When you buy clothes on easy terms, The collector treats you like measly worms; One dollar down and then, Lord knows, If you don’t make a payment they’ll take your clothes. When you go to bed, you can’t sleep, You owe so much at the end of the week. No use to collect, they’re all […]comments
Tag Archives: appalachian music
On the evening of June 8,1939 limousines began to deliver the cream of Washington D.C. society to the East Room of the White House. President and First Lady, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt were entertaining King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of England and had arranged a command performance in their honor. Music for the evening […]comments
A prolific composer, South Carolinian Lily Strickland (1884-1958) published 395 musical works for popular, church, and children’s performances. Her early works displayed the influences of life in the Jim Crow South, incorporating numerous elements of African American spirituals and folk music and the rhythms of Southern speech. Lily was the only daughter of Charlton Hines […]comments
Just as there is a vast gap between the poetry of art and the poetry of the folk, so is there a vast difference between the music of the Sourwood Mountain fiddler and the music of art.
This antique musician knows little about Wagner and the musical drama and the Italian melodists, and cares less. His music causes a feeling of ennui to steal over one, but he is giving his hearers something they can understand. His strains are the outbursts from the depths of a being that is sincere, and he fiddles and sings because he feels.
In the words of Svenstrupp, the great Danish authority on folksongs, the words of these canticles of love and woe “talk like a mother crooning to her babe, and have scarcely a kenning.” It is related that when the maidservant used to sing “Barbara Allen’s Cruelty” to little Oliver Goldsmith, he would shed tears; that the recital of “Chevy Chace” moved Sir Philip Sidney as nothing else could move him.
But the transition to a new and enlightened age is inevitable.comments
We reached back to explore medieval troubadours in the south of France, wandering minstrels who fanned out across Europe, and Scottish ballad collectors, composers, singers, and fiddlers. Above all, though, our book is primarily about the nameless families—across many generations—who held onto the one thing that cost nothing, took up no space in their travel trunks, and was perhaps their most valuable symbol of identity: the songs and tunes they carried over centuries and the miles. In particular, we spent years researching these intrepid wayfarers: Scottish emigrants to Ulster in the north of Ireland, who blended their musical traditions with the Irish in their new home and transported these on their Atlantic crossing to America. They often seemed drawn to the distant horizon and their journeys have been a carrying stream of music, fed by so many sources and in turn feeding out along countless tributaries. As Scots-Irish, many found Appalachian homes and new ways of sharing their long-held musical traditions. To tell the truth, at times it felt as if we were traveling along with them, and we developed a real affinity for their unshakeable spirit and their incredible persistence in keeping their music and traditions alive.comments