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Folk Songs of the Southern Appalachians [Hardcover]

Jean Ritchie , Ron Pen , Alan Lomax
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 1997
Jean Ritchie is the best known and most respected singer of traditional ballads in the United States. It has been nearly thirty years since she originally published Folk Songs of the Southern Appalachians, and the music found here tells the story of the "Singing Ritchie Family" at a time when railroads, coal mines, and hillbilly radio were making their first incursions into the mountains of eastern Kentucky. Built upon a foundation of balladry inherited from old-world Scotland, the family's repertoire was certainly eclectic but not haphazard. The Child ballads, lyric folksongs, play party or frolic songs, Old Regular Baptist lined hymns, Native American ballads, "hant" songs, and carols brought together in this collection were assembled by family members who actively sought out fragments of tunes and completed them by adding or embellishing verses and melodies. This new edition has faithfully retained all seventy-seven line scores of the songs and added four new ones, Loving Hannah, Lovin' Henry, Her Mantle So Green, and The Reckless and Rambling Boy. The original headnotes and photographs tell the history of the song as well as how it became a part of the family's life. Chords are indicated for accompaniment; however, music notation and the printed word can present only a reasonable facsimile of any actual song. Jean's singing is simply the best guide to how the song should be sung, so a new audiography and videography have been added to this edition.

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Review

"A delightful crystallization of the best, in an age now surfeited with the far-less-than-best." -- Folklore Society Bulletin

"A musical glimpse of a unique American cultural enclave when railroads, coal mining, and hillbilly radio were everpresent." -- Come-All-Ye --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Jean Ritchie remains one of the greatest balladeers of this century. Her performances over the last fifty years have played a considerable role in the resurgence of interest in folk music, and several of her original songs are among the most popular additions to the modern folk repertory. Folk Songs of the Southern Appalachians is a glimpse into the heart of this remarkable talent. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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We have always known this "little foolish thing"--Dad's description of "The Swapping Song." Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars No house arrangements in here! July 26 2002
Format:Paperback
I love this book because it preserves the rough edges that the music of everday people has. If JR learned the verse to a song that didn't rhyme, she didn't "fix" it. The melodies are often asymmetrical, the ballads often have odd twists to their stories, and the emotion is just pure.
If you're looking for a book of songs for the camp-fire, this may not be it. If you're looking for the real songs of Appalachia, look no further.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Uncommon June 6 2000
Format:Paperback
As an amateur singer of folksongs, country, and "oldies", I was looking for a book with familiar tunes and lyrics. Although I only recognized a few of Ms. Ritchie's songs, I found the histories of each song very interesting. I took a chance and purchased the book, not sure of what I was getting. What I got was a nice read about the history of song, and a new interest in a person who obviously has a passion!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No house arrangements in here! July 26 2002
By John Andrew Deskins - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I love this book because it preserves the rough edges that the music of everday people has. If JR learned the verse to a song that didn't rhyme, she didn't "fix" it. The melodies are often asymmetrical, the ballads often have odd twists to their stories, and the emotion is just pure.
If you're looking for a book of songs for the camp-fire, this may not be it. If you're looking for the real songs of Appalachia, look no further.
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Uncommon June 6 2000
By Nancy Cornett - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As an amateur singer of folksongs, country, and "oldies", I was looking for a book with familiar tunes and lyrics. Although I only recognized a few of Ms. Ritchie's songs, I found the histories of each song very interesting. I took a chance and purchased the book, not sure of what I was getting. What I got was a nice read about the history of song, and a new interest in a person who obviously has a passion!
5.0 out of 5 stars So good I have two copies April 1 2014
By Stephen R. Addison - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I originally borrowed this from a library. Years later I found a copy, and bought it on the spot. Years after that I got a copy from Amazon. Nice arrangements of old time tunes. Well worth the cost. Her other books are also worth buying. The tunes are simple with simple harmonies - a good beginning for your own versions.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Folk Songs of the Southern Appalachians Oct. 30 2011
By Old Old-timer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Arrived in great condition when expected. Almost 100 old-time tunes. Great fun. Appreciate the the annotations to each tune. Great for beginners or seasoned old-time musicians.
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My mother-in-law loves it Jan. 2 2013
By TieDye Kid - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
bought as a gift, she grew up with all these old songs...umm so 8 more words required. still need three
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