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No regional songs of the northern US ??

Wesley S 09 Aug 05 - 01:38 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 09 Aug 05 - 01:43 PM
MMario 09 Aug 05 - 01:45 PM
Goose Gander 09 Aug 05 - 01:48 PM
Le Scaramouche 09 Aug 05 - 01:53 PM
kendall 09 Aug 05 - 01:57 PM
pdq 09 Aug 05 - 02:00 PM
Barbara Shaw 09 Aug 05 - 02:11 PM
Wesley S 09 Aug 05 - 02:15 PM
Uncle_DaveO 09 Aug 05 - 02:23 PM
PoppaGator 09 Aug 05 - 02:28 PM
MissouriMud 09 Aug 05 - 02:41 PM
pdq 09 Aug 05 - 02:43 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 09 Aug 05 - 02:50 PM
GUEST,Whistle Stop 09 Aug 05 - 02:59 PM
Stewart 09 Aug 05 - 03:11 PM
Cool Beans 09 Aug 05 - 03:27 PM
Amos 09 Aug 05 - 03:37 PM
Amos 09 Aug 05 - 03:38 PM
Leadfingers 09 Aug 05 - 03:41 PM
Le Scaramouche 09 Aug 05 - 03:53 PM
Uncle_DaveO 09 Aug 05 - 03:54 PM
katlaughing 09 Aug 05 - 03:57 PM
radriano 09 Aug 05 - 04:09 PM
MissouriMud 09 Aug 05 - 04:12 PM
PoppaGator 09 Aug 05 - 04:40 PM
Le Scaramouche 09 Aug 05 - 05:19 PM
kendall 09 Aug 05 - 05:22 PM
GUEST,Melani 09 Aug 05 - 05:48 PM
artbrooks 09 Aug 05 - 05:59 PM
katlaughing 09 Aug 05 - 06:20 PM
Uncle_DaveO 09 Aug 05 - 06:26 PM
Pinetop Slim 09 Aug 05 - 06:33 PM
katlaughing 09 Aug 05 - 06:47 PM
DannyC 09 Aug 05 - 06:53 PM
GUEST,Sleepless Dad 09 Aug 05 - 11:28 PM
CapriUni 09 Aug 05 - 11:47 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 10 Aug 05 - 12:18 AM
Pauline L 10 Aug 05 - 12:33 AM
DannyC 10 Aug 05 - 04:12 AM
Mary in Kentucky 10 Aug 05 - 07:55 AM
Bat Goddess 10 Aug 05 - 08:04 AM
RangerSteve 10 Aug 05 - 09:09 AM
RangerSteve 10 Aug 05 - 09:13 AM
Franz S. 10 Aug 05 - 11:07 AM
MMario 10 Aug 05 - 11:15 AM
PoppaGator 10 Aug 05 - 11:21 AM
Goose Gander 10 Aug 05 - 11:23 AM
Wesley S 10 Aug 05 - 01:32 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 10 Aug 05 - 02:16 PM
M.Ted 10 Aug 05 - 02:35 PM
moongoddess 10 Aug 05 - 02:55 PM
PoppaGator 10 Aug 05 - 03:32 PM
Goose Gander 10 Aug 05 - 07:45 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Aug 05 - 07:54 PM
Charley Noble 10 Aug 05 - 10:32 PM
GUEST,julia 10 Aug 05 - 11:43 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 11 Aug 05 - 12:44 AM
GUEST 11 Aug 05 - 01:07 AM
GUEST 11 Aug 05 - 01:11 AM
GUEST 11 Aug 05 - 01:46 AM
GUEST,Art Thieme 11 Aug 05 - 01:37 PM
CapriUni 11 Aug 05 - 02:10 PM
Wesley S 11 Aug 05 - 04:39 PM
Charley Noble 11 Aug 05 - 05:00 PM
Barbara Shaw 11 Aug 05 - 05:00 PM
pdq 11 Aug 05 - 05:17 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 11 Aug 05 - 05:20 PM
Uncle_DaveO 11 Aug 05 - 05:26 PM
Barbara Shaw 11 Aug 05 - 07:23 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 11 Aug 05 - 09:58 PM
GUEST 11 Aug 05 - 10:27 PM
katlaughing 11 Aug 05 - 10:35 PM
Wesley S 12 Aug 05 - 12:49 PM
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Subject: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: Wesley S
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 01:38 PM

My brother brought up an interesting point last week. He mentioned that there are hundreds of songs that have a general theme about how wonderful it is to live in the south of the United States. Starting with Stephen Foster and Jimmie Rodgers we can all name dozens of songs about the south. "That's what I like about the south" "Are you from Dixie", on and on.

But I can only think of a handful of songs about life in the north. Sure there are songs about cities - "Sweet Home Chicago" "Detroit City" "New York, New York" - but very few regional songs about areas of the north. One of the few I can think of is "Old Cape Cod".

So why is that ? I'm sure yankees like the north - so why are there so many more songs about the south ? Is it too cold to sing up there ? What's the deal ? Why are the regional songs of the south just plain better and more interesting ? Any ideas ?

PS - "I've beem everywhere" by Johnny Cash doesn't count. You can't claim that one.


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 01:43 PM

I guess in the south there is nothing to do but make up songs.

By the way, wasn't Stephen Foster born in Pittsburgh? I don't think he ever spent time in the south.


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: MMario
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 01:45 PM

"The south" is an entity that is more or less defined. "The North" is a number of seperate regions that all just happen to be NOT "The South"

"Old Cape Cod" - which applies to a spit of land that barely rises above sea level and is only 60 miles or so long can certainly be described as "regional" - but it's a pretty small "region".

Of course any Cape Codder will tell you that the Cape is the most important region in the US - ;)


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: Goose Gander
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 01:48 PM

Interestingly, a lot of the sentimental songs about the South were written by Northern composers, and they were popular on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line. Nineteenth century popular culture was steeped in sentimentality, and the rural South was a common subject


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 01:53 PM

Considered quaint, in the same way as a Mary St. Meade or Blandings.


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: kendall
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 01:57 PM

Grand State of Maine
There's a winding lane on the coast of Maine
The Jamb at Gerry's Rock
Springfield Mountain (Mass)
A Tombstone every mile.
Arrowsic

There must be dozens more


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: pdq
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 02:00 PM

Minor point, but "I've Been Everywhere" is a song by Hank Snow, not Johnny Cash. It is actually a re-working of an Australian song but credited to Snow, a Canadian!


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 02:11 PM

Boston Boy
Buffalo Gals
Hills That I Call Home (about Vermont)
Connecticut Waltz
Massachusetts (Bee Gees)


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: Wesley S
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 02:15 PM

PDQ - I was thinking of Johnny Cash because there is a commercial on TV right now that uses his version - but you are correct.


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 02:23 PM

Banks of the Wabash*
The Lane County Bachelor
Acres of Clams

*(You need not remind me that southern Indiana is arguably, though not part of the South, at least akin to it. But the Wabash is in northern Indiana.)

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: PoppaGator
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 02:28 PM

Throughout American history, Northerners have generally considered the USA, or "America," to be their "home." Southerners, on the other hand, have tended to feel that same sort of sentiment, not for the nation as a whole, but for their region.

I won't even try to get into the likely historical and psychosociological reasons for this, but I do think it's a valid observation.


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: MissouriMud
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 02:41 PM

Being a displaced New Englander I'll take an unscholarly stab at this - I think a number of things account for the lower volume of regional north east tunes - (not sure about north central) - lots of gross generalizations here so I know there some issues to take with this -

New England was initally populated by religious groups who were not into frivolity a whole lot. I think it took a lot longer for music in New England to overcome that than in other parts of the country. Hymns were OK, sea chanties and whaling tunes were ok for the right context, a good war could bring on some good singing to commemorate a battle - but to just make up and sing or fiddle a tune about some little local place or event was not in their nature. It happened sometimes but it was not a daily encouraged event. I seem to recall Lomax having a section on the North east including things like In Good Old Colony Days, and Blow Ye Winds, so there were a few.   A number of others have been mentioned previously in the thread.

Cities also grew up early in the northeast and urban music and performances of european music were of more wide spread influence than in the more rural and more spread out rural and mountain states in the south.   A higher percentage of people in the north east lived within a day or two of a major city in the north east than in other parts of the country - and the railroads were established earlier there. For many north easterners was much easier to go hear "performed music", they didnt have to make up there own.

Contrast this to the south and other more isolated rural areas where tunes were made up to pass the time over incredibly mundane things - Old Yellow Dog Come Trotting Though the Meeting House, Possum on Rail, etc. Every southern, mountain and midwest rural community had their fiddler and would have dances where these local tunes would get played (plenty of non mountain midwest tunes -Big Sciota, Dubuque, Old Jeff City, Going Down to Cairo)- that was not the rule as much in New England where dances, when permitted were more inclined to be more traditional waltzes.

New England also did not get the early "benefit" of the infusion of music from slaves and free blacks, who were much greater numbers in the south - including the banjo, spirituals, early delta blues etc. There was a lot of fusion that went on in the south before a lot of this influence drifted back to New England following the Civil War. A lot of these tunes were related to local conditions and places and self entertainment.


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: pdq
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 02:43 PM

Another minor point, but "That's What I Like About the South", a huge hit for Phil Harris, was actually written by Andy Razaf, born in Washington DC. Razaf is often associated with "Fats" Waller compositions like "This Joint's Jumping" and "Reefer Man". He also co-wrote "Black and Blue" which Louis Armstrong turned into an early "civil rights" anthem.


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 02:50 PM

There are many collections of regional songs from the north.

Part of the reason why "southern" songs seem more popular is that vaudeville and before that minstrel shows would cater to romanticized songs about the south - performing for northern audiences.

Why are there so many POPULAR songs about Ireland and fewer about England? Again, it played to a certain audience that was looking for romance and nostalgia for another place. Instead of patriotic songs, these are songs that reach for the heart.


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: GUEST,Whistle Stop
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 02:59 PM

Dylan's Girl From The North Country comes to mind.


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: Stewart
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 03:11 PM

Right now I'm working on producing a CD of "Songs of the Pacific Northwest." This grew out of a workshop I did at Rainy Camp (Seattle Song Circle) last Feb. There are a lot of songs of this region (the upper left coast), but many haven't been recorded. Some are traditional, and some are composed by known authors (both old and new). These are sung by members of the Seattle Song Circle and other regional musicians, including some of the song writers. It includes classics such as "The Old Settler" (Acres of Clams) and "The Frozen Logger." The recordings are about 90% complete, and it should be out by late fall. I'll keep you posted when it appears.

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: Cool Beans
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 03:27 PM

Erie Canal
Monongahela Sal
Jon Campbell's plethora of songs about Rhode Island
Lee Murdock's plethora of songs (collected and original)about the Great Lakes region.
Lou and Peter Berryman's plethora of songs about Wisconsin.
Nearly all songs about logging.
Does Canada count in the discussion, or are we limiting ourselves to the US? Canada would give the southern US serious competition, songwise.


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: Amos
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 03:37 PM

Upper New York state has produced a good bag of songs about canals, road-gangs, some romantic early ballads transplanted from Europe or England and set to local venues. "Township 19" by Frank Warner comes to mind. I think there was a Hudson river region version of "Tavern in the Town".

A


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: Amos
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 03:38 PM

From his home in the North
Comes the young voyageur
His birchbark canoe
All laden with fur.
Cold is the air,
He does not care.
For there's joy in the heart
Of the young voyageur.


An echo from my childhood; I have no idea if it is authentic or Tin Pan, which I suspect. Anyone know of it?


A


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: Leadfingers
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 03:41 PM

'Moonlight in Vermont' ??


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 03:53 PM

From the Burl Ives Song Book:

The Escape of Old John Webb.
Springfield Mountain.
The Ballad of the Tea Party.
The Boston Tea Tax.
The Rifleman's Song at Bennington.
The Battle of Saratoga.
Hullabaloo Belay (where did Shallo Brown operate?).
Rolling Home.
Blow Ye Winds.


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 03:54 PM

Both the US South and Ireland share (in my not so humble opinion) a particular aspect: Being (in the view of many inhabitants) oppressed regions with great cultural traditions behind them, a romantic view of the region and its noble past and culture is both easy and beguiling. Each has or tries to maintain a distinctive language or at least speech pattern, to help maintain its own worldview and image. This helps them look down on their "oppressors" from a high ground of culture.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: katlaughing
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 03:57 PM

Don't forget Craig Johnson's songs"

North Country Tragedy
Keewanaw Light
Way Down the Road
(all in the DT or threads and also done by Art Thieme.)

More about him and his songs in THIS THREAD

We've got to get Art in here. I know he knows of many for the Northwest and Illinois regions.

Are Wyoming and Colorado considered "northern U.S.? Or, are you just talking about the 13 colonies?**bg**


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: radriano
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 04:09 PM

Ivan Walton's "Windjammers: Songs of the Great Lakes Sailors" would fit into this category, I think. Contains lots of regional songs.


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: MissouriMud
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 04:12 PM

Wyoming and Colorado are a different bag - Cowboy tunes - Old Paint etc.   And then there's Texas!

I think we may want to distinguish whether we are talking about traditional music or tunes composed within the last 50 years or so - a lot of regionalization has eroded in recent years so the differences are not so pronounced - I'm not sure that "Gary Indiana", "New York, New York" etc are really representative of regional music


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: PoppaGator
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 04:40 PM

Only about half of the original 13 colonies were "northern." The other half were the "Old South."

;^)


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 05:19 PM

I think the North is neither the South, the Midwest or the West.
Agree, disagree?


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: kendall
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 05:22 PM

Margaret MacArthur from Vermont sings an old song about an Indian girl who guided some bad guys to their deaths over the falls rather than divulge the location of her village. I believe the song is titled "Malabeem"


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: GUEST,Melani
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 05:48 PM

The Rock Island Line (Illinois)


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: artbrooks
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 05:59 PM

Scaramouche, if "The South" is defined as being composed of those parts of the US that were on the losing side during the Civil War, and that is a fairly common definition, than the Midwest and the West are included in "The North."


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: katlaughing
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 06:20 PM

And I always thought "North" was Alaska!**BG**

(Got me, Poppagator!)

Where the Silvery Colorado Wends its way
When its springtime in the Rockies
Art Thieme's collected (in Cheyenne)cowboy version of Barbara Allen
Lots more where those came from...:-)


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 06:26 PM

MissouriMud said:


Wyoming and Colorado are a different bag - Cowboy tunes - Old Paint etc.   And then there's Texas!


But aren't we talking about the United States?

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: Pinetop Slim
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 06:33 PM

Lots of songs about northern locales have been mentioned, but Wesley S's brother's observation hasn't had to weather much of a challenge. The North, as a region, hasn't inspired anybody to write an anthem about it. "I wish I was in Masie. Hooray! Hooray."


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: katlaughing
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 06:47 PM

Well, my Grandma Flora wrote a song for Colorado, "Land of Heart's Delight" sung to the tune of "Beulah Land." The refrain follows:

O, fairest land, my native strand,
Thy lofty peaks inspire me
Fresh courage for life's troubled sea,
And in majestic lanscapes view
A work in life for me to do--
My Colorado, grand and true! (Last line, last time ends with "My Colorado, I love you.)

Uncle DaveO...LOL!!


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: DannyC
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 06:53 PM

One of the favorites from growing up in Philly was:

"You Can't get to Heaven on the Frankford El"

Then there was:

"One the Way to Cape May (I fell in love wid you)"

The City of my birth has a very strong mumming tradition. There is an enormous amount of love and energy that people from my caste pour into the society of the mummers clubs with its big parades, its music (banjoes and saxaphones), and the costumes. The scene's signature song is "Golden Slippers" inducing insiders to step out into a distinctive flapping prance known as "The Mummers Strut".

Music pioneer Bill Haley was a Philly guy, along with a host of other early formulators of rock. Long before SF's Summer of Love, Philly people were singing - "Where do all the hippies meet?   South Street.. South Street"

An additional aspect was street Doo Wop that spawned plenty of 50s phenoms. Little Anthony and the Imperials are a recorded example. The Platters were likely the top of the heap. A slicker version were The Delphonics. Many street teenagers (myself included) had the ability to find a harmonic place within a trio or quartet and collectively emulate a nice version of some broadly known Doo Wop hit. I suppose the genre's anthems were "Up on the Roof" and "On Broadway".

And then there's MoTown...


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: GUEST,Sleepless Dad
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 11:28 PM

Pinetop Slim was correct when he said:

"Lots of songs about northern locales have been mentioned, but Wesley S's brother's observation hasn't had to weather much of a challenge. The North, as a region, hasn't inspired anybody to write an anthem about it. "I wish I was in Masie. Hooray! Hooray."

Just because a song mentions a locale in the north doesn't mean it applies to this situation. In bluegrass alone it's tough to find a CD that doesn't have a song with the theme of traveling far from home and then deciding that you can't wait to get back to that little cabin in Tennessee/Kentucky/Carolina where the old folks live. Not to mention dreaming of getting back to see that pretty little gal I left behind. The genre is full of songs like that. Where are all of the songs about returning to the old folks in New Hampshire or Rhode Island or even Iowa?

By the way - I'm sure Iowa and Rhode Island are full of pretty little gals.


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: CapriUni
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 11:47 PM

Where are all of the songs about returning to the old folks in New Hampshire or Rhode Island or even Iowa?

I don't know if this is "all of" them, but there's Rolling Home to Old New England.


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 12:18 AM

No one has mentioned the classic "Maine Stein Song" sung by Rudy Vallee.


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: Pauline L
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 12:33 AM

Mary L. Mackay
Isle au Haut
Hills of Isle au Haut
Portland Town
Saltwater Farm

The Maritime Provinces and Maine constitute a region. If we consider the Maritimes, we could add a lot of songs to the list.


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: DannyC
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 04:12 AM

"Under the Boardwalk"


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 07:55 AM

Dave, haven't you heard the ad, "Texas, a whole other country." ;-)

Is "Back Home Again in Indiana" a different song from "Banks of the Wabash"?

(I don't know much about Indiana, but my brother married a Hoosier. "Everyone ought to have a Kentuckian in their family.")


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 08:04 AM

Cape Cod Girls
Gloucester Girls
Living In Braintree with You In Methuen Is Almost Like Living In Lowell
Rolling Home to Old New England
Isle Au Haut
Lovely Agnes (all about Lake Michigan)

We're talking not just New England (real Yankees) but northern USA? Bunch of songs about New York.

Let's see . . .
Milwaukee, Here I Come
Plum Island National Anthem
On a Corner By the Pawnshop in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Oh, yeah, I think some Yankees wrote a song about the South. You may have heard it: "Marching Through Georgia" . . .

Linn


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: RangerSteve
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 09:09 AM

Sometime ago, someone requested the lyrics for "the Blue Juniata", it still exists as a thread, and may have been added to the DT. The Juniata River is in Pennsylvania.

Then there's this one, which I've had in my repertoire for years, courtesy of Grant Rogers:

Where the Catskills Lift Their Summits to the Sun

'Neath the rugged mountain tops that tower above us,
And beside a mountain streamlet chrystal pure,
Nestled safe, the village of my birth and boyhood,
With its quaint old-fashioned buildings all secure,

There I met the modest little blue-eyed maiden
Who grew to be my sweetheart, faithful one,
We shared together honest country pleasures,
Where the Catskills lift their summits to the sun.

Refrain: The happy days of youth we shared together,
         In the mountain village where our lives begun,
         We feel the joys of love abiding ever,
         Where the Catskills lift their summits to the sun.

We were wed in the evening, joyous springtime,
and we left our native home and wandered far,
To the busy centers where earth's eager toilers,
Strive with main and might for wealth, their guiding star.

But contentment was no for us in the city,
Ever to our native home our thoughts would run,
So back we went unto our own loved country,
Where the Catskills lift their summits to the sun.

Refrain.

(The Catskill Mts. are in the lower part of New York State. Rogers recorded this on a long out of print record for the Kanahwa label.)

Steve


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: RangerSteve
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 09:13 AM

There's also "My New Hampshire Home" or it might be "My Old New Hampshire Home" which was recorded by Bradley Kincaid, a Kentuckian.

If your looking for old regional songs, try a search at the Lester Levy sheet music sight.

Steve


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: Franz S.
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 11:07 AM

Perhaps what Ireland and the South have in common in this context, along with the Spanish Civil War, is summed up in Tom Lehrer's line: "Though they may have won all the battles, we had all the good songs."


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: MMario
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 11:15 AM

I think what Wesley was aiming at was that "The south" (in general - not specific) has songs. But the North has songs about specific areas or towns, but not anything for the "North" in general.


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: PoppaGator
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 11:21 AM

"Back Home in Indiana" is indeed a different song from "Banks of the Wabash." Although it was probably a "Tin Pan Alley" pop song originally, it's a staple of the traditional-jazz repertoire, dating back to the earliest days if jazz in New Orleans. I'm pretty sure that Louis Armstrong recorded it.

Speaking of Indiana, "Wabash Cannonball" is a widely played folk/old-time/bluegrass classic whose subject matter lies mostly north of the Mason-Dixon line (and entirely north of the Ohio River, perhaps a more meaningful boundary between North and South).

The Mason-Dixon line, by the way, is the boundary between Pennsylvania and Maryland, a straight east-west line named for the surveyors who charted it back in the 1700s. If extended straight west, it cuts across the central-to-southern parts of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, etc., states normally considered "northern."


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: Goose Gander
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 11:23 AM

A related question: Why have songs about the South become popular all over the country, among folk musicians and commercially as well, while regional songs dealing with the North do not seem to have had the same appeal? The obvious answer is the influence of minstrelsy and vaudeville, but why were 'Southern' songs so well liked among Northerners in the first place? I think the answer goes back to nostalgia. Popular culture, expressed in song, compared the agrarian, rural South favorably to the industrial, urban North. Not that there wasn't plenty of 'rural culture' in the North, but it doesn't seem to captured the imagination of folks the way Southern civilation did (warts and all).


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: Wesley S
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 01:32 PM

Michael - You've made some good points. I wasn't trying to say that there were NO regional songs about the north - there are many to be sure. What I am trying to say is that there are far more songs about the south as a region - AND that they are more well known than any of the northern songs mentioned here. I would venture to say that the songs of the north listed above are rarly performed out of their own region.

None of this reflects on the quality of the songs. Just on how well they've traveled.


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 02:16 PM

"Not that there wasn't plenty of 'rural culture' in the North, but it doesn't seem to captured the imagination of folks the way Southern civilation did (warts and all)."

What "warts" are you referring to and why are you inferring that the North does not have them?


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: M.Ted
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 02:35 PM

I think the answer that makes the most sense is the idea that Michael Morris mentions, relating to sentiment and nostalgia--

The "South" mentioned in songs is a sentimental place, kind of a place in the heart, not a real place, which represents home to everyone who feels displaced--

"Back East" tends to be used for home in songs in the same way, but "Out West" tend to represent aspirations and dreams, both realized and unrealized--"Up North" is used like "Out West"--


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: moongoddess
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 02:55 PM

Try looking at Wickford Express and their many original songs about Rhode Island in particular, and sea songs in general. The late Jody gibson wrote one about HMS Rose when it was docked in RI. My favorite Jon Campbell song is Fredericks of Galilee. He has many others that are worth looking at.


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: PoppaGator
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 03:32 PM

Well, one thing about the South is that there have always been black people there, and the African element in American music is definitely a positive trait that made American music unique from the earliest days of colonization.

The merging of African and European musical elements that took place in the American South created genres and subgenres that are now popular all over the world (blues, gospel, jazz, soul, rock, and even to a certain extent country-and-western).


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: Goose Gander
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 07:45 PM

"What 'warts' are you referring to and why are you inferring that the North does not have them?"

I was alluding to the fact that many of the nineteenth century popular songs that celebrate the South take a romanticized view of the plantation system and chattel slavery. The North obviously had some severe social problems during the nineteenth century (particularly in urban areas), but they weren't the type of problems that generally inspired sentimental songs.


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 07:54 PM

Does Yankee Doodle count?


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: Charley Noble
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 10:32 PM

Glad to hear Craig Johnston's songs of the U.P. of Michigan mentioned.

"Maine" gets frequently mentioned in songs such as "John Henry" but probably because we're in one corner of this great country and we're an easy rhyme!

I don't think that anyone has mentioned Bill Morrisey's New England mill town songs such as "Snow Outside the Mill." One of my all time favorite songs was composed by a California young woman who hitch-hiked into Bar Harbor one summer, worked as a waitress, and came up with "Winter & I" in memory of her landlord. What a haunting song, celebrating the Maine that's left after the summer folks have gone south!

Gosh, there are so many lumberjack songs I could mention, ice cutting songs, songs from the Grand Banks fisheries, even a few that I've composed such as "Bailey's Mistake."

Say, Wesley, were you just trying to provoke some response? What part of this country are you from?

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: GUEST,julia
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 11:43 PM

Land of the silver birch, home of the beaver
Where still the mighty moose wanders at will
Blue Lake and Rocky Shore
I will return once more.................


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 12:44 AM

All things considered, your title for this thread is WAY off the mark. --- There are thousands of songs from the northern latitudes!!

First, though, it's sad we've lost much of our feel for the regionalism that use to be a huge part of the reality of life in the USA.

The Northern areas produced songs about that area and the people that lived there---and how they made their livings. Great Lakes songs were and are a part of the big historical panorama. LEE MURDOCK does at least a couple hundred (maybe three or four hundred) of those maritime ballads and work songs. The LUMBERJACK ballads can still be heard at northen folk festivals. Farmers songs--Canal songs---river songs. All sorts of work related ballads.

BUT with a music business that sells the same basic product to the East coast and the West coast---the northern tier of states and the southern too----it is just easier to produce a packaged-for-sale uniform music everywhere. One size fits all. -- So that's what they do. Pretty soon nobody remembers the native home-grown songs.

We ALL know that the American west produced hundreds of songs---real western folk songs---and real western fake songs.

Yep, you have got a great treasure hunt for the northern songs ahead of you, if you'll take the challenge.

A good place to start is in the D.T. right here at Mudcat. Lurking there for the taking, between the lines of these songs, are real musical documents of people who lived, loved and worked at the local jobs and industries. Before they died, they took the time to put their observations into the lyrics of their vivid ballad tales.

I've always felt that folksingers had to get used to living with ghosts. It comes with the territory. We owe those long gone unknown song carriers and writers a huge debt of gratitude!! The songs they left here are, to my way of thinking, their immortality.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 01:07 AM

An excellent question though, since it has stimulated a great thread!

In addition to the song types already mentioned above, there are also like a bazillion ethnic songs and tunes--think polka music just for one! It's everywhere!


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 01:11 AM

From Old Town School of Music's website comes this interesting "northern song" tidbit:

Greensleeves
Harvard University's first professor of English was Francis James Child, a specialist in early English language and literature. He wrote and lectured on the works of great masters like Chaucer, Spenser and Shakespeare. He is best known though, for his five volume edition The English and Scottish Popular Ballads, published in the years 1882-89.
    Child plowed through a hundred years worth of published manuscripts and narrative collections and culled 305 titles which he considered to be original source material, a Herculean task to be sure. "The Child Ballads" collection stands as a most important historical document in the world of English language folk songs.
    "Greensleeves" is one of the most beautiful and cherished melodies in the Anglo song tradition. Francis Child notes that "It's earliest mention is in September 1580 when a Richard Jones had licensed to him 'A New Northern Dittye' of the Lady Green Sleeves."
    It is widely acknowledged that Lady Green Sleeves was at the very least a promiscuous young woman and perhaps a prostitute. The reference to the color of her sleeves indicates the grass stains from a recent rendezvous with a suitor.

Sources:
• Folk Ballads of the English Speaking World, edited by Albert B. Friedman. Viking.
• Reprints from People's Songs Bulletin, edited by Irwin Silber. Oak Publications.
Recordings on file by: Frank Hamilton, Pete Seeger.

BTW, where would we locate that rather infamous Okie, north or south? I'd say Midwest, meself...


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 01:46 AM

How about suffragette songs?

Colonial songs. And more.

So much blues,jazz, bebop, etc music is from the "northern region".

And labor songs like those mentioned at the Wiki Wobblies page. And then check out their List of protest songs page!


Then there is the treasure trove at the American Memory website's California page.

This Wiki page
has samples of different Native American tribal songs from the north/midwest/west. And even more.

Wiki also has this brilliant page that not only gives an overview of American music history, but clickable links for music from all 50 states! How cool is THAT?


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 01:37 PM

For 22 years I did shows and workshops in schools. I would hand out maps of mostly just the outline of the United States. Substituted for placenames on that map, I had typed in "song titles" on general geographic areas of the country. The NORTH, SOUTH, WEST, WEST COAST, EAST COAST, CANADA too----and also the Florida Keys, Bahamas, and all the islands.

The Great Lakes were prominent---and I did notate major rivers as the emigration routes the people often used to more easily penetrate the wilderness.

The students would color in the different areas of the map which were indicated by broken lines.

And then we would travel from East to West, more or less like the migration routes, as I sang the unique songs from all these regions.

The maps were very colorful when the workshops were ended!! Nice mementos of our musical journey.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: CapriUni
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 02:10 PM

I would hand out maps of mostly just the outline of the United States. Substituted for placenames on that map, I had typed in "song titles" on general geographic areas of the country.

OOh, what a fantastic idea! Do you have any of those old maps around? And would it be possible to scan them, and put them online so we could all see them?


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: Wesley S
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 04:39 PM

Art - True - This was not a good title for this thread. If I'd had the room I would have called this thread " Why is it that songs about going back to live in the sunny south are more plentiful and better known than songs about how I can't wait to get back to my home in the north of the United States"

For the record I was born in Minnisota but currently live in Texas.


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: Charley Noble
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 05:00 PM

Wesley-

Thanks for the clarification.

Well, how about "Eight More Miles to Louisville" for coming back home to the middle of the country after "I've been down the two coastlines, I've traveled everywhere..."

Then there's "Shafted in Shaftsburg" for Michigan with its refrain of "I've been shafted in Shaftsburg, Come on and get shafted too!" That's an open invitation to "experience" a small town just north of East Lansing.

"Song for the Mira" for our friends further north in Canada.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 05:00 PM

Maybe southerners are more verbal about how much they love their home ground, for whatever reasons. I think New Englanders (for example) are just as emotionally tied to their region but don't necessarily dwell on the sentiment of it in song. In fact, after spending many a jam doing songs like the Tennessee Waltz, Kentucky Waltz, Alabama Waltz, etc. I looked for one about Connecticut (where I live) and didn't find one. So I wrote one, feeling just as much affection for my home state as anyone in the south. Also, the music I happen to love had its origins in the south, so many of the songs are by and about things southern. That's probably changing, as the music spreads around the world.

Art, what a great school program that must have been!


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: pdq
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 05:17 PM

Most people who hail from Brooklyn or the Bronx are happy they left. There may, however, be exceptions.

Here is the start to nostalgic ditty on that subject:

                            I recall stains upon the concrete

                            Where Louie Cora fell

                            And just around the corner

                            Them bullet holes sure look swell

                            The burned-out basement is still there

                            Where they took out "Snitch" Mandell

                            Oh, my home town Brooklyn

                            I remember it so well


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 05:20 PM

Is that the song Ed Norton wrote?   No wait, it was Swannee River.


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 05:26 PM

And from a central Minnesotan "of a certain age", "It's Minneapolis at Aquatennial Time!" Does anyone else alive remember that one?

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 07:23 PM

I've never been to Brooklyn, but my son lives there and LOVES it. I also have ancestors who immigrated to this country, lived in the Bronx and finally did well enough to get out and move out to the "country" like Yonkers (also in NY). The next generation was really adventurous and moved to Connecticut! None of them went to the south (although some of the older ones are now moving to Florida). Some relatives moved from the west to the northeast. Hey, maybe there's a northern gene, and people who have it don't sing about it, but just quietly know what they like best... Maybe it's a superiority complex. Maybe the northern culture is not a sing-about-your-home kind of culture. Maybe we're just weird.


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 09:58 PM

Capri Uni,

I believe my TRAD Songs O The USA Workshop Map is on the web already---within my 40 Years Of Folk Scene Photos etc. website.

Go to http://rudegnu.com/art_thieme.html

Then use the word "mudcat" as the "user name" and as the "password" to get in there.

If you search there with the word "map" you can probably go right to it. Either way, I'm sure it's up there.

I was very honored when one of my mentors, SAM HINTON, liked my song map idea enough to use it for his own repertoire in his shows and workshops. So I put Sam Hinton's song map of the USA up there too!

Wesley S,

Check out Minnesotan, Charlie Maguire's song called, "I LIKE IT IN DULUTH"-- It's a winner!!! Charlie wrote many other songs about that state. He's a singing ranger up there today--even as we speak.

And Peter & Lou Berryman's Wisconsin songs. Many of those. They are wonderful, and they prompted someone to say once that "The songs of Peter and Lou Berryman can take all the credit, and most of the blame, for making Michael Cooney FUNNY!"

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 10:27 PM

As to great Minnesota musicians, there is also Larry Long, Barb Tilsen, Claudia Schmidt (OK, so I think she is a blow in), Bill Staines, Koerner Ray and Glover (well, it used to be anyway), Paul Metsa, Ross Sutter, Carrie Newcomer, Bill Hinkley and Judy Larson, Bob Bouvee and Gail Heil, Carla Vogel, Leo and Kathy Lara, and god only knows who all I've left out and that's just the Cities folks. I haven't even started in with the North Shore musicians, the rangers, the polka and mariachi players, etc.

Oh yeah, I forgot Curtis and Loretta. And those is just the folks dat sang. There is all dem udder folk wot play tunes...


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: katlaughing
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 10:35 PM

Art! Glad you came in here. I can't wait to see one of those maps...lucky kids. I'll bet they never forgot those lessons!!

Thanks!

kat


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Subject: RE: No regional songs of the northern US ??
From: Wesley S
Date: 12 Aug 05 - 12:49 PM

I was in Duluth visiting my grandparents once in May and they were still chopping boats out of the ice on Lake Superior. Brrr....


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