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Full-Text Articles in History

The Little Mohea, Harvey Gurney Apr 1991

The Little Mohea, Harvey Gurney

Maine Song and Story Sampler

"The Little Mohea," also known by many other names and spellings, is an old song that likely developed from an older English broadside song known as "The Indian Lass." Most folklorists agree that "Mohea" probably developed in its American form among sailors, and some even point to whaling ships specifically.


Bye-Bye Longjohns, Jim Cahill, Dot Ruppell Jan 1991

Bye-Bye Longjohns, Jim Cahill, Dot Ruppell

Maine Song and Story Sampler

"Bye-Bye Longjohns" is a musical representation of how most Mainers feel by the time March rolls around. For some, this feeling comes even earlier. The song was written in western Maine over the course of the late twentieth century.


The Spring Of ‘65, Eddie Rollins Jan 1991

The Spring Of ‘65, Eddie Rollins

Maine Song and Story Sampler

In the old days of the Maine Lumberwoods, March and April marked the end of cutting and hauling lumber for the winter. As loggers came out of the woods, either before returning for the river drives or just headed home until next Winter, many made their way to cities and went on drunken sprees that became legendary.


Krakoviak, John Supruniuk Jan 1991

Krakoviak, John Supruniuk

Maine Song and Story Sampler

"Krakoviak" is a tune named after a style of dance that originated in the area around Kraków in southern Poland (there the dance is called krakowiak). The tune heard here is one of many variants of the song to which the dance is performed.


Jag Har En Vän (I Have A Friend), Chester Ringdahl Jan 1990

Jag Har En Vän (I Have A Friend), Chester Ringdahl

Maine Song and Story Sampler

"Jag har en van" is an old Swedish pietistic hymn, with words and music written by Nils Frykman in 1895. Swedish hymn writer Nils Frykman was part of the Swedish Free Church movement in old Sweden during the second half of the 19th century.


Raatikko, Walfred Hamari Jan 1988

Raatikko, Walfred Hamari

Maine Song and Story Sampler

"Raatikko" is a traditional Finnish song and dance. The song tells of a mountain in southern Finland, Kyöpelinvuori, which is known in Finnish mythology as the place haunted by the spirits of virgins who die young.


Youpe! Youpe! Sur La Riviere!, Mr. And Mrs. Lawrence Parent Jan 1980

Youpe! Youpe! Sur La Riviere!, Mr. And Mrs. Lawrence Parent

Maine Song and Story Sampler

A home-made song from Quebec, Youpe! came to Maine the same way many other songs traveled through Maine and the eastern Canadian provinces: with lumbermen who crossed the border in both directions. It was especially popular among French-Canadian lumberjacks who adapted to their own use an earlier song called "Le p'tit bois d'lail."


Green Corn Dance, Teresa Sappier Jan 1976

Green Corn Dance, Teresa Sappier

Maine Song and Story Sampler

The "Green Corn Dance" (or simply "Corn Dance") is a Penobscot song and dance tradition based on the legend of the first mother that tells of the origin of important horticultural plants. Briefly, the legend tells how first mother was sad because there was no food for her children.


The Wabassus Cannonball, George Macarthur Oct 1969

The Wabassus Cannonball, George Macarthur

Maine Song and Story Sampler

George MacArthur's song, "The Wabassus Cannonball," is a musical parody of the well-known American folk song "The Wabash Cannonball." The original song is about a fictional train and MacArthur's tune tells the story of how he and a friend, fellow guide Hazen Bagley, outsmarted two wardens and a judge to avoid a conviction for poaching.


The Irish Patriot, Dale Potter Apr 1969

The Irish Patriot, Dale Potter

Maine Song and Story Sampler

"The Irish Patriot" is a mysterious song. Judging by the title alone, one would guess it is of Irish origin, and after listening, the story told in the ballad would seem to confirm this suspicion. However, the song has only ever been collected in Maine, where it was likely a popular song among woodsmen, and the Maritime provinces of Canada.


The Picnic At Groshaut, Art Cahill Apr 1968

The Picnic At Groshaut, Art Cahill

Maine Song and Story Sampler

In Drive Dull Care Away: Folksongs from Prince Edward Island, Sandy Ives wrote, "This is one of those local songs you have to know something about ahead of time before it makes much sense, and the singing of it will almost always lead to comment on what really happened."


The Champion Of Moose Hill, Raymond Mace Jan 1968

The Champion Of Moose Hill, Raymond Mace

Maine Song and Story Sampler

“The Champion of Moose Hill” tells the true, comic story of a dance gone awry for one poor, inebriated soul.


The Banks Of Newfoundland, Mabel Worcester Jul 1967

The Banks Of Newfoundland, Mabel Worcester

Maine Song and Story Sampler

"The Banks of Newfoundland" is the title of at least six different songs. These are not variations on a single tune, but entirely different songs with different airs and lyrics. All share a common theme - the dangers of fishing or sailing off the coast of Newfoundland - but none are very similar.


Young Charlotte (Or Fair Charlotte), Ernest Lord Aug 1966

Young Charlotte (Or Fair Charlotte), Ernest Lord

Maine Song and Story Sampler

Young Charlotte is an old ballad native to North America. It has been a popular ballad all over North America from Newfoundland to South Dakota, and widely studied. It was so popular, in fact, that it inspired a doll called Frozen Charlotte.


The Blackwater Side, Bill Cramp Mar 1966

The Blackwater Side, Bill Cramp

Maine Song and Story Sampler

"The Blackwater Side" is one of many songs that came to Maine from the British Tradition. It is, as Bill Cramp called it, a "long love song." This ballad is one in a series of songs that consist of true lovers' discussions, but none are any more good humored than "The Blackwater Side."


The Depot Camp, Bill Cramp Mar 1966

The Depot Camp, Bill Cramp

Maine Song and Story Sampler

The song, written by James O’Hara, a woodsman from Maine, described the lumbering operation owned and operated by James McNulty of Bangor, Maine.


The Soldier’S Letter, Joseph Pagett Oct 1965

The Soldier’S Letter, Joseph Pagett

Maine Song and Story Sampler

“The Soldier’s Letter” was one of several songs from the American Civil War that became popular in Canada.


Cod Liver Oil, Omer Mckenna Sep 1965

Cod Liver Oil, Omer Mckenna

Maine Song and Story Sampler

"Cod Liver Oil" was a popular song from Newfoundland, so popular in fact that many have claimed it as a Newfoundland song. It's origins, however, are not so clearly traced.


The Teamster In Jack Macdonald’S Crew, Joseph Walsh Sep 1965

The Teamster In Jack Macdonald’S Crew, Joseph Walsh

Maine Song and Story Sampler

When Walsh sang "The Teamster in Jack MacDonald's Crew" for Sandy Ives, it was a song he had never heard before and did not hear from anyone after, despite his best efforts to find it. Walsh either learned the song while working near Katahdin Iron Works around 1911 or from a friend back on PEI, he was not entirely sure.


Wild Colonial Boy, Thomas Cleghorn Aug 1964

Wild Colonial Boy, Thomas Cleghorn

Maine Song and Story Sampler

"Wild Colonial Boy" is one of a few songs that came to Maine from Australia by way of Britain. This particular version was collected in Canada, but the singer learned it in the Maine woods, a point that underscores the close connections of Maine and the Maritimes economically and culturally.


John Roberts, Clarence Berry Dec 1963

John Roberts, Clarence Berry

Maine Song and Story Sampler

“John Roberts” is one of many woods songs that tells the sad tale of a river driver who died on the job.


The Schooner E.A. Horton, Margaret Hallett Dec 1963

The Schooner E.A. Horton, Margaret Hallett

Maine Song and Story Sampler

This song, which is native to Massachusetts, is based on a true story. On September 1, 1871 the E. A. Horton a Gloucester-based schooner was captured by the Canadian authorities in Nova Scotia.


Blueberries & Leathery Ice, Lindsey Smallidge Sep 1963

Blueberries & Leathery Ice, Lindsey Smallidge

Maine Song and Story Sampler

A pair of tall tales from Mount Desert Island.


The Good Old State Of Maine, James Brown Aug 1962

The Good Old State Of Maine, James Brown

Maine Song and Story Sampler

People have likely been singing, whistling, and humming while working for as long as music and work have existed. This relationship has developed twofold, both as a way to make work go faster (either by passing the time or establishing a rhythm for work) and as a means of expressing discontent with work or working conditions.


The Bull Moose Song, Linwood Brown Mar 1962

The Bull Moose Song, Linwood Brown

Maine Song and Story Sampler

"The Bull Moose Song" is a local lumber camp satire, with the joke at the expense of the operator, Frankie Malcolm.


Canaday-I-O, Robert French Mar 1962

Canaday-I-O, Robert French

Maine Song and Story Sampler

The major recurring theme in these folksongs from Maine and Maritime Canada is the flow of cultural products and people within the area of New Hampshire, Maine, and eastern Canada. But while this cultural and demographic exchange helped define the region, it did not mean there was no rivalry or animosity between states, provinces, or nations.


Old Horse Or The Sailor’S Grace, Robert French Mar 1962

Old Horse Or The Sailor’S Grace, Robert French

Maine Song and Story Sampler

"Old Horse" is an old sea song (dating at least back to the 1830s, and probably long before that) that expresses sailors' dissatisfaction with the quality of their food.


The Dungarvon Whooper, Billy Price Jan 1962

The Dungarvon Whooper, Billy Price

Maine Song and Story Sampler

The Dungarvon Whooper is arguably the most famous ghost in New Brunswick (the Burning Ship of Northumberland Strait is also widely known in eastern Canada, but multiple provinces can claim it as “their ghost”).


Heenan And Sayers, Mrs. Elwood Nickerson Jan 1962

Heenan And Sayers, Mrs. Elwood Nickerson

Maine Song and Story Sampler

The ballad "Heenan and Sayers" described an event so popular that it overshadowed a civil war.


Glou Glou Glou, Allan Kelly Aug 1961

Glou Glou Glou, Allan Kelly

Maine Song and Story Sampler

"Glou" appears in Helen Creighton's collection of Acadian folksongs, La Fleur du Rosier, as the "B" version of a song called "Le Matin Quand je me Leve," or "In the Morning When I Get Up." Both are versions of a French song well-known in French Canada and Louisiana, with a version dating back to at least 1658.