Tag Archives: 19th Century

Springfield Mountain

TITLE: Springfield Mountain AUTHOR: Unknown CATEGORY: Public Domain, Traditional KEYWORDS: death, animal, lover, injury, 19th Century, US History, Massachusetts EARLIEST DATE: 1836 HISTORICAL REFERENCES: Aug 7, 1761 – Death by snakebite of Timothy Myrick, often considered the inspiration for this song. There are many versions of this songs ranging from serious to comic. I first learned this read more »

Follow the Drinking Gourd

TITLE: Follow the Drinking Gourd AUTHOR: unknown CATEGORY: public domain, traditional KEYWORDS: slave, freedom EARLIEST DATE: 1928 (Texas Folklore Society) HISTORICAL REFERENCES: Folklore has it that fugitive slaves in the United States used “the drinking gourd” or what we know as the Big Dipper constellation as a point of reference so they would not get read more »

Polly Wolly Doodle

TITLE: Polly Wolly Doodle AUTHOR: unknown CATEGORY: Public Domain, Traditional EARLIEST DATE: 1880 (Harvard “Student’s Songs”) KEYWORDS: love, courting, nonsense, 19th century, comic HISTORICAL REFERENCE: The song appears in the existing manuscript for Laura Ingalls Wilder’s These Happy Golden Years exactly as it is used in the published version. The book spans the years 1882-1885 read more »

Ship That Never Returned, The

TITLE: The Ship That Never Returned AUTHOR: Henry Clay Work CATEGORY: Public Domain, Author Known KEYWORDS: sea, farewell, wreck, disaster EARLIEST DATE: 1865 (sheet music published by Root & Cady of Chicago) The Ship That Never Returned was written by Henry Clay Work (of Grandfather’s Clock and Marching Through Georgia fame) in 1865 and published read more »