Appalachian Ballads and Folk Songs


Professor: Phil Jamison

This class is an introduction to the unaccompanied ballad and folk song traditions of Appalachia. Students will learn Appalachian versions of British ballads that were brought to the southern Appalachians at the end of the 18th century as well as 19th century ballads that are native to America. In addition to singing, students will learn about the history of the ballads, their cultural context in Appalachia, and the ballad collectors ("songcatchers") who came to the region in the early 20th century. This class may include visits with local ballad singers living in western North Carolina.

Ballads will include: Barbara Allen, The Butcher Boy, Lord Thomas and Fair Ellender, Little Matty Groves, Black Jack Davy, The House Carpenter, Young Hunting, Two Sisters, Jackaroe, Pretty Fair Miss In A Garden, The Drowsy Sleeper, The Golden Vanity, Mary Hamilton, Pretty Polly, Omie Wise, Knoxville Girl, Pretty Saro, Fair and Tender Ladies, Farmer's Curst Wife, Four Nights Drunk, John Henry, John Hardy, and others.

Triad: Partially satisfies Artistic Expression.