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Index of Traditional Works
Every culture has its traditional songs which date back to some remote time in a nation's or people's history. Some of these works from the British isles date back hundreds of years to the middle ages. Many traditional American songs originated in the periods before and after the Civil War. American songs in particular are rich and varied, resulting perhaps from the nation's condensed history (relative to most European or Asian countries) and the many and varied group which make up its population. From the spirituals sung by the enslaved and opressed, to ballads of life during the westward expansion, there is much to choose from. At some point I'd like to also add a collection of works from the Shakers, an American religious group that believed music was one of the great Gifts, and considered the creation of music or verse as one of the most important things in life.
Native American (8)Several of these adaptations are thought to be by H.W. Longfellow, although they do not seem to appear in the difinitive 1886 Riverside Edition of his Complete Works.
American Folk Songs and Spirituals (9)Unlike most of the British works listed above, most traditional American works are specifically 19th century in origin, and their popularization over a large and (for much of that time) sparsely populated country resulted in many differences in the number and content of stanzas, as well as variations in the refrains. Most of these are recalled by residents of this century based on simplified versions recorded by popular singers or from school songbooks.