The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #143842   Message #3988079
Posted By: John Minear
18-Apr-19 - 04:46 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Child Ballads in 18th c. America?
Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads in 18th c. America?
Hello everyone. John Minear here. It has been a long time. The last post, above was from Steve on May 1, 2012. I have enjoyed re-reading this thread today seven years later. I am frankly amazed at the amount of work we put into this. And some of it was definitely ground-breaking, or at least had not been done before.

At the time I was asking the question that drove this thread about documentation for Child ballads in the US in the 18th century, I didn't really go into why I was interested in this. I was looking for "old" songs and tunes that pre-dated the American Revolution that would have been sung out on the "frontiers" of the colonies. From my re-reading, it appears that we came up with very few candidates but a strong suspicion for a lot more that was not documented.

I was looking for songs/tunes that I could use in a project that I had begun back then, which was to write a song cycle about one of my ancestors, named "John Minear" who came over here in 1732 at the age of 2 and lived in PA and VA and later WVA. I completed my first song in 2013, called "Hacker's Creek" which was about the death of John Minear in a Shawnee ambush in WVA. Since then I have filled out his life with seven other songs. I ended up having to use later tunes, but I tried to choose ones that, at least in my imagination, seemed to capture that earlier period of 1730-1781. You can hear these songs on SoundCloud here if you are interested:

This has been a very rewarding project for me and I have learned a lot about the history of PA and VA and a lot about Colonial and Native American relations. I hope that you might enjoy some of these songs. This long thread was my way into doing this project and I thank all of you for your work on it.