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New York Folklore Quarterly, Vol. XXIV, No. 1, March 1968

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NEW YORK FOLKLORE QUARTERLY
Vol. XXIV, No. 1, March 1968

ARCADE REVISITED:
SOME ADDITIONAL NOTES FOR A PIONEER SONGSTER
Arthur F. Schrader

WHEN Harold W. Thompson, assisted by Edith E. Cutting, edited A Pioneer Songster (Ithaca, 1958) from the Stevens-Douglass manuscripts of songs sung in Western New York from 1841 to 1856, he made many of us his debtors. What he earlier had called the “Treasure of Arcade” is also a treasure of New England. Members of the Stevens family had followed a familiar New England pattern of the westward trek: Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Connecticut to New York (and then, later, on to Kansas). Artemas Stevens, the migrant to Wyoming County, thus became a Yorker by adoption, but his roots were in New England, and in New England it has been possible to find some of the tunes missing from his manuscript song book.

During the last few years a pleasant part of my work at Old Sturbridge Village has been comparing the 89 songs in A Pioneer Songster with other collections written or published before 1824 when Artemas Stevens, then in Massachusetts, “...had made a record of a few favorite songs...” These collections were not accessible to Dr. Thompson and Miss Cutting when they were doing their editing and annotating, so—standing on their shoulders —I now can add a few notes for three songs which they did not identify in A Pioneer Songster: “The Country Clown,” “The Sweeper,” and “Lady Washington.” All three appear in New England sources before 1820, the first two with music and text together, and the third easily re-united with its probable original music.
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