Book cover image for: Family Heritage: The Story and Songs of LaRena Clark

A Family Heritage: The Story and Songs of LaRena Clark

Edith Fowke and Jay Rahn

$27.95 CAD / $31.95 USD (S)

308 pages, musical scores

6 x 9 Inches

978-1-89517-636-0 (Paperback)

978-1-55238-337-7 (Institutional PDF)

June 1994

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About the Book

New folk music and folk-song materials in this comprehensive study are particularly important for singers, folk music enthusiasts, ethnomusicologists, comparative and cultural studies scholars, and those interested in Canadian culture.

LaRena Clark was a great singer and knew many fine songs. Her wide repertoire covers almost the complete range of types and topics of traditional Anglo-Canadian songs. Comparison with other collections in Canada, the United States, the British Isles, and Australia indicate just how unique and far-reaching it was. Clark’s background and her varied ancestry shaped her repertoire. The account of her parents’ activities gives a vivid picture of folk life in rural Ontario during the early years of this century. She knew some Canadian songs previously unreported, and she wrote songs with a strong Canadian flavour.

Musically, Clark’s songs are a microcosm of practices characteristic of British folk music throughout the English-speaking world. Particularly noteworthy is her constant reworking of traditional materials, procedures, forms, and individual tunes.

About the Authors

The late Edith Fowke, an internationally known folklorist, produced more than twenty books, countless articles and eight record albums devoted to Canada’s oral heritage.

Jay Rahn is a Canadian ethnomusicologist and is a Professor of Music at York University. He has published extensively on ethnomusicology, music theory, and music history.

Table of Contents


Women and Folksongs

My Relationship with LaRena

LaRena’s Repertoire

General Aspects of LaRena’s Singing by Jay Rahn

LaRena’s Story


Early Life

LaRena and Gordon

LaRena’s Songs and Records

LaRena Tells of Her Ancestors

LaRena Talks of her Songs

The Songs

1. Classic Ballands

The Dapple Grey

The King’s Daughter

Lord Gregory

Barbara Allen

The Gypsy Davy

There Was a Lord in Edinburgh

The House Carpenter

I’ll Go See My Love

The Golden Vanity

2. Songs of True Love

The Gallant Hussar

The Cottage on Yonder Moors

The Rifle Boys

The Lady Leroy

The Wars of Troy

The Banks of the Nile

Molly Vaughn

The Lass of Glenshee

Lovely Jimmy

My Irish Girl

Through Rocks and Hills Do Us Divide

Peggy Gordon

Lord Allan’s Daughter

King Henry Has Sent Me Free

I’ll Remember You, Love, In My Prayers

A Woman’s the Joy and the Pride of the Land

3. Songs of False Love

The Ship’s Carpenter

The Jealous Lover

Early, Early in the Spring

The Bonny Young Irish boy

The Butcher Boy

The False Young Man

Go and Bring Me Back the Boy I Love

Go and Leave Me If You Wish To

Adieu Unto Cold Weather

I Once Loved a Lass

Rattle on the Stovepipe

I’m Ruined, I’m Ruined Forever

The Hidden Question

Young Jimmy Brown

I’ll Go Seek for Another

4. Returned Lover Ballads

The Dark–Eyed Sailor

The Mantle So Green

Bloody Waterloo

George Riley

The Banks of Claudy

The Banks of Inverness

4. The Burns Connection

Burns and His Highland Mary

Highland Mary O

The Soldier Laddie

6. Bawdy Ballads

The Foggy Dew

Razinberry lane

The Little Ball of Yarn

The Roving Shantyboy

Green Grows the rashes O

Green Leaves So Green O

7. North American Romantic Ballads

The Lass of MOhee

The Young Indian Lass

The Chippewa Stream

The Banks of the Pembina

8. Comic Songs

Devilish Mary

Pat and His Old Leather Britches

Big Jackass Smelling of Partridge

Jane McInnery from Cork

I Had But Fifty Cents
Come Tiddly Wink Some Day

The Burglar Boy

9. Irish Songs

The Drowning of Willie Leonard

The Banks of Newfoundland

The Cruiskee Lawn

10. English Songs

The Old Country Fair

The Faggot Cutter

Thyme, ‘Tis a Pretty Flower

The Rich and the Poor

Bonny Black Bess

11. American Songs

The Texas Rangers

The Cowboy’s Lament

Young Charlotte

The Arkensas Traveller

Never Going to Cease My Wandering

The Ploughboy

12. Local Canadian Songs

Bridget from Washago

Drill, Ye Tarriers, Drill

Memories of the Miramichi

13. Lumbering Songs

The Farmer’s Son and the Shantyboy

Fine Times in Camp Number Three

Hurry Up, Harry

The Squire Boys

The Raftsmen’s Song

14. LaRena’s Composition

O Canada, Land of Our Homeland

Buckskin Baby

Tuscarora Maiden

Woes of Two Fisherman

Hawkestone on the Shores of Lake Simcoe

LaRena’s Palce in Musical Tradition

By Jay Rahn

Summing Up

Sources and References for LaRena’s Songs

LaRena’s Family Songs

LaRena’s Recordings

LaRena’s Compositions

Publications Cited

Recordings Cited

Index of Songs

Index of First Lines