MORMON FOLK SONGS - Smithsonian Institution mormon folk songs introduction and notes on the...

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Transcript of MORMON FOLK SONGS - Smithsonian Institution mormon folk songs introduction and notes on the...

  • I

    FQlK,VAYS RECCR)S ALBUM NO. FP 36 COPYRIGHT 1952 BY FOLKWAYS RECORDS & SERVICE CORP. 117 w. 46 ST. NYC

    MORMON FOLK SONGS INTRODUCTION AND NOTES ON THE RECORDINGS BY WilLARD RHODES

    THII ALBUM or UUIIC II A SOCIAL AND CULTURAL HISTORY or THE DEVELOPMENT or THE STATE or UTAH IN FOLK SONG. EARLY IN MY QUEIT 'OR THIS RARE AND VALUABLE MATERIAL I LEARNED THAT THE HISTORY or UTAH IS THE HISTORY or THE MORMON CHURCH. THE IE REGIONAL FOLK SONaI ARE TRULY MORMON FOLK SONGS FOR THEY HAVE BEEN INSPIRED BY THE CHURCH AND THE LIFE or THE MORMON COIIIIUNITY. THE CHURCH IS THE DOIIINANT AND CONTINUING INFLUENCE ON THE INDIVIDUAL AND THE COIIIIUNITY IN UTAH TODAY. IN ADDITION TO RETELLING IN A MOST ENTERTAINING MANNER THE STORY 0' THE IETTLING or THE ITATE, THESE SONGS, WITH THEIR ,IDE RANGE or SU8..IECT MATTER, DEPICT THE DAY-BY-DAY LIVING or THE PEOPLE AND COIIIIUNICATE TO UI THEIR MARVELOUS SPIRIT.

    THE UUSIC or THE MORMON FOLK lONGS IS RARELY ORIGINAL. 'OLK HYUNS, COUNTRY FIDDLE TUNES, BRITISH BALLAD MELODIES AS WELL AS THOSE or THE AMERICAN BARD, STEPHEN FOSTER, HAVE BEEN ADAPTED TO THEIR NEEDS AND USED AI A FRAUE-

    WORK FOR THE NEW AND ORIGINAL MORMON LYRICS. "COlE COIlE YE IAINTS" (1I,NO.2) 18 SET TO

    I n It AN OLV FOLK HYMN-TUNE, ALL II WELL, WHICH APP~ARED IN THE GEORGIA SAC REp HaRP OF 1844. IT HAS BEEN REPRINTED AS NO. 58 IN SPIRITUAL FOLK SONGS or EARLY aMERICA BY GEORGE :U~LEN "ACKSON. "WHOAI HAl IIUCK AND JEAIIY lIoY (I ,NO.2) HAS BEEN F"I TTED TO THE POPULAR COUNTRY DANCE- TUNE "TURKEY IN THE STRAti". "THE HAND CAAT SONG" (I, NO • .) IS BASED ON ANOTHER COUNTRY DANCE-TUNE, KNOWN UNDER THE GORY TITLE or liTHE KING OF THE CANN(BAL ISLANDI" (P. 84 IN DANCES or OUR PIONEEAS BY GRACE L. RYAN). STEPHEN FOSTER'I "OH, SUIANNA" FURNISHED THE MELODY FOR "UCK, THE MORMON ENGI NEER" (',No.6)

    THE 80NG8 ARE PRE8ENTED HERE IN THE SIMPLE, UNADORNED MANNER IN WHICH THEY WEAE 8UNG A- ROUND CAMP 'IREI AND IN HOIIE8 IN THE PAST. NO ACCOMPANIMENT HAS BEEN ADDED. THE SINGER, MR. LAlOVI M. HILTON, CAME IIY . THE8E 80NGS NATURALLY. IN HI8 CHILDHOOD HE HEARD HI8 GRANDMOTHER AND HI8 PARENT8 SING THEM. WITH THE ENTHUSIASM AND ARTISTRY 0' A NATURAL-BORN SINGER, MR. HilTON TAKES DELIGHT IN SHARING THESE SONGS WITH OTHERS. A LIFE-LONG MEIIIER or THE "MORMON" CHURCH, HE IS I N THE HI GH PAlEST'S PRESIDENCY OF THE OGDEN STAKE or ZION. 'OR THE PAST TWENTY SEVEN YEARS, HE HAS SERVED AS A POLICE or'ICER or OGDEN CITY, UTAH, AND IS PRESENTLY SUPERINTENDENT 0' THE BUREAU or IDENTIFICATION AND RECORDI.

  • THE E~IC or THE MORMON MIGRATION rROM THE EAITERN UNITED ITATEI INTO THE LITTLE-KNOIN REGIONI or THE rAR W£IT IN THE MIDDLE or THE NINETEENTH CENTURY II ONE or THE MOaT EXCIT- ING AND MOVING CHAPTERI IN AMERICAN HIITORY. rOLLOWINa HI8 DIICOVERY or THE GOLDEN TABLET8 CONTAINING THE BOOK or MORMON NEAR PALMYRA, NEW YORK, JOSEPH IMITH rOUNDED THE CHURCH or JE8U8 CHRIIT or LATTER-DAY IAINTS, POPULAALY KNOWN AS THE MORMON CHUACH. IN 1831 HEAD- QUARTEAI WEAE EITA8LI8HED AT KIRTLAND, OHIO. WI TH I N A rEW YEAAS THE "SA I NTS" HAD MOVED 1.8 rAA WEITWARD AS INDEPENDENCE, MISSOURI. THEAE MIIUNDERITANDINGS LED TO OONrLIOT WITH THEIR "GENTILE" NEIGHBORS AND THE COLONY MOVED TO NAUVOO, ILLINOII. IN 1842 NAUVOO WAa THE LAAGEaT TOIN IN THE STATE AND HELD A OHAATER WHICH GAVE IT VIATUAL AUTONOMY WITH THE RIGHT TO MAINTAIN ITa OIN MILITIA AND COUATS AND TO PAas LAWS NOT IN CONrLI CT WITH THE aTATE AND rEDERAL CONSTITUTIONS. AGAIN ENVY AND rEAR AMONG THEIR NON-YORYON NEIGHBORS, INCREAaED 8Y DISIENlJON WITHIN THEIR OWN RANKS, BROUGHT TROUBLE AND THE ARREST or JOSEPH SIIITH AND H\8 BROTHER, HYRAM, CHARGED WITH TREASON, ON JUNE 24, 1846. THREE DAYS LATER THEY WERE MURDERED BY BY AN ANGRY MOB THAT BAOKE INTO THE JAIL AT CARTHAGE, ILLINOIS.

    DRIVEN rROM THEIR HOWES BY PERSEOUTION AND VIOLENCE, THE MORMONS BEGAN THEIR HISTORIC TREK WESTWARD TO lEEK A NEW "ZION" UNDER THEIR NEWLY-ElEOTED LEADER, BRIGHAM YOUNG. THE EXHORTATION TO rLEE "TO THE MOUNTAINS or EPHRAIM" AND THE \lROMISE or A "HAVEN or IArE- TY IN Z I ON" ARE ELOQUENTLY PRESENTED I N THE lONG, "OH BAIYLON, OH iAlYLONS"(II,NO.I). THE JOURNEY WAS rlLLED WITH PHYSICAL HARDSHIP AND sUrrERING. MANY DIED ALONG THE WAY. AT ONE TIME WHEN THE DISOOURAGEMENT or THE PEOPLE HAn REACHED THE POINT or DESPAIR AND HOPELESS"EIS, BRIGHAM YOUNG AIKED WilLIAM OLAYTON TO WRITE A HYMN TO RALLY THEIA SPIRIT. WITHIN A COUPLE HOURa CLAYTON WR01E AND PRE8ENTED TO HII LEAnER "COME, COME YE SAINT8", (1I,No.2), A NT '" WHICH _HA~ IE~OIE THE THEME or THE CHURCH or JE8US CHRIST or LATTER-DAY 8AINTS. IT YAY IE HEARD ON THE IUNDAY RAni 0 BROADOA8TS or THE MORYON CHOIR rROM THE TABERNACLE IN 8ALT LAKE OITY. ITI 10lACI"GI RErRAI", "ALL IS WELL", RENEWED AND IUITAIKED THE rAITH or THEIE COURAGEOUS PIONEER8 ON THEIR RUGGED JOURNEY.

    VIEW OF NAUVOO CITY.

    T HE A SSASSINATION OF J OSEPH S'MI.fUl..

  • THOUGH THE ~OURNEY WAS HARD, THERE WERE MOMENTS or GAIETY, rUN AND COURTSHIP AS IS EVIDENCED IN THE liVELY SONe;;, "WHOA! HAl BUCK AND ~ERRY BoY" ((I,NO.2). DANCING IS REGARDED BY THE MORMONS AS A HEALTHY, NOR- MAL MED I UM or 80C I Al EN~oYMENT AND CONSTI- TUTEI AN IMPORTANT PART or THE PROGRAM or THE MUTUAL IMPROVEMENT ASSOCIATION, A CHURCH- 8PONSORED ORGANIZATION, DEVOTED TO THE MORAL AND 80CIAl DEVELOPMENT or THE YOUNG PEOPLE.

    MISSIONARY WORK HAS BEEN A MA~OR ACTIVITY or THE MORMONI rROM THE EARLY DAYS or THE CHURCH DOWN TO THE PRE8ENT. THERE ARE rEW PlACE8 IN THE WORLD TODAY THAT HAVE NOT BEEN VISITED BY THE MORMON MIS810NARIES. CONVERTS rRQU THE BRITISH ISLES, THE ICANDINAVIAN OOUNTRIES AND GERMANY, CAME I N LARGE NUMBERS TO ~Ol N THE I R MORMON BRETHREN HERE IN AMERICA. TODAY THEIR DE- 8CENDENTS ARE AN INTEGRAL PART or UTAH'S POPULATION. rOR MANY or THE EUROPEAN MEM- BERS or THE PARTY lED BY BRIGHAM YOUNG, THE ~OURNEY IUS ESPEC I ALLY RI GOROUS.

    lACKING WAGONS, HOR8ES, OXEN, AND THE MEANS TO PROCURE THEM, THEY WERE OBLIGED TO MAKE THE lONG TRIP ACROSS THE PLAINS ON fOOT, PU8HING AND PUlliNG THEIR fEW POSSESSIONS IN HAND CARTS. THEIR STORY IS RELATED IN "THE HAND CART SONG" (I,NO:I).

    THE EARLY YEARS Of THE SETTLEMENT WERE DiffiCULT ONES. fOOD WAS SCARCE AND OfTEN THE PIONEERS WERE OBLIGED TO SATISfY THEIR HUNGER BY EATING THE ROOTS or THE NATIVE SAGO lilY. "THE SAGO lilY" (I,NO.3) EXPRE .. U THE AffECTIONATE REGARD IN WHICH THE PEOFlE Of UTAH HOLD THEIR STATE flOWER.

    FOllOWING THE HARD WINTER OF 1849 THE MORMONS SUffERED A NEW AND THREATENING MENACE TO THEIR ECONOMIC SECURITY. THEIR fiELDS or GRAIN WERE ATTACKED BY A HORDE or CRICKETS AND WOULD HAVE BEEN OOMPlETELY DESTRoYED HAD IT NOT BEEN fOR THE MIRAOUlOUS IHTER- VENTI ON OF THE SEA GULLS. "SEA GULL. AND CRICKET8" (I,NO.4) REOOUNTS THI8 BIT Of lOCAL HISTORY IN A VIVID MANNER. THERE STANDI IN THE TEMPLE 'QUARE Of IAlT LAKE CITY A MONUMENT TO THE SEA GUllS OOUUEMORA- TING THIS EVENT.A ITATE LAW PROHIBITS THE KILLING or THESE BIRD •• ).{ORlf:O~ EllIGRA.TlON'.

  • THE MORMONa WERE MOST FORTUNATE IN THEIR CHOICE OF A LEADER. BRIGHAM YOUNG WAS A NAN OF GREAT VISION, EXTRAORDINARY EXECUTIVE AND ADMINISTRATIVE ABILITY, AND A PERSONAL- ITY THAT INSPIRED IN HIS FOLLOWERS LOYALTY AND DEVOTION TO THEIR CAUSE AND THE WILL TO SUCCEED. "HARD TIMES, COME AGAIN NO NORE" (11,NO.3),REPUTED TO BE BRIGHAN YOUNG'S FAVOR- ITE SONG, IS A DIRECT, SIMPLE STATEMENT OF THE FAITH AND OPTIMISM WHICH ANIMATED HIM AND HIS PEOPLE. ".HAT'S THE USE OF REPIN- ING" (II,NO.6)SETS FORTH MORE OF THE HOWELY, PRAGMATIC PHILOSOPHY OF THESE HARDY PIONEERS AND THEIR INDOMITABLE PERSEVERANCE. INDUSTRY WAS STRESSED AS A VIRTUE, AND THE BEEHIVE BECAME A SYNBOL OF THE MORMONS.

    AT A MASS MEETING HELD IN 1868, THE PEOPLE PASSED A RESOLUTION TO ASSIST IN THE BUILD- ING OF THE UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD THROUGH THEIR COUNTRY. BRIGHAN YOUNG ACTED AS CON- TRACTOR TO 'SUPPLY LABORERS TO THE COMPANY. "THE ECHO CANYON SONG" (I, No.5), MADE AND SUNG BY BRI COHAM YOUNG'S "MORMON BOYI" FUR- NISHES INTERESTING SIDELIGHTS ON THE BUILD- ING OF THE UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD AND THE PREVAILING ATTITUDE OF THE MORMONS TOWARD THIS NEW NEANS OF CONUUNICATION AND TRAVEL. CERTAIN GROUPS OF PEOPLE OPPOSED THE IN- TRUSION OF THE RAILROAD INTO THEIR "ZION" AND VOl CED THE I R SE NT I MENTS I N OTHER SONGI.

    IN 1862 BRIGHAN YOUNG ANNOUNCED THE DOCTRINE OF PLURAL MARRIAGE BAaED ON ~08EPH SMITH'S VISION OF 1843. THE qUEITION OF POLYGAMY BE- CANE A BURNING ISaUE IN THE NID-NINETEENTH CENTURY AND MUCH OF THE PERSECUTION OF THE "SAl NTS." WAS FOMENTED BY NON-IofORNONS WHO WERE I NCENaED BY TH IS NORMON DOCTRI ME AND PRAOTICE. IN I .~ CONGRESa PAllED A UW AGAINIT POLYGAMY WHICH WAS AINED 10LELY AT UTAH. IN 1890 PRESIDENT WILFORD WOODRUFF MADE A STATEMENT ON POLYGAMY WHICH WADE IT POilliLE FOR UTAH TO BE ADNITTED TO THE UNION IN 1896. IN "ZACK, THE NORNON ENGIN- EER" (I,NO.6» THE SUB~ECT OF POLYGAMY la TREATED IN A LIGHT AND HUNOROUa WAY.

    THE "pROIoII8ED LAND" REFERRED TO I N "GATHER ROUND THE CAaP FIRE, BRETHREN" (11,NO.4) WAa KNOWN TO THE MORMONS Aa THE "STATE OF DEaERET". IT HAD IEEN BRIGHAM YOUNG'S HOPE THAT THE UTAH TERRITORY WOULD BE ADMITTED TO THE UNION AS THE STATE OF DESERET. SOME- THING OF THE PRESENT GREATNESS AND IMPOR- TANCE OF UTAH IS PROPHESIED IN THE SECOND VERSE OF tHIS SONG.

    THE LAST SONG OF TH IS COLLECT ION, "HAVE COURAGE, NY BOY, TO SAY NO" (11,NO.s), WITH ITa LEasON IN MORALITY, HAS SERVED NORMON PARENTS IN CHARACTER-BUILDING ANIl THE TRAINING OF YOUTH. IT IS AN EXAMPLE OF THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION OF THE TEACHINGS OF THE CHURCH TO THE PROBLEMS OF LIFE. THE aOCIAL AND RELIGIOUS EDUCATION OF MORNON YOUTH IN THE HONE AND CHURCH IS A VITAL