A Heritage of Songs

A Heritage of Songs

A Heritage of Songs is Grover's published songbook containing 140 songs that were sung by members of her immediate and extended family, and those learned from neighboring families and visitors to their small community in Sunken Lake, Nova Scotia. Many songs were sung and passed down from both her matriarchal and patriarchal grandparents, and a handful span four and even five generations.   Within this collection are folksongs, ballads, sea shanties, slave songs, songs learned in lumber camps, and children's songs. While many of the titles will be familiar to the traditional singer, the melodies sung in Grover's family are a striking contrast to other published versions, and a few songs have never before appeared in print.

When Carrie was 58 years old she returned to Gould Academy, the high school she had attended in 1896, in Bethel, Maine, to work with music teacher, Ann Griggs, who transcribed all 140 songs. Gould Academy published the songbook sometime in 1954 or 1955. It was later republished by Norwood Publication in 1973.

Grover separated the songbook into two categories: Mother's Songs, of which there are 51,  and Father's Songs with a total count of 89, although four songs were grouped together under "Songs of Slavery Days". It's interesting that she did it this way, I believe it speaks to the ownership singers asserted over songs within their individual repertoires. She also alludes to a courtesy of not singing a song rightfully 'belonging' to someone else in the family or community, although there are many instances where new songs came into the family repertoire and everyone learned them.  Notice at the end of many songs Carrie will give credit to the person who sang that particular song, or tell where or through whom the family learned the song. Her attention to detail and prolific writings point out specific people--relatives and ancestors--who sang the songs in a specific time and place, underscoring centuries of a rich oral tradition that sadly evaporated within Grover's own children's lifetimes.

A Heritage of Songs was created for Grover's grandchildren and great grandchildren to ensure the familial music be passed down as it had been for generations through the oral tradition. Read Ann Griggs' introduction to A Heritage of Songs


Father's Songs

A Lover’s Lament

A Scolding Wife

Adieu to Nova Scotia

Adieu to Old Ireland

Arthur McBride

At the Foot of the Mountain Brow

Awake, Arise

Billie O’Rourke

Bonny Light Horseman

Brennan on the Moor

Caroline’s Farewell

Champion of Court Hill

Cripple Creek

Darling Old Stick

Desolate Widow

Down By The Seaside

Drunken Sailor

Erin Go Bragh

Erin’s Green Shore

Erin’s Lovely Home

Fair Maid By the Shore

Fellow That Looked Like Me

Garden Where the Praties Grow, The

Garey’s Rocks


Golden Vanity

Grave of Bonaparte, The

Gypsy Davey

Heights of Alma

In Eighteen Sixty-Five

James and Florence

Jealous Brother

Jolly Soldier

Lily of the West

Little Drummer

Loss of the Due Dispatch

Loss of the New Columbia

Lumberman’s Alphabet

Mantle So Green

Mollie Bawn

Morrissey and the Black

Mother-In-Law, The


My Own Darling Boy

My Willie’s on the Deep Blue Sea

Nell Flaherty’s Drake

Nellie Greer

On Yonder Green Mountain

Patrick Mind the Child

Poor Drunkard’s Child

Poor Little Fisherman’s Boy

Poor Wounded Boy

Rifle Boys

Robin Hood

Second Day of August

Servant Man

Shady Grove

Soldier Boy

Soldier’s Letter

Songs of Slavery Days

Stormy Scenes of Winter

Sweet Caroline

Tarry Sailor

Tempest, The

The Banks of the Daisy

The Blind Beggar

The Great Crocodile

The Hat My Daddy Wore

The Little Man Over the Lea

The Lumberman’s Life

The Sunny South

The Tree

The Warfare is Raging

The Wild Barbaree

The Wild Colonial Boy


Van Dieman’s Land

When Jone’s Ale Was New

Wild River Tragedy

William and Mary


Wind Sou’west, The

Young Edmund

Young Matt Ilan

Young Sailor Bold

Young Thing So Free With Her Smile