The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #157878   Message #4028925
Posted By: Lighter
18-Jan-20 - 12:27 PM
Thread Name: Dave Harker, Fakesong
Subject: RE: Dave Harker, Fakesong
Steve, the most likely place for finding the familiar tripartite form of presentation would be articles in the pages of the Journal of American Folklore, which started publication in 1888,

I've just done a JSTOR cybersearch of the Journal for the phrases "Child Ballads," "English and Scottish Popular Ballads, " "Scottish ballad," "English ballad," and "ballad of."

The earliest example of the familiar tripartite structure appears to be so late as Herbert Halper's "Some Ballads and Folk Songs from New Jersey," LII (1939), pp. 52-69. (Among the non-Child ballads is a somewhat spicier than usual version of "The Indian Lass.")

Believe it or not, Halpert's article looks to be the Journal's earliest mention of *any* of the searched-for phrases.   

The early years of JAF were heavily skewed toward American Indian material and folktales, but these results astonish me.

The first large collection or American folksongs was John Lomax's Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads (1910). Lomax, obviously, had no need for the tripartite structure.