Cover for NEWMAN: Never without a Song: The Years and Songs of Jennie Devlin, 1865-1952. Click for larger image

Never without a Song

The Years and Songs of Jennie Devlin, 1865-1952

Never Without a Song focuses on the centrality of folksong in the life of Jennie Devlin, a woman who worked for fourteen years as a "bound-out girl" along the New York-Pennsylvania border and later lived in Philadelphia and Gloucester, New Jersey. Katharine Newman met Devlin in 1936 and compiled information about the older woman's life and music. Half a century later, Newman returned to her collection in retirement-with her own perspective of age. The result is a unique biography of an American working-class woman, told with depth and candor. It includes "I Wish I'd Been Born a Boy," "James Bird," "Martha Decker," "My Grandmother's Old Armchair," and other pieces, both British and American, most with tunes.

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