Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Come and I Will Sing You: A Newfoundland Songbook

Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Come and I Will Sing You: A Newfoundland Songbook

Article excerpt

Genevieve Lehr (ed), Come and I Will Sing You: A Newfoundland Songbook (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2003), xviii + 210 pp. Paper. $224.95. £15.00. ISBN 0-8020-6586-4.

When Come and I Will Sing You was first published in 1983, it filled an obvious gap in the canon of Newfoundland songs in print. Unlike the great collections, which were created by scholars from Britain, America and Canada, it was compiled by two young Newfoundland women who were part of the folk revival which flourished across the English-speaking world from the 1960s. Almost all of the songs were collected in the mid to late 1970s from people who sang them all their lives, by Genevieve Lehr and Anita Best, and their appearance in print ensured that they became readily available to a new generation of performers.

Twenty years later, with Newfoundland regarded as Canada's most productive province for folk and folk-type bands, it has been re-issued and is sure to be welcomed by the many people who enjoy what Canadian record stores label as 'East Coast Music'. It is essentially the same book but it does have a new preface by Lehr who reveals that even she no longer owned a copy of the original. A new edition was clearly necessary.

To any one with even a superficial knowledge of Newfoundland music, a quick look at the titles of the songs contained within the collection reveals how rigorous Lehr and Best were when they travelled across and around Newfoundland to find singers and songs. …

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