Tag Archives: appalachian folklore

As Meat loves Salt. A folktale.

“Which of you shall we say doth love us most?” asks King Lear of his three daughters at the opening of Shakespeare’s tragedy. Shakespeare often re-interpreted well known tales & legends in his plays—the Lear story is a very old European folk motif that turns up in literally hundreds of variants of the “Cinderella” tale. […]

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I were tellin’ some mount’n stories

Jane Gentry — piano teacher, Appalachian folk-music historian, weaver — was an inspiration for the movie Songcatcher. She was born Jane Hicks in 1863, the first child of Ransom and Emily Hicks, in Watauga County, NC. “My pappy were a minister, name of Ransom Hicks. Mammy were always peckin’ me over the head with a […]

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Worm Fiddlers are Making Good in Valley Area

The Florence [AL] Times Daily Jul 23, 1937 Hartselle, July 27— Get out your “Stradivarius” and come to the Tennessee Valley and join the worm fiddlers. A new industry has sprung up in the Joe Wheeler Lake area where numerous followers of Izaak Walton spend their time fishing in the fisherman’s paradise created by the […]

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The Devil danced on Fiddlers Mountain

During the 1930s and 1940s Rose Thompson worked as a home supervisor with the Farm Security Administration in Georgia. While she worked with farmers and their wives — teaching them to put up preserves, make cotton mattresses, and build chick brooders — she listened to the stories they told. Thompson spent some time during the […]

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The Devil and the Farmer’s Wife

This tale of the shrewish wife who terrifies even the demons is ancient and widespread. The Hindus have it in a sixth century fable collection, the Panchatantra. It seems to have travelled westward by Persia, and to have spread to almost every European country. In early versions, the farmer makes a pact with the Devil […]

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