“Mr. Morris’s collection is large and inclusive…a collection in which the student of American balladry can find much of value and interest.”—Christian Science Monitor
“Not only represents Florida, but…also contains a number of songs which are to date unique in the United States.…Notes on the sources and variants of each song and a bibliography help make this the valuable addition that it is to…state and regional collections of folksongs.”— U.S. Quarterly Booklist
For this collection, Alton Morris selected 243 folksongs gathered in the late 1930s from more than a hundred singers in 49 of Florida’s 67 counties. Headnotes identify each song’s source and its historical or social context. Among the distinctions of Morris’ book are the large proportion of texts attached to transcriptions of the tune to which they were sung and the unusually unbiased nature of his selection procedure. The result is a collection that more truly than most reflects the complete singing traditions of a regional cultural group, in this case Floridians primarily of Anglo-American extraction.
The late Alton C. Morris was Professor of English at the University of Florida and founder and for thirty years editor of Southern Folklore Quarterly.