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Selected and edited by Edith Fowke.
Markham, ON: Penguin, 1986.
224pp., paper, $8.95.
ISBN 0-14-070842-1 CIP.

Subject Heading:
Folk songs-Canada.

Grades 7 and up / Ages 12 and up

Reviewed by Joan Weller.

Volume 15 Number 3
1987 May

Highly recommended, this compilation of songs is intended for an English-speaking audience. With only a sampling of the best-known French Canadian songs, the collection features songs from all parts of Canada, with emphasis on Newfoundland and Ontario. The songs are divided into nine sections: "Echoes of History," "The Sea," "The Woods," "The Land," "Social Life," "True Loves," "Trials of Love," "British Broadsides," and "Ancient Ballads." Nearly all the songs, whose tunes are reproduced (in treble clef) as faithfully as possible, date back a century or more. Some songs, for example, "The Petty Harbour Bait Skiff," are by known authors or come from singers whose names are provided in the notes. The compiler advises readers that she has tried to satisfy both academic folklorists, "by printing songs exactly as they were collected," and singers," by modifying the words to make them more singable."

Keith MacMillan, music consultant for the book, has provided guitar chords where appropriate, transcribed some songs from tapes, and transposed some music into keys suitable for singing. Fowke's "Notes," reveal her academic recording of sources for each song and are very readable. Unpublished songs are identified by singer and the date of recording.

This revised edition includes an updated bibliography, discography, and index to titles and first lines. Here is an indispensable reference tool for music scholars and historians and a popular and interesting collection for musicians and teachers.

Joan Weller, Ottawa P.L., Ottawa, ON.
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