2016 Student Research Conference:
29th Annual Student Research Conference

Ancient Ballads in the New World: A Cultural Study of the Scotch-Irish, Their Migration, and Their Music
Patrick B. McGlasson
Dr. David Robinson and Dr. Adam Davis, Faculty Mentors

The migration of people from the British Isles to the United States is well-worn territory in the field of history, but there is one group that has been largely overlooked by the textbook narratives of English planters, Irish laborers, and Puritans zealots ? the Scotch-Irish mountaineers. When they came to North America this group brought little with them. In their satchels and trunks they tucked items practical and sentimental, but the most persistent artifacts have been the songs which required no luggage space. Unbeknownst to the outside world, these ballads, reels, and airs remained with their descendants across Appalachia for centuries. Using the ballad catalogs of Francis Child and the recordings of the Lomax family among other sources, this paper follows the journey of these ballads from their home in the British Isles, through their dormancy in Appalachia, to their eventual reemergence during the first half of the twentieth century.

Keywords: Appalachia , Ballads, British Migration, Folklore, Max Hunter Catalog, Lomax Catalog , Scotch-Irish, Folk Music Revival


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: -2
Location: MG 2090
Time: 1:15

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