July 21, 2006
Happy pioneer day!
Music has been a part of the Mormon tradition from the very beginning. Whether it was hymns or folk songs, it seems there was music created to mark most important occasions. For instance we have the dedication of the Kirtland, Ohio, temple to thank for "The Spirit of God" in our hymn books today.
And the migration West was no exception. The wagon company of 1847, nearly 160 years ago, was hardly under way before William Clayton came up with his new version of "All is Well" which we know as "Come, Come Ye Saints." And it was 150 years ago when the first of many handcart companies set out for the Rocky Mountains. They pushed and pulled their way across a continent finding strength in "The Handcart Song."
This week in celebration of Pioneer Day on July 24th-- a state holiday in Utah -- we feature Mormon folk songs from the Library of Congress Archive of Folk Culture. These examples were recorded in 1946 and 1947 by Austin Fife and his wife Alta on a trip covering Utah gathering songs passed on in the folk tradition -- either learned firsthand from the writer or passed down in families and communities through the generations.
That's this week, on the Cricket and Seagull...