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Book Cover
Author Marcus, Greil, author.

Title Three songs, three singers, three nations / Greil Marcus.

Publication Info. Cambridge, Massachusetts : Harvard University Press, 2015.


Location Call No. Status
 PAS Central Library Non-Fiction, 1st Floor    782.42162 MAR    Available
Description 164 pages : illustrations ; 19 cm.
text rdacontent
unmediated rdamedia
volume rdacarrier
Series The William E. Massey Sr. lectures in the history of American civilization ; 2013
William E. Massey, Sr. lectures in the history of American civilization ; 2013.
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index.
Contents Inflection : "Ballad of Hollis Brown," Bob Dylan -- Disappearance and forgetting : "Last kind words blues," Geeshie Wiley -- World upside down : "I wish I was a mole in the ground," Bascom Lamar Lunsford.
Summary Greil Marcus has been one of the most distinctive voices in American music criticism for over forty years. His books, including Mystery Train and The Shape of Things to Come, traverse soundscapes of folk and blues, rock and punk, attuning readers to the surprising, often hidden affinities between the music and broader streams of American politics and culture. Drawn from Marcus’s 2013 Massey Lectures at Harvard, his new work delves into three episodes in the history of American commonplace song: Bascom Lamar Lunsford’s 1928 “I Wish I Was a Mole in the Ground,” Geeshie Wiley’s 1930 “Last Kind Words Blues,” and Bob Dylan’s 1964 “Ballad of Hollis Brown.” How each of these songs manages to convey the uncanny sense that it was written by no one illuminates different aspects of the commonplace song tradition. Some songs truly did come together over time without an identifiable author. Others draw melodies and motifs from obscure sources but, in the hands of a particular artist, take a final, indelible shape. And, as in the case of Dylan’s “Hollis Brown,” there are songs that were written by a single author but that communicate as anonymous productions, as if they were folk songs passed down over many generations.
Subject Folk songs, English -- United States -- History and criticism.
Dylan, Bob, 1941- Ballad of Hollis Brown. 1964.
Lunsford, Bascom Lamar, 1882-1973. I wish I was a mole in the ground. 1928.
Wiley, Geechie. Last kind words blues. 1930.
Folk musicians -- United States.
ISBN 9780674187085 (cloth : alk. paper)
0674187083 (cloth : alk. paper)

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