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Hear My Sad Story

Condition: BRAND NEW
ISBN: 9781501700026
Author(s): Richard Polenberg
Format: Hardcover
Year: 2015
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Dimensions: 156 x 30 x 235 (w x l x h)
Pages: 304

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Description:
Read an excerpt and listen to the songs featured in the book at / In 2015, Bob Dylan said, 'I learned lyrics and how to write them from listening to folk songs. And I played them, and I met other people that played them, back when nobody was doing it. Sang nothing but these folk songs, and they gave me the code for everything that's fair game, that everything belongs to everyone.' In Hear My Sad Story, Richard Polenberg describes the historical events that led to the writing of many famous American folk songs that served as touchstones for generations of American musicians, lyricists, and folklorists. Those events, which took place from the early nineteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries, often involved tragic occurrences: murders, sometimes resulting from love affairs gone wrong; desperate acts borne out of poverty and unbearable working conditions; and calamities such as railroad crashes, shipwrecks, and natural disasters. All of Polenberg's accounts of the songs in the book are grounded in historical fact and illuminate the social history of the times.
Reading these tales of sorrow, misfortune, and regret puts us in touch with the dark but terribly familiar side of American history. On Christmas 1895 in St. Louis, an African American man named Lee Shelton, whose nickname was 'Stack Lee,' shot and killed William Lyons in a dispute over seventy-five cents and a hat. Shelton was sent to prison until 1911, committed another murder upon h
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