Audio Recordings Poor Ellen Smith
- Poor Ellen Smith
- Contributor Names
- Jabbour, Alan (Transcriber)
- Jabbour, Alan (Collector)
- Reed, Henry, 1884-1968 (Performer)
- Created / Published
- Reed family home, Glen Lyn, Giles County, Virginia, October 28, 1967
- Subject Headings
- - Instrumental music
- - Fiddle tunes
- - Folk music--Appalachian Region
- - Airs
- - Ethnography
- - Music
- - Field recordings
- - United States -- Virginia -- Giles County -- Glen Lyn
- Field recordings
- - Key: D
- - Meter: 4/4
- - Strains: 2 (high-low, 4-4)
- - Compass: 8
- - Rendition: 1r-2r-1r-2r-1
- - Performed by Henry Reed, fiddle.
- - Duration: 1 minute, 25 seconds
- - Phrase Structure: ABCD QB'CD (abcd efgh qbq'd efgh)
- - Spoken: ALAN JABBOUR: That's pretty./WOMAN: I always liked that./HENRY REED: "Ellen Smith," it is a pretty tune./ALAN JABBOUR: Do you know the words?/HENRY REED: No, I never--I expect I have knowed some of them, but I don't know a bit of them now./NETTIE REED: I
- - Recording chronology: 184
- - Related Tune(s): How Firm a Foundation
- - Henry Reed called this air "Poor Ellen Smith," and it is the usual tune to the American murder ballad of that name (see Laws, Native American Balladry, p. 196, F11). The tune is a secular adaptation of an old hymn tune, used for "How Firm a Foundation." An interesting feature of Henry Reed's playing on this air is his use of the flattened third (F on the E-string)--almost like a vocal grace note.
- Audio tape
- Call Number
- AFC 1969/008: AFS 13705B32
- Source Collection
- Alan Jabbour duplication project, part 2
- American Folklife Center
- Digital Id
Rights & Access
The Library of Congress is not aware of any U.S. copyright protection (see Title 17, U.S.C.) or any other restrictions in the material in this collection, except as noted below. Users should keep in mind that the Library of Congress is providing access to these materials strictly for educational and research purposes. The written permission of the copyright owners and/or other holders of rights (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) is required for distribution, reproduction, or other use of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item and securing any necessary permissions ultimately rests with persons desiring to use the item. See our Legal Notices for additional information and restrictions.
The Center asks that researchers approach the materials in this collection with respect for the culture and sensibilities of the people whose lives, ideas, and creativity are documented here. Researchers are also reminded that privacy and publicity rights may pertain to certain uses of this material.
Photographs in this collection produced by Carl Fleischhauer, Karen Singer Jabbour, and Kit Olson are reproduced here with their permission. Mr. Fleischhauer does not object to additional use of the photos he created provided he is credited as the photographer. Persons contemplating other kinds of uses or use of the other photographers' work should contact the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.
Please cite the source collection title, collection number, and repository, for example:
Alan Jabbour duplication project, part 1 (AFC 1967/007), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress
Alan Jabbour duplication project, part 2 (AFC 1969/008), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress
Fiddle tunes of the old frontier: the Henry Reed collection online presentation (AFC 1999/016), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress
Rights assessment is your responsibility.
More about Copyright and other Restrictions
For guidance about compiling full citations consult Citing Primary Sources.