The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #143842   Message #3340563
Posted By: GUEST
19-Apr-12 - 03:48 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Child Ballads in 18th c. America?
Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads in 18th c. America?
Steve, I appreciate your suggestion about looking for the scarcer ballads that have survived here and had died out in Britain, and then doing some comparative studies. That makes sense to me. I wonder if anyone has tried this. To begin with, surely someone has made a list of those ballads which survived in America but not in Great Britain. That would be a helpful starting point.

In the meantime, I will put up the rest of these WVA, references from Cox. Here are five versions of "The Wife of Usher's Well" that have some interesting "remembered" lineages. The first one is called "A Moravian Song", and illustrates something of the history of the relationships between the Scots-Irish and the German immigrants in WVa. It was contributed by Miss Bettie R. Loy, of Glebe, in Hampshire County, WVA, in February of 1916. Miss Loy writes: "I am sending you a song that my mother learned of her mother, who was of Dutch descent, but either she or her parents learned it of a Moravian preacher and she called it a Moravian song."

The second version was called "Lady Gay", and was contributed by John B. Adkins of Branchland, in Lincoln County, WVA, in February, 1916. He learned it "when a child from an aunt, who learned it from her mother."

The third example of this ballad was communicated by Mr. Decker Toney, of Queen's Ridge, in Wayne Count, WVA, in January of 1916. It was "learned from his mother, who learned it from her mother, Hannah Moore, and she, from her mother, Hannah Ross, who was born in Virginia." Back when Hannah Ross was born, West Virginia was still a part of Virginia, so it is not clear what this reference might mean. But it seems to imply what was once known as "East Virginia" or the eastern part of Virginia. See the previous link for this version which is "D".

The fourth and fifth versions were collected by the same person. They were communicated by Miss Mary M. Atkeson, of Morgantown in Monongalia county, WVA, in December of 1915. The first one ("E") was "obtained from Mr. Joseph H. Spicer, Spring Gap, in Hampshire County, WVA; learned from his mother, who learned it from her grandmother, who came from Ireland."

The last version ("G") was "obtained from Mr. A.G. Springer, Farmington, Marion County; dictated by his mother, who learned it from her mother, a lady of Welsh and English ancestry, who came from Pennsylvania."