Jean Ritchie's Kentucky Mother Goose


Item: #860767
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Our Perspective

This book with a CD is a treasure. It's a joy to read and a bonus to listen to Ritchie talk with Brumfield about songs and chants of her childhood. Her voice is sweet and clear. I even learned there was a second verse to God Bless the Moon! - Kathy


Jean Ritchie's Kentucky Mother Goose
Songs and Stories from My Childhood
By Susan Brumfield and Jean Ritchie
Book and CD

Jean Ritchie's Kentucky Mother Goose is a collection of songs, rhymes and stories recalled by Jean from her childhood. Growing up in a small Kentucky town, she was surrounded by ballads, hymns, play-party songs, singing games and dulcimer tunes. The youngest of 14 children, she was part of a singing family. Her father Balis taught her the dulcimer and "Uncle Jason" was a collector of "big ballads" and songs. In her 90s, Jean returned to the earliest recollections of her songs and the stories that surrounded them that comprise this collection.

This anthology contains transcriptions of the songs sung by Jean on the enclosed CD, annotations and notes on the songs and related stories. The audio recordings include Jean singing for collector Alan Lomax in the 1940s and '50s and for Susan Brumfield in the 2000s.

Filled with family photos from Jean's childhood and photos by her husband George Pickow, this book is a window into the musical beginnings of an American treasure.

Foreword by Jon Pickow with Jean Ritchie
Preface by Susan Brumfield

One: Songs at Home
Churning Song
Darby's Lamb (The Darby Ram)
God Bless the Moon
Hush, Little Baby

Two: Counting-Out and Other Rhymes
A Guessing Game
A Man of Words and Not of Deeds
Blindman's Bluff
Froggy in the Meadow
Jean, Jean Had a Machine
Georgie Bum-Borgie
Jaybird, Jaybird, Sittin' on a Limb
Take It Off or Knock It Off
Trot-a-Little Horsie
William Tremmytoe

Three: Schoolyard Play and Singing Games
Among the LIttle White Daisies
Chick-to-ma, Chick-to-ma Cranie Crow
Go In and Out the Window
Golden Ring Around the Susan Girl
Green Gravel
Jenny, Put Your Kettle On
King William
London's Bridge
Mommy, Mommy, I Am Sick
Old Roger Is Dead
Poor Little Kitty Puss
The Old Soap Gourd
Two Dukes A-Rovin'
Who Killed Cock Robin?

Four: Just for Fun: "Straight Songs"
Bandyrowe (Kitty Alone)
Bangum Rid by the Riverside
Big Glass Doll
Built My Love a Fine Brick House
Dance to Your Daddy
Jemmy Taylor-O
Killy Kranky
Mama Told Me (Old Shoe Boots)
Mammy Had an Old Goose
My Good Old Man
Old Daddy Grumble
Old King Cole Was a Jolly Old Soul
Old King Quine
Skin and Bones
Soldier, Soldier
The Hunting Tale
The Tree in the Valley-O
Where Are You Going, Little Birdie?

Notes on the Recordings
CD Track Listing


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