This is one of a bare handful of the most important early books that collected the folk music of the Southern Mountains. This book includes the musical scores - the words with the notes - to 148 versions of 51 different songs! Additional verses and background information are given for other 400 different variations of different ballads. The Introduction includes an essay on "The History of the Ballad Movement in Virginia." The author, Arthur Kyle Davis (1897-1972), was a Rhodes Scholar, who earned a PhD in English from the University of Virginia, and taught there his whole life. In 1923, Charles Alphonso Smith, the founder the Virginia Folklore Society asked him to find songs cataloged by Francis James Child in England that were still being sung in Virginia. Six years later, Harvard University Press published this comprehensive book. After this was published he broadened his work to include the collecting of all Virginia folk songs, not just Child ballads. He and fellow members of the Society recorded 2529 songs, using the cumbersome equipment of the time. During the 1955-56 academic year he taught a graduate class at U. Va. on ballads, folksongs, and folklore.
Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, a 1969 hardback reprint of a 1929 release. 634 pages with a Index of Titles and four Appendices.