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songs about 'lost' Roanoke Island Colony

SPB-Cooperator 28 Mar 09 - 07:23 AM
Janie 28 Mar 09 - 09:02 AM
Fortunato 28 Mar 09 - 05:26 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 28 Mar 09 - 06:16 PM
Rabbi-Sol 28 Mar 09 - 10:43 PM
Maryrrf 29 Mar 09 - 05:31 PM
Fortunato 30 Mar 09 - 05:05 PM
Maryrrf 30 Mar 09 - 08:31 PM
Lonesome EJ 30 Mar 09 - 08:47 PM
Lonesome EJ 30 Mar 09 - 08:56 PM
GUEST,Les B. 31 Mar 09 - 12:41 AM
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Subject: Roanoke Island Colony
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 28 Mar 09 - 07:23 AM

A few years ago I saw a plaque in Portsmouth commemorating the 'lost' colony on Roanoke Island.

Have any songs been written about this story?


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Subject: RE: Roanoke Island Colony
From: Janie
Date: 28 Mar 09 - 09:02 AM

That's a good question. I live in North Carolina, and have never heard any trad. songs regarding the colony or Virginia Dare. There is a summer outdoor drama performed there, written by Paul Green, but I think any music was either written for the drama, or are tradional, period songs.

I'll be interested to see if anything turns up.


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Subject: RE: Roanoke Island Colony
From: Fortunato
Date: 28 Mar 09 - 05:26 PM

This is a topic that I believe Maryrrf is conversant with...
I'll PM her.


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Subject: RE: Roanoke Island Colony
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 Mar 09 - 06:16 PM

Doubtful that any English songs of that time about the colony would have survived.

Of course there are a number of poems about Virginia Dare and the lost colonists, 19th-20th c. I don't know if any have been set to music, but I would expect that some were.


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Subject: RE: songs about 'lost' Roanoke Island Colony
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 28 Mar 09 - 10:43 PM

I visited the site many years ago but it was during the day and I could not stay for the Drama which is performed in the evening. I loved the scenery there.


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Subject: RE: songs about 'lost' Roanoke Island Colony
From: Maryrrf
Date: 29 Mar 09 - 05:31 PM

I've seen the drama which is excellent. I don't know any songs about it but my great grandmother was from the area and always claimed she was a descendant of the Lost Colony. She never failed to celebrate the birthday of Virginia Dare, the first English child born in the New World. There's some interesting info on the latest research HERE


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Subject: RE: songs about 'lost' Roanoke Island Colony
From: Fortunato
Date: 30 Mar 09 - 05:05 PM

Maryrrf,

Interesting stuff, thanks for the link.

regards,
chance


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Subject: RE: songs about 'lost' Roanoke Island Colony
From: Maryrrf
Date: 30 Mar 09 - 08:31 PM

At some point I'd like to do more research on my "lost colony" connections. I wish I'd paid more attention to the old folks' stories while they were still around.


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Subject: RE: songs about 'lost' Roanoke Island Colony
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 30 Mar 09 - 08:47 PM

Years ago, I wrote a song about it as part of a song challenge on Mudcat. Let me see if I can find it,


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Subject: RE: songs about 'lost' Roanoke Island Colony
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 30 Mar 09 - 08:56 PM

Here it is

Virginia Dare (1606) by Lonesome EJ

   Virginia Dare was the first child born to English Colonists in North America. Her parents were Ananias and Ellinor Dare, Ananias being the Governor of the Roanoke Colony. She was born the year of the colony's establishment, 1597. Three months after her birth, Sir Walter Raleigh (the Founder of Roanoke) returned to England for additional supplies and settlers. The outbreak of hostilities with the Spanish prevented Raleigh's return until 1601, when no trace was found of the Roanoke Colony, other than the word Croatoan carved on a tree. Genetic studies on a local Native American tribe indicate the presence of European DNA, suggesting the survivors were absorbed into the local Native American population.   My thought behind the song was this: Had she survived (along with some few others from the Roanoke Colony), Raleigh, her parents, the galleons and England itself would have been well remembered by the surviving adults, but she would know them only through stories. In a way, they might have become part of a personal mythology to her, a mythology that would seem doubly magical for having no counterpart in her new life. Life would have been difficult at best living as a member of a native tribe -- I believe she would have seen the galleon sails as s sort of divine intervention.


Each evening as the sun does set, I stand upon the shore
To gaze upon the endless sea, to hear the breakers roar
To seek against horizon's edge the bright returning sails
Until the stars are in the East, and the fading daylight fails.

It has been nine summers now since my birth in Roanoke
and six years since the fever came to claim my friends and folk
Brave Raleigh swore he would return, when he left with galleons three
But it is nine years, and still no sign of sail upon the sea.

One hundred twenty-seven souls dwelled in our colony
But hunger and the pestilence brought us down to twenty three
Ananias, my Father, and my Mother Ellinor
Were buried with the others on this dark and foreign shore.

And though the drought was savage, with little for any to eat
A tribe of Indians took us in and gave us corn and meat
They took us in their canoes from the death at Roanoke
And Will Clarke carved our new home's name "Croatoan" on an oak.

And I am nine years old now, and these people think it odd
I long for returning strangers, from England's foreign sod
But still I stand upon the shore, and search for foreign sails
Until the stars are in the East, and the fading daylight fails.


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Subject: RE: songs about 'lost' Roanoke Island Colony
From: GUEST,Les B.
Date: 31 Mar 09 - 12:41 AM

Lonesome EJ - very nice song - informative yet mystical.

Bill Monroe wrote not a song but a bluegrass instrumental called
"Roanoke" which is quite a good piece.


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