The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #16793   Message #158650
Posted By: Stewie
05-Jan-00 - 07:53 PM
Thread Name: Is there a real Sourwood Mtn & where?
Subject: RE: Is there a real Sourwood Mtn & where?
Looking a bit further, I found this on the Fiddler's Companion site:

Sourwood is chestnut or other bark used in tanning leather, however, Sourwood Mountain is a placename in Massachusetts, where the ballad originated. It was one of the first trully American ballads, and the tale of a young man fatally bit by a snake made its way into folk traditions throughout the country. The tune in mentioned in a 1931 newspaper account as having been played at a LaFollette, northeast Tenn. fiddlers' contest. It was also listed as one of the standard tunes in a square dance fiddler's repertoire, as asserted by A.B. Moore in his History of Alabama, 1934 (Cauthen, 1990). Wolfe (1982) states it was popular with Kentucky fiddlers./ The title appears in a list of traditional Ozark Mountain fiddle tunes compiled by musicologist/folklorist Vance Randolph, published in 1954. Many comic rhymes were sung with the tune: