The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #16399   Message #507524
Posted By: JohnInKansas
16-Jul-01 - 08:02 AM
Thread Name: Songbooks: A Basic Folk Library
Subject: RE: A Basic Folk Library
Since I have sorted out most of the stuff in the "Folk Library" thread – up to 12JUL01 – for my own use, it occurs that this might be handy for some of the rest of us. Because the list is so long, I would suggest that Joe or the Joe Clones make a decision whether it should be kept. Won't hurt my feelin's if it's too much baggage and needs to be killed (mercifully please).
It was a lot prettier before I took out the tabs. They don't do a good job of lining things up in HTML anyway. I don't like using dashes, but some net readers do bizarre things with spaces (or even dots).
There are a couple of web addresses that were in the originals that may be garbled because I had to replace "&" with the HTML "&" to keep the rest of the list from exploding. I think the only one likely to be affected appears at "Hard Hitting Songs for Hard Hit People," but there could be others.
Anything in quotes EXCEPT titles is probably my attempt to convey comments made by contributors. Apologies if I've mangled them too much.
I have attempted mainly to take out duplications, and merge multiple contributions to get the best "identification" I could. My definition of identification is what you would need to be pretty sure you're getting the book you want – before you send somebody your hard-earned.
Entries are in my own version of alphabetical order. It's pretty loose, but should be useable.
For the curious - I count 127 titles so far.

Comments:--------"good for used books."

Title:---------------ABE – Advanced Book Exchange
Comments:--------"Better than eBay."
Comments:--------"good for new books."

Comments:--------suggested by multiple postings.
Comments:--------"good for used books."

Title:---------------The Country Bookshop, Plainfield, Vt
Comments:--------"Specializes in used folksong and folklore books."

Comments:--------"good link to multiple used book search engines."


Title:---------------The Abelard Folk Song Book
Comments:--------Cazden's collection, mostly Catskills.
Publisher:----------New York, 1958

Title:---------------American Balladry from British Broadsides
Author/Editor:----G. Malcolm Laws

Title:---------------American Folk Poetry, An Anthology
Comments:--------"Joe Hickerson prepared a superb bibliography. All text, but good footnotes pointing to sources, and a wonderful selection of songs."
Author/Editor:----Duncan Emrich
Publisher:---------Little, Brown and Co., Boston Toronto, 1974

Title:---------------American Folk Songs for Christmas
Author/Editor:----Ruth Crawford Seeger

Title:---------------American Murder Ballads and Their Stories
Author/Editor:----Olive Wooley Burt
Publisher:---------Oxford Univ Press, 1958, LC 58-5382

Title:---------------The American Songbag
Comments:--------Original copyright 1927. Reissue has intro by Garrison Keillor
Author/Editor:----Carl Sandburg
Publisher:---------Reissued by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, New York 1990 ISBN 0-15-60560-X (paperback)

Title:---------------Ancient Ballads Traditionally Sung in New England (4 Volumes)
Comments:--------See the Flanders Ballad Collection at Middlebury, Vermont
Author/Editor:----Helen Hartness Flanders

Title:---------------Anglo American Folksong Scholarship Since 1898
Comments:--------"will direct you to other worthwhile studies."
Author/Editor:----D. K. Wilgus
Publisher:---------Rutgers University Press, 195

Title:---------------Another Sheaf of White Spirituals
Author/Editor:----George Pullen Jackson

Title:---------------Archive of American Folk Song, Folklore Section, Library of Congress
Publisher:---------An Archive

Title:---------------The Ballad of America
Author/Editor:----John Anthony Scott

Title:---------------The Ballad Book
Author/Editor:----MacEdward Leach

Title:---------------Ballads Migrant in New England
Comments:--------See the Flanders Ballad Collection at Middlebury, Vermont
Author/Editor:----Helen Hartness Flanders

Title:---------------Ballads and Songs Collected by the Missouri Folk Song Society
Comments:--------Original printing in the 40s. Reprinted in the 60s.
Author/Editor:----H. M. Belden
Publisher:---------University of Missouri Press

Title:---------------Barber Shop Ballads and How to Sing Them
Author/Editor:----Sigmund Spaeth

Title:---------------Big Road Blues: Tradition and Creativity in the Folk Blues
Comments:--------A book about blues.
Author/Editor:----D. Evans
Publisher:---------Da Capo, New York, 1982

Title:---------------The Bluesman: The Musical Heritage of Black Men and Women in the Americas
Comments:--------A book about blues
Author/Editor:----J. Finn
Publisher:---------Quartet, London, 1986

Title:---------------Bothy Songs and Ballads

Title:---------------Bushes and Briars: Folk Songs Collected by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Comments:--------Re-released by Llanerch Publishers in 1999, ISBN 1 86143 072 2
Author/Editor:----Roy Palmer
Publisher:---------Llanerch Publishers

Title:---------------The British Broadside Ballad and Its Music

Title:---------------Catskill text (?)
Comments:--------Not sure whether this is the "Abelard Folk Song Book," "Folk Songs of the Catskills," or something else??
Author/Editor:----Cazden, Haufrecht and Studer

Title:---------------Chasin' That Devil Music: Searching For the Blues
Comments:--------A book on blues
Author/Editor:----G. D. Wardlow
Publisher:---------Miller Freeman Books, San Francisco, 1998

Title:---------------The Christmas Revels Songbook
Author/Editor:----Nancy & John Langstraff
Publisher:---------Revels Inc.

Title:---------------Country Roads
Author/Editor:----Brian Hinton

Title:---------------The Critics & the Ballad
Author/Editor:----MacEdward Leach & Tristin Coffin

Title:---------------David Herron's Chapbook
Author/Editor:----Dave Heron (Eckersley)
Publisher:---------The Traditional Song forum

Title:---------------Deep Blues
Comments:--------A book on blues
Author/Editor:----R. Palmer
Publisher:---------Viking Press, New York, 1981

Title:---------------Deep the Water, Shallow the Shore
Comments:--------Essays on shantying in the West Indies
Author/Editor:----Roger D. Abrams
Publisher:---------American Folklore Society

Title:---------------Down East Spirituals and Others
Author/Editor:----George Pullen Jackson

Title:---------------The English and Scottish Popular Ballads
Comments:--------Five volumes, paperback: Originally published by Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1882 – 1898.
Author/Editor:----Francis James Child
Publisher:---------Dover Publications, Inc. New York, 1965
Availability:------Out of Print.

Title:---------------Fireside Book of Folk Songs
Author/Editor:----Margaret Bradford Boni
Publisher:---------Simon and Schuster, 1947
Availability:------out of print

Title:---------------The Flanders Ballad Collection at Middlebury, Vermont
Comments:--------Anyone interested in making arrangements to hear the field recordings should get in touch with Mr. Terry Simpkins ( He is most enthusiastic about people interested in the Collection.

Title:---------------Folk Music and Dances of Ireland
Comments:--------Brendan Breathnach's "Ceol Rince na hÉireann" was published in Dublin, 1963, as a "Department of Education" project, with the reported purpose of recording specific performances of noted players (apparently mostly fiddlers) of various regions. Most references to "Breathnach" are to this collection. Reports vary as to how many volumes (and under what titles) have been published. The original issue appears to have been 3 volumes, but there is evidence of later partial reprints, and printings of tunes selected from several of the originals, possible for use as school texts. Recent web offerings run to $200 to $400 per volume, with sellers vaguely believing that theirs is "The real book" – but not really knowing even the title. (This includes A very desirable set, but - Caution advised? "Folk Music and Dances of Ireland" is probably one of his later books, but people are SO CONFUSED about the guy....
Author/Editor:----Brendan Breathnach (one of many spellings seen)

Title:---------------Folksong Books in Print
Comments:--------A list of folk song books in print in Britain and Ireland.
Author/Editor:----Dave Heron (Eckersley)
Publisher:----------The Traditional Song Forum

Title:---------------Folksongs of Britain and Ireland
Author/Editor:----Peter Kennedy
Publisher:----------Oak Publication

Title:---------------Folk Song in England
Comments:--------Also submitted as "Folksong In England."
Author/Editor:----A. L. Lloyd

Title:---------------Folk Songs of Canada, Vol 1 & 2
Author/Editor:----Edith Fowke & Richard Johnson
Publisher:---------Waterloo Music
Availability:-------Available from Empire Music in Vancouver

Title:---------------Folk Songs of the Catskills
Author/Editor:----Norman Cazden, Herbert Haufrecht, and Norman Studer
Publisher:---------State University of New York Press, 1982

Title:---------------Folksongs of Florida
Author/Editor:----Alton C. Morris
Publisher:---------University of Florida Press

Title:---------------Folk Songs of Old New England
Comments:--------heavy on childrens' songs and singing games. Original 1939, Macmillan, also printed by The Shoestring Press, 1962, 1990.
Author/Editor:----Eloise H. Linscott
Publisher:---------Dover Books (reprint of the second edition), 1993

Title:---------------Folk Songs of Quebec
Author/Editor:----Edith Fowke & Richard Johnson
Publisher:---------Waterloo Music
Availability:-------Available from Empire Music in Vancouver

Title:---------------The Folktale
Comments:-------"Motif index in 8 volumes, tries to list all the little events and personalities one finds in tales and ballads, etc."
Author/Editor:----Stith Thompson

Title:---------------Frank C. Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore
Comments:--------No indication by contributor whether this is a published work or a resident collection – somewhere.

Title:---------------Funk & Wagtnalls Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology and Legend (1949-50, new ed. 1972)
Comments:--------recently reissued in paperback
Author/Editor:----Maria Leach

Title:---------------A Garland of Green Mountain Song
Comments:-------See the Flanders Ballad Collection at Middlebury, Vermont
Author/Editor:----Helen Hartness Flanders

Title:---------------The Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collections
Author/Editor:----Patrick Shuldman-Shaw, Emily Lyle, & Adam McNaughtan

Title:---------------A Guitarist's Treasury of Song
Comments:--------ISBN 0-7866-0555-3
Author/Editor:----Jerry Silverman
Publisher:---------Mel Bay, #4 Industrial Drive, Pacific MO 63069-0066
Availability:-------"remaindered" bargains may be available at

Title:---------------Hard Hitting Songs for Hard Hit People
Comments:--------A reissue. Index at
Author/Editor:----Alan Lomax, Woody Guthrie, and Pete Seeger
Publisher:---------Oak Publications, 1967

Title:---------------He Was Singin' This Song
Author/Editor:----Jim Bob Tinsley

Title:---------------Heart Songs
Publisher:--------National Magazine & Chapple Publishing Co., 1909
Availability:------"A paperback reprint is available from a genealogy publishing house ($40), but used copies can be found ($10?)"

Title:---------------Heart Throbs
Comments:--------"Sentimental Poetry."
Publisher:--------National Magazine & Chapple Publishing Co., 1909
Availability:------"Harder to find than "Heart Songs.""

Title:---------------The Hell-Bound Train
Author/Editor:----Glenn Ohrlin

Title:---------------History of Hymns – Archive,
Comments:--------"United Methodist site."
Author/Editor:----William Reynolds

Title:---------------I'd Rather Be the Devil: Skip James and the Blues
Comments:--------A book about the blues.
Author/Editor:----S. Calt
Publisher:--------Da Capo, 1994

Title:---------------The International Book of Christmas Carols
Author/Editor:----Walter Ehret & George Evans
Publisher:---------Waltons Music Corp., Ft Lauderdale, FL

Title:---------------Irish Street Ballads
Comments:-------See also "More Irish Street Ballads"
Author/Editor:----O' Lochlainn

Title:---------------I Say for Me a Parable: The Oral Autobiography of Mance Lipscomb, Texas Bluesman
Comments:--------A book about the blues.
Author/Editor:----G. Alyn
Publisher:---------Da Capo, New York, 1993

Title:---------------Jerry Silverman's Folk Song Encyclopedia, Volume I and Volume II
Comments:--------Vol I ISBN 0-88188-103-7, Vol II ISBN 0-88188-104-5
Author/Editor:----Jerry Silverman
Publisher:---------Chapppell/Intersong, 1975: Distributed by Hal Leonard
Availability:------"remaindered" bargains may be available at

Title:---------------Jongleur Songs of Old Quebec
Comments:--------Collected 1916-1925 along the St Lawrence
Author/Editor:----Marius Barbeau
Publisher:---------Rutgers, The State University, 1962

Title:---------------King of the Delta Blues: The Life and Music of Charlie Patton
Comments:--------A book about the blues
Author/Editor:----S. Calt and G. D. Wardlow
Publisher:---------Rock Chapel Press, Newton, 1988

Title:---------------Last Night's Fun
Author/Editor:----Ciaran Carson

Title:---------------Listen to the Blues
Comments:--------A book on the blues
Author/Editor:----B. Cook
Publisher:---------Da Capo, New York, 1995

Title:---------------A Literary History of the Popular Ballad
Comments:--------"Talks about the development of the ballad"
Author/Editor:----David Fowler

Title:---------------Long Steel Rail
Author/Editor:----Norm Cohen
Publisher:---------University Of Illinois Press, Urbana, IL
Availability:------A new edition may be out, or soon coming.

Title:---------------The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren: Childrens Games in Street and Playground
Comments:--------Nursery Rhymes.

Title:---------------Lost Chords: The Diverting Story of American Popular Songs
Comments:--------Some fascinating stories about the songs.
Author/Editor:----Douglas Gilbert
Publisher:---------Doubleday Dorand & Co., 1942

Title:---------------Maritime Folk Songs
Comments:--------out of print
Author/Editor:----Helen Creighton
Publisher:---------Ryerson Press

Title:---------------Miss Broadwood's Delight: Folk Songs from Sussex and other English Counties
Comments:--------ISBN 0.9526363.1.X
Publisher:---------Available from Ferret Publications, 34 Maney Hill Road, Sutton Coalfield, West Midlands, B72 1JL, England.

Title:---------------More Irish Street Ballads
Comments:-------See also "Irish Street Ballads"
Author/Editor:----O' Lochlainn

Title:---------------Music In American Life Series
Comments:--------Down Home Music, home of the Arhoolie Records label – a number of books from this series.
Publisher:---------University of Illinois Press

Title:---------------Music for Patriots: Politicians and Patriots – harmonies and discords of the first hundred years (1975)
Author/Editor:----Vera Brodsky Lawrence

Title:---------------My Pious Friends and Drunken Companions: Songs and Ballads of Conviviality
Comments:--------1927: Also available bound with the companion "More Pious Friends."
Author/Editor:----Frank Shay

Title:---------------Native American Balladry
Author/Editor:----G. Malcolm Laws

Title:---------------Negro Folk Music U.S.A.
Author/Editor:----Harold Courlander
Publisher:---------Dover Books, 1992, ISBN 0-486-27350-4

Title:---------------The New Green Mountain Songster
Comments:-------See the Flanders Ballad Collection at Middlebury, Vermont
Author/Editor:----Helen Hartness Flanders

Title:---------------Nothing But the Blues: The Music and the Musicians
Comments:--------Excellent photos and essays.
Author/Editor:----Lawrence Cohn
Publisher:---------Abbeville Press, 1993, Paperback edition ISBN 0-7892-0607-2

Title:---------------Old-Time String Band Songbook
Author/Editor:----John Cohen and Mike Seeger
Publisher:---------Oak Publications

Title:---------------The Oxford Book of Ballads

Title:---------------The Oxford Book of Carols

Title:---------------The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (2d Edition 1997)
Author/Editor:----Iona & Peter Opie

Title:---------------Ozark Folksong, 4 Volumes
Author/Editor:----Vance Randolph
Publisher:---------Columbia, MO, 1946-1950

Title:---------------Pagan Imagery in English Folk Song
Comments:-------Also called "Where is Saint George: pagan imagery in English folk song." Author publishes as "Bob," "Robert J.," and "R.J."
Author/Editor:----R. J. Stewart

Title:---------------The Penguin Book of English Folk Songs
Author/Editor:----Ralph Vaughan Williams & A. L. Lloyd

Title:---------------Popular Music of the Olden Time

Title:---------------The Puffin Book of Nursery Rhymes
Comments:--------Nursery Rhymes

Title:---------------Read 'Em and Weep (126 & 1945)
Comments:-------"studies of old, sappy classics." See also "Weep Some More, My Lady"
Author/Editor:----Sigmund Spaeth

Title:---------------Rise Up Singing
Comments:--------Available paperback, spiral-bound, or library bound.
Author/Editor:----Peter Blood and Annie Patterson
Publisher:---------Sing Out!, PO Box 5253, Bethlehem PA 18015-0253, (610) 865-5366
Availability:------Most good book stores(?)

Title:---------------The Robert Burns Song Book, Volume 1
Comments:--------Hovey died during the project, so there will be no Volume 2.
Author/Editor:----Serge Hovey
Publisher:---------Mel Bay

Title:---------------Sam Henry's Songs of the People
Comments:--------Several copies at $29.95 paperback and $39.95 harcover (16APR01)
Author/Editor:----Huntington, Hermann, Moulden
Publisher:---------Down Home Music, Home of the Arhoolie Records label

Title:---------------Scalded to Death by the Steam
Comments:--------Stories of railroad disasters and the ballads about them
Author/Editor:----Katie Letcher Lyle
Publisher:---------Algonquin Books, Chapel Hill, NC ISBN-0-912697-01-6
Availability:------May be easy to find.

Title:---------------Scottish Border Battles & Ballads
Author/Editor:----Michael Brander
Publisher:---------ISBN 0-517-552500-3, LC-75-44444

Title:---------------Shanties from the Seven Seas

Title:---------------Shantymen and Shantyboys

Title:---------------The Singing Game
Comments:--------Nursery Rhymes

Title:---------------Song Dex Treasury of Humorous and Nostalgic Song
Comments:--------A fake book for electronic organs. 740 songs.
Publisher:---------Song Dex, Inc., 1956

Title:---------------Songs of the American Sailormen

Title:---------------Songs of the Cowboys
Author/Editor:----N. Howard "Jack" Thorpe

Title:---------------Songs of the Great American West
Author/Editor:----Irwin Silber

Title:---------------Songs of England, Ireland & Scotland: A Bonnie Bunch of Roses
Author/Editor:----Dan Milner
Publisher:---------Oak Publications

Title:---------------Songs That Never Grow Old
Comments:--------"Readily available for under $20."
Publisher:---------Syndicate Publishing Co., 1909

Title:---------------Spiritual Folk-Songs of Early America
Author/Editor:----George Pullen Jackson

Title:---------------Sweet Sussex: Songs from the Broadwood Collections
Comments:--------ISBN 0.9526363.0.1
Publisher:---------Available from Ferret Publications, 34 Maney Hill Road, Sutton Coalfield, West Midlands, B72 1JL, England.

Title:---------------Traditional American Folksongs from the Anne & Frank Warner Collection
Comments:--------Some of the original field recordings are on CD, "The Warner Collection, Vol. 1: Her Bright Smile Haunts Me Still."
Author/Editor:----Anne Warner
Publisher:---------Syracues University Press 1984

Title:---------------Traditional Singers and Songs from Ontario

Title:---------------Traditional Tunes
Comments:--------Original 1891
Author/Editor:----Frank Kidson
Publisher:---------Reprint Llanerch Press, Penbryn Lodge, Pandy, Cribyn, Lampeter, Wales, SA48 7QH

Title:---------------The Traditional Tunes of the Child Ballads
Comments:--------Four volumes: Reportedly contains an excellent bibliography as well.
Author/Editor:----Bertrand Bronson
Availability:------Scarce and costly.

Title:---------------A Treasurey of American Ballads: Gay, Naughty, and Classic
Comments:--------Interesting songs, text only.
Author/Editor:----Charles O'Brien Kennedy
Publisher:---------McBride Company, New York, 1954

Comments:--------"Sandy Ive's studies of lumbercamp songmakers Larry Gorman and Joe Scot"
Author/Editor:----Dr. Edward Ives

Comments:--------"Sandy Ive's study of "The Bonnie Earl o' Murray"
Author/Editor:----Dr. Edward Ives

Comments:--------"Sandy Ive's song collections from New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island."
Author/Editor:----Dr. Edward Ives

Title:---------------unknown: "book on shanties"
Author/Editor:----JoAnna Colcord

Title:---------------Various "For bawdy songs, and limericks, and jokes."
Comments:--------G. Legman carried on a running battle over many decades with the "academics" who disparaged his collections as "unscholarly." An example of his "unscholarly work" is in the "JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN FOLKLORE SOCIETY," Vol 103, No 410, October-December, 1990, pages 259-413, in his article ""Unprintable" Folklore?: The Vance Randolph Collection." His coup was the printing, in the same volume of JAFS, his "Erotic Folksongs and Ballads: An International Bibliography," (page 453 & on & on & on) consisting of several hundred pages of fine print listings of "sources" so arcane and inaccessible that it is unlikely anyone will ever find a single one of them – if any of them exist. A couple of years ago, Mr. Legman was listed at the JAFS web site as a participant in an upcoming conference. Sadly, G Legman died shortly after, and so far as I can determine his name and all reference to him (including previous listings of him as participant in past conferences) has been expunged from the site. Byline usually just "G. Legman" for those who want to search.
Author/Editor:----Gershon Legman
Availability:------None known in print.

Title:---------------Vermont Folksongs and Ballads
Comments:-------See the Flanders Ballad Collection at Middlebury, Vermont
Author/Editor:----Helen Hartness Flanders

Title:---------------Weep Some More, My Lady (1927)
Comments:-------"studies of old, sappy classics." See also "Read 'Em and Weep"
Author/Editor:----Sigmund Spaeth

Title:---------------White and Negro Spirituals, Their Life Span and Kinship
Author/Editor:----George Pullen Jackson

Title:---------------White Spirituals in the Southern Uplands
Author/Editor:----George Pullen Jackson

Title:---------------The Whorehouse Bells Were Ringing (And Other Songs Cowboys Sing)
Comments:--------Good history, melody line shown for most songs.
Author/Editor:----Guy Logsdon
Publisher:---------University of Illinois Press, ISBN 0-252-06488-7 (paperback)

Title:---------------"Writer's Project Books." Various titles, usually containing "WPA" somewhere in the title.
Comments:--------An example I have is "The WPA Dallas Guide and History," This happens to be one never published during the WPA years, but eventually published 1992 by Dallas Public Library and the University of North Texas Press. Seven pages of text on "Music." The State Guides were mostly completed, but many local guides may still exist only as manuscripts. An excellent article at Smithsonian Magazine, March 2000 is HERE
Author/Editor:----Various. Some attributed to individuals, some only to "workers of the Writer's Program of the Work Projects Administration"
Publisher:---------Various: Usually local to the area described
Availability:------Writer's Program roughly 1936 – 1942. Some reprints, or like the above "late prints," appear sporadically.
Comments:--------Site recommended for info on old songs, ballads, and miscellany.
Availability:------current July 2001

Title:---------------Yiddish Song Book
Author/Editor:----Jerry Silverman
Availability:------"remaindered" bargains may be available at