Mountain Mother Goose: Child Lore of West Virginia

Collected by Ruth Ann Musick and Walter Barnes

Edited by Judy Prozzillo Byers

Illustrated by Patricia Musick along with Noel W. Tenney and John Henry Randolph

Mountain Mother Goose is a collection of jingles, jangles, rhymes, riddles, games, and lesson stories chanted and sung on the playgrounds of Central Appalachia, recited in one-room schools, and echoed in backyards and schoolyards throughout the small villages and farms that dotted the hills and valleys of West Virginia. Stretching through most of the 20th Century, this collection of melodies traces the regional attitudes and traditions of American children at play. As early progressive educators and folklorists, Dr. Walter Barnes and Dr. Ruth Ann Musick painstakingly gathered a rich harvest of child lore. Dr. Barnes encouraged Dr. Musick to pluck the folk ways and narratives of youngsters by sharing with his younger colleague the many examples that he had heard from children in the rural schools around the state. The features in the eight chapters of the book move from childhood to teens with such sections as nonsense, taunts, and teases; act-out games; counting-out rhymes; riddles; jump rope rhymes; lesson stories; play-party games; and autographs and epitaphs. Illustrated with the lively sketches and paintings of Pat Musick along with works by Noel W. Tenney and John H. Randolph, this collection is sure to delight the infant being read to in her mother’s lap, to enliven the play of the older child, and to bring a smile to the older reader who recalls similar games and songs from his youth. Enjoy this celebration of being young in age and young at heart.

Judy Prozzillo Byers

A Fairmont native, Dr. Byers is an educator, folklorist, and storyteller affiliated with the Appalachian Regional Commission’s Teaching Project, the Appalachian Studies Association, and the Assembly on the Literature and Culture of Appalachia for the National Council of Teachers of English. She received her B.A. in English and social studies education from Fairmont State College and her M.A. and Ed.D. from West Virginia University in English pedagogy with emphases on folklore and creative dramatics, along with postgraduate study at the International Folklore Institute, Indiana University, Bloomington. She was mentored by Dr. Ruth Ann Musick and was named executrix of Dr. Musick’s folklore archives. In this effort, she has researched, published, and collaborated on cultural curricula and multicultural studies; co-edits Traditions, formerly West Virginia Folklore Journal; and is a member of the Hill Lorists, a storytelling trio. Through her leadership, she helped to establish and directs the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center and is Abelina Suarez Professor, English and Folklore, Senior Level, at Fairmont State University. She returns to her fascination with the verbal expressions and narratives of youth abounding in Mountain Mother Goose: Child Lore of West Virginia.

Patricia Ruth Musick

Patricia Ruth Musick's work encompasses illustration, calligraphy, teaching, research on early manuscripts, making murals of glass fused to metal, and artist residencies in national parks. A Colorado-based artist, writer, and educator, she is the niece of Dr. Ruth Ann Musick and shares the affection and admiration her aunt felt for West Virginia’s people, lore, creatures, and land.

For information on how to obtain your copy, please call (304) 367-4403 or e-mail Beth.Martin@fairmontstate.edu

Pictures from our Open House and Book Signing

Contact Info

The Frank and Jane Gabor
West Virginia Folklife Center

on the campus of Fairmont State University and Pierpont Community and Technical College
1201 Locust Avenue
Fairmont, WV 26554
(304) 367-4403
wvfolklife@fairmontstate.edu
wvfolklife@pierpont.edu

Dr. Judy P. Byers
Dr. Judy P. Byers
, Director Frank & Jane Gabor WV Folklife Center,
  Abelina Suarez Professor, Senior Level,
  English & Folklore Studies
Fairmont State University
(304) 367-4286
jbyers@fairmontstate.edu
jbyers@pierpont.edu


 

FSUNow Stories

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

The Calabria-West Virginia Heritage Association and the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center at Fairmont State University are hosting a speaker in November as part of their Folk Culture Lecture Series.

Historian and humanist Antonia Prosperati, a native of San Giovanni in Fiore, Region of Calabria, Italy, will present a presentation titled “A Perspective on the History and Culture of San Giovanni in Fiore” at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 9, in “The San Giovanni Room” of Muriale’s Restaurant, 1742 Fairmont Ave., Fairmont.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center will host an Old-Fashioned Folk Dance/Cake Walk from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30.

Admission is free and open to the public. For more information, call (304) 367-4403.

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Monday, September 29, 2014

A local family has donated a first edition set of Civil War history books to Fairmont State University and the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center in honor of Norman L. Kronjaeger.

Through the Fairmont State Foundation, Inc., Laura Kronjaeger Baker of Fairmont and Sherry Kronjaeger Hickman of Cornelius, N.C., presented “The Photographic History of the Civil War in Ten Volumes” to Dr. Judy P. Byers, Executive Director of the Folklife Center, and Tammy Whitacre, Director of Development for the Foundation, on Friday, Sept. 12.

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