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Book: On the Trail Of Negro Folk-Songs - online

GUEST,Joseph Scott 04 Apr 15 - 03:28 PM
maeve 04 Apr 15 - 03:45 PM
Monique 04 Apr 15 - 03:51 PM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 05 Apr 15 - 07:20 AM
GUEST 05 Apr 15 - 03:41 PM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 06 Apr 15 - 06:12 AM
GUEST,Blandiver (Astray) 06 Apr 15 - 06:22 AM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 06 Apr 15 - 08:17 AM
GUEST,# 06 Apr 15 - 09:27 AM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 06 Apr 15 - 09:55 AM
GUEST,# 06 Apr 15 - 10:16 AM
GUEST 06 Apr 15 - 10:54 AM
Monique 06 Apr 15 - 11:11 AM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 06 Apr 15 - 11:26 AM
GUEST,Blandiver (Astray) 06 Apr 15 - 01:41 PM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 15 Apr 15 - 01:32 PM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 15 Apr 15 - 01:40 PM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 15 Apr 15 - 01:57 PM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 15 Apr 15 - 03:29 PM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 16 Apr 15 - 01:20 PM
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Subject: _... Trail Of Negro Folk-Songs_ online
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 04 Apr 15 - 03:28 PM

Dorothy Scarborough's _On The Trail Of Negro Folk-Songs_, 1925, contains many valuable songs and can be read online here:

http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/negro/


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Subject: RE: _... Trail Of Negro Folk-Songs_ online
From: maeve
Date: 04 Apr 15 - 03:45 PM

Here's the clickable link: http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/negro/
"On The Trail Of Negro Folk-Songs-online book
A collection of negro folk songs with lyrics, sheet music & commentaries.
By Dorothy Scarborough Assisted By Ola Lee Quiledge Copyright, 1925 By Harvard University Press "

This looks like an amazing resource. Likely somebody here has already pointed it out, but I've not seen it before. Amazing to see it all online
There are also good links with instrumental, vocal, and educational resources.

Here's the table of contents.
I. ON THE TRAIL OF NEGRO FOLK-SONGS.....       3
II. THE NEGRO'S PART IN TRANSMITTING THE TRA­DITIONAL SONGS AND BALLADS.........      33
III.   NEGRO BALLADS..................      63
IV.   DANCE-SONGS, OR "REELS''............      96
V. CHILDREN'S GAME-SONGS.............    128
VI LULLABIES......................    144
VII. SONGS ABOUT ANIMALS..............    161
VIII. WORK-SONGS....................    206
IX. RAILROAD SONGS..................    238
X. BLUES........................    264


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Subject: RE: _... Trail Of Negro Folk-Songs_ online
From: Monique
Date: 04 Apr 15 - 03:51 PM

It can be downloaded here


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Subject: RE: _... Trail Of Negro Folk-Songs_ online
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 05 Apr 15 - 07:20 AM

Thanks for pointing that one out. OTTONS is a book I've long wanted to get hold of and never been able to run to earth. Now I have it turns out to be a fascinating compendium.

I was of course delighted to see such a plenitude of "old British" ballads. Little Sir Hugh, The Hangman and Barbara Allen, to name but three, and who would have expected to come across such a complete version of The Outlandish Knight?


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Subject: RE: _... Trail Of Negro Folk-Songs_ online
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Apr 15 - 03:41 PM

I am fortunate to have a copy of the book - and also one of "Songcatcher..."


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Subject: RE: _... Trail Of Negro Folk-Songs_ online
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 06 Apr 15 - 06:12 AM

I presume you're referring to Songcatcher in the Southern Appalachians; Dorothy Scraborough's "other" book, as I tend to think of it.

Does anyone know whether that is available anywhere on the Internet? If it is I have certainly had no luck tracing it.


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Subject: RE: _... Trail Of Negro Folk-Songs_ online
From: GUEST,Blandiver (Astray)
Date: 06 Apr 15 - 06:22 AM

Is this N-word acceptable in any context? Especially in the context of racist colonial plundering that no one here seems to have problem with...


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Subject: RE: _... Trail Of Negro Folk-Songs_ online
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 06 Apr 15 - 08:17 AM

Word "Negro" acceptable? I would have thought so. It's the word n....r that people object to.

In any event, remember that the book was published donkeys' years ago, when people were far less sensitive to such matters. Indeed, having glanced at some of the text, it seems to be redolent of the kind of patronising racism which was extremely typical of folksong collectors of the period.

With a vintage classic like this, the only thing you can do is to accept the book, racist overtones and all; and be thankful we live in more enlightened times.


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Subject: RE: _... Trail Of Negro Folk-Songs_ online
From: GUEST,#
Date: 06 Apr 15 - 09:27 AM

Fred, the title of that book is

"Songcatcher in Southern Mountains" by Dorothy Scarborough

That may be why it's difficult to locate.


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Subject: RE: _... Trail Of Negro Folk-Songs_ online
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 06 Apr 15 - 09:55 AM

Sorry. Slip of the finger on my part. Anyway, searching for it under the right title still doesn't yield anything.

That's particularly odd since the book has been out of copyright for several years now. I'd have thought that some bespoke publisher or other would have issued a print-on-demand edition, but apparently not.


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Subject: RE: _... Trail Of Negro Folk-Songs_ online
From: GUEST,#
Date: 06 Apr 15 - 10:16 AM

I'm encountering various titles, too, but all lead nowhere.

Songcatcher in Southern Mountains
A Songcatcher in Southern Mountains
Songcatcher in the Southern Mountains


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Subject: RE: _... Trail Of Negro Folk-Songs_ online
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Apr 15 - 10:54 AM

"Word "Negro" acceptable? I would have thought so. It's the word n....r that people object to."
Fred, a previous thread here made it plain that Americans, being such delicate flowers, cannot cope with any word except "black".


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Subject: RE: _... Trail Of Negro Folk-Songs_ online
From: Monique
Date: 06 Apr 15 - 11:11 AM

Guys, Dorothy Scarborough wrote two books about folklore: "On the Trail of Negro Folksongs" (1925) available at archive.org (link I provided above two days ago) and "Song Catcher in Southern Mountains; American Folk Songs of British Ancestry" (1937, posthumous) -no digital version available so far, Google dixit.


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Subject: RE: _... Trail Of Negro Folk-Songs_ online
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 06 Apr 15 - 11:26 AM

Guest. I'm from the British side of the pond, so I can't help you with that one. All I can tell you is that over here, n....r is not acceptable, where Negro is. That would depend on how it's used of course, but personally, I look forward to the day when any such words will have ceased to have any racial connotations - because racism itself will have gone the way of the dodo.


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Subject: RE: _... Trail Of Negro Folk-Songs_ online
From: GUEST,Blandiver (Astray)
Date: 06 Apr 15 - 01:41 PM

n....r is not acceptable, where Negro is

Tell you what, Fred - you try calling a Black British person a 'Negro' - or use the word in any way to apply to any aspect of Black British culture and see how acceptable it is over here.


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Subject: RE: _... Trail Of Negro Folk-Songs_ online
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 15 Apr 15 - 01:32 PM

Scarborough used the word "Negro" in the title of her book because it was considered a respectful term in the U.S. in 1925, as it still was in _Jet_ magazine 40 years later, for instance.

What the utility of this book has to do with what words are in fashion today is nothing at all.


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Subject: RE: _... Trail Of Negro Folk-Songs_ online
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 15 Apr 15 - 01:40 PM

"I was of course delighted to see such a plenitude of 'old British' ballads. Little Sir Hugh, The Hangman and Barbara Allen, to name but three, and who would have expected to come across such a complete version of The Outlandish Knight?"

It's her whole Chapter Two. That chapter has the most British ballads by black U.S. singers collected together in one place I've seen anywhere, unless I'm forgetting something.


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Subject: RE: _... Trail Of Negro Folk-Songs_ online
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 15 Apr 15 - 01:57 PM

Scarborough was born in Texas in the 1870s. Wishing she had the same attitudes we have about blacks and whites is pointless.

In general, cheerful patronization aside, her commentary is often not very well-informed. For instance, Abbe Niles, a notable blues enthusiast of the day, noticed that she didn't have much of an idea what "blues songs" were and weren't.

It's the songs she prints themselves that are extremely valuable. For instance, the lyrics she obtained for "Hop Joint" are valuable when compared to the song about "Went in the drugstore, store full of smoke" that L.J. Farmington remembered, the song about "I went down to the depot to get my baby's trunk" that F. Le Tellier remembered, the "Hop Joint" that John Hurt learned in about 1902, the song about "Baby, take a look at me" that Gates Thomas remembered, and the song about "Comin' down State Street, comin' down Main" that Howard Odum collected before 1909.


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Subject: RE: _... Trail Of Negro Folk-Songs_ online
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 15 Apr 15 - 03:29 PM

Joseph Scot. I absolutely agree. Whether the word Negro has pejorative overtones nowadays is not the point. It was in use in Dorothy Scarborough's time and there's nothing we can do to alter that. Importing the racial attitudes of previous generations would be deplorable, but the past is a different country with different norms and values. Let's leave it at that, and let's at least try not to impose our own beliefs on that different country.

Interesting point about the numbers of Black versions of Child ballads. I suspect that if other collectors had gone looking for same they would have fond them. EG., Arthur Palmer Hudson who collected some wonderful "old British ballads" among the White folks of Mississippi, but didn't seem to see the point of asking Black people if they knew any.


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Subject: RE: Book: On the Trail Of Negro Folk-Songs - online
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 16 Apr 15 - 01:20 PM

Is Bob Waltz still on mudcat? I'd like to send him my "Hop Joint" research (and some other comments) for his and Engle's "The Ballad Index" pages. If anyone wants to send me his email, mine is joenscott@mail.com.


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