Texas Folk Songs / Edition 2

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“This volume is,” in Owens’s words, “a sampling of a rich experience in a richer land.” The 135 songs included, a number of them in versions by more than one singer, are divided into nine chapters containing British popular ballads, Anglo-American ballads, Anglo-American love songs, Anglo-American comic songs, songs and games for children, play-party songs and games, Anglo-American spirituals, African-American spirituals, and African-American secular songs. The British ballads were brought to America in the seventeenth century and later were carried westward to Texas by the adventurous pioneers who settled the state.

The American ballad section is full of the stories of battles, crimes, and catastrophes that appealed as subjects to our country’s folk singers when they adapted the British ballad traditions to their own use. There is heroism aplenty in these ballads; but when it came to love, the American singers deserted the heroically tragic tales of British balladry for mournful, plaintive songs in which the sad lover has nothing much to do but waste away in sorrow. Songs like these helped Texas pioneer women—and men also—to find release from the sternness of frontier life by “having a good cry.” On the other hand, humor, too, helped—raw, rugged, raucous humor, as the section of comic songs demonstrates.

New musical transcriptions of the melodies have been provided by musicologist Jessie Ann Owens from the original recordings, with guitar chords indicated where the singer provided accompaniment. Bibliographical source notes are included for the benefit of the scholar; but this is not a book just for scholars. These songs have been collected, as Owens has written, “for those who love to sing them as well as for those who have an interest in the past.”

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781574411140
  • Publisher: University of North Texas Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2000
  • Series: Publications of the Texas Folklore Society Series
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 210
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.45 (d)

Meet the Author

William A. Owens, folklorist, author, and professor, was born in the Lamar County. The author of This Stubborn Soil, A Season of Weathering, Tell Me a Story Sing Me a Song, and several novels, he also wrote Slave Mutiny: The Revolt of the Schooner Amistad, which provided much of the material for the Steven Spielberg film, Amistad.
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Table of Contents

Preface xi
Notes on Musical Transcriptions xv
Introduction xix
British Popular Ballads 3
Rosemary One Time 4
Pretty Polly 6
Billy Boy 10
How Come That Blood on Your Shirt Sleeve 11
Three Black Crows 14
Loving Henry 16
Fair Ellender 17
Who Will Shoe Your Pretty Little Foot 20
The Three Little Babes 21
Barbara Allen 23
The Hangman's Rope 26
The Four Marys 27
Gypsy Davy 29
The House Carpenter 31
The Drunkard's Song 33
Ti Risslety Rosslety 34
The Devil's Song 36
The Merry Golden Tree 38
A Rich Irish Lady 40
Anglo-American Ballads 42
William Hall, or the Brisky Young Farmer 43
A Pretty Fair Maid 46
Late One Sunday Evening 48
Lovely William 50
Once I Courted a Fair Beauty Bride 51
Come All You Pretty Fair Maids 52
The Little Sparrow 52
I Dreamed Last Night of My True Love 54
Come, All You Jolly Cowboys 55
On the Red River Shore 56
Lovely Mary 57
As I Walked Out on a May Morning 58
All in the Scenes of Winter 59
I Was Out Walking 60
Oh, Willie 61
Young Johnnie 62
The Oxford Girl 64
The Drummer Boy of Waterloo 65
Young Charlottie 66
The Butcher's Boy 68
The Wild Moor 69
Little Mohea 71
The Jealous Lover 72
The Banks of Cloddie 73
Fair Fannie Moore 75
Brother Green 77
I Was Standing on Pickets 77
Jesse James 78
Cole Younger 80
The Boston Burglar 81
The Two Orphans 82
The Grog Shop Door 84
The Roving Gambler 85
Anglo-American Love Songs 87
The Sailor Boy 88
Nora Darling 89
The Irish Girl 90
Fond Affection 90
Bury Me beneath the Willow 91
The Birmingham Jail 92
My Blue-eyed Boy 93
They Say It Is Sinful to Flirt 94
Too Late 94
Lorene 96
On Top of Old Smoky 97
The Bright Sherman Valley 98
Goodbye, Little Bonnie Blue Eyes 99
My Pretty Little Pink 101
Jack and Joe 102
Anglo-American Comic Songs 103
The Widow of McCarty 104
Noddingham Town 105
It Was a Young Man 106
Come All You Fair Maidens 107
Dear John 108
Brynie O'Linn 110
Come All You Mississippi Girls 110
Went Out A-Sparkin' 112
Hard Times 113
The Young Men They'll Dress Up 115
Not the Only Turtle in the Tank 116
Old Kincaid 117
Jennie Jenkins 118
There Was an Old Man That Lived on the Hill 119
Devilish Mary 121
Blue-eyed Boy Is Mad at Me 121
Rolly Troodum 122
I Wish I Was a Single Girl Again 123
I Wish to My Lord I Was Single Again 124
The Blue-tailed Fly 125
I Don't Like to See Boys 126
Who Will Hold My Stovepipe Hat 127
The Lazy Man 128
Hurrah for Arkansas 129
Pompey Smash and Davy Crockett 130
Joe Bowers 132
Songs and Games for Children 134
Come All You Jolly Hunters 135
Frog Went A-Courting 136
Way Down South Where I Was Born 139
When I'se a Little Boy 140
Prettiest Little Tree 141
Hunting the Wren 143
Saw an Old Crow 145
Old Jay Bird 145
The Brown Duck 146
Play-Party Songs and Games 148
Shoot the Buffalo 149
I'm on My Way to Georgy 150
Weevily Wheat 151
Little Brass Wagon 153
The Girl I Left behind Me 153
Going to Boston 154
Old Dan Tucker 155
Hog-Drovers 155
Dance Josey 156
Old Joe Clark 157
Buffalo Girls 159
Skip to My Lou 159
Tideo 160
Anglo-American Spirituals 161
The Hebrew Children 163
I Will Arise and Go to Jesus 163
On Canaan's Happy Shore 164
And Am I Born to Die 164
There'll Be No Dark Valley 164
No, Never Alone 165
Come, Humble Sinners 166
The Wicked Daughter 167
The Orphan Girl 168
The Romish Lady 168
Afro-American Spirituals 170
I've Been Listenin' All Day Long 171
Travelin' Shoes 172
By and By 173
Oh, My Lovin' Brothuh 174
Afro-American Secular Songs 175
Oh, Mou'nuhs 176
Oh, Hear That Trumpet Sound 177
You Shall Be Free 178
Go to Sleep, Little Baby 179
Well, the Day I Left My Po' Mama's Door 180
Go to Sleepy 181
Source Notes 183
Index of Titles 187
Index of First Lines 189
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