a few songs written by Than Hall. Jean, who's Than? The book attributes most of the songs to Jean Ritchie, but I'm sure many of them are her versions of traditional songs.

Bird In A Cage
Black Waters
Blue Diamond Mines
Bonnie Jimmy Mitchell
Boston Beans
Cold Mountains
Come All You Fair And Tender Ladies
Come Fare Away With Me (Marnie)
Come You Home Again
The Courtin' Song
The Cruel Sea
Dead And Gone
Deep Shady Grove
Down Came An Angel
Early Fields
Fair Nottumun Town
Farewell To Hardburly
Farewell to the Mountains
The Flowers of Joy
God Bless the Moon
Going To That City
Golden Ring Around The Susan Girl
Here On The Old Pine Mountain
The High Hill And Mountains
Hiram Hubbard
The Holly Tree Carol
Home To My Dearie
The Hunting Tale
In The Valley
I Saw Three Ships
Jemmy Taylor-O
Jenny Put The Kettle On
Johnny Collins
Killy Kranky Is My Song
The L & N Don't Stop Here Anymore
Last Old Train's A-Leavin'
Last Song Of John Hardy
Let Go Of Me Summer
Let The Sun Shine Down On Me
Love Somebody, Yes I Do
The Man For Me
March Down To Old Tennessee
Morning Come, Maria's Gone
Mountain Born And Country Gentle
Movin' On Down The River
Now Is The Cool Of The Day
Now Johnny's On The Water
October And The Frost Is Early
Old Daddy Grumble
Old Tyler Was A Good Old Dog
Old Virginny
One I Love
One More Mile
Over The River To Feed My Sheep
The Peace Round
Pretty Nancy
The Reckless And Rambling Boy
Ring The Christ Church Bells
See That Rainbow Shine
See The Waters A Glidin'
Shady Grove
Shoemaker's Song
The Soldier
Songs Of Life
Sorrow In The Wind
Still I Love Him
Sugar On The Floor
Sweet Reason
That Long Canal
Thousand Mile Blues
Too Many Shadows
West Virginia Mine Disaster
What'll I Do With The Baby-O?
Wild Horses
With Kitty I'll Go
Words Of Love
Young Man Who Couldn't Raise Corn
Young McAfee on the Gallows

05 Sep 01 - 06:09 PM (#542866)
Subject: Index: Newport Folk Festival Songbook
From: Joe Offer

In another thread, WYSIWYG said she got a copy of this book at a bargain price. I'm jealous. The book is no longer in print. Here are WYSIWYG's message, and Jean's response.
-Joe Offer-
This gem was sitting in a rack in a tiny music shop we found once on vacation, with the original price of $2.95 still good. In fact, they had a pile of stuff from the late mid and 60's, all with original prices. Not only did they honor the process without our even asking, they gave us a further discount because we bought them all! They just didn't know what they had.

Here is the Table of Contents. I can't find a copyright DATE, but the copy inside indicates mid-60's. And I dunno if these were the "most popular." But they WERE sung in that time, and the artists listed should give you a clue how to find more of the work of that period.

In all cases below, the item is listed acording to who performed it-- who is not necessarily the author.



Edited by Jean Ritchie, foreword by Pete Seeger (Alfred Music Co., Inc.)

Ain't Nothin' for a Poor Boy, Frank Proffitt
Almost Done, Alan Lomax
Anna Feher (Anathea), Judy Collins
Barb'ry Ellen, Jean Ritchie
Beryuzoviye Kalyechke, Theodore Bikel
Blackleg Miner, Bob Davenport
Cherry Ball Blues, Skip James
Chickens Grow Tall, Glenn Ohrlin
Deep River Blues, Doc Watson
Down the Road, Greenbriar Boys
Drums, Peter La Farge
Freight Train, Elizabeth Cotton
Genesis, Ron Eliran
God Bless the Grass, Malvina Reynolds
Grieve, Oh Grieve, Sam Hinton
I Am a Girl of Constant Sorrow, Sarah Gunning
I'm Bound to Ride, Stanley Brothers
Jack Hagerty, Bill Thatcher
Jimmie Brown, the Newsboy, Mac Wiseman
Johnny Cuckoo, Bessie Jones and the Georgia Sea Island Singers
Keep On Keepin' On, Len Chandler
Kerry Recruit, Luke Kelly
Lassie Wi' the Yellow Coatie, Jean Redpath
Last Mountain of Time, Phipps Family
Links on the Chain, Phil Ochs
Little Boy, Mike Settle
Mary Don't You Weep, Swan Silvertones
Merry Golden Tree, Almeda Riddle
Molly and TenBrooks, Bill Monroe
My Home's Across the Blue Ridge Mountains, Clarence Ashley
My Ramblin' Boy, Tom Paxton
Oh, Death, Dock Boggs
Old Bald Eagle, Hindman Settlement School
Old Blue's Last Hunt, Paul Clayton
Old Crumley, Edna Ritchie
Pretty Little Miss, New Lost City Ramblers
Prodigal Son, Rev. Robert T. Wilkins
Rag Momma, Jim Kweskin and the Jug Band
Rocks and Gravel, Dave Van Ronk
Roll On, John, Ralph Rinzler
See God's Ark A-Movin!, Moving Star Hall Singers
Shhear Them Sheep Even, Joe Patterson
Snow White Shirt, Dewey Shepherd
Soldier, Soldier, Hobart Smith
Southbound Train, Koerner, Ray and Glover
Spike Driver Blues, Mississippi John Hurt
Statesboro Blues, John Hammond
Tennessee Flat Top Box, Johnny Cash
That's All Right, Guy Carawan
Two Soldiers, Mike Seeger
Universal Soldier, Buffy Sainte-Marie
Water is Wide, Clarence Cooper
Which Hat Shall I Wear?, Ronnie Gilbert
Why Adam Sinned, Paul Cadwell
Worried Man Blues, Pete Seeger
You Just Can't Make It by Yourself, Barbara Dane
Young Roddy M'Corley, Clancy Bros. and Tommy Makem

Response from Jean Ritchie: Information: I was a Newport Folk Festival trustee during most of its run, and in the early sixties, I was asked by Alfred Music Publishing to do this book for them. Other Newport trustees agreed. I asked each performer who'd been a festival participant up to that time, to choose a favorite song that he/she had sung at the Festival. Each of them provided a photograph and a bio, or wrote about his/her life in letters to me (I still have the originals). The book had a short life, as it took the publishers a long time to issue it, had meantime moved their offices to California and the people interested in the Newport Festival had gone. That's life! I'm sure there were very few sold; I have only two of them in my library. Jean Ritchie

05 Sep 01 - 06:38 PM (#542886)
Subject: Index: Singing Family of the Cumberlands
From: Joe Offer

My favorite Jean Ritchie book is Singing Family of the Cumberlands, published by Oak Publications in 1963. It was first published in 1955. It's currently in print and available at Jean's Website, but I don't know the name of the current publisher. This is not really a songbook - it's the fascinating story of Jean and her family, and it includes words and music for 42 songs. The illustrations are by Maurice Sendak, one of my favorite illustrators. The songs in the book are listed below.

Aunt Sal's Song
Barbry Ellen
Brightest and Best
Children, Go Where I Send Thee
Churn, Churn, Make Some Butter
Come All Ye Fair
The Cuckoo She's a Pretty Bird
The Darby Ram
Drowsy Sleeper
Fair Ellen
Fair Ellender
Farewell, Dear Roseannie
Father Get Ready When He Calls You
Goin' to Boston
Goin' To See My Truelove
Hangman, Slack Up Your Rope
Horsey Song
I've Been a Foreign Lander
I Went Out A-Hunting Sir
John Henry
John Riley
Killy Kranky
Little Devils
The Little Family
Lyttle Musgrave
May Day Carol
My Good Old Man
Nottamun Town
Old King Cole
Old Tyler
Old Virginny
Pale Wildwood Flower
Shady Grove
Skin and Bones
There Was an Old Woman and She Had a Little Pig
Turkish Lady
Twelve Days of Christmas
A Twelvemonth More Has Rolled Around
Twilight A-Stealing
Wassail Song
Wondrous Love

05 Sep 01 - 06:44 PM (#542889)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: Sorcha

And don't forget the performance:

"To celebrate the dulcimer's becoming Kentucky's state instrument, I'm presenting my old dulcimer(that came to New York with me in 1947) to the Kentucky Historical Society Museum at Frankfort. This will be done during the program on the Old Capitol Mall on the evening of Sept. 29th. Program begins at 5:00 PM and ends around 11. My set is at 7:00PM. Friends are bringing dulcimers, all tuned to the key of G, and will play and sing along with me on my last number (all chose Amazing Grace, as everyone knows it, and it's easy!)."

If you can't be there in person, be there in spirit!

05 Sep 01 - 07:19 PM (#542918)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: Mary in Kentucky

Joe, in the book, Singing Family of the Cumberlands, what was the quote, early in the book, by Jean, about the feeling that no one else in the world felt like she did about music? I think many of us here feel the same...just can't always put it into words.

05 Sep 01 - 07:32 PM (#542927)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: wysiwyg

Joe, my copy of the Newport Folk Festival Book is not in great shape, but I am considering auctioning it for Mudcat. What do you think?


05 Sep 01 - 07:42 PM (#542935)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: Joe Offer

WYSIWYG, I think....
I think I wish you had offered it to me privately, but I'm sure it would be a great thing for the Mudcat auction. Big Mick will probably beat me out again.
-Joe Offer, who confesses to being a Jean Ritchie groupie-

05 Sep 01 - 07:45 PM (#542936)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: Sorcha

Whizzy, you don't want it????? You must be a sick womon!! (If you put it in the auction, you could ask Jean if she would autograph it before you send it to the winner....)Which would make it out of my price range....

05 Sep 01 - 07:49 PM (#542941)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: wysiwyg

I want... I want to help Mudcat. As much as I can. Heck, maybe it's important enough for a REALLY BIG angel-donation, to buy it to put in a museum.


05 Sep 01 - 07:52 PM (#542943)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)

Joe- 'Than Hall is(was) a pseudonym I took during the time I was writing my mining songs, (L&N, Blue Diamond Mines, etc.) My mother was living then, and "protest" was a bad word- not for me in NY, but I didn't want anyone bothering Mom about it. I was with BMI at the time and they refused my use of my grandfather's name, John Hall, because that was the then BMI president's name, so I took the end of Johnathan, and became 'Than. Around home, that was a common way shortening that name. Jean

05 Sep 01 - 09:08 PM (#542996)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: wysiwyg

... so I need some help digging up current addresses for the living artists who appear in that NFF list up there.


And then I will need some help getting the word out about this, beyond Mudcat I think.


05 Sep 01 - 10:10 PM (#543044)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: catspaw49

Nice thread to start Joe. We have a selection of "Jean Ritchie Groupies" here like myself and I like getting a lot of info in one place.......easy reference. Moreover, it gives us a chance to also speak a few words about Jean. The song list up there made me think of a recent exchange between Sandy (Paton) and Jean on another thread. There is always something real special to me when one "hero" thanks another........Jean jokingly ribbed Sandy about where they got that "Golden Ring" name and Sandy responded:

From your song, Jean, of course! "Golden Ring Around My Susan Girl." Talking about people who have been an inspiration to us all, no one can match Jean Ritchie! Half of the songs we learned early on came from Jean's albums. The other half we dug out of Cecil Sharp's Appalachian collection, in which many of the songs were gathered from the Ritchie family. Then we got Jean's Singing Family of the Cumberlands (and if you haven't read it yet, do it now!). Recently, we got the "Field Trip" CD in which Jean matches songs with her informants in the British Isles. A great CD! Greenhaus at has it, of course.

I've told several stories about Jean's influence on me as have several others and we all are in her debt. Indeed, folk music as a whole owes her much. Her name has come up on many threads when we have discussed the most influential folkies and although we can't seem to decide on that one, it's obvious that Jean Ritchie is the most influential woman of folk.

Also needing to be here is the fine PBS program "Mountain Born" and the accompanying album. The PBS program is of course on Jean's site and also at the PBS site HERE. If you haven't seen it, you need to do so. The PBS video is available at many local libraries.


06 Sep 01 - 07:08 AM (#543251)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: Norann

I'm 'trying' (operative word) to learn to play the dulcimer. I have a copy of Jean Ritchie's book - can't think of the title but it's of a 'teach yourself' type. I would like a 'teach yourself' video tape either of Jean's or any other - can anyone tell me where I could get one?

06 Sep 01 - 02:02 PM (#543582)
Subject: Jean Ritchie Dulcimer lessons tape
From: Joe Offer

Hi, Norann - I went to Homespun Tapes at and found this (click), a tape and instruction book on mountain Dulcimer - by Jean Ritchie.

The search engine at Homespun is very confusing. There's a music forum there - and you will find it very familiar. Homespun's instructional materials are quite good, but I think they need to make their Website easier to navigate.
-Joe Offer-

06 Sep 01 - 02:46 PM (#543596)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: catspaw49

Norann.........In addition to Jean's fine stuff, you might also check this videotape by another local friend and fine player, Kendra Ward-Bence. If you would like a really great book and audiocassette instead of video, also give some consideration to Larkin Bryant, one of the most tasteful players I can think of, plays just beautifully. Her book and tape are both available from Elderly Instruments.


06 Sep 01 - 03:53 PM (#543671)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: Alice

Great thread... add me to the list of fans. I was looking for a link of the archives in Ireland to add here, but can't find it.

06 Sep 01 - 05:12 PM (#543776)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)

Alice, the Galway people keep saying they're getting this online, but I suppose it's the time element. Alice is referring to the Ritchie-Pickow Archive, housed in the Hardiman Library at University College Galway, in Ireland. It consists of George's and my work during my Fulbright Year, 1952-53. We recorded and photographed musicians in Ireland, England and Scotland, but this archive has only the Irish materials. It is set up as a traveling exhibit, available to any organization or school in Ireland. It's very appealing to me, because, as one walks around looking at photos of the singers or players, their music is playing in the background.

Norann, My little teaching tape from Homespun is strictly for beginners who want to learn to play the simple, old way. Homespun went onward & upward with a fine teaching series by Lorraine Lee Hammond, who is a great teacher of all the fancy stuff. Good luck! Jean

06 Sep 01 - 10:22 PM (#544065)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: Alice

Back again. Thanks, Jean. I did finally find something by doing a google search on the words "Jean Ritchie Galway"... a photo of you recording Seamus Ennis playing the pipes. What a great photo! I was delighted to see this, like striking gold.

Seamus Ennis and Jean Ritchie photo


06 Sep 01 - 10:35 PM (#544077)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: catspaw49

Wonderful!!! Great find there Alice!


07 Sep 01 - 12:25 PM (#544517)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: Jelly bean

Thanks catspaw49. I have ordered the Kendra Ward-Bence video. I'll see how I get on with this - then may order the Larkin Bryant book and cassette - regards Ann

08 Nov 01 - 06:27 PM (#588571)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)

Joe, Going back up to your comments on the CELEBRATION OF LIFE songs- that they're mostly credited to me, but are likely my versions of old songs. This is true for many of them, and this is why. In the late '50s and '60s, the folk revival groups were recording old songs and their record companies were copyrighting everything (e.g. the Ritchie version of, "Shady Grove," from my father, was credited as having been written by Guard/Reynolds/Shane, and I think, "Battle Hymn of the Republic" authorship and composition was credited to the Weavers!). A bit later, Bob Dylan recorded, "Masters of War," using the Ritchie tune of, "Fair Nottamun Town." After I got these matters settled, fairly amicably, I asked the Library of Congress folks if our family variants of old songs could/should be copyrighted as a protective move- to keep sources clear, for scholars and researchers and all who might be interested. The contract office advised me that any song that had been added to, or changed enough, from its older form, could be copyrighted. Now, we Ritchies, if separated for a month or so, would all sing the same song a bit differently- we made changes when we forgot words, some changed melodies to suit our varying ranges, etc. So we figured our songs qualified.

I probably would not do this today, but in those times, everyone was scrambling for material, and ethics were going out the window, so, for the next thirty or so years, I had "protective copyrights" on most of our family repertoire. Over the years, I have never asked for royalties from folks who couldn't afford to pay, or who just felt they shouldn't pay; I required only that the copyright notice, telling the source of the song, would be honored. I have my own company, Geordie Music Publishing Co., who are instructed to offer lower than statutory rates (whether or not they are requested) to small labels or to people producing their own recordings.

This has worked out very well, and I hope people understand that it's certainly not a matter of greed or possessiveness (very little money comes in from traditional material), but more a matter of keeping the song geneologies less tangled. Jean

08 Nov 01 - 07:13 PM (#588607)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: catspaw49

Jean, the copyright issue has been discussed a lot around here and I'm glad to read your perspective. Thank you.


08 Nov 01 - 08:24 PM (#588662)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: Joe Offer

Jean, of the songs you've written yourself, which ones do you like best? Which are your favorite traditional songs?

A couple of weeks ago, I picked up a rounder reissue of two Jean Ritchie LP's on on CD, "None But One" and "High Hills and Mountains." The first cut is Fair Nottamun Town and I couldn't figure out why the tune was so familar. Now I know. The second cut is a nice country-sounding song, "Too Many Shadows." I swear I hear electric guitars in the accompaniment. Could this be? Did Jean Ritchie go electric the same time Dylan did? Whatever the case, it's a terrific CD.

-Joe Offer-

09 Nov 01 - 06:57 PM (#589346)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)

Oh, Joe, DON'T ask what my favorite songs are! Impossible to answer- there are so many. Usually it's the one I'm singing at the moment. Well, of my written ones, I'd pick, "Now is the Cool of the Day," for one, and "L&N Don't Stop Here Anymore," for another. The ones that started as poems, then got a tune, like, "Wintergrace," and "None But One." "Wild Horses" has a great driving rhythm, unusual for a song of mine, but I love singing it, also, "One More Mile." See what you've done now- got me started...

Of the old ones, the list goes on forever..."Brightest and Best," Granny Catty's Christmas hymn, is right there at the top. Our family's "Bachelors' Hall," ALL the ballads, beginning with Uncle Jason's and Dad's, "Fair Annie of the Lochroyan."

About the electric instruments on, "None But One." One day George said, "Let's make a record that'll get played on AM radio." I replied, "I couldn't care less." But he never listens, so started making plans, and pretty soon, Ron Frangipane had heard about it, and asked to be music director- and Art Steckler called and said, "I'd love to produce this album if you'll promise to do that orphan song, "Two Little Children." Don't know where he had heard it, consorting with the Beatles as much as he did, and I thought it a weird song to flip over, but I liked it well enough, so said of course.

Ron and Al thought it would be good to have guests, so we asked around amongst friends and acquaintances, and Mary Travers, Janice Ian, Oscar Brand,Susan Reed and chorus, and a few others joined our sons Jon and Peter, Eric Weisburg and his Deliverance Band, and when Deliverance showed up with electric guitars, synthesizers, and worse, I quailed inside but then thought, "Look, Jean, you have a log cabin in the Kentucky Mountains, furnished with old family furniture and local antiques,-- and an electric stove, refrigerator, radio and tv, lights, a gas water heater and furnace, and you're the same person you have always been. I'm sure that old songs can survive whatever surrounds them, as well." So, I cautioned everyone to use their innate good taste, and respect the music, then served them coffee and homemade carrot cake and we did the recordings. In the end I thought the accompaniments very tasteful- especially the jamming section in the title song, "None But One." And most of my old friends liked the record. One man started his letter, "I see that you've finally sold out. I was madder'n a wet hen when I put that record on. Now it's been a week and it's still the only thing I've had on the turntable!"

Just one or two yells, and complaints, but most folks approved. Old friend Paul Nelson, in announcing the Rolling Stone Critic's Award for that year, wrote a review that made me cry.

It was an experiment. The album has held up over the years, though I have not done another like it. I guess I wanted to prove something. The songs survived.

09 Nov 01 - 07:25 PM (#589383)
Subject: Correction: West Virginia Mine Disaster -Ritchie^^
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)

Joe, on a link from the book, CELEBRATION OF LIFE, lyrics are given for some songs. My song, "West Virginia Mine Disaster," has several mistakes. Correct words are:

Say did you see him going?- it was early this morning.
He passed all your houses on his way to the coal.
He was tall,he was slender,and his dark eyes so tender
His occupation was mining- West Virginia, his home.

It was just before twelve- I was feeding the children
Ben Mosely came running to bring us the news,
Number eight is all flooded- many men are in danger,
And we don't know their number, but we fear they're
all doomed.

So I picked up the baby and I left all the others
To comfort each other and pray for our own;
There's Timmy, fourteen, and there's John not much
Their own time soon will be coming to go down the
black hole.

Now what can I say to his poor little children?
Or what can I tell his old mother at home?
Or what can I say to my heart that's clear-broken?
To my heart that's clear-broken if my darling is gone?

Say did you see him going? It was early this morning-
He passed all these houses on his way to the coal.
He was tall,he was slender,and his dark eyes so tender
His occupation was mining- West Virginia, his home.^^

Click to play

09 Nov 01 - 10:00 PM (#589471)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: Alice

Wonderful, Jean.

10 Nov 01 - 06:47 AM (#589609)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)

Thank you, Jean!

10 Nov 01 - 05:42 PM (#589871)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)

Joe-HELP A line was left out on vs. 4, where there are only 3 lines. The fourth line should be added:

To my heart that's clear-broken, if my darling is gone.
Jean, the missing line got swallowed by an incomplete line break. I found one more verse in "Celebration of Life," and I'm wondering it it's correct:
O if I had the money to do more than just feed them,
I'd give them good learning, the best could be found.
And when they'd grow up they'd be checkers and weighers,
And not spend their life drilling in the dark under ground.
-Joe Offer-

10 Nov 01 - 06:21 PM (#589898)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird)

Jean, thanks for your insider's account of that period in the 50s and 60s when, as Oscar Brand put it, "If I were to sing 'The Battle Hymn of the Republic' on a program, the 'music clearance' department would insist on knowning the name of some book or publisher who would be willing to claim authorship. "

I think the record labels and others had been spooked by a case called George v.Victor Talking Machine Co., in which the plaintiff claimed to have been the true author of the words to "The Wreck of the Old '97", and that Victor's recordings of it were a violation of his common-law right of first publication. The district court believed him, the court of appeals didn't, but due to a technical error on the part of defendant's counsel the case dragged on until 1940. Victor had tried (and succeeded) in finding the author, and they still had to fight off this lawsuit from another claimant. My guess is that the "music clearance" people mentioned by Brand were trying to give themselves maximum protection against out-of-nowhere right-of-first-publication claims of this kind. Folk in the 1950s may still have remembered the "Home on the Range" case as well, in which it took months of investigation during 1934 to turn up evidence that the Arizona couple who claimed to have written "Home on the Range" were not the authors.

However, though the fear may have died down, I don't know that users of traditional material are any safer now from spurious claims of the kind that were made in the "Home on the Range" case. In fact the danger may be greater now, since the term of copyright is so much longer.

The melody of a song called "Fair Nottiman Town", collected in Knott County and published in Wyman and Brockway's Twenty Kentucky Mountain Songs (1920) somewhat resembles the melody that Cecil Sharp collected from your sisters. Have you encountered other variants of the same melody in your travels ?


11 Nov 01 - 12:25 AM (#590119)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: GUEST,BigDaddy

I was just going through some vinyl LPs and found one I'd forgotten about: "Oscar Brand and Jean Ritchie." It was from "Archive of Folk Music" records. The cuts are: "The Devil's Nine Questions," "A Farmer's Wife," "The Good Peanuts," "Shortnin' Bread," "Cripple Creek," "Devilish Mary," "The Blackest Crow," "I Wish I Was Single Again," "Raise a Ruckus," "My Boy Billy." Cuts 1, 5, 9 and 10 are sung by Jean and Oscar. 2, 4, and 7 are by Jean. 3, 6 and 9 are Oscar. There is no indication when these recordings were made. Apparently Archive of Folk Music Records" was a subsidiary of Everest Records in LA.

11 Nov 01 - 04:04 PM (#590356)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)

T in Oklahoma- My older sisters remembered when Lorraine Wyman came to Knott County, collecting songs. Her variant of, Fair Nottamun Town, is probably from the same root, but is not ours. And no, in my travels I haven't run across that melody. Some have the same SOUND or FEELING (e.g. The Poor Old Husband, or, My Good Old Man), but the melodic structure, and the timing, are very different.

11 Nov 01 - 04:22 PM (#590362)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)

BigDaddy- The original record for which those songs were recorded was, "Shivaree!" recorded for Esoteric Records, 238 E. 26th St. New York City, in 1955. Apparently the Archive of Folk Music Records lifted only Oscar's and my songs, because Harry and Jeannie West, and Tom Paley were also on the record. The Wests' titles are, "Bury Me Beneath the Willow," and, "Ain't Gonna Work Tomorrow." Paley did, "Down the Old Plank Road," "Roll on the Ground," and, "Railroad Bill." Wests and Paley, also billed as, The Ensemble, did, "Cripple Creek," and a medly consisting of, "Bile Them Cabbage Down,", "Joe Clarke," and, "Pretty Little Willow."

All our pictures are on the back of the album...what young'uns we were then!

11 Nov 01 - 06:15 PM (#590411)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: johnross

Is there a more complete and up-to-date discography of Jean's recordings than the one in the insert to the 1974 LP, "Jean Ritchie at Home"? That one doesn't list the Library of Congress LPs, or Classic Editions CE-1043 "Music For a Child's World". And of course, it doesn't include anything more recent than 1974.

Jean, I'd also be interested in learning more about the pair of HMV 78s in my collection: two 10-inch 78s of "Appalachian Mountain Songs" "Recorded Under the Auspices of the English Folk Dance and Song Society".

When and where were those recorded? Have those six tracks ever been re-issued, either on LP or CD?

11 Nov 01 - 06:44 PM (#590433)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: Stewie

I have that old 'Brand and Ritchie' album too. I had wondered why it was so short - barely 17 minutes. No indication was given on the sleeve that it had formed part of a longer album.


12 Nov 01 - 12:49 AM (#590605)
Subject: ADD Tune WV Mining Disasster
From: Joe Offer

Here's the tune.
-Joe Offer-

Click to play

ABC format:

T:West Virginia Mine Disaster

12 Nov 01 - 01:16 AM (#590615)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: catspaw49

JOHNROSS......Please check Jean's homepage linked several times in this tthread and also you can Click Here for another. Maybe Jean has a comment or two on the accuracy of either of the two.

What about it Kytrad? (:<))


12 Nov 01 - 06:46 PM (#591171)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)

Well, Karen Carter-Schwendler's is the most complete, as far as it goes (1977). It's her PhD Dissertation, U.of KY, 1995- TRADITIONAL BACKGROUND, CONTEMPORARY CONTEXT: THE MUSIC AND ACTIVITIES OF JEAN RITCHIE TO 1977. I don't know how hard it is to look up things in dissertations, but it must be available in a library or something, at UK. Or maybe she has it all online; I have not tried to find it.

Johnross- The two-set HMV 78 rpm were released in England in 1953, during my Fulbright trip. Four of the songs are on other albums- Charlie (Over the River to Feed My Sheep), Goin' to Boston, Loving Hanna, A Pretty Fair Miss. I don't think I have recorded the others, Blackeyed Susie, and The Dear Companion (this the traditional one, not my written song, My Dear Companion). Aside from Lovin Hannah (Mt. Born CD)and Goin'to Boston (Vanguard- Trad. Music at Newport, 1964, Part 2) the recorded songs were on albums now out of circulation.

12 Nov 01 - 07:00 PM (#591180)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)

Afterthought: The HMV recordings explain how, "Lovin' Hannah" got recirculated around the British Isles and Ireland. The records were just out, and on our visit to Bess Cronin I gave her one as a gift. Right away she learned, "Lovin Hannah" and began singing it. When Sandy and Caroline came collecting, years later, she sang it for them, and when asked about it said, "Well I learnt it off a wee record from Jeannie Ritchie!"

Meanwhile, others had learned it from her, and also from the "wee record" I guess, for it appeared on one of Mary Black's early recordings. We met her three or so years ago, and she said, I believe, that her brother had learned it from, "an old lady down the lane from him." It's fascinating how songs travel.

12 Nov 01 - 07:12 PM (#591187)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: Joe Offer

A Google Search for Karen Carter-Schwendler (click) brings up some interesting information, including the KET/PBS Websites for Mountain Born: The Jean Ritchie Story (Spaw linked to the PBS site, which seems almost identical).
Apparently, the University Press of Kentucky has reissued Jean Ritchie's Swapping Song Book, but it does not appear to be for sale at Jean's Website. I thought I had all Jean's books, but here's one I missed. Looks like it's a reprint of an Oak Publications songbook.
-Joe Offer-

12 Nov 01 - 11:08 PM (#591339)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: GUEST,BigDaddy

Hey there Jean, Any chance of getting "Clear Waters Remembered," and "Sweet Rivers" re-issued on CD? Also, you have such a lovely voice, speaking as well as singing...any chance of you recording an audio book (book on tape or CD) of "Singing Family of the Cumberlands," or anything else? Anything we Mudcatters could do to encourage any of these possibilities?

13 Nov 01 - 04:29 PM (#591852)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)

The SWAPPING SONG BOOK was originally published by Henzy Walck books, which was an outgrowth of Oxford University Press's young-folks division (can't recall exact wording). Oxford was the first publisher of SINGING FAMILY OF THE CUMBERLANDS, so there's the connection.

BigDaddy, these are things we think about, but so far I haven't been able to talk Juneappal into making "Sweet Rivers" into a CD- they're afraid they'll lose money on it, and they're probably right. "Clear Waters Remembered" we could do, but I've recorded several of those songs onto later CDs, so it seems it would be too much of a duplication of materials. No?

13 Nov 01 - 10:13 PM (#592081)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: GUEST,BigDaddy

No. I know I have a sentimental fondness for "Clear Waters Remembered," perhaps because it was the first LP of yours I owned (and still do). Apart from that, to me (and I'll bet there are many others), it's just about as perfect an album as can be. Yes, I can find many of these songs on other recordings, but it's just not the same. It's like telling a Beatles fan he can't ever replace his copy of "Sergeant Pepper," but he can listen to most of the songs elsewhere. Sometimes I think you will never fully realize what a faithful and appreciative following you have out here. The last time I was in Elderly Instruments store in Michigan, I gave them a piece of my mind about what a limited selection of your work they offer. I'm willing to pester Juneappal, and I'm sure others will, too, if it means getting "Sweet Rivers" back on the shelf. My mother was as much a fan of yours as myself, up until her death at 83 on Thanksgiving of 1995. I recently introduced a twenty-something friend of mine to your music and she's "hooked" as well. Even considering taking up the mountain dulcimer.

13 Nov 01 - 10:16 PM (#592084)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: GUEST,BigDaddy

P.S. My seven-year-old is a fan as well. He especially likes "None But One." :)

14 Nov 01 - 11:43 AM (#592445)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)

Well, thanks- I get embarrassed at compliments like that, but behind the blushes, they are appreciated!

"Sweet Rivers" is actually available now from Juneappal as an audiocassette; it's the CD they're afraid of, economically... Jean Leaving now for 2 weeks. Happy Thanksgiving, Y'all (leftover from my Savannah trip)

14 Nov 01 - 02:46 PM (#592603)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: catspaw49

Well hell....I might as well ask since I'm sure it's been brought up before and this thread is going that way anyhow...............

Jean, have you talked about a boxed set? I hate the term "best of" but that's the general idea. Maybe it would be broken down onto say 3 or 4 CD's with Part One as Jean and Trad, Part Two as Jean Sings the Mountains, Part Three as Jean and the Folk Revival, Part Four as Jean for the Holidays...........I dunno', just yakkin' off the top of my head here.........Obviously different names then I used, but some of your favorite trad songs you learned over the years, some Ritchie family favorites, some composed songs you've done..........Theree are a lot of ways to put it together.

There are very few true folk artists that could pull this off but you are certainly one!


14 Nov 01 - 03:53 PM (#592650)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: GUEST,BigDaddy

I'm with you, Spaw. I just tracked down the June Appal site and ordered "Sweet Rivers" on cassette. I also emailed them to say I would really appreciate the same on CD. If all the kytrad fans out there did the same, they might be moved to do so. I've always heard that when a business or even political entity gets a written request, they figure it's worth at least ten similar opinions. Once upon a time, I made a recording that I wasn't that pleased with; but for the sake of the "band," I managed to get it on the shelves of Elderly Instruments, Barnes & Noble, Border's Books and Music and more. I (and hopefully others) should be able to do the same with music from a prolific artist like Jean.

28 Nov 01 - 10:43 PM (#599878)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: GUEST,BigDaddy


29 Nov 01 - 12:12 AM (#599939)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: Big Mick

Jean, a box set would be a wonderful thing. It could be a musical autobiography, complete with old studio and field recording. I would love to see this project happen.


29 Nov 01 - 12:45 AM (#599971)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: GUEST,BigDaddy

Here's the response from JuneAppal: "Jay, Thank you for your interest in Sweet Rivers, and I apologize for taking so long to respond. We have talked with Jean a bit about releasing it on CD but no firm plans on the horizon. We have an amazing back catalog of music available only on cassette and vinyl, and though we'd like to bring them up to current technology, it will probably be slowly, one at a time. Sweet Rivers is currently available on cassette tape for $8 plus $3.75 shipping and handling. If you're interested you can send a check or money order, made out to Appalshop, to JuneAppal Recordings, 91 Madison Avenue, Whitesburg, KY 41858. Be sure to note on your check that it is for Sweet Rivers. I look forward to hearing from you. David Reynolds"

09 Dec 01 - 06:26 PM (#606882)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)

Hello all, Back from travels, and intrigued with the ideas you put forth, Spaw, BigDaddy, Mick. I had lost this thread- it never comes up for me when I type it in; have to go to a Joe O. letter with blue clicky to find it, and I hadn't thought of it in awhile. Anyway, I'll talk with the family about the boxed set thing (Boxed Set sounds so- Confining! and, Permanent!) and see what they think. Thanks for caring. I think I'm getting nodes or something, so probably won't be singing much longer nohow! Maybe it's time for a- Boxed Set. (I'm not kidding- just say that, authoritively, a few times, and see how it sounds. Love to all, Jean

10 Dec 01 - 12:21 AM (#607024)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: GUEST,BigDaddy

Welcome back, Jean!

11 Dec 01 - 05:13 PM (#607990)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)

Spaw and Big Mick- Humble apologies- my wierd sense of humor sometimes escapes when it shouldn't... Of course I think a boxed set is a fine idea, and I'm quite honored and very appreciative of the suggestion. Happy Holidays to all, Jean

11 Dec 01 - 05:44 PM (#608011)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: GUEST,CTMS Member


I am so excited that you are going to be at the Summer Solstice Festival in June this year! I can hardly wait!

11 Dec 01 - 05:58 PM (#608018)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: catspaw49

Sorry Jean....I didn't see you had posted before! Howecer.....I DO see what you mean about the connotation of "Boxed" Set.......Never thought of it that way......and now dammit, I'll always think of it that way!(:<))

Actually, if you do it....and you SHOULD....maybe we can think of a different name.....I could see it done as songs through different periods of your life, spring, summer, fall....but no winter, make that one a collection of Holiday/Christmas tunes......Call it the "Seasons of Jean Ritchie." Or toss it out for some creative Mudcat guesswork.....I think we can come up with something besides "Boxed" set!


11 Dec 01 - 09:49 PM (#608122)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: Amergin

maybe include a book with it or a music book of some of the songs in it....

maybe Seasons of Appalachia....

11 Dec 01 - 10:36 PM (#608143)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: catspaw49

OOOOOO....That's good 'Gin boy! A shift perhaps to include Jean's name....."Jean Ritchie's Appalachian Seasons".......

Okay Jean, we'll keep talking about it huh? Maybe after New Year's? In the interim........A very Merry Christmas and my finest wishes to you and George and your sons for the Holidays!


11 Dec 01 - 11:03 PM (#608152)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: Abby Sale

Er, what Summer Solstice Festival is that? Where?

12 Dec 01 - 06:17 AM (#608237)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: Banjer

What about 'A Musical Anthology by Jean Ritchie' or maybe 'Songs For All Seasons, An Anthology by Jean Ritchie'? I would stand in line for days to get one!!!

12 Dec 01 - 08:29 AM (#608262)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: Sigma Alpha Rho

Hello Jean,

One of my treasured LPs is "A Time For Singing." Is there any chance that you'll put it out on CD?

All the best,


12 Dec 01 - 11:10 AM (#608373)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: GUEST,BigDaddy

Jean Ritchie alert! I just finished reading "Clay's Quilt" by Silas House. This is a must read excellent first novel. And you have to love a book in which the main characters listen to Jean Ritchie recordings.

05 Aug 02 - 02:04 PM (#760135)
Subject: Index: Jean Ritchie's Swapping Song Book
From: Joe Offer

I just picked up a copy of this wonderful little book, which was originally published in 1952. The was also a 1964 edition, and the edition I have was published by the University Press of Kentucky in 1999. Photos in the book are by Jean's husband George Pickow.
Here's the index:
  • The Swapping Song 2
  • Lazy John 6
  • The Tree In The Valley-O 10
  • I Built My Love A Big Fine House 14
  • Over The River To Feed My Sheep I8
  • Old Roger Is Dead 22
  • Jubilee 26
  • Two Dukes A-Riding 30
  • Shady Grove 34
  • The Old Soap-Gourd 38
  • Old Woman And The Pig 42
  • The Old Man In The Woods 46
  • Pretty Fair Miss 50
  • Jackaro 54
  • Ground Hog 58
  • The Deaf Woman's Courtship 62
  • Skin And Bones 66
  • The May Carol 70
  • Hush, Little Baby 74
  • Litfle Bitty Baby 78
  • Pretty Saro 82

-Joe Offer-

05 Aug 02 - 02:50 PM (#760157)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: Willa

I'm intrigued to know whether Old Woman And The Pig is the story my mother used to recite to us. "fire won't burn stick,stick won't beat dog, dog won't bite pig...".I had been trying to track down a copy of the poem for a long time, then took my little niece to a local museum last week and found a booklet with it in.It brought back happy memories, and now I can pass it on again.

05 Aug 02 - 03:16 PM (#760175)
Subject: ADD: The Old Woman and the Pig
From: Joe Offer

Well, it's not the Tom Thumb story of The Old Woman and Her Pig (click), but it's a nice song.
-Joe Offer-


There was an old woman and she had a little pig,
There was an old woman and she had a little pig,
There was an old woman and she had a little pig,
Didn't cost much 'cause it wasn't very big,

Now this old woman kept the pig in the barn,
Now this old woman kept the pig in the barn,
Now this old woman kept the pig in the barn,
Prettiest little thing she had on the farm,

Now this old woman fed the pig on clover, etc.
It lay down and died all over.

The little piggy died 'cause it couldn't get its breath, etc.
Wasn't that an awful death?

The little old woman she died of grief, etc.
Wasn't that a sad relief?

The little old man he sobbed and sighed, etc.
Then he too lay down and died.

Well, that was the end of the one, two, three, etc.
The man, and the woman, and the little pigee.

O, the good old book lies on the shelf, etc.
If you want any more you can sing it yourself!

from Jean Ritchie's Swapping Song Book

05 Aug 02 - 03:29 PM (#760186)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: Big Mick

Joe, I am interested in where you got the copy. From Jean's website? I would love to have this.


05 Aug 02 - 03:44 PM (#760194)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: Willa

Thanks Joe. your link was the one I wanted, though my mother's version was a little different. Big Mick, Amazon have copies of Jean's Swapping Song book on offer; I just looked at the website.

05 Aug 02 - 03:58 PM (#760206)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: Big Mick

Thanks, Willa!!

05 Aug 02 - 04:04 PM (#760212)
Subject: Jean Ritchie's Swapping song Book
From: Joe Offer

Hi, Mick - I got it from one of the online sites, maybe Barnes & Noble. You would think it would be available at, wouldn't you? [attn:kytrad - this is a hint]. It's also available at University Press of Kentucky, publisher of reissues of Jean's Folk Songs of the Southern Appalachians and Singing Family of the Cumberlands. The University Press of Kentucky has a number of music books that look interesting (click).
I have the Oak Publications (1963) edition of "Singing Family." It has illustrations by Maurice Sendak. I see that the new edition of the book has those same illustrations, but I wonder if the new editions of her books are all the same as the originals, or if changes have been made. "Swapping" and "Folk Songs" both have photos by George Pikow, and they're absolutely beautiful in the University Press editions.
My favorite Ritchie book is Celebration of Life, which also has George Pikow photos (although I note that I said above that my favorite was Singing Family).
-Joe Offer-

05 Aug 02 - 04:35 PM (#760227)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: RolyH

A book which I have treasured for many years is 'Jean Ritchie's Dulcimer People'(Oak)
Can't remember where I got it from, but it made me go out and buy a dulcimer (not too common in the UK in the 70's) and I have struggled to hack a tune out of it ever since!(it looks so easy)
The book contains details of past and present players,tuning,playing styles,how to make a dulcimer,a few songs,many photos and loads more info.

05 Aug 02 - 05:29 PM (#760260)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)

Well- is my face red! I DID instruct my webmaster to add THE SWAPPING SONG BOOK to the website, soon after it was re-published by UK Press. I guess I won't fire him, as he's my son Jon, but you know he'll hear about it. You should be able to find it listed with the other books VERY soon. And thanks to all for the reminder.

16 May 03 - 03:34 PM (#953970)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: Peter T.

Worth noting is that Smithsonian Folkways has come out with "ballads", a reissue with new notes of the 1961 album, with new notes.

It happens that on a cold wet day I am working through her wonderful book "Singing Family of the Cumberlands" (never read it before, it is a true example of pure writing), and alternating chapters with a cut from the ballads. This is a fine way to spend a day in one's own "Corner".

yours, Peter T.

16 May 03 - 03:38 PM (#953972)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings

so when does the box set come out?

18 Mar 08 - 06:29 AM (#2291438)
Subject: Wild Horses
From: GUEST,Choirgal

does anyone know where the song "Wild Horses" originated from. I know it talks about Harlan and I am assuming Kentucky. (In a debate with choir director over it as we are sing this piece must say iti s a tounge twister learning it.)

18 Mar 08 - 11:21 PM (#2292298)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: Art Thieme

Possibly I missed my favorite recording by Jean in the many posts to this thread, but that LP was one on the Tradition Records label I think. It is called CAROLS OF ALL SEASONS.

Art Thieme

17 Jul 09 - 12:50 PM (#2682269)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

"Carols of All Seasons" has been digitally re-mastered and has just been released (July 9, 2009). Essential Media Group. Price about $12.98.

28 Nov 09 - 11:25 AM (#2775556)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: Severn

Nobody's mentioned "From Fair To Fair-Folk Songs Of The British Isles" 1966 Henry Z. Walck Inc. New York), a copy of which I stumbled across in a used bookstore in Columbus Ohio. A story thread about a roving minstrel ties together songs from different regions and can be apprieciated by both kids and adults. Is this one still in print?

19 Feb 10 - 08:09 PM (#2844645)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: GUEST,David Baril

I am looking for a recording Jean Ritchie singing "Black is the Color of my True Love's Hair". I have searched through iTunes and Amazon's mp3 downloads to no avail. I have found the MIDI file and the lyrics but would like to hear the original. Suggestions?


David Baril
Almonte, Ontario
dpbaril [atsign] sympatico [dot] ca

20 Feb 10 - 03:40 PM (#2845288)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: Thomas Stern

"Black is the Color" was recorded by Jean Ritchie
on her first Elektra 10-inch LP EKL-2 Jean Ritchie (1952).
It was reissued on:
EKL 125 Jean Ritchie (1957)
60402 O Love is Teasin'-Anglo American Balladry (1985)
Rhino/Handmade RHM2 7867 Mountain Hearth & Home (2004)

Best wishes, Thomas Stern

21 Feb 10 - 05:17 PM (#2846096)
Subject: RE: Jean Ritchie Books & Recordings
From: GUEST,David Baril

Thanks Thomas! Since my previous post I had discovered the last one you mentioned but not the previous two.



06 Nov 14 - 01:41 AM (#3674953)
Subject: ADD: Let the Sun Shine Down on Me
From: Joe Offer

(Jean Ritchie)

O, Roll on, clouds in the mornin',
Roll on, clouds in the mornin',
Roll on, clouds in the mornin',
Let the sun shine down on me.

I looked out this mornin’,
Deep down trouble I see;
Yes I looked out this mornin’,
Let the sun shine down on me.

Saw the big cloud a-risin',
Hard trouble I see;
Heard my mother cryin',
Let the sun shine down on me.

There was water, but I couldn't drink it,
Deep down trouble I see,
Bread, but I couldn't eat it,
Let the sun shine down on me.

I know there's a great day comin'
When no more trouble I see;
When we'll all shout together,
Let the sun shine down on me.

written by Jean Ritchie under the pen name 'Than Hall
Copyright Geordie Music, 1963, 1971

from her Celebration of Life Songbook, page 43