McClellan Poetry Day: Warde Ford

SATURDAY | I was going to post a coupls of joyful McClellan minstrel songs today but got distracted by a redicovery: Warde Ford's mournful rendition of the Battle of Antietam Creek.

Making some slight revisions to The McClellan Pages last week, I discovered almost all the links had died, including the one to this song (the site is six years old).

Hunting up a new link, I discovered a recording of the song here. Scroll down and click to play.

The origin of the song is unknown. It was recorded in 1939 possibly by by Vance Randolph, Sidney Robertson, Sam Eskin and Peter Tufts in one of those Roosevelt make-work projects. They assumed it was folkloric and archived the music, which has been available ever since. There is little trace of who Warde Ford was. I suppose we know that he was a rustic discovered by tape-wielding WPA intellectuals.

Oddly enough, the song is downloadable from Walmart - a store that carries very little McClellan music, generally speaking.

The song tells a story. The story has that impossible level of coincidence Victorians loved. And if you like melancholy, this is going to be more than an ordinary treat. Thanks, Mr. Ford.