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Songs of the American Civil War

Related threads:
U.S.A.'s 'Civil War Songs' (50)
Civil War Ballads (66)


Lonesome EJ 28 Jan 99 - 11:25 PM
Angie 29 Jan 99 - 12:16 AM
Heidi 29 Jan 99 - 12:18 AM
DougR@40North.com 29 Jan 99 - 12:37 AM
Bill in Alabama 29 Jan 99 - 09:32 AM
catspaw49 29 Jan 99 - 10:11 AM
Rex Rideout 29 Jan 99 - 11:02 AM
Bill in Alabama 29 Jan 99 - 11:25 AM
MMario 29 Jan 99 - 11:33 AM
Bill in Alabama 29 Jan 99 - 11:56 AM
heidi 29 Jan 99 - 01:23 PM
Bill in Alabama 29 Jan 99 - 02:47 PM
Bruce O. 29 Jan 99 - 03:08 PM
EJ 29 Jan 99 - 03:59 PM
Bill in Alabama 29 Jan 99 - 04:30 PM
Peter T. 29 Jan 99 - 04:43 PM
Barbara Shaw 29 Jan 99 - 04:48 PM
Allan S. 29 Jan 99 - 05:13 PM
John Freeman 29 Jan 99 - 10:11 PM
dwditty 30 Jan 99 - 06:30 AM
Banjer 30 Jan 99 - 07:10 AM
rich r 30 Jan 99 - 10:36 AM
rich r 30 Jan 99 - 10:40 AM
Rincon Roy 30 Jan 99 - 11:20 AM
Mark DeAngelis 30 Jan 99 - 10:05 PM
Frank in NJ 31 Jan 99 - 03:51 AM
rich r 31 Jan 99 - 12:51 PM
Lonesome EJ 03 Feb 00 - 10:05 PM
Sorcha 03 Feb 00 - 10:11 PM
Amos 03 Feb 00 - 10:21 PM
catspaw49 03 Feb 00 - 10:27 PM
Lonesome EJ 03 Feb 00 - 10:33 PM
Ely 03 Feb 00 - 10:53 PM
catspaw49 03 Feb 00 - 11:00 PM
GUEST,ddw 03 Feb 00 - 11:20 PM
paddymac 03 Feb 00 - 11:43 PM
Marymac90 03 Feb 00 - 11:45 PM
Sorcha 03 Feb 00 - 11:45 PM
Lonesome EJ 03 Feb 00 - 11:57 PM
GUEST,Les B 04 Feb 00 - 01:31 AM
Sorcha 04 Feb 00 - 01:34 AM
Sourdough 04 Feb 00 - 03:58 AM
GUEST,micca at work 04 Feb 00 - 07:52 AM
JedMarum 04 Feb 00 - 08:56 AM
JedMarum 04 Feb 00 - 09:14 AM
Amos 04 Feb 00 - 09:53 AM
GUEST,Pete Peterson (at work) 04 Feb 00 - 11:02 AM
Mbo 04 Feb 00 - 11:12 AM
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Dale Rose 04 Feb 00 - 11:36 AM
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Subject: Songs of the American Civil War
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 28 Jan 99 - 11:25 PM

I am rather a history buff and I have a keen interest in the Civil War. I have often wondered what songs and what kind of music was played around the bivouac campfires by these men. With soldiers of various backgrounds coming from widespread parts of the country, it must have been a fascinating melting pot of folk traditions and popular tunes. Anyone have information on tunes(other than Dixie and the Battle Hymn of the Republic)that were popular during this war? Also what instruments were common, and is there any music being recorded today that faithfully reflects the era?


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Subject: RE: Songs of the American Civil War
From: Angie
Date: 29 Jan 99 - 12:16 AM

Lonesome EJ, The soundtrack from Ken Burn's "The Civil War" has a wonderful collection of popular tunes from the era. Some examples are "Lorena", "Angel Band", "Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier". In all, there are about 16-18 tracks on the CD. If you want lyrics, there are tons of websites dedicated to Civil War Songs, and the book, "The Blue and the Gray" ca 1950 has a few chapters on songs and poems from the era. Good luck finding the music. If you know of any books about weddings before or during the Civil War, let me know. I'm planning my wedding and would like to have it some what historical(yes, I'm a HUGE history buff, and I know way too much about the Civil War for someone my age, 22.) Hope this helps, ANGIE


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Subject: RE: Songs of the American Civil War
From: Heidi
Date: 29 Jan 99 - 12:18 AM

Funny you should be asking about Civil War songs now - I have been researching that very thing. I lead a children's choir, and we are doing a program on the Civil War. There are some great Civil War sites on the internet. Here are a few soldiers' songs: Goober Peas Tenting on the Old Camp Ground When Johnny Comes Marching Home The Old Union Wagon The Southern Soldier The Southern Wagon Here's Your Mule Farewell to Grog

These are only a few. You can find lots more. A good source is "Ballads and Songs of the Civil War" by Mel Bay Publications. Enjoy!


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Subject: RE: Songs of the American Civil War
From: DougR@40North.com
Date: 29 Jan 99 - 12:37 AM

Thirty-some odd years ago Frederick Fennell, the Eastman Wind Ensemble and some other folks put out a couple of LP sets of Civil War songs, fife tunes and band music (on period brass, woodwind and percussion instruments). I've no idea if there's a CD reissue, but if so, the music would be great. Unfortunately, cannon and small arms fire sounds generally don't do well in digital remastering. On those LPs, they were devastatingly realistic. They used period weapons for the gunnery, but I couldn't vouch for the authenticity of the gunpowder formulations, loads or projectiles (if any).


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Subject: RE: Songs of the American Civil War
From: Bill in Alabama
Date: 29 Jan 99 - 09:32 AM

My friend Bobby Horton is a fellow War Between the States enthusiast whose music was featured on the Ken Burns series. Bobby has probably a dozen albums currently out featuring music of Union and Confederate soldiers. He also is selling videos of a ETV documentary entitled *BOBBY HORTON: MUSIC AND MEMORIES OF THE CIVIL WAR*, which features 63 minutes worth of authentic music from the period. Check

http://bizweb.lightspeed.net/~cwms/unit.html

By the way--I'm the narrator on the video.


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Subject: RE: Songs of the American Civil War
From: catspaw49
Date: 29 Jan 99 - 10:11 AM

Hey Bill...couldn't help but notice the difference re: "War Between The States" versus "Civil War." (*grin*) And I'll be looking for the video.

Heidi: Be sure to use "Lorena" and the story that goes with it. Banned from use on BOTH sides because of it's bad effect on morale, I think it was one of this country's earliest examples of song censorship.

Nice to know there are quite a few other enthusiasts/buffs out there...some really wonderful tunes came out of that period.

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Songs of the American Civil War
From: Rex Rideout
Date: 29 Jan 99 - 11:02 AM

Go to almost any library and they should have a copy of "The Songs of the Civil War" by Irwin Silber. This is probably the most complete collection of CW songs and their variations and parodies. This book is also available from Dover Books for about $15. Everyone should have a copy.

Now, on the same subject, Columbia records released a CD in '92 I think. Tennessee Ernie Ford sings Songs of the Civil War. They weren't exactly arranged like a guy sitting on a stump with a cigar box fiddle but there was some good material on it never the less. Columbia no longer has it. I have checked the usual sources, (Amazon, CD Now, etc.). Does anyone know where it may be available? Thanky,

Rex Rideout


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Subject: RE: Songs of the American Civil War
From: Bill in Alabama
Date: 29 Jan 99 - 11:25 AM

There are probably several thousand songs around which are directly associated with the war, not to mention the popular songs which the soldiers sang in camp--songs which were extremely popular before the war, and which reminded them of home.

The Ernie Ford Album was most likely a re-release of an LP album which Ford recorded for the centennial of the war in the early 'sixties; I have it on vinyl, but I wouldn't begin to know where to look for it.


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Subject: RE: Songs of the American Civil War
From: MMario
Date: 29 Jan 99 - 11:33 AM

I couldn't hurt to look through the Levy Sheet Music Collection, either....lots of them are dated at appropriate times

They wouldn't be the surviving songs that the public think of as "Civil War Songs" - but they are songs of the times...

MMario


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Subject: RE: Songs of the American Civil War
From: Bill in Alabama
Date: 29 Jan 99 - 11:56 AM

Duke University also has an excellent collection of sheet music, in which I have found many things which I was unable to locate at the Levy site.

http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/sheetmusic/


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Subject: RE: Songs of the American Civil War
From: heidi
Date: 29 Jan 99 - 01:23 PM

As I mentioned before, I direct a children's choir, and we are doing a program about the Civil War. I was planning on having the kids sing Dixie, as I feel it is a very typical song from that time. When my father-in-law heard this he told me that we could be accused of being racist. I was surprised. I do know that there are quite a few verses.The one that we are using is quite neutral: Oh I wish I was in the land of cotton, memories there are not forgotten.............etc. I would appreciate any input on this, as we are planning to do an extra performance for an inner city school. We would most definitely not want to use anything that could be offensive. Thank you.


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Subject: RE: Songs of the American Civil War
From: Bill in Alabama
Date: 29 Jan 99 - 02:47 PM

Heidi-- There have been many instances in which folks have been offended by the performance of Dixie's Land (the original title given the piece by the composer)in recent years. Actually, the song pre-dates the war, and was written by a northerner, and the original words don't address the war. HOWEVER-- It was originally written as a minstrel number, and was in a stage-slave dialect. You would be well advised to inquire among members of your own community as to its possible reception. At the formal victory celebration in Washington after the surrender, when President Lincoln was invited by the military band to request a song, he asked the band to play Dixie. Mentioning this to introduce the song might help smooth things out. Sorry that I can't be of more help.


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Subject: RE: Songs of the American Civil War
From: Bruce O.
Date: 29 Jan 99 - 03:08 PM

Putting 'Civil War' in the bibliographic search box on the Levy sheet music website turns up 1370 items.


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Subject: RE: Songs of the American Civil War
From: EJ
Date: 29 Jan 99 - 03:59 PM

Thanks for all the input...re the instruments, I realize that many regiments had their own brass bands. I am more interested in what sort of instruments the common soldier might have used. My guess would be banjo, guitar,jew's harp,harmonica, fiddle, maybe mandolin. Anyone have knowledge?


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Subject: RE: Songs of the American Civil War
From: Bill in Alabama
Date: 29 Jan 99 - 04:30 PM

Basically, you're right on the money. There are records of common soldiers who played trumpet around the campfire for their friends, but I believe that you are safe in assuming that the average soldier brought with him the stringed instrument or the mouth organ he had played on the front porch at home. Certainly the photographs I have seen and the research I have done would confirm that assumption.


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Subject: RE: Songs of the American Civil War
From: Peter T.
Date: 29 Jan 99 - 04:43 PM

I believe that Lincoln is reported to have said on the occasion that Dixie was one of the spoils of war and could be considered to have been liberated.

Yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Songs of the American Civil War
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 29 Jan 99 - 04:48 PM

The Shubert Theatre in New Haven, CT is about to have the world premiere of a new musical called "The Civil War" on February 16. Their web site:

http://www.shubert.com/

talks about a "new all-star double CD," so apparently there is a new interpretation of the music of that period a la Broadway (where it is headed).


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Subject: RE: Songs of the American Civil War
From: Allan S.
Date: 29 Jan 99 - 05:13 PM

I have a audio Cassette "A treasury of civil war Songs" by Tom Glazer THe number appears to be C8507 RTV Communications Group po 2990007 Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. 33329 I'm not sure if it is still avalable


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Subject: RE: Songs of the American Civil War
From: John Freeman
Date: 29 Jan 99 - 10:11 PM

If you are interested in an excellent album of Civil War songs, I would recommend SONGS OF THE CIVIL WAR, produced by Jim Brown, Ken Burns and Don DeVito for Columbia. It has a variety of songs by different artists including Kathy Mattea, Waylon Jennings, Ronnie Gilbert, Kate & Anna McGarrigle et al. Kathy Mattea does a beautiful rendition of "Vacant Chair" which both the North and the South adopted. Regards to all, John


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Subject: RE: Songs of the American Civil War
From: dwditty
Date: 30 Jan 99 - 06:30 AM

How about "Rally 'Round the Flag" Ry Cooder does a great version on his album "Boomer's Story"
DW


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Subject: RE: Songs of the American Civil War
From: Banjer
Date: 30 Jan 99 - 07:10 AM

Being a Civil War reenactor for the past eight years and having an interest in Old Time Music has exposed me to many forms of music of that era. Soldiers would play around camp any instrument that they could find. We have had some strange experiences with musical efforts. One year at the Battle of Olustee in Florida the Saturday evening ball was hosted by the Eighth Georgia Brass Band. Most reenactors love doing a "Virginia Reel", usually accompanied by a lively tune on fiddle, mandolin, banjo and guitar. What fun(?) we had trying to do a reel to the oompah-pahs of a tuba. Just not quite the same....My personal favorite band is the 97th Pennsylvania Regimental String Band. They can be reached at (727)391-4565. They have about eight cassettes or CD's of various music of the period. If you get a chance go to a reenactment near you and listen. Most reenactments feature music of some kind.


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Subject: RE: Songs of the American Civil War
From: rich r
Date: 30 Jan 99 - 10:36 AM

"The Civil War Music Collectors Edition" (Time-Life 1991) is an excellent CD set containing all forms of music vocal and instrumental from the period.

Another CD that is reasonably available is Songs of the Civil War" by The Cumberland Three (This was John Stewart's group before he joined the Kingston Trio).

Keith & Rusty McNeil have a collection of about 60 Civil War songs (check out their web site, they also have collections of songs from other periods in US history)

2 Cds by Dave Para & Cathy Barton described in a thread last summer or fall.

Also if you are in a library You can look for:

Singing Soldiers: A History of the Civil War in Song by Paul Glass, 1964, republished by DaCapo Press in 1975 (isbn 0-306-80021-7. This has over 100 songs

Sound Off : Soldier Songs from the Revolution to World War II by E. A Dolph, 1942 Farrar & Rinehart (originally published in 1929 & updated in 1942 to include WWII material)

Don't forget Irwin Silber's collection mentioned near the top of the thread.

rich r


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Subject: RE: Songs of the American Civil War
From: rich r
Date: 30 Jan 99 - 10:40 AM

I forgot to mention that that Vance Randolph's "Ozark Folksongs Vol 2 Songs of the South & West" (Univ Missouri Press 1980) has a section of 40 or so Civil War Songs.

And don't forget to search the database right here.

rich r


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Subject: RE: Songs of the American Civil War
From: Rincon Roy
Date: 30 Jan 99 - 11:20 AM

There were people who would have readily agreed with Banjer back in the Civil War days who complained that they were sick of hearing brass band music everywhere they went, but that was "the" popular music of the times. I have heard (not confirmed though) that stringed groups sometimes alternated with brass bands at dances/balls to add variety and give brass players a break. The Frederick Fennell collection (the Civil War, its music and its sounds: copyright 1990 phillips Classic Productions) that DougR mentioned has indeed been reissued on CD and is fun collection: songs-choruses, battle sounds taped in Gettysburg battlefield, brass band tunes, fife and drum tunes, bugle calls, etc. {http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0000057L2/qid=917711858/sr=1-4/002-4232918-4573421}

Also try these CD recordings: (1)string band: Union and Liberty!Music heard on the Northern homefront... by D.C.Hall's New Concert & Quadrill Band (copyright 1994 Dorian Recordings){http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000001QAA/qid%3D917711060/002-4232918-4573421} (2)piano (very nice!) and some vocal: When the Galop Was the Rage by Helen Beedle (copyright 1997 Helen Beedle){was recently available from http://www.americuscd.com ,but does not appear on their online catalog at the moment} (3)brass band: Honor to Our Soldiers by Classical Brass (excellent renditions performed very well on period instruments)(copyright MusicMasters 1991){http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000000FQO/qid%3D917711169/002-4232918-4573421} (4)brass band: Music of the Civil War by The Americus Brass Band {http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0000038IY/qid%3D912178119/sr%3D1-6/002-4232918-4573421}

Finally, a good book reproducing/reprinting actual parlor (piano & voice) music of the war years complete with visually intriguing title sheets: "The Civil War Song Book, Complete Original Sheet Music for 37 Songs" edited by Richard Crawford (copyright 1977 Dover Publications, Inc.) {http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0486234223/qid=917712795/sr=1-1/002-4232918-4573421}


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Subject: RE: Songs of the American Civil War
From: Mark DeAngelis
Date: 30 Jan 99 - 10:05 PM

As a fellow reenactor, I have to agree with Banjer. Brass bands may have been popular, but the soldier spent much of his time making music on anything he could get his hands on. Fiddles and banjos are the stringed instruments most often noted in diaries, letters and accounts. Remember, banjos were 4 string, fretless, and strung with cat gut. It didn't give the big bright banjo sound we hear today. Music in camp back then did not resemble the high quality studio type to which our 20th century ears are accustomed. Many a soldier boy noted that the musicians were perfectly awful. However, they likewise noted that the music was wonderful. The quality didn't matter. It was the comraderie and the joyous link to hearth and home that this music made for them that they treasured; hence, the banning of "Lorena" (as noted in a prior post) and other tunes that made the lads homesick. For books, I would recommend "Singing Soldiers" as noted above. It has been reprinted within the last few years and is now available in bookstores again. In addition to the fine recorded music already mentioned in other posts, I would add the recordings of Jim Taylor - several tapes of instrumental guitar, fiddle, hammered dulcimer - but especially his two vocal tapes. I don't know why he doesn't record more vocal music. Also, the 2d South Carolina String Band. Their tapes have more of a "sittin' round the campfire feel to them. You can also check out the 7th La. String Band, Hardtack and Harmony and a very nice new work called "The Irish Volunteer" by David Kincaid. Kincaid gives us a number of period tunes that have not previously been recorded by anyone and the presentation is great. I also highly recommend the Para, Barton and Dyer works and the 97th Regimental String Band. There is a Civil War music web site that has come a long way in the last year. I'm sorry that I don't have it handy but it comes up easily on a net search.

Your Obedient Servant,


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Subject: RE: Songs of the American Civil War
From: Frank in NJ
Date: 31 Jan 99 - 03:51 AM

Being a metal detector addict I can attest to the fact harmonicas were very popular around the campsites. All I find left are the brass reed plates. Along the railroad camps the large number of these plates makes finding other things very difficult. If you can find a tape or 33rpm of Don Reno & Red Smiley singing Civil War songs the lyric of the southern perspective is very interesting. POA...SCAW...For those of you who may want to teach Civil War songs to children, look for a lyric lesson elsewhere on this site in the song Two Little Boys. Frank


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Subject: RE: Songs of the American Civil War
From: rich r
Date: 31 Jan 99 - 12:51 PM

The Reno & Smiley recording is interesting. The songs trace a sort of chronology of some of the events of the Civil War from a southern perspective. All of the songs are new creations. As the album cover states: "New and original FOLK SONGS written in commemoration of the centennial of the American Civil War, The war between the states, and sung by Reno & Smiley" Judgning from this I would guess the recording was done sometime in the late 1950's or early 1960's. The LP I have (King 756) has 1988 on the disk label, but I assume that to be a reissue perhaps from a different company than the original. Consistent with the earlier release are pictures of young Reno & Smiley on the back and biographical information that talks about their WWII activities and that they got together to form "The Tennessee Cutups". The lyrics to the songs were written by Dr. Albert J Russo, a medical doctor from Virginia with an interest in folklore and folk music. He wrote a poetic history of the Civil War called "Lee's Command and Other Confederate Poems". He was also a member of the Roanoke VA Civil War Centennial Commission. The poem "Lee's Command" is one of the songs on the record. The poems were set to music by Don Reno.

rich r


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Subject: RE: Songs of the American Civil War
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 03 Feb 00 - 10:05 PM

In a recent issue of Civil War Times there is an article called And the Generals Sang! It discusses several tunes in the DT such as Lorena, Tenting Tonight, Dixie's Land, etc. But several are mentioned that I couldn't find. If anyone has tunes or lyrics, I would greatly appreciate it. I find these songs very moving. The songs I am seeking are "The Blue Juanita","The Hebrew Maiden", "Jine the Cavalry", "Bonnie Jean" and one that contains the line "Sweet Evelina,dear Evelina, my love for you shall never,never die". The last line is from a tune favored by JEB Stuart.

Thanks, LEJ


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Subject: RE: Songs of the American Civil War
From: Sorcha
Date: 03 Feb 00 - 10:11 PM

Try researching Dan Emmett, composer of several C.V. era songs. Also, in the "Galvanized Yankee" period, "Oh, I'm a Good Old Rebel", tune to Joe Bowers. It can be very offensive, tho.


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Subject: RE: Songs of the American Civil War
From: Amos
Date: 03 Feb 00 - 10:21 PM

The Unreconstructed Rebel is one of my all-time favorite Civil War songs.

Frank Warner played and sang it on one of his Folkways LP's in the late Fifties, and he also did a creditable rendition of The Southern Girl's Reply, The Battle of Bull Run, The Bonnie Blue Flag, and one or two others which escape me at the moment. There are several differences in lyrics between Warner's Unreconstructed Rebel and that found in the DT from Collier's Magazine of 1913.

I can't say who improved what but I definitely like Warner's version better. It scans better and the imagery comes across vividly.

I have an .aiff file of several of these songs (doing them myself, not Warner) should anyone want one.

A


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Subject: RE: Songs of the American Civil War
From: catspaw49
Date: 03 Feb 00 - 10:27 PM

What issue was that in Leej? I let my subscription lapse awhile back as I did with several other mags. AND...as invariably happens....an issue comes out that has something really interesting. I' d like to read the article and research this a bit as I do a Hammered Dulcimer CW medley and I'd like to add to it.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Songs of the American Civil War
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 03 Feb 00 - 10:33 PM

The new one, Spaw, March 2000. I believe you can request the issue on cwt@cowles.com. If not, I'd be happy to snail you a copy. Lemme know...

LEJ


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Subject: RE: Songs of the American Civil War
From: Ely
Date: 03 Feb 00 - 10:53 PM

The "War of Northern Aggression"? ;)

There's a guy named Wayne Erbsen who puts out his own tapes, usually for sale at the gift shops at battle sites. His style is goofy, but if you're looking for songs to learn, you can get the tune and words. I think he's also a reenactor and, at least on his tapes that I've seen so far, it's all period tunes (as opposed to modern ones like "Two Brothers" and "Gray-Coat Soldiers").

"Wildwood Flower"--this was a top seller in sheet music in 1860, long before the Carter Family made it famous. I've also been asked for "Marching Through Georgia", "Garry Owen", "Minstrel Boy", "Cumberland Gap", "Vacant Chair".

Please, NO "Ashokan Farewell"!! Yeesh.

My brother has been into Civil War reenacting for 8 years (since he was 12). The men in his unit don't play much music themselves but I used to sit around with the women and play the lap dulcimer--my brother got mad at me once for attracting more attention than the soldiers did (probably because I was less scary to the kids). I've played with harmonicas and a few banjos, and Abraham Lincoln seems to be a particularly popular character for limberjacks.


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Subject: RE: Songs of the American Civil War
From: catspaw49
Date: 03 Feb 00 - 11:00 PM

Hi Ely----I realize your problem with "Ashoken Farewell" but if you're playing for the masses, it ends a medley well because most people believe it IS a period song. I t is certainly in the style and a haunting melody. I do inform folks that it is not, but so damn many people saw the Ken Burns series, they are actually looking forward to it.

But I do understand your point!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Songs of the American Civil War
From: GUEST,ddw
Date: 03 Feb 00 - 11:20 PM

I'm just reading Burke Davis's "Jeb Stuart, The Last Cavalier" and was struck earlier today by how often he cites the songs Stuart sang or had his camp musicians play. Apart from being informative on that, it's just a good read about a very colorful figure and one helluva military strategist.

cheers

david

P.S. — Leej, if you live anywhere close to Gettysburg or can get there sometime, the park's headquarters has a great selection of CDs and tapes of CW songs. I don't know if they have a cybersite that would list what they have, but it might be worth checking out. And, of course, stores in the town probably expand what's available.


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Subject: RE: Songs of the American Civil War
From: paddymac
Date: 03 Feb 00 - 11:43 PM

Don't overlook George Root's "Tramp, Tramp, Tramp". The lyrics seem a bit stilted by today's standards, but it was quite popular back then, and the melody was freely used for many other songs, then and since. "God Save Ireland" is but one example.


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Subject: RE: Songs of the American Civil War
From: Marymac90
Date: 03 Feb 00 - 11:45 PM

I KNOW Ashokan Farewell is contemporary. and was written by Jay Unger, for one season's final dance at his Fiddle and Dance Camp, in Ashokan, NY. I used to go to the camp, back when I could dance, before my knee turned sour on me. It's just that it is about the most beautiful, haunting fiddle tune that I can think of. So by all means, do play it-people love it!

Mary Mccaffrey


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Subject: RE: Songs of the American Civil War
From: Sorcha
Date: 03 Feb 00 - 11:45 PM

THREAD CREEP ALERT!! When I was in H.S. in Bleeding Kansas, I wrote a paper titled--Why The South Should Have Won The War--it po'd the prof, and was really marked up in RED, but I still got an A..........my opinion was based not on slavery, but on States Rights,etc. I am still sick and tired of "Protect the Masses--Don't Hesitate, Legislate!"


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Subject: RE: Songs of the American Civil War
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 03 Feb 00 - 11:57 PM

In the article I sited, mention was made of Tenting To Night. The name was familiar to me, but it wasn't until I read the lyrics in the DT and downloaded the tune that it came back to me. On long hot summer nights, my Mom's family would gather on the porch of my Grandpa's house to tell stories, play games and sing songs as the lightning bugs danced in the darkness. Tenting was one of the songs they sang. Perhaps my Grandpa learned from his Dad who served in the Rebel army. Maybe they learned it from the old player piano rolls he had. At any rate, the simple act of accessing the DT to get the words and tune connected me once again to those people, that time. I suppose that is the real magic in Folk Music..that connection.


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Subject: RE: Songs of the American Civil War
From: GUEST,Les B
Date: 04 Feb 00 - 01:31 AM

Some rhythm instruments not mentioned in the above posts, but used by Civil War soldiers (as seen in at least one photo from the era) are tamborine, bones, and triangle (similar to today's Cajun triangle). These three were also very common in Minstrel bands before and after the war.


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Subject: RE: Songs of the American Civil War
From: Sorcha
Date: 04 Feb 00 - 01:34 AM

D**N! for a "period" player, I can't believe I forgot George Root!


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Subject: RE: Songs of the American Civil War
From: Sourdough
Date: 04 Feb 00 - 03:58 AM

Don't forget "Bonnie Eloise, the belle of the Mohawk vale". It isn't quite as haunting as Lorena but as I was told it was one of the most popular songs in armies of both sides.

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: Songs of the American Civil War
From: GUEST,micca at work
Date: 04 Feb 00 - 07:52 AM

They showed the whole of the Ken Burns series on the BBc on successive days over christmas just gone and it was wonderful, i had never really understood the scale and destruction of this event until then. i am looking for the music too, but its not as easy here in the UK. thanks for all the splendid references above, BTW was Ashoan farewell the tune over the titles at the beginning and end?


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Subject: RE: Songs of the American Civil War
From: JedMarum
Date: 04 Feb 00 - 08:56 AM

LEJ -

Please check out Cathy Barton and Dave Para's website. Look through their discography. I am sure you will find some great stuf there for your research.


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Subject: RE: Songs of the American Civil War
From: JedMarum
Date: 04 Feb 00 - 09:14 AM

This has been a great thread! For someone like me with a keen interest about the Civil War era, and the impact it has had on America, I am heartened by the amount of interest in this thread - and by the knowledge people have on the subject.

Ken Burns series was a masterpiece. I am so pleased it was viewed in the UK. Not only was the history and commentary good, but the music, photos and film were artfully used to portray the stories. I know much of our worst TV gets viewed worldwide; I am glad to hear that some of our best has made beyond our borders, as well!

I have read enjoyed reading some of this history; especially Shelby Foote's narratives, and James P. Gannon's history called Irish Rebels, Confederate Tigers : The 6th Louisiana Volunteers, 1861-1865. I wrote a song about these Irish Civil War soldiers. I wrote another based upon my family research, about a young Confederate soldier from Connemara Ireland. There are so many moving stories from this era. I reckon a songwriter could spend a life's work trying to capture some of them.


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Subject: RE: Songs of the American Civil War
From: Amos
Date: 04 Feb 00 - 09:53 AM

Warner does a beautiful plaintive a capella piece on Bull Run that I wil never forget. It has only four lines and is sung naked and raw (the voice, 'spaw, the voice!):

This day will be remembered by

America's noble sons.

If it hadn't 'a been for the Irish, what would the Union done?

It was hand to hand we fowt 'em, all in the broiling sun.

Stripped down to the pants, we did advance

At the Battle of Bull Run!


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Subject: RE: Songs of the American Civil War
From: GUEST,Pete Peterson (at work)
Date: 04 Feb 00 - 11:02 AM

If you know the fiddle tune, Swingin' on a Gate, slow it down by a factor of about 3 and see how close it is to what I have heard re-enactors call "A Joker's Farewell". I guess there aren't enough good melodies to go around. I love lots of the songs mentioned here. Lonesome EJ-- know Evalina, sweet Evalina from the singing of Critton Hollow String Band and will try to transcribe it over the weekend if I can find where I have it taped (I think it's a homemade tape from Clifftop). The Hebrew Maiden (the song McCook sang the first night of Chickamauga, right?) is one I have never seen. Jine the Cavalry is in Silber.


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Subject: RE: Songs of the American Civil War
From: Mbo
Date: 04 Feb 00 - 11:12 AM

I did an intense study of the Civil War for 3 years straight, with 2 additional years of passing interest. I love the songs. "All Quiet Along The Potomac" is one great song. Other good ones are:
Who Will Care For Mother Now?
Wrap The Flag Around Me, Boys
We Are Coming, Father Abram
Cheer Boys Cheer
Grafted Into The Army
The Rose of Alabama
Stonewall Jackson's Way
Lilly Dale

Just some ones I pulled off the top o' my head.

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: Songs of the American Civil War
From: Dale Rose
Date: 04 Feb 00 - 11:27 AM

Check here for an earlier discussion of Sweet Evelina

There is a link to the sheet music at Levy among other things, but I see it is not working anymore. Try this one instead That will take you directly to the front page of the sheet music. Clicking at the bottom of the page will get you the succeeding pages.

Also check the DT database under Sweet Evalina for the lyrics.


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Subject: RE: Songs of the American Civil War
From: Dale Rose
Date: 04 Feb 00 - 11:36 AM

Here is the new link to the levy search, I should have left it before. I also noticed that the version of Evelina that I linked to in my last post is a later arrangement. Use the search to find the earlier one if you care to.


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