The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #143842   Message #3323710
Posted By: John Minear
16-Mar-12 - 12:22 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Child Ballads in 18th c. America?
Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads in 18th c. America?
Richie, thanks for the update on your work, and for Coffin's list (actually Coffin's discussion as well!). And thanks for the suggestions on where to look.

And Mick, thanks for reminding me about the Max Hunter collection. I have Coffin in several varieties and recognize him as a baseline for the middle of the last century (can you believe that! - it used to be that "the middle of the last century" referred to 1850 and not 1950!). I was hoping for an update. I think Bronson would at least update the list through the 1960's but that still leaves us in the middle of the last century.

I can start by comparing Coffin and Lindahl. Let me say, that I am not particular about whether or not a particular ballad "came over with the Scots-Irish" or with somebody else. In our discussion of "The Demon Lover"/"The House Carpenter" in the Northeast, we came across some suggestions about Scottish (not "Scots-Irish") influence on this ballad in North America, possibly prior to the broadside publication in 1858-60 by De Marsan. The suggestion was that it might have come over with the Scottish tobacco traders to the coastal ports and then later to the more inland tobacco trading posts.

In any case, I don't care how a ballad got here or who brought it. I'm just interested at this point in what might have been here before 1800, and especially before 1775 and the American Revolution.   Of course any specific additional information is always welcome.