Dr. Judy P. Byers, editor, and Patricia Musick, principle illustrator, were on hand to sign copies of the book, “Mountain Mother Goose: Child Lore of West Virginia”. Decades in the making, the book is based on the child lore collections of Dr. Walter Barnes and Dr. Ruth Ann Musick, both retired Fairmont State faculty members.
Dedicated to the spirit of childhood, the new book “Mountain Mother Goose: Child Lore of West Virginia” is a collection of jingles, jangles, rhymes, riddles, games and lesson stories chanted and sung by children of Central Appalachia on the playground; recited in one room school settings; and echoed in backyards and churchyards throughout the small villages and farms that dotted the hills and valleys of West Virginia. Stretching from the early 20th century practically to its end, this collection of melodies traces the regional attitudes and traditions of American children at play.
What is today Fairmont State University was first established in 1865 as the West Virginia Normal School at Fairmont, a private institution dedicated to educating teachers. Many decades and name changes later, it was the proud teaching tradition that gave birth to “Mountain Mother Goose.”
“Mountain Mother Goose” – which this summer becomes an operetta for young audiences and in the fall will become a published collection of childlore and a curriculum for public school teachers – has been a labor of the love of folklore for a distinguished group of Fairmont State faculty members.
Jingles, jangles, rhymes, The Hunkitchy Man, The Greedy Old Fat Man, Marigold and more -- you’ll find them all in “Mountain Mother Goose,” an operetta for young audiences.
The production, presented by the Fairmont State University School of Fine Arts, the Town and Gown Youth Company and the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center, will be on stage in the Wallman Hall Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, June 8 and 9, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 10. Following each performance will be a reception to meet the composer and the cast at the Folklife Center. Tickets are $12 and are available by calling (304) 367-4240.