The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #46310 Message #3889299
Posted By: Lighter
19-Nov-17 - 10:23 AM
Thread Name: Origin: Saint James Infirmary Blues
Subject: RE: Origin: Saint James Infirmary Blues
I believe that a mountaineer of 1910 would likely have considered the five miles to the railway station walking distance.
But since people had horses and wagons, the question is moot.
More importantly, I suggest that the presence of railway stations in Appalachia would be more conducive to importing songs (like "The Streets of Laredo" and "The Unfortunate Lad/Girl" *into* the mountains than exporting them to places like Nova Scotia.
Not to mention that there was a far greater cultural affinity between the Southern Appalachians and the cattle country of Texas and the Chisholm Trail, than between the Appalachians and Nova Scotia. Another side issue, to be sure, but of interest.
The most interesting questions raised in this thread (and others) can probably never be answered with absolute certainty. All we can do is look at the evidence and draw conclusions that seem the most probable.
In some cases probability itself may be a matter of opinion.
The alternative is to favor explanations that, while they may be very unlikely, appeal to our romantic or iconoclastic sensibilities.
To each his own.