The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #143842   Message #3327459
Posted By: GUEST,julia L
22-Mar-12 - 11:11 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Child Ballads in 18th c. America?
Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads in 18th c. America?
Seems like Williamsburg would be a good source
From Colonial Williamsburg's website on Tavern Music
Particularly popular in Virginia in the 1750s and later was Scottish music, John Turner (resident musician) said. Scottish music was in vogue in London during the period. Virginians who wanted to keep up with current English fashion eagerly embraced these tunes. In his later years, George Washington developed a fondness for these songs and encouraged his granddaughters to perform them for him. Scottish music also was enjoyed by the many Scots who settled and worked in Virginia.

Traditional songs touched on all sorts of topics. To appreciate the variety, consider three ballads Benjamin Franklin described as widely known in a 1765 letter to his brother: "Chevy Chase," "The Children in the Woods," and "The Spanish Lady." "Chevy Chase" tells of a bloody fight between knights. "The Children in the Woods" is a tale about the death of two young orphans caused by their uncle's greed for their inheritance. "The Spanish Lady" reveals the sufferings of a Spanish woman captured by English soldiers. She falls in love with one of her captors, who already has a wife and abandons his smitten prisoner for her.