The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #49741   Message #752262
Posted By: Stewie
22-Jul-02 - 03:08 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: When First unto This Country (Lee Valley
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: When First I came into this Country
The note to the song in Cohen/Seeger/Wood 'Old-Time String Band Songbook' [previously 'The New Lost City Ramblers Songbook'] is that the Ramblers version [the one in the DT] is from the 'Gant Family, Library of Congress 1934, recorded by John and Alan Lomax. [AAFS 65A2]'. The note goes on: 'The Gant Family of Austin, Texas, sang a great many unusual songs for the Lomaxes. The words in this version come directly from the L of C recording and are somewhat different from the Lomax publication of this same song (which was the source of the NLCR version)'.

That latter part of the note is a bit ambiguous for me - I am not quite sure what it means in terms of their source. The source reference given in the insert to the LP 'NLCR Vol II' [FA 2397], wherein the song appears, is as follows: '"Our Singing Country", JA and A Lomax & RC Seeger, Acc on guitar and sung by Foy Gant and Mrs Gant, Austin, Texas 1935'.

The discrepancy in recording dates seems to muddy the waters further. Can someone shed some light on this? Is there a printed version in 'Our Singing Country' that is 'somewhat different' from the Gant Recording? The Ballad Index entry to which Masato linked does not seem to be of any help in this regard.