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Apr 18, 2021 - 11:51:02 AM
6 posts since 3/9/2021

I am very curious if anyone knows of any Old time songs that have lyrics or the name of the song in a language other than English. Are there any collections of songs in other languages spoken in America like French/Pennsylvania German/Native Languages/Creoles ect? Are there any Canadian songs in Gaelic or French that made their way in to the modern American old time tradition?

Apr 18, 2021 - 12:39:55 PM

10893 posts since 4/23/2004

First thing that comes to mind is "La Bastringue", which is a French-Canadian fiddle tune.

Apr 18, 2021 - 1:03:10 PM

280 posts since 4/14/2014

There are several collections of Pennsylvanich Deitch secular songs. I think you need to ask what constitutes old-time, really? Here in western Pennsylvania, there are still fiddlers who play tambura. I don't think most folk would call that old-time, but it is a traditional folk music with deep historic ties to this region as much as the Anglo fiddle tunes gathered in Westmoreland and Fayette Counties.

Apr 18, 2021 - 4:44:13 PM

6 posts since 3/9/2021

quote:
Originally posted by Nic Pennsylvania

There are several collections of Pennsylvanich Deitch secular songs. I think you need to ask what constitutes old-time, really? Here in western Pennsylvania, there are still fiddlers who play tambura. I don't think most folk would call that old-time, but it is a traditional folk music with deep historic ties to this region as much as the Anglo fiddle tunes gathered in Westmoreland and Fayette Counties.


Just for the sake of this thread and my interest I am looking for pre 1950's music from the United States and Canada traditionally played or converted to be played on ,fiddle,banjo,dulcimer,mandolin or guitar. I don't want this turning in to a philosophical discussion on what Old Time is.

Apr 18, 2021 - 4:49:22 PM

280 posts since 4/14/2014

Understood, Tom. That's why I wanted to be sure to stress the importance in the fiddle in tambura music, which is common around Western Pennsylvania. There are still clubs, some going back to the 1920s and I have old 78s from the 1920s and 1930s.

So, it is a traditional fiddle music that has more than a hundred years of importance and evolution here. That's why I consider it to fall into the general umbrella of "old-time".

Also, its lyrics are in several languages, mostly Balkan languages.

Edited by - Nic Pennsylvania on 04/18/2021 16:50:09

Apr 18, 2021 - 4:53:40 PM

280 posts since 4/14/2014

Also, the Deitsch frown upon playing musical instruments, so while I have some collections of their secular songs, they're really only sung, so I don't know if it would fall into what you're looking for.

I would maybe consider expanding the instrument selection to include accordion, as there are several regions which use them extensively, often with many familiar song choices. This includes Quebec , the American Southwest, Mexico, and Wisconsin (some Scandinavian languages are sung).

Edited by - Nic Pennsylvania on 04/18/2021 17:04:14

Apr 18, 2021 - 7:48:32 PM
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5962 posts since 3/11/2006

The "Old Mines" region of SE Missouri was home to a French tradition of singing and fiddling that dates back to the French settlement of Missouri. The region was known for its lead mining. Christeson included some tunes from from the area in his "Old Time Fiddler's Repertory", and H.M. Belden also included a few songs from the area in his Missouri folksongs collection.

The title track of my now out of print "The Old Bluetick" cassette tape was one of these tunes.

I'm not sure of the status of the tradition. I believe there were a few young folks in recent years that may have been trying to keep it going.
Maybe try doing a search for the Old Mines style on Google.

Edited by - R.D. Lunceford on 04/18/2021 19:49:49

Apr 18, 2021 - 8:24:17 PM
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39 posts since 2/18/2021

There are many French Canadian (Quebecois) tunes that might fit your criteria. Most of the French-Canadian tunes I know are fiddle tunes, and I don't know if there are lyrics or not (besides La Bastringue mentioned above). BTW, the only French Canadian banjo player I ever met was a guy named Jean-Paul Loyer, who played tenor banjo and wrote a lot of his own tunes.

The band La Bottine Souriante plays Quebecois music and a does a lot of singing, so they might be a good source (although they get pretty far out from traditional sometimes). Genticorum and La Vent du Nord are two more great bands that are typically more traditional than La Bottine.

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