Come and I Will Sing You: A Newfoundland Songbook
Published: October 2003© 2003
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Page Count: 220 Pages
Dimensions: 5.90 x 8.78
220 Pages, 5.90 x 8.78 x 0.53 in
Newfoundlanders have long and lustily sung their folksongs, and the tradition remains strong today. Despite modern influences, the old songs persist, mixed with new songs that are composed to record the events of our time. This is the first major collection of Newfoundland folksongs compiled and edited by native Newfoundlanders. It concentrates on songs of local composition largely ignored by earlier collectors and presents a significant number of songs never before published.
For most of the last decade Lehr and Best have been travelling around the island recording the voices and favourite songs of anyone, young and old, who would perform. Recordings took place in family kitchens, on stage heads, and in trap stores while the singer knitted twine or repaired lobster pots, aboard ships at anchor or en route to some small deserted harbour. Humming engines, blowing oilstoves, or clattering supper dishes provided accompaniment.
The 120 songs collected here by Lehr and Best have been transcribed by Pamela Morgan and illustrated by Elly Cohen. Some recall the distant past of a long and rich seafaring tradition; others tell of such recent tragedies as the displacement of outport people and the sinking of the Ocean Ranger. The selection represents the state of the folk-song in Newfoundland today; in some part it documents what is lost and forgotten, but it also celebrates what has survived, and thrives.
'...the book stands as an important collection of lesser-known Newfoundland songs. Reading it gives a glimpse of the incredibly rich song traditions that are so much a part of the Newfoundland folkways. There is a sense, in this book, of a growing energy and enthusiasm about the old song traditions. To an outsider, the importance of these traditions appeared to be waning in the face of the onslaught of the media and the introduction of mainland musical forms such as country music. Come and I Will Sing You is a clear indication that the small and dedicated corpus of revivalists in the province are hay-ing a positive effect. From this dedication we now have access to a fine collection of great songs.'T.B. Rogers, Canadian Journal of Traditional Music
'It's great to have Come and I Will Sing You back in print. This was the first book of Newfoundland folksongs that was created not by visiting scholars but by young Newfoundlanders who set out to discover and document the musical culture of their homeland. Their unique artistic collection is filled with songs-many of them locally composed-that convey the history, aspirations, and values of plain working Newfoundlanders in eloquent verse and music.'Neil V. Rosenberg, Professor of Folklore, Memorial University of Newfoundland