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I Wonder as I WanderThe Life of John Jacob Niles$

Ron Pen

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780813125978

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813125978.001.0001

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(p.339) (p.340) (p.341) Sound Recordings of John Jacob Niles’s Music

(p.339) (p.340) (p.341) Sound Recordings of John Jacob Niles’s Music

Source:
I Wonder as I Wander
Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky

Recorded by Niles

Marion Kerby (contralto) and John Jacob Niles (tenor), with piano accompaniment. Negro Exaltations, Roycroft 172 (78 rpm disc), ca. 1930–1933.

  • He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands
  • Just Like a Tree Planted by the Water

Early American Ballads, “Collected and Arranged by John Jacob Niles, Mountaineer Tenor with Dulcimer accompaniment,” RCA Red Seal M 604-1 through M 604-8 (an album of four 78 rpm discs, Victor 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, with booklet of notes and texts), November 1, 1939.

  • The Gypsie Laddie (2016-A)
  • My Little Mohee (2016-B)
  • I Wonder as I Wander (2017-A)
  • Lulle Lullay (The Coventry Carol)(2017-B)
  • The Seven Joys of Mary—Part 1 (2018-A)
  • The Seven Joys of Mary—Part 2 (2018-B)
  • The Ballad of Barberry Ellen—Part 1 (2019-A)
  • The Ballad of Barberry Ellen—Part 2 (2019-B)

Street Cries, RCA Red Seal label (later expanded and re-released as John Jacob Niles Sings American Folk and Gambling Songs), 1939.

  • Gambler Don’t Lose Your Place at God’s Right Hand
  • My Little Black Star
  • Gambling Song of the Big Sandy
  • Gambler’s Lullaby
  • (p.342) I’m a Roving Gambler
  • Street, Field, and Jailhouse Cries (two sides)

Early American Carols and Folksongs, “Collected and Arranged by John Jacob Niles, Mountaineer Tenor with Dulcimer accompaniment,” M 718 (an album of four 78 rpm discs, Victor 2119, 2120, 2121, 2122, with booklet of notes and texts), fall 1940.

  • Jesus, Jesus Rest Your Head
  • Down in Yon Forest
  • See Jesus the Savior
  • Who Killed Cock Robin
  • The Frog Went Courting
  • When Jesus Lived in Galilee
  • Jesus the Christ Is Born
  • The Cherry Tree
  • The Old Woman and the Pig
  • The Carrion Crow

John Henry/Jack O’ Diamonds, RCA Victor 2051 (78 rpm disc), 1940.

  • John Henry
  • Jack O’ Diamonds

American Folk Lore Volume 3, “Collected and arranged by John Jacob Niles, Mountaineer Tenor with Dulcimer accompaniment,” Red Seal label M-824 (an album of four 78 rpm discs, Victor 2171, 2172, 2173, 1807, with booklet on songs and texts), October 1941.

  • You Got to Cross That Lonesome Valley
  • The Lass from the Low Countree
  • Black Is the Color
  • Go’,Way from my Window
  • One Morning in May
  • The Wife of Usher’s Well
  • The Death of Queen Jane
  • Little Mattie Groves

John Jacob Niles—Early American Folk Carols, Disc 732 (three 10-inch 78 rpm discs with 8-page booklet), 1946.

  • Seven Joys of Mary (6040 A)
  • Seven Joys of Mary, Part Two (6040 B)
  • The Little Liking (6041 A)
  • Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John (6041 B)
  • (p.343) I Wonder as I Wander (6042 A)
  • Carol of the Birds (6042 B)
  • Carol of the Angels (6042 B)

John Jacob Niles—Child Ballads, Disc 665 (two 78 rpm discs), 1947.

  • Barbara Allan
  • Edward
  • Mattie Grove

John Jacob Niles, Vol. 2—American Ballads and Folk Songs, Disc album 733 (three 78 rpm discs, with notes and text), in the 1947 catalog.

  • John Henry (6014 A)
  • Who Killed Cock Robin (6014 B)
  • Frog Went a-Courtin’ (6015 A)
  • Lass from the Low Countree (6015 B)
  • Jack O’ Diamonds (6016 A)
  • Goo’,Way from My Window (6016 B)

Six Favorite Folk Songs, Camden CAE-197 (7-inch extended-play 45 rpm disc), 195?

  • Black Is the Color
  • The Ballad of Barberry Ellen
  • I Wonder as I Wander
  • The Old Woman and the Pig
  • The Frog Went Courting
  • The Carrion Crow

Folk Songs of Christmas, Camden CAE 205 (7-inch extended-play 45 rpm disc), 195?

  • The Twelve Days of Christmas
  • The Kentucky Wassail Song
  • Jesus, the Christ Is Born
  • The Seven Joys of Mary
  • See Jesus the Saviour

Folk Songs of Christmas Volume II, Camden CAE 206 (7-inch extended-play 45 rpm disc), 195?

  • Sing We the Virgin Mary
  • The Cherry Tree
  • Lulle Lullay
  • Jesus, Jesus Rest Your Head

(p.344) John Jacob Niles: American Folk Love Songs, Boone Tolliver Records BTR 22 (10-inch 33⅓ rpm disc), recorded at Boot Hill February 5–12, 1952, released November 5, 1952.

  • The Little Mohee
  • The Lass from the Low Countree
  • The Cuckoo
  • Go’,Way from My Window
  • Black Is the Color of My True Love’s Hair
  • Oh Waly, Waly
  • The Rosy Peach
  • The Turtle Dove
  • I’m Goin’ Away

Ballads by Niles, Boone Tolliver Records BTR-23 (10-inch 33⅓ rpm LP disc), recorded at Boot Hill February 5–12, 1952, released November 5, 1952.

  • Little Mattie Groves
  • The Gypsy Laddie
  • Mary Hamilton
  • Barberry Ellen

John Jacob Niles Sings American Folk and Gambling Songs, Camden CAL 219 (33⅓ rpm LP disc), 1956.

  • The Two Sisters
  • The Old Woman and the Pig
  • The Frog Went A-Courtin’
  • The Carrion Crow
  • Edward
  • The Hangman
  • I’m in the Notion Now
  • The Farmer’s Curst Wife
  • The Three Hunters
  • Who Killed Cock Robin
  • Jack O’ Diamonds
  • The Roving Gambler
  • Gambler Don’t Lose Your Place at God’s Right Hand
  • The Gambler’s Lullaby
  • The Gambling Song of the Big Sandy River
  • Little Black Star
  • American Street, Field, and Jailhouse Cries

(p.345) John Jacob Niles Sings American Folk Songs, Camden CAL 245 (33⅓ rpm LP disc), 195?

  • You Got to Cross
  • The Lass from the Low Countree
  • Black Is the Color
  • Go ’Way from My Window
  • One Morning in May
  • Wife of Usher’s Well
  • Death of Queen Jane
  • Little Mattie Groves
  • The Gypsy Laddie
  • My Little Mohee
  • I Wonder as I Wander
  • Lulle Lullay
  • Seven Joys of Mary
  • Ballad of Barberry Ellen

50th Anniversary Album, Camden CAL 330 (33⅓ rpm LP disc), November 1956.

  • Cuckoo
  • Lord Bateman and the Turkish Lady
  • Jimmy Randal
  • John of Hazel Green
  • Carol of the Birds
  • That Lonesome Road
  • John Henry
  • The Wife Wrapt Up in Wether’s Skin
  • The Cruel Brother
  • Down in Yon Forest
  • Molly Vaughan
  • Mary Hamilton
  • Earl Brand

I Wonder as I Wander: Traditional Love Songs and Carols by John Jacob Niles, Tradition TLP 1023 (33⅓ rpm LP disc), November 27, 1957.

  • Little Mohee
  • The Sea Witch
  • The Irish Girl
  • Go’,Way from My Window
  • In That Lovely Far-Off City
  • Look Down That Lonesome Road
  • I Wonder as I Wander
  • When Jesus Lived in Galilee
  • (p.346) Lulle Lullay
  • Black Is the Color
  • Venezuela
  • I Had a Cat
  • The Lass from the Low Countree
  • John Henry
  • I’m Goin’ Away

An Evening with John Jacob Niles, Tradition TLP 1036 (33⅓ rpm disc), November 12, 1959.

  • Carol of the Birds
  • Turtle Dove
  • I’m in the Notion Now
  • Sing We the Virgin Mary
  • Black Dress
  • Cuckoo
  • O Waly, Waly
  • When I Gets Up into Heaven
  • Frog in the Spring
  • Seven Joys of Mary
  • Roving Gambler
  • You Got to Cross That Lonesome Valley

Folk Festival at Newport, Volume 3, Vanguard VSD 2055 (33⅓ LP disc, side 1, track 6), 1959.

  • The Hangman (Maid Freed from the Gallows)

The Ballads of John Jacob Niles, Tradition TLP 1046 (two 33⅓ rpm discs), October 15, 1961.

  • Bowie, Bowerie
  • Brother’s Revenge
  • Jimmy Randall
  • The Murdered Brother
  • Bonny Farday
  • Old Bangum
  • The Cherry Tree
  • Lardy Margot and Love
  • Who’s Goin’ to Shoe Your Pretty Little Foot
  • Little Mattie Groves
  • Barb’ry Ellen
  • The Hangman
  • The Shepherd’s Daughter and the King
  • (p.347) Fair John and the Seven Foresters
  • The Fency King and the English King
  • The Death of Queen Jane
  • Mary Hamilton
  • The Lady and the Gypsy
  • The Dreary Dream
  • The Good Old Man
  • The Unwilling Bride
  • The Old Woman and the Devil
  • The Weep Willow Tree
  • John of Hazel Green

Folk Song and Minstrelsy, Vanguard SRL 7624 (anthology of four 33⅓ rpm LP discs, side 7/7), 1962.

  • The Hangman

John Jacob Niles Sings Folk Songs, Folkways FW 02373 (33⅓ rpm LP disc, reissue of Disc recordings made by Moses Asch), 1964.

  • Frog Went A-Courting
  • I’m So Glad Trouble Don’t Last Always
  • Who Killed Cock Robin
  • John Henry
  • Go Find My True Love
  • I Had a Cat
  • The Frog in the Spring
  • Posheen, Posheen, Posho
  • The Lass from the Low Countree
  • Jack O’ Diamonds
  • I Wonder as I Wander
  • Go ’Way from My Window

John Jacob Niles: Folk Balladeer, RCA V513 (33⅓ rpm disc, reissue of RCA Red Seal recordings of 1939–1940), 1965.

  • Love Henry (Young Bunting)
  • Our Goodman (Old Cuckold)
  • The Maid Freed from the Gallows
  • Edward
  • Jimmy Randal
  • The Ballad of Barberry Ellen
  • Bonnie Farday (Babylon)
  • The Cherry Tree
  • The Gypsy Laddie
  • Mary Hamilton

(p.348) The Best of John Jacob Niles, Tradition, released on Everest S-2055 (33⅓ rpm LP disc), 1967.

  • The Hangman
  • Mary Hamilton
  • The Dreary Dream
  • Jack O’ Diamonds
  • The Roving Gambler
  • Frog Went A-Courting
  • Little Mohee
  • Go ’Way from My Window
  • I Wonder as I Wander
  • Black Is the Color

The Asch Recordings Vol. 2, Folkways AA 004, 1939–1945 (recorded in 1939 and released on two 33⅓ rpm LP discs), 1967.

  • Little Mattie Groves

The John Jacob Niles Collection, Gifthorse G4-10008 (cassette), 1992.

  • The Hangman
  • The Rovin’ Gambler
  • Venezuela
  • I Wonder as I Wander
  • The Black Dress
  • Barb’ry Ellen
  • Go ’Way from My Window
  • Froggie Went A-Courtin’
  • You’ve Got to Cross That Lonesome Valley
  • Jack O’ Diamonds
  • Black Is the Color of My True Love’s Hair
  • Carol of the Birds
  • Little Mattie Groves
  • Goin’ Away
  • 1964 Interview with Studs Terkel

John Jacob Niles: My Precarious Life in the Public Domain, Revola REV 138 (CD),2006.

  • Love Henry
  • Our Goodman
  • The Maid Freed from the Gallows
  • Edward
  • Jimmy Randal
  • The Ballad of Barberry Ellen
  • (p.349) Bonnie Farday
  • The Cherry Tree
  • The Gypsy Laddie
  • Mary Hamilton

An Evening with John Jacob Niles, Empire 545 450 832-2 (CD, digital reissue of Tradition Recordings), 2006.

  • The Carol of the Birds
  • Jack O’Diamonds
  • The Turtle Dove
  • I’m in the Notion Now
  • Sing We the Virgin Mary
  • Lulle Lullay
  • The Black Dress
  • The Cuckoo
  • O Waly, O Waly
  • When I Gets Up into Heaven
  • The Frog in the Spring
  • The Seven Joys of Mary
  • The Roving Gambler
  • You Got to Cross That Lonesome Valley

John Jacob Niles: I Wonder as I Wander, Carols and Love Songs, Empire 545 450 802-2 (CD, digital reissue of Tradition recordings), 2006.

  • Waken Little Shepherd
  • Jesus, Jesus, Rest Your Head
  • Frog Went A-Courtin’
  • Little Mohee
  • The Sea Witch
  • The Irish Girl
  • Go ’Way from My Window
  • In That Lovely Far-Off City
  • Look Down That Lonesome Road
  • I Wonder as I Wander
  • When Jesus Lived in Galilee
  • Lulle Lullay
  • Black Is the Color of My True Love’s Hair
  • Venezuela
  • I Had a Cat
  • The Lass from the Low Country
  • John Henry
  • I’m Goin’ Away

(p.350) The Ballads of John Jacob Niles, Essential Media Group 942 311 018-2 (two CDs, digital reissue of Tradition recordings), 2007.

  • Bowie, Bowerie
  • Brothers Revenge
  • Jimmy Randal
  • The Murdered Brother
  • Bonny Farday
  • Old Bangum
  • The Cherry Tree
  • Who’s Goin’ to Shoe Your Pretty Little Foot?
  • Little Mattie Groves
  • Barb’ry Ellen
  • The Hangman
  • The Shepherd’s Daughter and the King
  • Fair John and the Seven Foresters
  • The Fency King and the English King
  • The Death of Queen Jane
  • Mary Hamilton
  • The Lady and the Gypsy
  • The Dreary Dream
  • The Good Old Man
  • The Unwilling Bride
  • The Old Man and the Devil
  • The Weep Willow Tree
  • John of Hazel Green

Selected Recordings by Others

Jacqueline Roberts (soprano) and Nancie Field (piano). Songs by John Jacob Niles, Mrs. John J. Niles, Lexington, KY, TR 1608234 (cassette), recorded at Track 16 studio, Lexington, KY, January 24, 1980.

  • Go ’Way from My Window
  • The Lass from the Low Countree
  • Ribbon Bow
  • My Lover Is a Farmer Lad
  • Little Black Star
  • The Gambler’s Wife
  • Wild Rider
  • Unused I Am to Lovers
  • The Lotus Bloom
  • Written in the Stars
  • (p.351) A Flame Within
  • Its I Have Lived So Constantly with Sorrow
  • Calm Is the Night
  • Fond Aff ection
  • Symbol
  • Figures on a Hill
  • The Flower of Jesse
  • Come Gentle Dark
  • Sweet Little Jesus
  • Songs of the Earth
  • The Robin and the Thorn
  • Softly Blew the East Wind
  • What Songs Were Sung
  • The Blue Madonna

Jacqueline Roberts (soprano) and Nancie Field (piano). The Niles-Merton Songs, Op. 171 and 172, self-produced cassette, 1980.

  • The Messenger
  • The Nativity (Carol)
  • A Responsory, 1948
  • Sundown
  • When You Point Your Finger
  • The Weathercock on the Cathedral of Quito
  • Evening
  • Great Prayer
  • Love Winter When the Plant Says Nothing
  • Lament of a Maiden for the Warrior’s Death
  • O, Sweet Irrational Worship
  • Autumn
  • Wisdom
  • The Mirror’s Wisdom
  • For My Brother: Reported Missing in Action, 1943
  • The Greek Women
  • Cana
  • The Ohio River—Louisville
  • Original Sin (A Memorial Anthem for Father’s Day)
  • Birdcage Walk
  • Jesus Weeps into the Fire
  • Mosaic: St. Praxed’s

(p.352) Jacqueline Roberts (soprano), Janelle Pope (piano), and Nancie Field (piano). Jacqueline Roberts Sings the Music of John Jacob Niles, self-produced for the Uni-versity Press of Kentucky (CD), 2001.

  • The Flower of Jesse
  • Written in the Stars
  • Ribbon Bow
  • My Lover Is a Farmer Lad
  • I Have a Flame within Me
  • Figures on a Hill
  • Come Gentle Dark
  • The Blue Madonna
  • Little Black Star
  • The Wild Rider
  • A Responsory
  • The Weathercock on the Cathedral of Quito
  • Evening
  • Great Prayer
  • Love Winter When the Plant Says Nothing
  • Lament of a Maiden
  • The Greek Women
  • The Ohio River, Louisville
  • For My Brother, Reported Missing in Action 1943

Chad Runyon (baritone) and Jacqueline Chew (piano). Sweet Irrational Worship: The Niles-Merton Songs, MSR Classics MS 1174 (CD), 2006.

  • The Messenger
  • The Nativity
  • A Responsory, 1948
  • Sundown
  • When You Point Your Finger
  • The Weathercock on the Cathedral at Quito
  • Evening
  • Prayer
  • Love Winter When the Plant Says Nothing
  • Lament of a Maiden for the Warrior’s Death
  • O Sweet Irrational Worship
  • Autumn
  • Wisdom
  • The Mirror’s Mission
  • For My Brother Reported Missing in Action, 1943
  • The Greek Women
  • Cana
  • (p.353) The Ohio River—Louisville
  • Original Sin
  • Birdcage Walk
  • Jesus Weeps into the Fire
  • Mosaic: St. Praxed’s

Hope Koehler (soprano) and James Douglass (piano). The Lass from the Low Countree: Hope Koehler Performs the Songs of John Jacob Niles, Albany Records TROY1015 (CD), 2008.

  • The Lass from the Low Countree
  • Go ’Way from My Window
  • Black Is the Color
  • The Wild Rider
  • The Black Dress
  • Ribbon Bow
  • Unused I Am to Lovers
  • My Lover Is a Farmer Lad
  • Little Black Star
  • The Gambler’s Wife
  • Carol of the Birds
  • Jesus, Jesus Rest Your Head
  • I Wonder as I Wander
  • What Songs Were Sung
  • Sweet Little Jesus Boy
  • Gambler, Don’t You Lose Your Place
  • The Robin and the Thorn
  • When I Get Up into Heaven