Shawneetown Flood

DESCRIPTION: "In the town of Shawneetown, When the evening shades came down, On a quiet sabbath evening cold and gray," the bells ring to warn of a flood. Various people try to help, but many are killed. The song appeals for help for the victims
AUTHOR: probably G. B. Fields (see NOTES)
EARLIEST DATE: 1938 (Neely); probably published 1898
KEYWORDS: river flood death disaster
HISTORICAL REFERENCES:
Apr 3, 1898 - A levee failure causes Shawneetown, Illinois, to be flooded. 25 people are said to have been drowned, 200 homes destroyed, and communication with the outside world was cut off, meaning that relief was slow in coming
FOUND IN: US(MW)
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Neely, pp. 264-265, "Shawneetown Flood" (1 text)
McIntosh, pp. 13-14, "Flood of Shawneetown" (1 short text, 1 tune)
Cohen-AFS2, pp. 449-450, "Shawneetown Flood" (1 text)

Roud #4343
NOTES [76 words]: Neely's notes say that this song commemorates a flood which took place in 1913. However, Cohen found a broadside dating from an 1898 flood, and McIntosh says that the song "Flood of Shawneetown," or "Broken Hearts and Homes," was written by G. B. Fields (of Fairfield, Illinois), and published by the author in 1898. I incline to believe this acount. It is possible, however, that the 1913 flood kept the song in circulation until Neely collected it. - RBW
Last updated in version 4.3
File: CAFS449B

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