The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #34525   Message #1908672
Posted By: Q (Frank Staplin)
13-Dec-06 - 03:48 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Pretty Little Pink
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Pretty Little Pink
Michael, my comments re Scots and English were meant tongue-in-cheek, but seem to have met a chip-on-the-shoulder response.

Alberta, Saskatchewan and other provinces in Canada had many homesteaders who came for the new land and a new beginning, Scots and English prominent among them. I picked Scots and English because their poems and songs, made in Canada, are most available because they are in English, and were printed by the publishers 'back east'.

There were Irish, too, settling at Cork (vanished settlement) and elsewhere in Alberta, but I have no knowledge of locally grown culture.

East-central Alberta was settled by Ukrainians, their onion-topped churches are a notable feature of the landscape. They have a lively culture. Poles also homesteaded in distinct locations.
Several settlements are French- not people from Quebec, but immigrants direct from France, who have little knowledge of that province except what they get on French Service Radio Canada broadcasts and telecasts.

Azizi, you may be aware of the African-American settlements in Alberta and Saskatchewan, 1000 coming from Oklahoma in 1911 (google for Amber Valley AB and Maidstone SK). Some early White settlers from the United States also tended to homestead in specific areas, one around High River. The book by Thomson, "Blacks in Deep Snow," Dent Pub., is interesting if superficial.

An area in southern Alberta is known for its Mormon settlements, and a well-known LDS temple at Cardston (many bought their spreads, so not homesteaders). There used to be schoolyard fights in Raymond area schools between Mormon and non-Mormon kids, the latter a minority- I wonder if any collections were made of singing games in this area. Incidentally, the first organized rodeo (stampede) in Canada took place here in 1902.

I could go on- even a small Icelandic settlement, which produced a well-known poet.

The same is true for the western states and their homesteaders.

My point, which I thought was obvious, is that some of the singing and play party games, which seem to have sprung up in the period 1850-1900, although mentioning themes of their forbears, developed in North American schoolyards and community halls and should not be considered direct descendants of old country forms.

Thanks, Sian, for "Here's to Thy Health, My Bonnie Lass." Burn's poems are in a bookcase within arm's reach of my computer, and I am somewhat red-faced for not knowing that poem. Now, I recall a Burn's poem about barley which may fit here. I think that the line "Charlie's sweet and Charlie's neat" in a Jean Ritchie version only coincidentally echos Burn's "O Mally's Meek, Mally's Sweet." (We had a Cairn Terrier that we named Mallie, from this poem. Perhaps I shouldn't mention this; Michael will take offence).

Azizi, "Johnny Cuckoo" reminded me of some of the contrabandist songs of the 1860's, when Blacks took up rifles and fought with the Unionists. Some of the same thought. Contrabandist songs are printed in several places- has any comprehensive collection been published?