State of Arkansas, The (The Arkansas Traveler II) [Laws H1]

DESCRIPTION: A traveler arrives in Arkansas and finds that it fully meets his (lack of) expectations. He "never knowed what misery was till I come to Arkansas." His boss had promised that the state would make him a different man, and he is: He is now badly starved
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1906 (Belden)
KEYWORDS: poverty humorous hardtimes starvation
FOUND IN: US(Ap,MW,SE,So) Ireland Canada(Newf)
REFERENCES (30 citations):
Laws H1, "The Arkansas Traveler"
Randolph 347, "The State of Arkansas" (4 texts plus 2 excerpts, 3 tunes)
Randolph/Cohen, pp. 288-290, "The State of Arkansas" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 347A)
Belden, pp. 424-426, "Bill Stafford" (2 texts)
Welsch, pp. 49-50, "Bill Stafford" (1 text)
Cohen-AFS1, p. 363, "My Name is John Johanna" (1 text)
Cohen-LSRail, pp. 560-566, "Way Out in Idaho" (2 texts, 1 tune; the main text and tune are "Way Out in Idaho (I)", but a secondary text is a version of this piece)
BrownIII 331, "Arkansas Traveller (II)" (2 texts)
BrownSchinhanV 331, "Arkansas Traveler (II)" (2 tunes plus text excerpts)
Browne 138, "Arkansas Traveler (II)" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Hudson 80, p. 208, "Tocowa" (1 short text with "Tocowa," not Arkansas, the site of the singer's bad experience)
Moore-Southwest 190, "The State of Arkansas" (1 text, 1 tune)
Owens-1ed, pp. 226-228, "Sanford Barnes" (1 text, 1 tune)
Brewster 52, "The Arkansaw Traveler" (2 texts)
Dean, pp. 8-9, "The Arkansas Navvy" (1 text)
Neely, pp. 210-212, "William Stafford" (1 text)
Thomas-Makin', pp. 171-172, (no title) (1 text)
Friedman, p. 434, "The Arkansaw Traveler" (1 text)
Lomax-FSUSA 71, "The State of Arkansas" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-FSNA 167, "The State of Arkansas" (1 text, 1 tune)
JHCox 53, "An Arkansaw Traveller" (3 texts)
SharpAp 170, "Old Arkansas" (1 text, 1 tune)
Boswell/Wolfe 42, pp. 74-76, "An ARkansas Traveller (Bill Stafford)" (1 text, 1 tune)
Asch/Dunson/Raim, p. 44, "My Name Is John Johanna" (1 text, 1 tune)
SHenry H0, p. 53, "The State of Arkansaw" (1 text, 1 tune)
Darling-NAS, pp. 225-226, "Old Arkansas" (1 text)
Silber-FSWB, p. 46, "The State of Arkansas" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: Fred W. Allsopp, Folklore of Romantic Arkansas, Volume II (1931), pp. 46-53, texts of both "The Arkansas Traveler" and "The State of Arkansas," with folktale variants, a reproduction of a painting of the fiddler and traveler, and background information
Richard M. Dorson, _Buying the Wind: Regional Folklore in the United States_, University of Chicago Press, 1964, pp. 402-403, "William Stafford" (1 text)

Roud #257
Almanac Singers, "State of Arkansas" (General 5018A, 1941; on Almanac01, Almanac03, AlmanacCD1)
Paddy Duggan, "Arkansas" (on MUNFLA/Leach)
Kelly Harrell, "My Name is John Johanna" (Victor 21520A, 1927; on KHarrell02, AAFM1, HardTimes1)
Pete Seeger, "State of Arkansas" (on PeteSeeger19, AmHist2)
Pete Seeger & Sonny Terry, "Arkansas Traveller" (on SeegerTerry)

cf. "The Barnyards o' Delgaty" (theme)
cf. "Joe Bowers" (tune -- some versions)
cf. "Diamond Joe (I)" (tune, lyrics)
cf. "Way Out in Idaho (I)" (lyrics)
NOTES [89 words]: This should not be confused with the fiddle tune "Arkansas Traveler," or with the minstrel-show sketch from which it derives. -PJS
Paul Stamler reports that this is "Credited to Sanford Barnes of Buffalo, [Missouri]." Many other authors, however, have been listed, e.g. Belden knows of an attribution to T. W. Shelton and another to Pat Kelly. Carmer credits Ransom C. Cook. Eckstorm traces it back to "Canada I O." I incline to think all the claims false -- though I wouldn't be surprised if the author really was from Missouri.... - RBW
Last updated in version 4.3
File: LH01

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