Jean Ritchie, the youngest of fourteen children born and raised in Viper, Kentucky, is considered one of the greatest balladeers in this century. Her performances have influenced the resurgence of interest in folk music and given audiences a glimpse into the heart of Appalachia. Jean Ritchie's Swapping Song Book brings together twenty-one songs from the Cumberland Mountains of Kentucky. Many are old songs, brought over by settlers from Scotland, Ireland, and England. Child ballads, gospel music, play party tunes, and frolic songs have been handed down by family members, with each generation adding or embellishing verses and melodies. This new edition retains the original text, written by Ritchie, and includes her husband George Pickow's beautiful photographs to help illustrate the stories of such songs as "Jubilee," "The Old Soap Gourd," and "Ground Hog." A new foreword by Charles Wolfe shows how Ritchie's collection of songs is "part of the rich folk poetry" that makes up Appalachian culture.
"Presents 21 traditional songs of the Cumberland Mountains, interspersed with rich, descriptive text and photos by her husband, George Pickow." -- Ashland Independent
"From a time not so long ago, when television was non-existent and even radio was scarce, comes this wonderful collection of folksongs." -- Kentucky Living
"A wonderful remembrance of bygone days." -- Kentucky Monthly
"One of the finest authentic traditional folk singers we have in the United States today." -- New York Times
"Will be of interest to anyone who loves folk music, has a child to entertain, or who is a Jean Ritchie fan." -- Paintsville Herald