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NATIVE KENTUCKY BALLADS / 033
Fanny Patrick


This piece does not seem to me to be a viable "ballad" in the sense of being sung in oral tradition. The reference comes from a letter typed in 1914 by Katherine Pettit that I stumbled on among the Hindman Settlement School papers at Hutchins Library, Berea College.

The letter—stating that the "Miss DeLong" had found the song "over on Cutshin"—was accompaned by typed pages containing the words to the ballad. Pettit mentions in a footnote, Mr. W. A. Bradley of New Canann, Connecticut. This was William Aspenwall Bradley who traveled in eastern Kentucky and wrote several articles about his experiences, also a book of poetry called "Old Christmas" (1917) that had numerous Kentucky inspired pieces.

I cannot trace "Fanny Patrick" back to Bradley definitively, but it seems to me the kind of thing that he might have written—but if so, how did Miss DeLong find it on Cutshin Creek? Its theme of a mountain woman facing destitution in the absence of her husband does not seem the kind of topic a traditional ballad compposer would write about. It is from the perspective of an outsider. At any rate, it is included here for the sake of interest.

fanny patrick 2

fanny patrick 3


Last Update: August 26, 2011