In short, Acadians did not allow harsh weather, poor soil conditions, and an uncertain (or even hostile) political conditions to limit their culinary choices.
“Benjamin Deane” is a classic example of a confessional ballad, with a man in prison lamenting how he came to be there: bootlegging, adultery, and murder.
Blueberries & Leathery Ice
A pair of tall tales from Mount Desert Island.
Maine has a long and broad tradition of boat building, and in many coastal towns boat launches were a social event.
Breakfast in Hell
In the story heard here, the central character, when faced with a logjam early in the morning, claims he will break the jam or eat his breakfast in Hell and is subsequently killed when the jam breaks.
Eric Dow talks about how he came to build the type of boat known as a “peapod.”
Jim Cahill and Dot Ruppell
"Bye-Bye Longjohns" is a musical representation of how most Mainers feel by the time March rolls around. For some, this feeling comes even earlier. The song was written in western Maine over the course of the late twentieth century.
The major recurring theme in these folksongs from Maine and Maritime Canada is the flow of cultural products and people within the area of New Hampshire, Maine, and eastern Canada. But while this cultural and demographic exchange helped define the region, it did not mean there was no rivalry or animosity between states, provinces, or nations.
Cod Liver Oil
"Cod Liver Oil" was a popular song from Newfoundland, so popular in fact that many have claimed it as a Newfoundland song. It's origins, however, are not so clearly traced.
Flunking a Test & Hiroshima
The stories recounted here by Lydia Franz concern her experience in the United States Army as a cryptanalyst during World War II.
Glou Glou Glou
"Glou" appears in Helen Creighton's collection of Acadian folksongs, La Fleur du Rosier, as the "B" version of a song called "Le Matin Quand je me Leve," or "In the Morning When I Get Up." Both are versions of a French song well-known in French Canada and Louisiana, with a version dating back to at least 1658.
Green Corn Dance
The "Green Corn Dance" (or simply "Corn Dance") is a Penobscot song and dance tradition based on the legend of the first mother that tells of the origin of important horticultural plants. Briefly, the legend tells how first mother was sad because there was no food for her children.
"Guy Reed" is one of several songs by one of the great woods songmakers in Maine and the Maritimes, Joe Scott. Guy Reed, son of Joseph and Remember Mitchell Reed, was born in 1874 in the Byron, Maine area, and died in a logging accident just a few miles above Livermore Falls, Maine, on September 9, 1897.
Heenan and Sayers
Mrs. Elwood Nickerson
The ballad "Heenan and Sayers" described an event so popular that it overshadowed a civil war.
Herring and Pollock
To say that “Herring and Pollock” is a fish story is an understatement.
Jag har en vän (I Have a Friend)
"Jag har en van" is an old Swedish pietistic hymn, with words and music written by Nils Frykman in 1895. Swedish hymn writer Nils Frykman was part of the Swedish Free Church movement in old Sweden during the second half of the 19th century.
“John Roberts” is one of many woods songs that tells the sad tale of a river driver who died on the job.
Kluskap and His Twin Brother
Viola Solomon and Henrietta Black
The story heard here is one of many Wabanaki tales of Kluskap, a Wabanaki culture-hero.
"Krakoviak" is a tune named after a style of dance that originated in the area around Kraków in southern Poland (there the dance is called krakowiak). The tune heard here is one of many variants of the song to which the dance is performed.
Learning Family Healing Traditions
The story told here explains the process of teaching traditional medicine to a new generation. In Natalia Bragg's case, it was something of an accident.
Life on the Farm in the Old Days
Sunny Stutzman's story relates some basic differences between life on the farm in the old days and now, but also generally differences between life on the farm and anywhere else in society.
Albert "Cap" Collins
In this story, Albert "Hap" Collins talks about his maternal grandfather who worked as a mail carrier, delivering mail from the mainland to Long Island in Blue Hill Bay.
Man Made Lake
Gaylon "Jeep" Wilcox
“Man Made lake” is a commentary on the flooding of a twenty-five mile stretch of the Dead River in Western Maine, which submerged Flagstaff Plantation, Dead River Plantation, and Bigelow Township
Mary of the Wild Moor
"Mary of the Wild Moor" originated on English broadsides of the early 19th century and has been collected throughout the United States and Canada. It tells the story of a young woman returning home to her family and the tragic results that ensue.
Old Horse or The Sailor’s Grace
"Old Horse" is an old sea song (dating at least back to the 1830s, and probably long before that) that expresses sailors' dissatisfaction with the quality of their food.
Browse through all the songs and stories from the Maine Song and Story Sampler by title here. The Sampler contains songs and stories from the Maine Folklife Center's collection from about fifty areas of Maine and the Maritimes, creating a representative sample of geographical and cultural traditions.
Printing is not supported at the primary Gallery Thumbnail page. Please first navigate to a specific Image before printing.