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Abby Sale Origins: Canadee-I-O / Canaday-I-O (15) RE: canadee-i-o history 18 Apr 06

It's the Nic Jones version that gets me. I suppose we'll never know where his tune and text come from - if the tune is related to the tune used for, but not given in, the Forget Me Not Songster. My impression of the Songsters is that the itinerant salesmen would sing some (as did the earlier broadside salesmen) but that most songs had well-known tunes. That is, a song was unlikely to be in a Songster unless it had a well-known tune.

My point is that the Love Song can easily be followed to America but not its tune. There is no question in my mind that the Forget Me Not Songster Love Song was the basis of the Labor Protest Song in Maine. (You can't always distinguish them by title alone.)

I'd add to Malcolm's points the vague notion that the Love Song also deals with travel to a far place, effort and failure of purpose. That may have aided Ephraim Braley in writing the text for the Labor Protest Song. The Maine tunes for both are known but not necessarily for the Love Song tune before it got to Maine.

See Fannie H. Eckstorm & Mary W. Smyth in Minstrelsy of Maine; Houghton Mifflin; 1927 (republished by Gryphon Books, Ann Arbor; 1971) deals in some detail with "Canaday-I-O" on page 21 et seq.


Fannie H. Eckstorm's article, "Canada I-O;" Bulletin of the Folk-song Society of the Northeast; (Cambridge, MA, 1933, no. 6, page 10) which includes her more extensive historical treatment. There, she gives both texts and both tunes of the "before" and "after" songs taken from tradition.

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