Music 162 CD 1 notes - MUSIC 162 SPRING 2008 American Pop...

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MUSIC 162 - SPRING 2008 American Pop Song Shannon Dudley Listening Examples CD #1 A. First Roots 1. Texas Texas Gladden: "The Four Marys" Texas Gladden is from the mountains of Virginia, and recorded this selection in 1941 for folklorist Alan Lomax (who considered Gladden America's "finest traditional ballad singer"). In the previous version, "Mary Hamilton had a wee wain [baby] / To the highest man in the toon," which presumably refers to the King (though in some variants it is the Prince). In Gladden's version, no mention is made of an illegitimate birth, in fact no reason for Mary to murder her child is given. It is common for American versions of British ballads to omit sexual references (especially taboos such as incest and illegitimacy), as well as supernatural elements (e.g., ghosts and miracles). The tendency to avoid sexual content has led to the existence of many ballad texts in which someone murders their brother, sister, sweetheart, or child for no given reason. These two versions of "Mary Hamilton," one from each side of the Atlantic, have the same basic melody, though some variants of this ballad are performed to different tunes. Word has come from the kitchen And word has come to me That Mary Hamilton drowned her babe And throwed him into the sea. Down came the old Queen, Gold tassels around her head. "Oh Mary Hamilton, where's your babe That was sleeping in your bed?" "Oh, Mary, put on your robe so black And yet your robe so brown, That you might go with me this day To view fair Edinburgh town." She didn't put on her robe so black, Nor yet her robe so brown, But she put on her snow-white robe To view fair Edinburgh town. As she passed through the Cannogate [Cannongate], The Cannogate passed she, The ladies looked over their casements and They wept for this lady. As she went up the Parliament steps, A loud, loud laugh laughed she.
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As she came down the Parliament steps, She was condemned to dee [die]. "Oh, bring to me some red, red wine, The reddest that can be, That I might drink to the jolly bold sailors That brought me over the sea. "Oh tie a napkin o'er my eyes, And ne'er let me see to dee, And ne'er let on to my father and mother I died way over the sea. "Last night I washed the old Queen's feet And carried her to her bed, And all the reward I received for this - The gallows hard to tread. "Last night there were four Marys, Tonight there'll be but three. There was Mary Beaton and Mary Seton, And Mary Carmichael and me." 2. Tommy Jarrell (fiddle) Fred Cockerham: "Soldier's Joy" The five string banjo and the fiddle represent the most popular duo in the South Eastern United States. The fiddle primarily carries the melody, while the banjo reinforces it and provides rhythmic support. Both instruments contribute to the drone-like sound which underlies this very American musical expression. The banjo Fred is playing is simple in construction and has no frets which allows for a sliding bluesy sound.
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