An Introduction to the Vernacular Song Tradition of BC’s Southern Interior

by Jon Bartlett, 2008
They stand by the cold deck just wasting my time
Not setting no chokers nor tending no line
When up comes a feller, and he says, “I suppose
You works on the rigging by the looks of your clothes.”
This is a fragment of a song collected on Vancouver Island. It is part of a …..

Robert Burns in Princeton: An Exploration

by John Bartlett and Rika Ruebsaat
The world-wide popularity of Burns is attested to by the sale of his poetry, of CDs of his songs, by many conferences, and by the holding of yearly Burns’ Suppers on the traditional night of 25 January. This paper considers one facet of that popularity by looking at the …..

Consumed by Consumerism

How many songs do you know? Start with nursery rhymes, skipping rhymes. Go on to songs you learnt in kindergarten, in school and at camp; and to advertising jingles from your childhood and youth (if you’re an old Vancouverite, think of “Honest Nat’s Department Store, 48th and Fraser” or “Squirrel Peanut Butter is …..

Lamkin, “The Terror of Countless Nurseries”

from Renwick, Roger deV. & Sigrid Rieuwerte (eds.). Ballad Mediations: Folksongs Recovered, Represented, and Reimagined. Ballads and Songs – International Studies, Vol 2. Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, 2006.
by Rika Ruebsaat and Jon Bartlett
This paper is an attempt to come to terms with a ballad unique in its often-motiveless brutality. In an interpretation that speaks to the …..

Sea Songs

by Rika Ruebsaat
and Jon Bartlett
I had hoped to deal with all songs of the sea in one introductory paper, but the topic is so vast, and has generated so many songs, that I have chosen to split it into three papers. This piece only deals with sea songs as such. Shanties, the work songs of …..

Singing in Fernie

by Rika Ruebsaat
December, 1975
Published in Come All Ye, Vol. V #2, February, 1976
For the past year, I have been singing Canadian folk songs, primarily in schools, colleges and universities, ostensibly communicating the history and way of life of Canadian working people by singing their songs. Unfortunately, for the most part, there have been very few …..

Songs and a Sense of Place

by Jon Bartlett and Rika Ruebsaat
Published in BC Music Educator Vol. 24 #1 Spring 1981;
repr. Canadian Folk Music Society Bulletin XV-4 1982

When I was a child in the BC Interior, we sang songs at home, at summer camp, and at school. At home, we sang the songs my parents had brought with them from Germany …..

What Does “Traditional” Mean?

by Rika Ruebsaat
and Jon Bartlett
When you hear a good joke, you want to pass it on. You don’t know and likely don’t care who made it up. Often as not, after a few tellings, you have even forgotten who told it to you. It is unlikely that you will pass it on exactly as you …..

List of Publications & Recordings

Bartlett, Jon N. G.
“Ballad Report for May, 2001”, Canadian Folk Music Bulletin, 35-2, 2001
“The Bonny Labouring Boy & The Jolly Shanty Boy” (note), Come All Ye, III-5, 1974
“Britannia Mine” (note), Canada Folk Bulletin I-5, 1978
“The Coal Miner” (song …..