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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p1)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 1.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p2)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 2.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p3)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 3.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p4)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 4. Tuesday 1 January 1918 - New York — Chicago

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1st Jan 1918

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As I begin a new diary I cannot help wondering when and where and how its pages will be filled up. This is going to be a very critical year for the whole world and almost anything may happen. My constant fear is that the war will not reach a definite conclusion with a signed treaty of peace as wars in the past have done, but that it will gradually assume a general revolution in this and any belligerent country and perhaps neutral countries as well. War, war weariness, and general dislike to return to the unfair almost savage economic conditions which existed in pre-war days will very likely lead to something of this kind — a world revolution following up on a world-war. Well, we shall see!! Maud and I finished our packing, did a small amount of shopping chiefly at the drug store as N[ew] Years day is a general holiday in this country and nearly all the shops are shut. Rabold came round and we lunched together at the Algonquin and then he accompanied us to the station, the Grand Central, and saw us off to Chicago by the 2 train — A notice over the entrance to our train warned us that in consequence of the severe weather we must expect delays — quite unnecessary warning as regardless of weather conditions you can be quite certain that a railway journey in this country will take longer than scheduled time. Train comfortable. We stopped in Albany for one hour — for no apparent reason!

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p5)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 5. Wednesday 2 January 1918 -

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2nd Jan 1918

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Slept fairly well. We were 4_ hours late in reaching Cleveland but as we were scheduled to stay there about 3 hours, we picked up all but 1_ h[ours]. Weather outside very cold and snow lying at increased depths as we proceeded[?], but the train was very hot and stuffy. At last we got to 63rd street Chicago at about 6 p.m., only a little over an hour late. After a lot of waiting we got a taxi and drove over deep snow to the hotel. Mr Wilson the manager whom I remember last year was very attentive and showed us our rooms. I have a bed room and a nice sitting room overlooking the Lake and Maud a bedroom a little way down the corridor also looking out over the Lake. We were glad to get to our journey’s end and thankful it was so easily done. Had a very nice dinner and made friends with our waitress a bright Irish girl. After dinner telephoned to Charlotte [Foss] who had intended to meet us but could not because her Dad had gone off with the car. Also to Miss Hinman who seemed very friendly but very much overcome with the grandeur of her position under the Government! She wanted me to do something with her on Friday which I could not quite understand. But she promised to come in to dinner tomorrow or afterwards. Very tired we went to bed soon after 9.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p6)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 6. Thursday 3 January 1918 -

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3rd Jan 1918

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Breakfast at 8.30. I then started to work in my new sitting room and managed to do something at my Introduction. Maud went out for some shopping and to go to the Carter’s School (where I hope to get a lecture) with Charlotte. We lunched at 1. I had a rest and then Charlotte called for us to take us round to her home for tea — there we met her married sister Mrs. Brown & child and two other unmarried sisters as well as a brother a deaf-mute. Had a long argument about prohibition with Mrs. Brown who is a regular Puritan and self-righteous American. One realises in her how easy it is to be too virtuous — quite as bad as, perhaps worse than being too vicious. I asked if I might smoke a cigarette and they all said yes if the child won’t dislike it! Nothing could be more typical of American life and the attitude to children — that perhaps is why so many of them are so objectionable seeing the priggish undisciplined way they are raised. Miss Hinman never turned up of course but telephoned instead expressing surprise that we were at home as she believed we were dining with Mr. Clarke of Columbia. Maud tried to find out what she wanted me to do tomorrow and it was to do by 10 train to see their military leader Kauffman about the sword dance. As we should not get back before 7 or 7.30 I bucked at it, the more so as the chance of getting a poor engagement was itself very problematic. So I told Miss Hinman I wouldn’t go. This angered her considerably I am afraid, but it was time I made some sort of stand against her.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p7)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 7. Friday 4 January 1918 - Chicago

Diary date
4th Jan 1918

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Breakfast at 8.30. Wrote at my desk till 10.15 then went into town by 10.48, ordered a piano at Lyon and Healy’s, having failed to get one at Moran[?] & Hawlins. Saw the manager who knew all about me — I had seen him two years ago at Gray’s suggestion. They promised faithfully to send p[iano] f[orte] on the morrow after tuning it. The bought this diary which Maud insisted on giving me and returned in time for lunch. Rested and wrote hard at my Introduction which is at last taking shape till dinner. The meals here are quite nice and satisfactory. The worst part is the bed the blankets of which are at the most the size of the bed and do not tuck in at the sides or the bottom nor fold over at the top. Some of them are still smaller! At 8.30 Baskervill came in and we spent a long and pleasant evening talking. We showed him our songs etc, singing Edward to him, and he told us about his Jig book, saying he wanted me to help him over the dance part of it.1 He has done a lot of research and it will probably help me very much to go through what material he has collected out of books, old plays etc. He did not go till 10.30 having asked us to come over on Sunday afternoon about 3 to see the University library etc. Weather still very cold and very slippery under foot, but the thermometer as high as 19 Not so clear nor so fine and sunny as N[ew] York but quite pleasant. The Lake which is all frozen over, piled up in small ice hummocks is very picturesque.


1: Eventually published as The Elizabethan Jig (1929).

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p8)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 8. Saturday 5 January 1918 - Chicago

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5th Jan 1918

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Didn’t sleep over well and woke up with neuralgia over my right eye. Maud went out while I worked and later, when she returned, we did some letters together. The Rockford lecture is I am glad to say to come off next Tuesday and this will help me a good deal as it is a good fee. The Chicago Centre have invited me to their meeting next Monday. We may get up a class with them — Miss Olive[?] will let us have her studio — Miss Hinman’s old one — for 2.50 a night on Thursday, Friday or Saturday. Charlotte came in to tea at 3, but was called home again by telephone half an hour after arrival. Piano has not yet turned up and I am afraid I shall not now get it before Monday which is rather a nuisance! Heard from Paymaster General last night sending me Certificate form and Income Tax return to fill up. Also letter from Walford Davis. Went out with Maud in the afternoon and did some shopping. On return found my piano had arrived greatly to my delight. I have not had the private use of a piano in this way since I left England. In the evening after dinner I harmonize some "jig" tunes.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p9)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 9. Sunday 6 January 1918 - Chicago

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6th Jan 1918

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A very stormy night. Wake up to find a howling blizzard in full blast. I have never seen such a snowstorm since 1881, I think, when we were pretty well snowed up in Cornwall Gardens. The wind today blows the snow about like dust. Motor cars that venture out are at once stuck in the snow. The drifts are very deep and it is impossible to go out as we intended to do to Baskerville in the afternoon. Charlotte comes in very wet and dishevelled on her way back from Church — "stopped in", she called it — and had lunch. We discussed scheme for Thursday night classes. I finished revising Introduction in the morning and Maud typed it. Glad to get it thus far. In the afternoon went on with the jigs. I have now got six fairly good ones. After dinner I played a good deal and Maud sang Young Hunting to p[iano] f[orte] accompaniment. I have rather a nasty sore throat coming on and feel rather seedy generally. I hope this place is going to agree with me. It is very difficult to keep room warm and ventilated with this vicious steam heating system. As soon as it is warm the top of one’s head feels it, and when you open the window you shiver! Americans can stand more fug than any people I have ever met!

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p10)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 10. Monday 7 January 1918 - Chicago

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7th Jan 1918

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Snow storm came to an end about 3 a.m., 13_ inches fell, about 1/3 of the usual yearly amount, of course a record! We always seem to run into records in this country. In the morning we walked round to the Baskervill’s to borrow Lady Gomme’s two volumes — it was difficult to get there1. I have never seen such snow. There were 5 or 6 inches on the ground when the storm began, and the second lot has drifted and lies in places like small mountains in all sorts of queer shapes moulded by the wind. Mrs B[askervill] is nice but most provocative, a very fair sample of the American woman at her best and at her worst. She talked in a very superior way about the war, as though we were all very naughty children in Europe and ought to know better and in fact would do so were we animated by the American democratic spirit! She spoke patronizingly of Lloyd Georges fine speech about the war aims and Peace Terms — said it sounded very pretty but she had no faith in it — insinuating that she had no faith in England’s protestations. She is not pro-German so much as anti- English. Her husband came in after a while. He remarked upon the horrible snobbishness — more marked at Oxford than at Cambridge — shown by the "capping" of dons by the undergraduates. He seemed very surprised when I defended it on the grounds that it was so good for the undergrad[uates] to recognize superiority! Worked all the afternoon after my rest and then after dinner went to the monthly meeting of the E.F.D.S.centre when I taught a dance and read out Miss Daking’s two letters. A very nice woman, a Mrs Moore, spoke to me afterwards and told me how interested she was in my work & views. Said that they wanted me to lecture and hold some classes at her school a large Physical, Normal School in Wabash Avenue. I liked her and hope that something may come of her project. The classes we hoped to start at Miss Oliver’s Studio do not seem likely to come off.


1: Probably Children’s Singing Games (1894).

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p11)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 11. Tuesday 8 January 1918 - Chicago

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8th Jan 1918

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So that we might take no chances we got up at 6, had breakfast at 6.45 and caught the 7.20 to the J. C. station, intending to take the 8.30 train due to arrive at Rockford at 11.15. As my lecture was booked for 2 p.m. this seemed fairly safe. We could get no information from the officials as to what trains were running, nothing but grumpy discourtesy! So we just waited in a large hall which by degrees got fuller & fuller of passengers like ourselves, except that in the usual American way they took it all very quietly. I expect they are used to this sort of thing but the way they docilely accept it means that they will never get any reformation. Well at 10.45 at last a train got in and we boarded it getting a chair in a Pullman car. The train kept stopping and when it did move it crept along very slowly. The track seemed quite clear but there must I suppose have been some reason. At last we got to Rockford at 2.15. A Mrs Brantingham overheard us asking for the Second Congregational Church and offered us places in her motor, which we gladly accepted. When we got to the Hall we found that Shaw had misinformed us about the hour which was 3 not 2! What a lot of anxiety we should have been spared had we known. The lecture went all right but the audience was very sticky and superior like all these Women’s Clubs. No one offered us any hospitality whatsoever! After the lecture we got some very indifferent tea at a hotel and then went to the station to catch the 6.50 which of course arrived late — only 35 minutes however. We got dinner on board and renewed our experience of the morning. The hardest part was to be stuck up for 15 or 20 minutes about _ mile from the J. C. station! Then in intense cold we made for the suburban station where we shivered for 10 min[utes] till a train landed us at 53rd St[reet] at 11.30, and thus ended one of the most tiring and unpleasant days I have ever spent. But I had my cheque ($100) dollars in my pocket in return for all the discomfort!

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p12)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 12. Wednesday 9 January 1918 - Chicago

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9th Jan 1918

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Felt very tired this morning. At 10.30 a telephone message from Mrs Moore asking me to come down to see the President of the Normal School at once, Dr Mackeachern. We found her and her assistants Misses Kendal and Collein — the latter a Swede — extremely courteous, simple women. We discussed a scheme by which I could give them a lot of work, two lectures and eight classes Maud and I teaching simultaneously. I asked $200, but fear I shan’t get it. They are to let me know. It would be very nice to do work there and I believe they would like me to take it on — it is merely a question whether they can afford it. This occupied us till lunch. After a rest we again went into Town en route to the Newbury Library where it is said they have a lot of music. But we waited for a car in a bitter wind for 20 minutes & when it came it was so full we couldn’t get in. We tried another route and again found the same thing. So we went into the Public Library but found they had practically nothing — the sort of library you would find at a female seminary. Curious tho’, seeing how good are the Music Collections at N[ew] York & Boston & Pittsburgh libraries. A very crowded and unpleasant journey back in the local train. It is still very cold, only a few degrees above zero. The snow is now cleared away off the main streets, but nowhere else so that travelling is very difficult. The crowding in the trains & cars is very unpleasant. Courtesy is not Chicago’s strong point. "Sauve qui peut" should be their municipal motto.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p13)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 13. Thursday 10 January 1918 - Chicago

Diary date
10th Jan 1918

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Directly after breakfast we made another effort to get to the Newbury Library & this time succeeded. It is a good library with an attentive librarian — an obvious German by name Teyn, pronounced, he said, like Newcastle on Tyne with which place he feigned connection. Could get no 18-cent[ury] dance-books; I doubt if they are to be found in America. It is extraordinary what little interest there is in matters of this sort in this country. In certain subjects libraries well stocked but in any matter of artistic interest they are sadly wanting. The music library of the Public Library in Chicago is about what a good girl’s school in England might have. However I copied several tunes mostly from Neils Gow and Petrie.1 We lunched at the "North American", a typical Chicago Restaurant with an ice rink in the middle of it so that trick skaters and other vaudeville artists may perform and amuse the diners. Got back about 3.30. Mrs Moore telephoned to say that the Normal School people had decided to engage me. This is a great relief as this with the Rockford lecture will pretty nearly pay my expenses here. In the afternoon and evening I began experimenting on the harmonization of the tunes I copied at the library doing about 7 of them before bed-time. I also dictated a careful letter to Miss Beiderhaze about the N[ew] Y[ork] Center’s classes. It is clear we are in for trouble there and the matter will need careful handling. I began a letter to Miss Gilman but did not finish it. More snow followed by zero weather is the forecast, but so far the snow has not arrived. Fairly cold — about 15.


1: Niel Gow (1727-1807). Scots fiddle player. The Petrie Collection of Irish music was assembled by George Petrie (1790-1866).

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p14)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 14. Friday 11 January 1918 - Chicago

Diary date
11th Jan 1918

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The snow has come but without wind as on Sunday. It began early in the small hours and went on till after dark without ceasing — I suppose 6 inches or more. And now if zero weather comes as it is practically sure to do it will be pretty bad. I slogged away at my tunes all the morning and afternoon and have done 13, which with a couple of the old ones will be all that are wanted. I will begin making final copies for England tomorrow. Mrs Moore telephoned about hours of the classes. I am to teach Wednesdays at 12 and Saturdays at 9. They also want to take over my abortive three day night classes and hold them at their place in order that their post-graduate students and others can attend. Sounds a good arrangement which will suit us admirably. We are doing better business than we expected. I am enjoying the quiet working in my room with a piano — nearly 12 months since I have done anything of the kind. I finished my letter to Miss Gilman and sent it off this morning. Am writing to Shaw to suggest postponement of our return to N[ew] York by one week.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p15)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 15. Saturday 12 January 1918 - Chicago

Diary date
12th Jan 1918

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Snow continued all night and it was still snowing when I got up this morning. Maud was seedy so I had breakfast by myself sending her up a tray. A very uneventful day. No one called and it was impossible to go out so I slogged away at my tunes beginning a final revision and actually finishing off about a dozen of them — pretty well record time! I made tea for Maud in the afternoon. She got up for dinner in the evening. The roads are absolutely impassable. 6 inches more snow makes the depth of snow now on the ground up to 12 feet! They are calling for general help and all and sundry are agonising about "community" partners[?] (how they love that word "community" — probably to emphasise their dislike of the social state it connotes!) and the newspapers are full of pictures of society women in nicely arranged "disarranged" costume standing in picturesque attitudes with shawls in their hands or over their shoulders in the snow! None of the railroads are running not even the local C.I. into town and we are cut off from everything. No mails have reached us since yesterday morning and we are threatened with a milk and coal famine.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p16)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 16. Sunday 13 January 1918 - Chicago

Diary date
13th Jan 1918

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A clear bright day with no wind stirring. Thermometer still below zero. Apparently the storm is over and the unhappy city is trying to dig itself out before the next snows descend upon it. A grand day for the Community workers!. Tolman telephones and asks me to go with him tomorrow to the Literary club. I go on with my tunes and finish them off finally revise them. In the afternoon I dictate long letter to Clayton about the book, notifying him that the tunes are on the way. The letter will go to Gray to send to Novello’s and I write to him accordingly. Also write to Stanford for permission to publish the six Petrie tunes.1 Charlotte calls or rather "stops in", as she phrases it, at 5 and stops till 6.30 but refuses to remain for dinner. We arrange about a rehearsal for Tuesday night with Mr Rex, for lecture at Physical place on Wednesday next.


1: Sir Charles Stanford (1852-1924) edited the Petrie Collection of Irish music (1902-1905).

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p17)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 17. Monday 14 January 1918 - Chicago

Diary date
14th Jan 1918

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Weather still fine though the weather bureau predicts another blizzard for to night or tomorrow! Maud goes out — while I begin harmonizing Cruel Mother — to get brown paper and string, both of which she finally runs to earth at a hardware store! Then between us with many fumblings we do up my MSS and sally forth to the post office to send it off registered to Gray. A great relief to see it off and done with! Then we walk round to the Baskervill’s and have a talk inviting them to dine with us Wednesday evening. Back to lunch and rest and then write long letter to Mrs Storrows in reply to hers about Amherst and Scout camp. Tolman calls for me and takes me down to Literary Club. A gorgeous room well stocked with books and wearing generally a carefully arranged literary appearance. A Mr Kennedy reads a paper on Varieties of Peace — not badly put together with paste and scissors — doing some wonderful feats in the way of pronunciation of our poor language. He talked of entirety (to rhyme with plenty) for [….?]. Puerile he pronounced pueral ( to rhyme with plural) Junkers he pronounced phonetically and made a wonderful hash of foreign place names and names of statesmen. A short & modest supper afterwards. I sat next to the President and had a nice chat with him. Came home about 11 with several club men including Dr. Jenny.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p18)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 18. Tuesday 15 January 1918 - Chicago

Diary date
15th Jan 1918

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After breakfast we looked through our gatherings of last year and made a rough list of the new songs and ballads, i.e. those that we had not got in any form in the previous year. Then Maud having received a letter from Detroit we shaped a campaign there and I dictated some letters to her and she began to make out some letters herself to send to the various schools and societies. In the meanwhile I began to harmonize Shelton’s version of the Cruel Mother — a very fine tune but a difficult one to handle. I kept at this pretty well all day and in the evening went round to the Foss’s to dinner. Rather a dull evening though Mrs Foss and the family are nice enough. Rex Reeve a young man — too smug to smoke or drink or do anything that a healthy young man should do, in the common American manner — came in to rehearse with Maud Charlotte and I some C[ountry] Dance fours for tomorrow evening. Coming back we had to wait for some time to catch a trolley which in this city run just as they please — a terribly cold business.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p19)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 19. Wednesday 16 January 1918 - Chicago

Diary date
16th Jan 1918

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Did a little harmonizing, but mostly letter writing after breakfast before catching the 11.8 train for town en route to the Physical Training Coll[ege] to give my first lecture and class. In the lecture I hit out as strongly as I could against aesthetic ballet dancing etc which they took very quietly and appreciatively. Maud & Charlotte danced Princess Royal, Maud Lumps of P[lum] P[udding] and we did Rufty, Hey Boys, Lady in the dark, and Parsons Farewell. We then lunched at the Mandarin — an odious place — and took our class from 2-3 Maud and I taking each one half of the class, changing classes at the half hour so they all got 30 minutes of me! Got home to tea, harmonized to 6.30 when Mr & Mrs Baskervill came to dinner. We came up to my sitting room afterwards and talked till after 10. The more I see of her the less I like her — very conceited and insensitive, pugnacious, indeed a good example of the American college woman — a very unlovely type. The great difference between England and America lies in the attitude of the women, their conceit etc and the quiet docile way in which the men accept them at their own valuation!

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p20)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 20. Thursday 17 January 1918 - Chicago

Diary date
17th Jan 1918

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Harmonized all the morning and finished Cruel Mother having done a different setting to each one of the nine verses — rather a feat in its way! Maud still hammering away at Detroit letters. We went out at 12.15 for a constitutional and I took a few photographs, but the weather was so terribly cold we couldn’t stand it for more than a half hour. So we returned and got warm in the dining room eating our lunch! After a rest I began on the Hindman tune to the Two Sisters and went on to dinner time. In the evening I dictated a couple of letters to Detroit and then wrote several myself, to Peggy [Scovill], Miss de Long sending her MSS of my R[unning] S[et] Introduction, Glenn — in reply to his criticism of said Introduction — and 3 or four unimportant business letters. Our correspondence is getting very large and would occupy most of my time were I alone without Maud’s help. The weather gets colder each day, but the weather man says we reach the worst of it to-night. I shall put all my clothes on my bed including my fur-coat!

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p21)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 21. Friday 18 January 1918 - Chicago

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18th Jan 1918

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A quiet uneventful day. I harmonized at the Two Sisters all the morning. Ventured out for 5 minutes before lunch by way of constitutional but was nearly frost bitten so came back in a hurry getting no further than the lake. The weather is colder than ever though there is happily little or no wind. In the afternoon Maud went down town to the library and to buy a small folding electric lamp. Tolman called in the afternoon for a chat and asked me to dine with him tomorrow which I promised to do. This mornings paper startled us by publishing the edict from Washington shutting down all factories — which sundry exceptions — all over the country and closing all shops etc for 10 Mondays beginning on the 21st! This seems to me a very clumsy device — ostensibly to save coal and avert an impending fuel famine. I fancy that some busybody has got hold of a job which is rather too big for him, has got panicky and run amok! Anyway it is very disturbing if America is to be made to suffer in this drastic way in return for the very small contributions she has yet made. The more I see of this country and its childish ways the less do I believe in it and the less hopeful am I that America’s contribution to the war will be of value.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p22)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 22. Saturday 19 January 1918 - Chicago

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19th Jan 1918

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Breakfast at 7.30, caught the 8.18 train and took class at Physical Training place 9-10. They have muddled the Tuesday & Friday class scheme so badly that I fear it is unlikely to come off successfully. They muddle everything here wherever one goes! They announced me at the head of the Circular in cap[itals] Mr Cecil Sharp "The Greatest folk dancing man in the world!" That sort of fulsome unrestrained publicity is mistaken here for organization and passes for strength and force of statement! Bought a knitted jersey and sent it off to Mrs Dunagan. Finished Two Sisters after lunch and then at 6 went off to Tolman’s. Passed a very pleasant evening with two delightful men, Dodd and Moore — both of them Professors. Sat up rather late talking and smoking (i.e. I alone!) and then walked home arriving here quite frozen with the bitter weather. Yesterday had letter from Miss de Long asking me to lecture on behalf of her school at Minneapolis on February 12th in place of a Miss Carteret who had backed out of the job. She offered me my expenses and a hundred dollars, but I accepted half of this — I couldn’t take more & wrote to Miss Boutelle to expect me on the 12th.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p23)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 23. Sunday 20 January 1918 - Chicago

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20th Jan 1918

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Started on the book directly after breakfast finding it difficult to turn my back on my beloved piano and begin the grind of selecting and copying tunes. However, it had to be done so Maud & I started and we finished off 30 tunes before dinner. I didn’t go out all day. Indeed this weather I find that it is better to stay at home and fug, though I try to keep a crack of window open pretty well all day. The weather does not improve. Still more or less zero temperature. Charlotte looked in to tea with a friend from Minneapolis who is anxious to hear me lecture there next month. Wrote a lot of letters in the evening so my hand was just used up by the end of the day.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p24)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 24. Monday 21 January 1918 - Chicago

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21st Jan 1918

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A more eventful day than I have had for a long while. To begin with I got a large batch of letters from England including three from Constance dated Dec[ember] 18, 25 & 31, one from Fox Strangways Mr Oppe, V[aughan] W[illiams] — bless him — Evie, Joan, Dor[othea] Novello’s etc. When I shall be able to answer them I don’t know including a long semi business letter from Miss Gilman. Pegged away at the book in the morning. Maud collapsed in the afternoon with a cold or throat or something & went to bed. I took her temp[erature] at 3.30 and finding it 102.4 sent for a pompous owlish doctor of the name of Harpole. He says she has a septic patch in her nose which is more than enough to account for her feeling so bad. I don’t know what I shall do if she knocks up as I have so many classes & things going on. In the evening I went down to the Community Club to dine with W. L. Blatchford. Spent rather a nice though quiet evening with him, but this being one of the enforced holidays the train journey to & fro was rather trying. Still very cold though not quite so extremely so as it has been latterly.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p25)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 25. Tuesday 22 January 1918 - Chicago

Diary date
22nd Jan 1918

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Maud a little better this morning but not much to boast about. Temp[erature] sub normal in the morning, then a degree or so above later in the day. I am afraid she will not be about for several days. I wrote tunes all the morning and afternoon in the intervals between my visits to her room. Charlotte called in the afternoon & we three had tea together in Maud’s room. A long official letter from Mrs Hobbes asking me to write to her Agricultural Dep[artment] upon the advantages of introducing folk-dancing in the villages by way of social recreation. She remarked quite rightly that if the Government knew its business it would get me back to England and put me at the head of the Committee — which of course is exactly what they won’t do. If they take the matter up they will select Miss [Mary] Neal or some outsider for such a post for a dead certainty!1 Wrote a long letter to Constance in the evening and also letters to Miss Gilman and Mrs Scovill. Am getting on with the book slowly but of course Maud’s typing is sadly behind hand. Though in this part of the book my work is harder than hers.


1: ‘Mary’ [Clara Sophia] Neal (1860-1944) had worked with Sharp from 1905 to c.1907 but from 1909 was his bitter rival.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p26)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 26. Wednesday 23 January 1918 - Chicago

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23rd Jan 1918

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Maud is very unwell and Dr Harpole, who phones me when I am at breakfast, evidently suspects diphtheria. Fortunately this makes him give up the case for lack of time to attend it and he hands it over to Dr Walker, the man who comforted me about Charlie when I was last in Chicago. He calls when I am taking classes at the Normal School and declares it to be a case of tonsillitis and not of diphtheria — which is comforting as far as it goes. I go down to class at 12-1, lunch with Mrs Moore for my guest, and then take the second class 2-3. Manage to buy some music paper and calf’s foot jelly for Maud on the way to my train in a heavy snow storm and get back at 4.30. Make tea and see after Maud for a while and then return to my book which with all this upset is going a bit slow. I am afraid it will be a long time before Maud will be strong enough to do anything. I only hope that I escape the plague and am able to do all the work which promises to be pretty stiff in the next 2 or 3 weeks. The Evanston people — Miss Lamkin — want me to take 5 evening classes which will mean 5 very strenuous evenings.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p27)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 27. Thursday 24 January 1918 - Chicago

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24th Jan 1918

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Weather finer and warmer. Still freezing of course but only a few degrees — perhaps 10, which really do not count! Maud is a little better but her temperature keeps a little above 100 pretty well all day, after being a point or two below normal on waking up. But she is brighter and more like herself and happier. I see as much as I can of her, but I do a good deal of work while she sleeps — which is pretty often and of course the best thing she can do. I get through pretty nearly 30 tunes today. I have now copied at least 120 and this pretty nearly finishes all the new ballads and songs. I shall begin the variants tomorrow. Got the welcome news from Urbana that they are going to have us for the week beginning Feb[ruary] 17th for $300 which is a great relief for this means I shall be able to save something here, possibly as much as £100 which is far more than I expected. Indeed when I came I hoped at the most to pay all my expenses. Detroit scheme does not seem very hopeful but things may come on a bit there yet. A good deal depends on the support I get for my evening classes at the Normal School which begin tomorrow night.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p28)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 28. Friday 25 January 1918 - Chicago

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25th Jan 1918

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Quite warm in the morning with a slight tendency to thaw. The City authorities have warned people to prepare for a flood as many of the culverts are choked and a sudden thaw would probably mean a foot of water over Chicago. Maud still in bed, with regular temp[erature] a little over 100, but she feels better and gets up a little and sits in her or my room. I begin writing the Appendix of my book in the morning. After tea I make ready & go into Chicago to dine with Charlotte F[oss] at the Cordon Club — a very slow and uninteresting business — en route to the Normal School to take my special classes. Rather disappointing as to numbers but had to take three consecutive hour-classes from 7-10, Morris, C[ountry] D[ance], and Running Set. Very exhausted, and arrived home about 11 quite done up. Weather getting cold again. Political situation very interesting. Chamberlain openly attacking Sec[retary] of War Baker and through him the President. I make my friends here very angry by pointing out that the only difference between the Kaiser & Wilson is that the latter was elected & can be changed in 3 or 4 years time. Americans may rail at Baker but they can’t remove him any more than the Germans can remove the Chancellor! Congress is really a Reichstag, with the same & no greater powers.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p29)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 29. Saturday 26 January 1918 - Chicago

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26th Jan 1918

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Up early took Maud her tea at 7.45 and after breakfast caught 8.18 train to Chicago. Another blizzard began in the night — the worst of the 3 we have had since we came here — and my journey in to Chicago was very unpleasant, and the journey home still more so. Indeed I was lucky to get back and not find myself stalled in Chicago. The trains when I returned mid-day were beginning to be stuck up and became completely so in the afternoon. I took my two classes from 9-11 and then came home. It took me nearly a quarter of an hour to walk from Wabash & VanBuren corner to U.B station — about 2 or 3 hundred yards the mud & driving snow nearly stopping me. In the evening the wind still bad and temperature rapidly falling, close to zero. We run a good risk of being starved out here. As it is there is hardly any coal, no milk and all supplies will probably be cut off for several days. How America is going to help us when she can’t even supply herself with coal beats me. She has rich coal mines in the most central parts of the country, any amount of labour and the best railway system in the world — or said to be, and yet the whole nation is almost fuel-less. I see that in Dec[ember] 1st last Pershing ordered 200,000 Khaki uniforms from Eng[land] and 100,000 blankets from Spain!

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p30)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 30. Sunday 27 January 1918 - Chicago

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27th Jan 1918

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The storm abated early in the morning and we wake up to clear skies, zero temp[erature], and about 3 feet of snow altogether on the ground. I feel very tired and done up after my exertions yesterday, but manage to get through a good deal of work at my book. Maud gets up and sits in my room for a while. Dr Walker came round and had dinner with me and afterwards came up to Maud’s room — she in bed — and we spent the evening together. He brought round with him a roll of samples which he had just received from England. He collects them and has over 100 — mostly English of the 17th 18th & 19th cent[uries]. Some of them are very beautiful. He pays from 1-4£ apiece for ordinary average ones. Maud, Walker says, will soon pick up now. Her temperature is normal and it is a question mainly of being able to get out into the air and in this weather the opportunities of doing this are few.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p31)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 31. Monday 28 January 1918 - Chicago

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28th Jan 1918

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Long letter from Miss de Long and Miss Gilman — the latter mainly about date of the Summer School. As she wants me for first 3 weeks of July I must make a different arrangement with Mrs Storrows so I send the latter a letter. I write at my book all the morning. After tea I set out for my first class at Evanston. I catch the 4.53 suburban — there are no expresses on these Monday holidays! — to Randolph St[reet] and then take the Elevated to Evanston. I stand up all the time — 45 minutes or more — hanging on to a strap deadly cold! Arrive at 6.30 and get some food — fairly good — and then strive for 3 quarters of an hour to find the Hall. No one to ask the way and nothing but narrow tracks between high banks of snow which hide the name[?] to [….?]. I was nearly frozen to death when I at last found the Hall. The return journey was quite as bad and I got back to the hotel 15 minutes before Midnight quite exhausted. I have a horrid cold in my head which does not improve things.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p32)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 32. Tuesday 29 January 1918 - Chicago

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29th Jan 1918

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Wake up feeling very cold and very seedy, but get better as day goes on. Do not go out but stay indoors to nurse my cold which is very heavy — no wonder after last night’s experience. Go on writing out tunes of which I have now copied out over 200 and also write letters to Miss Boutelle who has asked me to stay with her in Minneapolis, Miss Chandler sec[retary] of Woman’s Club at which I speak, Constance etc and begin letter to Rabold. I hope my cold will be well enough tomorrow to let me go to Evanston again. I don’t look forward to a repetition of last night, though I suppose I ought to find the way more easily the second time of asking. Maud is better and went out today for the first time. Gilman’s have asked me to give them the week beginning March 5th so we shall have to come back from Detroit which is rather a nuisance and of course an expense. Charlotte "stopped in" this afternoon to say Good Bye. She goes to Oklahoma to night for some months.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p33)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 33. Wednesday 30 January 1918 - Chicago

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30th Jan 1918

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I put on a mustard leaf last night and coddled myself up and woke up feeling better. My cold has not gone by any means but it looks as though the worst of it was passed — in which case I shall have been let off pretty easily. Maud is a little better and insisted on coming to my class at the Normal School. We lunched at the North American afterwards and got home at about 2.30. I decided this morning that I would put off going to Evanston to night and not risk making my cold worse. The weather is just as bad as ever and the thermometer went down 9 or 10 below zero last night. I am still pegging away at my tunes, but am getting rather tired of writing them out. Have done over 200 now. I wrote a long letter to Constance to day and several others as well. I looked through after tea a large batch of proofs of the Running Set book which arrived from Gray.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p34)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 34. Thursday 31 January 1918 - Chicago

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31st Jan 1918

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I finished off my proofs and got them off at lunch time. They are fairly accurate but the type is vulgar and coarse by the side of the finer Novello founts. I felt inclined this morning to begin a screed about dancing at first intending it for use as a circular to advertise the Gilman school. But I soon got it on to larger lines and it looks as though it might come out as a pamphlet. Possibly as I go along it may grow still longer and prove to be the beginning of my long-planned book on the dance. I worked at it all the morning and again between tea-time and dinner. It has started rather well and it is nice to get a change from endlessly writing out tunes! Maud is still very seedy and I am anxious about her. She went round to the doctor again as her glands which are much swollen are very painful. The doctor gave her a tonic which is exactly what one might have foretold.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p35)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 35. Friday 1 February 1918 - Chicago

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1st Feb 1918

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Continued at my pamphlet and wrote a great deal both in the morning and afternoon. It interests me greatly but will entail a great deal of labour if I am to get it into decent publishable form. What would I not give to have the faculty of writing. I have so much to say on this subject that I am sure is worth the saying but it takes me so long to get my unwieldy sentences into anything like shape. At 5.20 I went down town for the evening classes. I dined at the Mandarin hotel close by. I ordered some white fish which proved to be quite uneatable. The fish was putrid and fried in rancid oil. I took a half mouthful gingerly and then spat it out — a la Dr Johnson, only when no one was looking. The waiter whom I told to take it away called up the headwaiter who first inspected it and then smelt it and finally pronounced it a "dandy fish". Whereupon I told him he had better eat it himself and ordered some chicken which was quite nice — but I had to pay 2 dollars for my dinner!

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p36)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 36. Saturday 2 February 1918 - Chicago

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2nd Feb 1918

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The classes went quite well last night, but 3 hours on end tried me very much and I arrived home at 11 p.m. quite done up. Taught the Morris people B[lue] eyed Stranger and Winster Morris Reel, the c[ountry] d[ance] class Hit & Miss & Hey Boys & the Running Set people as far as Chase the Squirrel. I came home with Mrs Colleen and her husband. This morning Maud and I breakfasted at 7.30 and then going down town took the usual 9 o’clock class. Came back and found proof of the Introduction of my book awaiting me. This I corrected and sent off and then directly after lunch went down again to take my 3-h[our] class again. Maud helped me in the Morris hour and then went home leaving me to finish off the other two and return home about 6.30 in a state of collapse! I have taken 7 hour classes in the last 20 hours! Went to bed at 9.30 feeling rather seedy.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p37)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 37. Sunday 3 February 1918 - Chicago

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3rd Feb 1918

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Wake up feeling very sticky as I expected. Tried to go on with my pamphlet after breakfast but found myself unequal to it. Baskervill called, smoked a couple of cigarettes and stayed about 1_ hours and talked — Maud still in bed. Then I wrote out some tunes — finished off the variants of the Child Ballads. After tea began revising some of the earlier parts of my pamphlet. Professor Tolman & Mrs T came to dinner downstairs with us and then came up here to our rooms for the evening. He is utterly inartistic but has plenty of knowledge of the academic type and the kind you get in Germany — he is a Ph.D of Leipzig. He drops his h’s and is quite crude and uncultivated though well educated of course and a thoroughly good sort of the hearty type. Mrs T is quiet and inoffensive and very sorry that her boy who is in the army smokes! This craze against smoking in America is most irritating and savours of early 19th century. It is curious how the provincial attitude of America crops up everywhere. This war ought to do a lot of good.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p38)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 38. Monday 4 February 1918 - Chicago

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4th Feb 1918

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Worked nearly all the morning at my dance screed but didn’t get over far with it. Weather terribly cold. Left by 5.50 for Chicago. Trains as usual completely upset for no apparent reason so far as I could see nor anyone else either to whom I spoke. The experience in Elevated railway was almost worse than that of last week. I was jostled about, hanging on to my strap for dear life, for 50 minutes by the rudest, crudest, most mannerless crowd it has been my lot to meet in any part of the world — the women almost worse than the men! At present tradition is so strong that even when I get a seat I find myself offering it to a woman who may be standing but I never see anyone else do so and I suppose if I were to stay here for a few months I should sit tight like the rest! Dined at Jones Restaurant and then took 2-hour class going over two old dances & teaching 2 new ones, Picking up sticks and Upon a Summer’s Day. Return journey very cold and long wait at J.C. Randolph station — there had been no train for an hour when I got there! The general disorganization is just incredible!

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p39)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 39. Tuesday 5 February 1918 - Chicago

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5th Feb 1918

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Wrote a long letter to Bradley concerning his own book and his so- called criticism of mine in the Dial — well written but poor in content. Then found it difficult to get on with my pamphlet so fell back on book and wrote out a lot of tunes. After tea went on on much the same tack and then began to feel ominous symptoms of my old enemy the fever. Maud still in bed but getting much better. After dinner at about 9.30 after sitting in her room in my fur coat shivering went to bed with a fierce rigor[?] after taking a red-hot bath. Didn’t take temp[erature] as there was no doubt it was up ever so high[?]. Just the same symptoms as in the mountains. I seem fated to be unable to do more than one Evanston lesson per week, as I shan’t be able to go tomorrow that is certain.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p40)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 40. Wednesday 6 February 1918 - Chicago

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6th Feb 1918

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Had a pretty bad night but woke up feeling better than I expected. Couldn’t look at breakfast. Walker came in and found temp[erature] just under 100. Said pulse was good, pronounced it an attack of Grippe and after the usual needless & useless platitudes went away jingling his prospective fee in his pocket! I dozed away all day, eat practically nothing till the evening when Maud somehow or other managed to purchase an egg called fresh and at least eatable. Feel that this is merely the result of going down to Evanston on Tuesday. It is queer that here in the 20th cent[ury] there is no system in any country whatever by which people’s energies should be guided automatically into those channels where they will yield the highest results. The only force which determines is the force which the capitalist exercises by spending his money this way or that. So that a man like myself has to waste himself as I did on Monday — spend 7 hours physical energy in order that I may try — quite in vain — to teach 30 giggling schoolteachers some dances which they will never do decently nor desire to do decently. A queer world.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p41)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 41. Thursday 7 February 1918 - Chicago

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7th Feb 1918

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A very restless night and a baddish day, the fever coming back very amazingly in the afternoon again. However after 8 or 9 o’clock in the evening I feel a bit better and settle down for the night fairly hopeful. The symptoms are extraordinarily like those of my mountain attacks and I do not believe I am suffering from Grippe at all — I have no rheumatic pains for one thing and they are almost always there in my attacks of Grippe. My lips and ears are breaking out as before. Determine to cross examine Walker in the morning & see if I can get anything out of him but I am not sanguine. Letter from Constance today — dated Jan[uary] 8th, Maud getting one from Joan by same post dated 18th. As postmaster corroborates Constance’s date she made no mistake. The censor must have kept her letter a tremendous time. She wants money as I expected she would. So I got a cheque from Maud on London and will pay M[aud] back after Detroit & Urbana if I am well enough to manage them.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p42)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 42. Friday 8 February 1918 - Chicago

Diary date
8th Feb 1918

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Rather a sleepless night so determine to get up this morning after finding my temp[erature] was normal. I shaved — rather a business to scrape off a 3-day beard — and then got back into bed to be examined by Walker. He maintained it is Grippe, that there can be no malaria in the mountains because no mosquitoes. We argue at length for 3 quarters of an hour straying off into politics, art and other subjects in the way usual on these occasions. On his departure I finish dressing and get into my sitting room. Miss Breckinridge of Hull House called — introduced by Glenn — a nice woman, and the first lady in our English sense of the word we have spoken to since we came here. She displayed great interest in my work in the mountains. I lunch downstairs and then have an afternoon read — not nap, alas! — in bed, reading the New Statesman, just arrived, which contained an admirable article on my Appalachian book. Perhaps one day I shall try to make an anthology of folk-poetry. In some ways I might make a better show at it than those of greater literary ability than mine. Maud takes Friday night’s classes at Physical School.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p43)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 43. Saturday 9 February 1918 - Chicago

Diary date
9th Feb 1918

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Maud went off to the Physical Training College early. I got up later and did some more tunes for the book and pottered about my work generally. I feel better but still very groggy and soon get tired and ready to lie down. The weather is not so cold as it was. I fancy I shall not get well until I can get out and get some air. Mr & Mrs Collein come to dinner and spend the evening in our rooms afterwards. I like her immensely. She is a New England woman and there is no doubt but that Americans who come from that part of the country have far more cultivation on the average than others. It is clear to me that but for the influx of immigrants during the last 20 or 25 years the New Englanders would have achieved a real and distinct culture all their own. Now of course it is more or less overlaid because the eastern part of the state is just that part where the largest number of the immigrants is to be found. There are far more foreigners than natives in Boston.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p44)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 44. Sunday 10 February 1918 - Chicago

Diary date
10th Feb 1918

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Feel rather better this morning and get up for breakfast — in fact have my breakfast half an hour before Maud! Get through a fair amount of work to day — a few tunes, but chiefly letters and a little harmonizing. I want to get my correspondence fairly in hand before I go away tomorrow night. Weather beautifully bright and springlike so Maud and I feeling we must have some decent plain food at the end of our walk look in on the Windermere Hotel and have our lunch there — quite a good one! So nice indeed that we make further enquiries about rooms and decide on the spur of the moment to spend our last 10 days in Chicago at the Windermere Hotel — a most fateful decision involving the necessity of telling the Elms people we are going to forsake them for their rivals! In the evening I tackle the letter to Mrs Hobbes and dictate a long screed to Maud who types it down. If I can lick it into shape tomorrow morning and get it off to England before I leave it will be a great weight off my mind.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p45)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 45. Monday 11 February 1918 - Chicago — Minneapolis

Diary date
11th Feb 1918

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Look through the Hobbes letter after breakfast. Find it passably good after a few verbal alterations, sufficiently severe as however to necessitate re-typing. This Maud does in the course of the morning and the letter is posted triumphantly by lunch time — I send a copy to Glenn to whom I happen to be writing at the time. I finish off a good deal of correspondence in the morning and also finish my packing for the move and for what I want to take with me to Minneapolis to-night. Go out for half an hour before lunch to get some of the nice fresh soft air which is as balm after what we have had to breath in the last 6 weeks. The thaw is progressing at a great rate but so long as one wears galoshes it is quite possible to get about. Maud and I hire a motor to take me to the station and we leave at 5.10. I drop her at Randolph Station as she is going to Evanston to take the classes and then go on to N.W. Station and catch the 6.30 for Minneapolis. Eat the usual very high priced and nasty dinner in the dining car and then to bed — lower berth for a change now that I am by myself!

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p46)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 46. Tuesday 12 February 1918 - Minneapolis

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12th Feb 1918

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Arrive Minneapolis up to time — 7.55 and Miss Boutelle meets me. I recognize her when I see her as the lady we once had to tea at Adelaide Road! We taxi to her house — a very nice one — and I have breakfast with her. Then retire to have a bath, shave and clean myself up. Afterwards we go out for a walk and a talk. Weather still delightfully warm even here where a few days ago it was 40 below zero! Lunch at 1 and meet others of the household and at 3 go down to Woman’s Club, where I give my Appalachian talk winding up with a long account of Pine Mountain and a plea for financial help. Rather a stupid audience but I think my appeal may bear some fruit. Then to Mr Woodward’s studio, a musician who sang to us. I meet Mr and Mrs Young Hunter these English artists making money I fancy portrait painting like Harris Brown. He is the son of Colin Hunter the artist and knows the Fords and other of my Kensington friends. 1 In the evening at Miss B[outelle]’s meet a Mr Greville at dinner and afterward Mr & Mrs Purcell whom I take to rather readily. He is a young architect of parts and we had a very pleasant chat together. To bed, very tired.


1: Sharp lived in Kensington in the 1890s.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p47)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 47. Wednesday 13 February 1918 - Minneapolis

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13th Feb 1918

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After breakfast play some of my recent accompaniments to Miss B[outelle] who admires Barbara Allen exceedingly. Then we go down and call at the Bellman office where I first meet Mr Bellow a young and rather nice University man and then Mr Edgar the proprietor. Take to the latter very readily more especially when he said that American opinion as to Northcliffe coincide with mine viz that he was a bounder!1 After a trolley ride round the town back to lunch. Pack and have a rest and then repair to the Girls’ Scout meeting which I address at 4. Rather a nice as well as large audience on dancing — I didn’t know how much they understand of it! After the lecture we motor to the Edgar’s private house where I meet Mrs Edgar — quite as nice as her husband, Young Hunter and others — sing one or two songs and play a little to them. Back to the Boutelle’s to dinner and thence to the station where I catch the 7.55 for Chicago. Find Purcell is a passenger though I do not meet him until the morrow. Glad to turn in even to a railway bed, I am so dead tired.


1: Lord Northcliffe, owner of The Times and the Daily Mail.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p48)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 48. Thursday 14 February 1918 - Chicago

Diary date
14th Feb 1918

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Have a long talk with Purcell at breakfast. Train is _ hour late and pulls in to the station at 9.30. The fool of a taxi-man took me half round Chicago trying to find my hotel so that I did not arrive till 10.30. Maud was out taking a class so I did not see her till after I had bathed and shaved. Our new rooms are a great improvement on those at the Elms. We stroll out before lunch and I get a new pipe. We sit on a seat facing the lake and let the strong but soft wind blow over us — it was just lovely. After lunch have a long sleep which I wanted very badly — and then to correspondence — Miss de Long, Miss Boutelle and Constance etc. Have a nice quiet dinner and so to bed fairly early.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p49)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 49. Friday 15 February 1918 - Chicago

Diary date
15th Feb 1918

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In the morning directly after an early breakfast go off with Maud to Hull House to take classes from 10-12. A very slummy & dirty part of the town and the journey takes us a full hour from door to door. A regular Settlement kind of place. Miss Boyd rather stiff with me but whether from pride or shyness I know not. Students dance fairly well but not up to very much. In the evening Maud and I dine at the Auditorium and then go to the Physical Training place to take the 3-h[ou]r classes 7-10. A great grind as well all, teachers & students, get pretty tired. Meet Miss Hall and Miss Lauman women who do the Del Croze[?] stuff at the Francis Parker School. They were at Stratford in 1912.1 Rather nice people. Return with Mrs Collien pretty well baked about 11p.m.


1: Sharp directed the folk dance summer school at Stratford-upon- Avon from 1911.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p50)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 50. Saturday 16 February 1918 - Chicago

Diary date
16th Feb 1918

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Write out tunes & things in the morning and then after an early lunch go down to the Physical Training School and lecture on the mountain songs, Maud and I singing half a dozen or so. After the lecture we have a general dance but not very many girls join in as they are all getting ready for a party of their own in the evening. We get home about 4.30 and were very glad of some tea. I wrote out a lot more tunes before and after dinner. Weather quite warm and we get very thirsty so go downstairs and have fruit lemonade in the Tiffin room. This Hotel is quite comfortable and the food good, but of course as usual in American Hotels, locks, taps, latches, blinds etc are all out of order!

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p51)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 51. Sunday 17 February 1918 - Chicago

Diary date
17th Feb 1918

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Peg away at my tunes after rather a late breakfast. I have now written out nearly 300 airs and the end is in sight. Maud as usual a good way behind me! After a rest we go round to the Collin’s to tea. The more I see of Mrs Collin the better I like her. We met Mrs Kendal and her mother there. The latter is a fiery garrulous, not unpleasant old lady very suffragetty and anti-English and wanted to fight me and would have done had I been on! We got back at 7 in time to entertain Miss Hall & Miss Lauman at dinner. They came up to our rooms afterwards and we talked and argued very pleasantly till pretty late in the day about 10.45. I like them both but they have no very wide vision. In England we would class them as "Garden City". But at any rate they talk with soft voices which is something to be thankful for.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p52)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 52. Monday 18 February 1918 - Chicago

Diary date
18th Feb 1918

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Weather very much warmer, inclined towards rain. Write letters and tunes in the morning. After lunch and a rest go down to Hull House where I lecture on folk-dancing. Have a long talk with Miss Boyd afterwards who opened out more than she did last week. We took a taxi to the N. Western station where we had tea, I taking 6 train to Evanston. Had dinner at Jones Restaurant — rather better than usual — then take 2-hour class, teaching Bonny Brown, Newcastle and Picking up Sticks. Some new people there who were greatly interested in the dancing and a party of men & women motored me back to the Elevated station. I got back to the hotel at midnight very tired of course. Thank Goodness I have only one more Evanston trip to make on Wednesday week. Received cheque to day from the Physical people for my classes & lectures and also my evening classes.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p53)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 53. Tuesday 19 February 1918 - Chicago

Diary date
19th Feb 1918

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Very tired when I wake up after a ridiculously warm night. A real muggy rainy day such as we frequently have in London in February. The mountains of snow have all but disappeared. Maud went off early to Hull House. I tried to work but couldn’t manage much so wrote two long letters, one to V[aughan] W[illiams] the other to Helen [Kennedy], the latter largely business. After tea I went round to Tolman who lent me Kittredge’s ballad article in the Folk Lore Journal — a very good and useful one, though most of the material rather poor. After dinner I dictate a long letter to Kittredge suggesting a publication scheme. Weather getting colder again and weather man says we shall have 22 degrees of frost to-night. Quite likely. This is a land of extremes.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p54)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 54. Wednesday 20 February 1918 - Chicago

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20th Feb 1918

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Weather very cold again. Had a nasty ear-ache in the night but it is all right again. I suspect the damp wind yesterday gave it a chill. Wrote out a lot more tunes this morning and by lunch time had triumphantly reached the end of them about 330 altogether. Tomorrow I hope to begin a general revision and re-adjustment. After lunch wrote several letters to Schirmer, Constance, and Mrs Armstrong. After tea departed for my last Evanston grind. It was as usual terribly cold 5 below zero as I came home. It was really a very pleasant evening. They are nice people and just love Newcastle! I joined in with the best set at the end of the evening and did Newcastle 3 or 4 times over. I also taught them The Old Mole. Got my cheque 160 dollars after the class and arrived back at 11.30 a little earlier than usual — found a glass of milk & chicken sandwich awaiting me which was just what I wanted!

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p55)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 55. Thursday 21 February 1918 - Chicago

Diary date
21st Feb 1918

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Pegged away all morning at my tunes beginning a careful revision of them. Maud went off early to Hull house and did not return till 12.30, just when I was starting out to lunch at the Quadrangle Club with Tolman to meet Percy Boynton the English Professor & friend of Miss de Long. Had a very nice meeting and mild smoke afterwards, walking back in intense cold about 3 o’clock. After a rest had tea and went on with my tunes till dinner when Dr Walker joined us downstairs as our guest. He paid Maud marked attention and evidently has designs in that direction. He gave her his pencil and I dare say would have given more had she asked it. He stayed very late — nearly midnight — so we were pretty tired & ready for bed when he left.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p56)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 56. Friday 22 February 1918 - Chicago

Diary date
22nd Feb 1918

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Maud went off again to Hull House and left me continuing the revision of my tunes. I worked without cessation from 8.45 to 1.30. Maud returned late as she went to get tickets for Sunday. To day there are no mails, in or out or any shops open it being a high holiday — Washington’s Birthday! Went on at my tunes after an early tea and then with Maud to Cordon Club to dine with Miss Hall & two musicians from the Francis Parker School, Mr Prall and Mr Kinney, both very dull dogs of the usual professional musician of the second rate type. Rather an amusing dinner, notwithstanding! They came round to the classes at the Normal School and sat there till we finished at 10 p.m. Our last class there thank goodness. The students seemed to like it and said good bye very friendlily. I am afraid we did not do over much for them. Got home about 11 very tired as usual.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p57)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 57. Saturday 23 February 1918 - Chicago

Diary date
23rd Feb 1918

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A lovely warm spring like day. Slept last night with window wide open and for the greater part of the night under a sheet only! Finished the revision of my tunes after breakfast and then packed my trunk. The Running Set page- proof came in and took a long time to correct. The proofs most unintelligently done. The Printer has used 6 or 7 different types for 3 headings or sub-headings! Quite a business to put it straight. And to add to the confusion they omitted the first sheet! This however arrived just after I had posted off the others! Got my packing done by dinner and all the proofs off. The Baskervills were coming in to dinner but afterwards said they would come in after. We talked a good deal but she is really a very difficult shrewish woman which makes us pity him. He is a quiet humble scholar and she behaves as though she were quite as clever as he and would have done as much perhaps more if she had not been a woman and doomed to look after the house & baby!

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p58)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 58. Sunday 24 February 1918 - Chicago - Detroit

Diary date
24th Feb 1918

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Breakfast early and then taxi’d to 53rd St station where we caught the 9.15 train for Detroit. We imagined we were going to arrive at 3.30, but we were half an hour late and also discovered it was 5 not 4 when we arrived as Detroit for some reason other than their latitude follow the eastern not central time! Mr Ashe met us and motored us to the Pontchartrain Hotel where, having settled on rooms, we repaired to the reception room where 30 or 40 people were assembled to greet us! Mr Dyar, apparently a rich person and a sort of managing Ward Hinman ran the show and introduced us to various Detroit worthies. Then we changed our rooms to a higher floor and a quieter aspect and then trammed to Mrs Armstrong to supper. Had a very al fresco supper with her and her husband a nice man and an attorney by trade. Returned home about 10.30, had some milk downstairs and then to bed. My heating apparatus made a terrific noise in the middle of the night, woke me up and caused me to telephone for the engineer who put washers in the valves and stopped the beast’s roarings!

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p59)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 59. Monday 25 February 1918 - Detroit

Diary date
25th Feb 1918

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Feeling rather chippy after my disturbed night had breakfast at 9. Our trunks were then brought up to our rooms and we unpacked our things & then went out at 12.30 to lunch and afterwards to the Board of Commerce where we took our first class of the Recreation people — a good lot of about 40 men & women. Back home for a short rest and a hurried tea and then to same room for the first class of the Education people under Miss Perrin. Nearly all women but quite good — no aesthetic movements thank Heaven! Back to dress in full fig & get slides ready, have dinner and then at 8 Miss Dyar called and motored us to hall for lecture. Smallish audience in large room. Lantern out of order so dispensed with slides. Talked for an hour or more and Maud did P[rincess] Royal & Lumps [of Plum Pudding] and she, I, Mr Ashe & Miss Bock did Rufty and Hey boys. It was rather a successful affair. Glad to get home. Weather warm but several very heavy showers in the day. Getting cold again in the evening.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p60)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 60. Tuesday 26 February - Detroit

Diary date
26th Feb 1918

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Up early, very cold frosty morning. Breakfasted at 7.45 then went to Ligget school at 9. Talked for _ hour and then criticised a set of six girls in Black Nag. Back to Hotel to find long letter from Miss Gilman containing draft Prospectus of Summer School. Took an hour to answer and then it was time to go to lunch with Mr Hume at Little Theatre — a really beautiful place with exhibits of arts and crafts. Had a very amusing talk with several people at lunch and then returned to Ligget School where I took a dance class for an hour teaching Peascods, Sellenger’s Round and Hit & Miss. Back to tea — no time for rest — and then to Hall to take second class of Education people. Both they & Recreation Squads have decided to have two sets of 3 classes each instead of one as previously arranged so I suppose they like us and our teaching! Miss Dyar took us to concert at Statler’s Hotel in the evening where we heard Miss May Mukle [?] and a pianist — a real American mountebank. May M. is to lunch with us at Miss Dyar’s tomorrow at 12.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p61)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 61. Wednesday 27 February 1918 - Detroit

Diary date
27th Feb 1918

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Up early again to be at Liggett School at 9. We had the young children for nearly an hour, singing to them and teaching them singing games. Miss Dyar asked us to lunch to meet May Mukle[?] which we did. It was rather a nice meeting and we arranged with Miss M. to meet her in N[ew] York on our return in 10 days time. In the afternoon take 3rd class of the Educational people who are a really good lot. In the morning I lectured at the Ingleward Club to a very large audience — room packed. I talked for 45 minutes then sang several songs and afterwards showed slides. Mr Shippen, Unitarian parson & his wife talked to us afterwards, amongst many others. The lecture was, I think, quite successful. Had great difficulty in getting milk on our return to the hotel — took us over an hour constantly telephoning to pull it off. This hotel is comfortable enough but not over well managed — radiators, bath, taps etc all more or less out of order and attendance very erratic.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p62)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 62. Thursday 28 February 1918 - Detroit

Diary date
28th Feb 1918

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I take 10 class of recreation people, Maud staying at home and going on with our book. After class I paddled in ankle-deep snow & slush to Grevill’s the music place, to arrange about books etc being on sale there. I am to find out from the classes the approximate number required & to let them know. We lunched Mr Ashe at the St John’s Arbour and then taxi’d to Jesus Gym where 1.30 class was held. In the afternoon at 4.30 took Education people at Cass Gym. We dined at same place that we had lunched at and then spent the evening with the Shippens. I like them very much and think they will be helpful in starting a Center here. This is what we are working toward at present. Miss Dyar will be useful and also Hume of the Little Theatre and of course Miss Perrin of the Ed[ucation] B[oard] & Ashe representing the Recreation people. Returned home at about 11, meeting Miss Perrin in the train. Got our milk in decent time, but it was "loose milk" and not worth drinking!

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p63)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 63. Friday 1 March 1918 - Detroit

Diary date
1st Mar 1918

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Took first class of Recreation people myself. Maud rather fagged — Taught them Newcastle which they did quite well. We together did second class & taught Bo-peep, Sweet Kate, Butterfly & the 2 Processionals — much the same in the afternoon to the Education people. Miss Perrin called at 8.45 and took us to inspect an El[mentary] school. The children did queer things, called "Stunts", acrobatic tricks, standing on their heads, frog dance etc but practically nothing of any artistic worth. Schoolteachers looked nice women & children beautifully clean and fresh looking. The work very poor merely] because they have so little knowledge of what to do. Talked to Miss P[errin] to this effect. Miss P lunched with us. We dined together at St John’s Arbour. The afternoon class went very well, taught much the same as in the morning but Peascods & Sellengers Round in place of Butterfly. We dined at St John’s & then went round to conference at Miss Ligget’s meeting Mrs Armstrong, Miss Cass Mrs Liggett and Mr Alexander the musician. I talked about May Day Celebrations the folk-lore of the dances etc and advised generally about the music etc of the school. Mrs Liggett wanted to give me a cheque in return for my professional assistance which was kind & generous of her but which of course I could not accept!

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p64)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 64. Saturday 2 March 1918 - Detroit

Diary date
2nd Mar 1918

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Took the 2 classes one after the other from 9.30-10.30 Maud dancing 2 jigs between the 2 classes. Everyone seemed very pleased and we had many tender farewells to make before we parted. Then we went to lunch at Hair’s and afterwards to Grinell’s to arrange about music books etc which the students had undertaken to purchase, 26 C[ountry] D[ance] books Part ii, 24 of each C[ountry] D[ance] Tunes Nos 3 & 4 and about 90 sheets — not a bad lot. Back to hotel to sleep, have tea and pack — rather a terrible business as we are both thoroughly tired out! Ashe & Miss Perrin paid me their cheques and I find I have made $330 gross this week — about 250 net. This is not bad seeing that I came here mainly on spec — or faith whichever it may be. At 7.15 Miss Dyar called for me and took us to Mr Paulus’s diner at Dixie Land where we had a thoroughly dull repast. I sat next a Miss MacDonald a Scotch-Irish woman — more Scotch than Irish judging by her conversation! and a Capt[ain] Knight, a Kent man over here on the business of instructing American recruits. Afterwards we went to the Symphony orchestra — all Tchaikowsky conducted very ably by Gabrielowitch — a Pole I presume. Then picking up our light baggage at Hotel drove to the station where we caught the midnight train for Chicago. A great business getting to bed as we were in evening clothes.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p65)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 65. Sunday 3 March 1918 - Detroit — Urbana

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USA : Michigan : Detroit / USA : Illinois : Urbana
Diary date
3rd Mar 1918

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Arrived Chicago at 7.30 a.m. Got breakfast at the station — Maud not being well eat but little — then got shaved — I not Maud — and caught 8.45 train for Champaign whither we arrived at 11.50 — "on time" for a marvel! Miss Freer and Miss Marin[?] met us. Had a great business getting decent rooms at the Inman Hotel as although Miss Freer had engaged rooms for us they had forgotten all about it! Maud went to bed at once after having some soup — not because of it — and I rested, had tea and then went up to reception at Miss Freer’s meeting Miss Brooks, Mr Cole, Miss Blaisdel, the Langdons and others. Back to Hotel. Maud dined in bed, I solus. Afterwards attacked manageress who owned the mistake was hers’ but airily remarked as usual "mistakes will occur" and from whom I got a better room for Maud on same floor as mine. By means of a judicious dollar tip got her things moved and herself also into her new quarters. Sent off my cheques to the bank and then to bed. Weather beautifully fine and quite warm and spring-like.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p66)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 66. Monday 4 March 1918 - Urbana, Illinois

Place
USA : Illinois : Urbana
Diary date
4th Mar 1918

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Went up to University in the afternoon but had morning to myself. Maud still in bed but probably will get up later. Wrote several letters to Dr Battle etc, looked through, and destroyed or filed letters etc. Had early lunch and a rest afterwards and then took 2 classes from 3-5 of students teaching them Oranges & Lemons & Chelsea Reach — very badly I am sorry to say. Was very tired & students not over good. Then home and into full evening dress, dined & back again at 7.30 to lecture to small audience on Folk dance — rather difficult job as I was asked not to repeat what I said last year and I could not remember of course what I did say. So I chose out of the way issues and certainly succeeded in breaking new ground for them as well as myself. Back at 10 p.m. chicken sandwich, grape juice and bed. Maud is better and will be able to help me tomorrow. Weather beautiful & warm but rather trying — such a sudden change.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p67)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 67. Tuesday 5 March 1918 - Urbana

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USA : Illinois : Urbana
Diary date
5th Mar 1918

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Maud all right. We went up to begin at 9.30 and went on till 12 teaching the staff (only), Running Set, Boatman & Parsons. Returned to a very dull inadequate and lengthened luncheon. An hour’s rest and then back again to University to give an hour’s lecture 3-4 to music students. Talked of relationship of folk to art music, nationalism in art and the pentatonic & 7 — note modes much to Mr Erb’s satisfaction. I talk on the fiction that Erb is as keen about folk music as I am, which keeps him in fine temper and amuses me! Then to Miss Schoeperle’s Celtic tea where I have a long argument — political — with Loumis, Miss S cutting in inconsequently in Celtic fashion. Take the conservative line in politics, or rather the value of a conservative party to act as a drag, and point to Russia as a hideous example of a nation which lacks one. Weather just lovely, warm, sunny with pleasant breeze. Thermometer 65 at 5.30 p.m. We were 8 below zero less than a fortnight ago! In the evening teach from 8-10 running through the Running Set and some C[ountry] dances. Altogether we have taught 5 hours to day and given an hour’s lecture!

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p68)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 68. Wednesday 6 March 1918 - Urbana

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USA : Illinois : Urbana
Diary date
6th Mar 1918

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Weather very much colder with snow predicted. Go up to University at 9.30 and teach staff for 2 hours. Then lunch with Miss Freer and Miss Kingsley at the Caffeteria — quite a nice repast. Back to hotel and rest, writing long letter to Constance. Maud goes back to take a Morris Class at 3, I follow her half an hour later to see her class and give the training students a talk on dance-technique. I talk for the best part of an hour on naturalness in dancing the folly of turning out the feet, swathing the body in corsets and the feet in pointed, high-heeled shoes etc. Back to hotel in bitter cold weather to dress for dinner. Then to University to lecture on and sing Appalachian songs — Edward, Sinnerman, Wether Skins, Farmer’s Curst Wife and Riddle Song — and show slides. Get home about 10 p.m., chicken sandwiches and lemonade and so to bed. Weather continues bitterly cold and I shall be lucky if I weather this cold spell without mishap. Glad to feel that half this week’s work is accomplished.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p69)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 69. Thursday 7 March 1918 - Urbana

Place
USA : Illinois : Urbana
Diary date
7th Mar 1918

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Went up to the University at 9.30 and taught the staff till 12 when we lunched at the Cafeteria. Then back to the hotel, Maud trying to get reservations for Sunday’s journey and meeting with the usual difficulties. Then back to the University where I interviewed a Mr William about German volksleider, Miss[?] Reckitt about folk-song books at the Library and then went to tea at the Kingsleys where I met Mr Brookes[?]. Mr & Mrs Ballantyne and others. After that I had a short talk with the President and then returned to the Hotel to dinner, Miss Morris joining us. At 8 there was a meeting of the Faculty Dance Club. They danced, some of them fairly well, but there were a lot of beginners and this made things rather difficult. I taught Mary & Dorothy and Maud [....?] Church Bells. Some one motored us home about 10.30. Weather beautifully fine but rather cold, though not so cold as yesterday.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p70)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 70. Friday 8 March 1918 - Urbana

Place
USA : Illinois : Urbana
Diary date
8th Mar 1918

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A quiet morning with no classes to take — which was very restful and nice. I made out a list of books for the Librarian as I had promised wrote a long screed to Mrs Storrows and a birthday letter to little Susannah — this last rather overdue. Looked through papers etc and got things into order as well I could. Can’t get our reservations properly fixed up. What a trial travelling in this country is. It takes 2 or 3 days to arrange a journey! Went up to the University in the afternoon to take the final rehearsal at the Auditorium. Things did not go very well, mainly because of the lack of air in the Hall, but it was a very useful rehearsal. We then dined with Miss Freer and her room-mate Miss Wheeler — a very nice and quiet little dinner, and then — thoroughly tired out — went to [....?] the students C[ountry] D[ance] Party — very poorly attended. On arrival home found a cryptic telegram from Chicago people about our reservations which involved a long visit to the Station and a lengthy telegram to Chicago. It looks as though we may be unable to get a train on Sunday at all!

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p71)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 71. Saturday 9 March 1918 - Urbana

Place
USA : Illinois : Urbana
Diary date
9th Mar 1918

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Began packing directly after breakfast and then up to University at 10 for last class of teachers. I gave them a long talk about accuracy etc and taught them some new dances. After lunching at Cafeteria returned to Hotel to find we had got 2 reservations on 8.30 a.m. train tomorrow morning for Chicago which necessitates our leaving by 2.40 a.m. train to-night! An awful thought. Go up at 3.30 for tea at Miss Blaisdels and on return fix up trunks send them to station, get tickets, and dress in flannels for the evening Demonstration. After dinner in a regular tornado of wind we go up to the University and give really a good demonstration to a large audience, Bean Setting, Lumps [of Plum Pudding], Oaken Leaves, Hey Boys, Old Mole, Rigs, Boatman, Merry Conceit, Confess Princess Royal and Running Set. Back to Hotel after an ice-cream supper at a University grub-shop given us by Miss Burssell[?]. Taxi’d home and rested as well we could till 2 a.m. when in bitterly cold weather, snowing we walked to the station and after waiting 45 min[utes] caught our train.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p72)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 72. Sunday 10 March 1918 - Urbana — New York

Place
USA : Illinois : Urbana / USA : New York : New York
Diary date
10th Mar 1918

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Arrived Chicago an hour late but had plenty of time to catch our train. Bussed to La Salle station where I got shaved and then we got on the train and started off with breakfast at 8.30 which we both wanted very badly, feeling pretty chippy after our night’s adventures. Train very full, and weather very cold with snow showers. This winter will never end! Made some rather nice friends on the train but we snoozed a good deal — especially Maud who must have slept and snored a good 8 hours. Went to bed fairly early, having put on our watches an hour to Eastern time. Train running late of course but we do not mind so much as we get a dollar returned to us for every hour we are late!

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p73)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 73. Monday 11 March 1918 - New York

Diary date
11th Mar 1918

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Train 3 hours late, so we breakfast on board and finally reach N[ew] York at 11 a.m. Get 3 dollars back, each of us, and then taxi to Hotel. Find rooms ready for us on 3rd floor and I shave, have a hot bath and change what clothes I can pending the arrival of our trunks. Rabold comes round at noon or soon after and we lunch with him at Henri’s. I rest after lunch and after tea go out to the Gilmans where we have a long talk chiefly about the Summer School. Rabold goes out for the evening and Maud and I dine quietly at Seven Candles — the nicest meal we have had for a long time. I have an enormous mail to attend to so I write 4 or 5 letters, unpack my trunk and settle in generally till bed-time. Terribly worn out after the journey still feeling the vibration of the train! Otherwise I am feeling quite fit. Weather beautifully bright but very cold indeed.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p74)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 74. Tuesday 12 March 1918 - New York

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12th Mar 1918

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Wrote one or two letters and then went out, first to Putnams where Savage promised to send a Review copy of my book to the Music Student and lent me three new cuttings to look through. Then to Gray to discuss C[ountry] D[ance] Book. Of course (like Putnams last year!) they had sent proofs to me at Urbana. Discussed things in general, Detroit, the book and the Army book & Summer School. Then to Schirmer where Sonneck promised to send me proofs tomorrow and where I arranged to get my note books printed. Then I called on Bradley only to find him out, but was more fortunate with Glenn and Miss Moore both of whom were in. Lunched by myself at 7 candles, Maud having gone to the doctor to be inoculated for typhoid. After tea wrote more letters and then round to Gilman Studio to see a rehearsal of Flamboro. Bradley dined with us at 7 candles and then came back to hotel where we smoked and discussed many things. I should like to see much of him but fear this will never be though for the moment he happens to have an office in N[ew] York. Maud’s arm is very stiff and uncomfortable but so far has had no bad effects from her inoculation. Weather warmer with a few slight rain showers.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p75)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 75. Wednesday 13 March 1918 - New York

Diary date
13th Mar 1918

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Woke up rather late, feeling rather chippy, the exertions of the last 2 or 3 weeks are beginning to show. Maud is rather in the dumps too but that is partly owing I expect to the inoculation. We went down town to get note books, ink etc. I made a valiant attempt to find Hough but failed after spending nearly half an hour in the Equitable building. Lunched with Maud at the Gilmans. In the evening dined with Miss Mukle[?] and Miss Rebecca Clarke at the 7 candles. It was nice to talk over English things with them. Am working on the dances for the Army book, but it is hard to do — rather a niggling business. Worked at this in the afternoon and evening. Expect proofs tomorrow from Schirmer so I have plenty in front of me in the way of work. Weather much colder and inclined to rain.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p76)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 76. Thursday 14 March 1918 - New York

Diary date
14th Mar 1918

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A very wet day after a rainy night — cold and raw. Worked at C[ountry[ D[ance] book for Army after breakfast. At 11 went out to see Mrs Storrows for a moment at the Belmont. She promised to look up Hotel for us at Boston. Then to see Mannes at his Conservatoire of Music and had rather an interesting talk with him. Met Mrs Armstrong at 7 Candles at lunch and talked Liggett May-Day matters. Then home to find Schirmer proofs awaiting me. Set to work on these after tea and made a good hole in them. Happily they are quite first-rate proofs and although they will take some time to look through they are worth spending time upon. Rabold & Miss Gilman dined with us at 7 Candles and we all went on to Greenwich House to Rabold’s C[ountry] D[ance] practice afterwards and spent rather a nice time there — Maud dancing jigs, Miss Kilborn singing a couple of folk songs during a small demonstration in an interval. Got home again at about 10.30 very tired. It has rained more or less all day and it is very chilly in the bargain.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p77)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 77. Friday 15 March 1918 - New York

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15th Mar 1918

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Worked steadily and without interruption at my proofs right up to 1 o’clock when Rabold came to lunch here. He came up to my room afterwards and I read him the Hobbs letter of which he approved. After tea the C[ountry] D[ance] book proofs came in from Gray. The originals were sent to the Pontchartrain Hotel Detroit and have not been seen since and these are thoroughly badly done! So I am in the soup with them. Wrote Constance a long letter and inclosed a cheque from Maud to pay Stenison & Harman. After tea went at proofs and finished first reading of them. Wrote to Bank & Mr Scott and finished Constance’s letter & posted it. Began looking through proofs of C[ountry] D[ance] book which Gray has just sent — omitting to send me my original corrected ones. A great business. Knickerbocker Press (i.e. Putnam’s) the worst printer in the world I imagine. Dined downstairs and worked all the evening at proofs. Felt very seedy and depressed about things in general, partly the weather, partly my own health, but mainly reading the newspapers which give no comfort anywhere at present. Cold and a gale of wind — very unpleasant still.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p78)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 78. Saturday 16 March 1918 - New York

Diary date
16th Mar 1918

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A much finer day, warmer and less wind. Woke up feeling desperate — must be gouty I think. I take the proofs of the R[unning] Set to Gray or rather to Trench while Maud is out shopping. Maud and I lunched downstairs and after tea went round to the Gilman Studio to take exams for Elementary & C[ountry] D[ance] certificates — all Rabold’s pupils. We passed 7 out of the eight elementaries and 2 out of the 5 C[ountry] D[ance] candidates. It took us a long time as there were several on the border line. Miss Gilman did very well and passed her elementary in flying colours as did also Mr Regan & Mr Smith of Columbia (old Stratford on Avon). Maud and I dined quietly downstairs then I went out to the Webster Hotel to meet Miss Hewitt with whom I chatted & smoked cigarettes until 10 p.m. Feel rather better in the evening but I am far from well. I am afraid it is because I have widened my diet. And the worst of it is I do not see how I can help doing so in the present state of the food market!

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p79)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 79. Sunday 17 March 1918 - New York

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17th Mar 1918

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Worked at my Appalachian proofs all the morning then went round to Rabold’s to try the piano, but the house was locked up and I had to return. Then I went to lunch at Mrs Schuyler van Rennel’s[?] 9 West 10th St[reet] to meet Miss Moore (of the R[ussell] S[age] F[oundation]) Dr & Mrs Daking & a man from China. A very pleasant little lunch. I like Dr Daking & talked with him a great deal about the Hannays — especially about Maynard[?] & Cecil Burns. He told me when he married Mrs Hester he promised to become an American citizen after the war, but now she insists — much to his evident satisfaction — that he should retain his English nationality even after the war! We went to tea with the Mukle’s and Clarkes. I like Rebecca Clarke and her still taller sister — a sculptor — and we had a nice time there. After dinner I went with Miss Hewitt to Mrs Howe — opposite Carnegie Hall — who lives with a Miss Calhoun an ex-dancing mistress. Miss Hewitt sang and we all talked folk- music & folk dance while Miss Calhoun and I smoked cigarettes she drinking whiskey and soda — I white [....?]! They live in a comfortable but expensive apartment house. It was rather an amusing evening.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p80)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 80. Monday 18 March 1918 - New York

Diary date
18th Mar 1918

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After breakfast suddenly developed a pain in the large toe of my right foot — suspiciously like gout — absit omen! I can only walk with great difficulty and considerable pain. There is nothing to show except a slight swelling & inflammation. I hobble round to Schirmer’s where I get a piano for half an hour & correct 2 or 3 doubtful passages in my MS which I then return to Dr Baker. I discussed with the latter the question of punctuation of ballads with 2nd & 4th lines jingles and decided not to punctuate the latter but to punctuate the other lines ignoring the refrains. Then to lunch at the 7 Candles with Miss Gilman discussing with her her private affairs & prospects offering her all the help I could give her. Worked out 3 & 4 hey for Army Book after tea and hope we may get this off to England tomorrow. In the evening dressed and taxi’d to the Glenn’s where we had a very pleasant dinner and long talk afterwards coming away about 10.30. Met a Miss Concord there who discussed ‘Culture’(!) with me.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p81)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 81. Tuesday 19 March 1918 - New York

Diary date
19th Mar 1918

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My foot very painful in the night so go to Dr Vansing[?] 515 Park Ave[nue] (corner of 60th St[reet]) in the morning. He pronounces it a typical case of gout, gives me medicine — iodide & colchicum — tells me about diet and prescribes complete rest of 2 or 3 days. I taxi home and wait for Maud who has been to her doctor for the second inoculation. She is rather knocked up by the operation so we are a pretty crocked pair at lunch. I spend the afternoon in finishing off Army book drawing figures for the hey- diagrams etc. Bradley comes to dinner and announces that he has joined the Army as first lieut[enant] in the Sanitary Corps, and goes to Washington on Tuesday next. This strikes the knell, most effectually, of my Yale aspirations. We have a long talk on general matters in my room upstairs I with my foot on a pillow feeling very old and fearful of the future.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p82)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 82. Wednesday 20 March 1918 - New York

Diary date
20th Mar 1918

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My foot is better but I am suffering from that d[amne]d medicine. I am only taking half-doses and those 3 times instead of 4 times a day, but this is more than enough to give me continuous headache, pain in my eyes etc. I finish off Army book and get all the letters off and MSS, to Helen [Kennedy], Miss Daking and Clayton. Also write to Constance, Aldrich who is "saving the country" — as he puts it — in Washington, Dr Collin of Chicago, Frankland King and others. Find it very trying to be stuck indoors more particularly as my room is a very dark one and I have to keep electric light on at full blast all day! In the evening get into evening clothes — dinner coat — and go with Rabold and Maud — at Peggy’s expense, her treat — to Shaws Mrs Warren.1 A very remarkable play, tolerably well done. It is I think on the whole as good as anything Shaw has done perhaps his most perfect play. It keeps up bang to the end which his plays rarely do. I am not sure but that the last Act is not the best. Got home about 11 very thirsty so we all had drinks before turning in.


1: Mrs Warren’s Profession. Play (first performed 1902) by George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950).

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p83)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 83. Thursday 21 March 1918 - New York

Diary date
21st Mar 1918

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Woke up with a bad headache and a touch of lumbago. As my elbows are playing up also the whole bag of tricks seems to be seething! Go round to Schirmer to settle "Contents" with Dr Baker, Mr Marble[?] is out so I can’t see him about title page. Then to Meyrowitz for my glasses and on to Gray about proofs. He gives me a batch to look over. Call on Putnam’s about newspaper extracts for folder and then home. I hobbled about with some difficulty but I do not think I did my foot any harm. It is better but far from right yet. Took some aspirin at lunch and then rested after which my headache began to subside. So I began packing and then went out with Maud to return proofs to Gray and see Marble[?] about title page. Back to packing till Rabold called at 6.30 and we went down to dinner. He went on to Greenwich and we spent the evening tearing up papers, putting clothes away and packing. A wretched business and I suppose we shall be doing it every week or so for ever so long! I shall be glad when I am quit of hotels.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p84)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 84. Friday 22 March 1918 - New York — Boston

Diary date
22nd Mar 1918

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Breakfasted early, then finished off packing and afterwards went round to Gray’s with Maud to see him about his a/c and also to leave about 20 or more of my large blank MS music books in his keeping to be forwarded to me as I want them. Then on to Miss Gilman to leave my lantern slides in her charge. Saw her teach Hit & Miss to two very nice little children, Aitken, and their governess. One of them told me she had had to learn B[arbara] Allen at school but only as poetry upon which to write a composition! Then back to Hotel to finish up. Rabold met us at the station en route to Newhaven while we took train to Boston. Miss Flanders met us — Mrs S at Lincoln — and accompanied us to hotel. We have very nice rooms but quite expensive. Must change later on if we stay for any length of time. Dined at hotel — a very expensive but frugal meal — then settled in as well we could without our trunks. Weather cold and foggy here after leaving N[ew] York sweltering in heat at a temp[erature] of over 70.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p85)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 85. Saturday 23 March 1918 - Boston

Diary date
23rd Mar 1918

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Trunks came late last night, so after breakfast we both did some unpacking, letter writing etc. Telephoned Kittredge and Mrs Coolidge, who asked us to sup with us tomorrow to which we provisionally agreed. Mrs Storrows phoned at 12 and said she would call on us at 2.30. We lunched at a cheap and nasty place. Mrs S came up and viewed our rooms and then motored us round to the Museum to see Wilson’s portrait by Sargeant — a very poor performance. She went off and left us there while we remained to see the pictures which are a very fine collection. I left cards on Carrington and Coomaraswamy. We looked in at Hennenway Hotel and found we could get passable rooms for two dollars, but none vacant at the moment. Weather very cold indeed and I found walking back very uncomfortable because of my old toe and the weather. War news very depressing. I couldn’t sleep because of thinking about it.1 Dined at hotel and went to bed rather early.


1: The German offensive (‘Michael’) on the Western Front began on 21 March 1918.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p86)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 86. Sunday 24 March 1918 - Boston

Diary date
24th Mar 1918

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After a bad night — because of war news — breakfasted at 8.30, wrote letters etc and looked through my mountain MS books to revise before sending them to copyist. Mrs Storrows’s motor came for us at noon and we called for Lieut[entant] Chas Osbourne, wife & child, and all five of us drove to Lincoln. After lunch soon after arrival had a chat with Mr S and at 4, after tea, motored to Grotton to see Lily & husband. A nice comfortable house. They seem very happy. He is a nice simple minded big bear of a man who suits her very well I think. Spent a pleasant evening and then motored back 25 miles or more to Lincoln and to bed in a very comfortable room. A lovely house which grows on you the more you know and stay in it. I had hoped Mrs Storrows would ask us to stay in it for a rest before going to the mountains, but she takes care of convalescent sailors in the week so that can’t be. Didn’t see Mr Storrow and Osbourne & his wife returned to Boston in the afternoon. Weather a little warmer, very bright & beautiful. No fog.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p87)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 87. Monday 25 March 1918 - Boston

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25th Mar 1918

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Breakfast at 8 and then left for Boston with Mrs S[torrow] at 9. On arriving and settling in worked at Mountain book, arranged MS and made list of songs ballads etc. New book will contain 350 tunes — about same length as first one. Kittredge telephoned and asked me to dine with him at 7 p.m. at Adams House. Met Mrs Coolidge at the Mary Elizabeth and we had lunch there and a long talk afterward. Then Maud went shopping while I went to Ditson’s and sent off a copy of my folk song book to David Neames[?]. After tea we finished off our list with statistics and then went off to dinner. K[ittredge] alas! had failed to get Harvard authorities to take on the publication of my book — another disappointment but not unexpected — I am getting used to this sort of thing. I had a very nice evening. We sat at the table from 7 to 10 when K walked home with me. I like him very much indeed — he is a scholar and a gentleman!

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p88)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 88. Tuesday 26 March 1918 - Boston

Diary date
26th Mar 1918

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Schirmer’s had written advising an Introduction to my ballad book, so I set to work upon this after breakfast, looking up some notes I had made at Xmas. I licked this into shape by 1 o’clock when Maud and I lunched at the Kensington tea-room — quite a nice place. Lily was here on our return and accompanied Maud to the doctor for her third inoculation. We had tea here with Miss Sandiford who called and so we were a very jovial party. At 6 we (3) sallied forth to the Priscilla restaurant for dinner and then to the school for classes. Maud taught the Morris Class while I took on the C[ountry] D[ance] teaching [....?] Church Bells, Orleans Baffled, and Confess, with Goddesses, Hit & Miss afterwards. I like that class very much. Mearns is one of the best men C[ountry] dancers I have ever come across. We trolleyed back here and had milk & biscuits before bed — Lily occupying the spare bed in Maud’s room.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p89)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 89. Wednesday 27 March 1918 - Boston

Diary date
27th Mar 1918

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Maud not very well. She and Lily breakfast an hour or so after me. We change our rooms in the morning to smaller ones on 8th floor Nos 817 & 818 at 2_ dollars a day instead of 3_ - thus saving a dollar a day each. The rooms are of course very much smaller & rather noisier, but they are larger lighter and cheaper than the Algonquin so we mustn’t complain. We all lunch at the Kensington. Lily has tea with us and then leaves for Grotton. I spend nearly all my day revising my books for the copyist at Harvard, a long and wearisome business — but by bed-time I have managed to break the back of it. Weather fairly fine but very windy and rather cold.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p90)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 90. Thursday 28 March 1918 - Boston

Diary date
28th Mar 1918

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Go round to school at 10.30, where I can get a piano and do some harmonizing, trying Banks of Sweet Dundee. Do a good deal of work of sorts. Back to lunch with Maud. Work at my books after tea and write several letters, to Constance, Schirmer’s (sending Introduction and Notes) Mrs Storrows (sending Daking letters & Hobbs) and one to Stuart Walker. Mr Carrington calls for me at 6 and takes me to his home out at Auburn where I spend a very pleasant evening. Mrs C is a nice middle-aged person with 4 children, 2 girls and 2 boys — one boy away from home in business. We talk about many things discuss Bradley and his work — it was through Bradley that I had the introduction. I return at 10.30 and by good luck find my way home without mishap as suburban travelling around here is anything but a joke. The trolley & subway system is terribly complex. Meet Chase in the street and arrange to lunch with him next Monday.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p91)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 91. Friday 29 March 1918 - Boston

Diary date
29th Mar 1918

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Go off to School again and spend morning there harmonizing chiefly on The Nightingale which is rather nice. Back to lunch at the Kensington by myself, Maud being ill in bed chiefly from the effects of the typhoid inoculation. After tea write out what I had harmonized of Nightingale and then dress for dinner at Mrs Storrows. We had asked Mrs Gibbs to dine with us but Mrs Storrows wanted us to dine with her so she telephoned Mrs Gibbs and arranged it that way. It was a very nice quiet evening, Mrs S motoring us there & back. But it was too large a party for me to get any private conversation with Mrs Storrows. Weather very bright but a cold east wind. Though Good Friday no one seems to make any difference. The shops are all open as on ordinary week days. Get home about 10.30. The war news is a little better today but the outcome of the great battle — this is the 8th day — is still in suspense. I find it very hard to sleep with thinking of it and have a good deal of neuralgia over my eye in consequence.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p92)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 92. Saturday 30 March 1918 - Boston

Diary date
30th Mar 1918

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Spend another long morning at school harmonizing and finishing off first draft of Nightingale. Breakfast early — Maud an hour later — and go through proofs of ballad book which arrived last night. The book ought soon to be out now — it looks very well, the engraving is excellent. Maud meets me at the M[ary] Elizabeth where we have lunch. Then I do some shopping — pipes and tobacco — while she does the same on her own account both meeting at tea. Then finish off proofs and send them off. In the evening we both feel too tired to tackle any more work so we go out to the Movies and get a good deal amused if not greatly edified. We went to the Exeter theatre close by here. The best thing we saw was Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer.1


1: Possibly the version by the Famous Players Picture Corporation (1917) or the sequel Huck and Tom (1918), both directed by William Desmond Taylor.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p93)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 93. Sunday 31 March 1918 - Boston

Diary date
31st Mar 1918

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In the morning went round to the School and did a lot of harmonizing, going fairly early although we had to put our watches on an hour last night to conform to the Daylight Saving Bill, so we got an hour’s less sleep than usual. Lunched at Hotel, rested, had some tea and then went off to West Medford to sup with the Coolidges. Met a Mr & Mrs Baker, Mr Williams and a Mr McGoffan there. Took the children some candies by way of an Easter egg. Had a very nice time there — the usual toasted cheese over the chafing dish at supper. Afterwards we had a long, friendly and interesting argument about democracy, parliamentary government and finally prohibition. Maud helped me a little in the last count and Mr McGoffan but the rest were all prohibitionists — more or less rabid. Returned home with Mr William getting back about 11.30. A very enjoyable evening. Lovely weather, fine, bright & sunny & very warm — well over 70 in the afternoon.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p94)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 94. Monday 1 April 1918 - Boston

Diary date
1st Apr 1918

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Went off to School again and continued harmonizing till after 12 when I called at the Library for Dr Chase with whom I had promised to lunch. We had a nice talk about Library matters and his experiences in England at Cambridge etc in his Anglo Saxon researches. Afterwards went to see some pictures with him. Had an early dinner and then went to Cambridge to Peabodys C[ountry] D[ance] Party. It was nice to meet Fifine and her two sisters and to do a little mild dancing but my foot still hurts me and I can only dance with great difficulty. We leave about 10.15 and motor back leaving Mrs Gibbs and Miss Warthen at their respective homes. It was so warm to day that I had to dispense with an overcoat. Actually 79 in the shade at 4 p.m. Feel dreadfully slack. Hope it is only the effect of the Spring weather and not the introduction to another bout of gout!

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p95)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 95. Tuesday 2 April 1918 - Boston

Diary date
2nd Apr 1918

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Feel so sleepy and stupid hardly know how to get about my work. I do some harmonizing at School in the morning and then lunch with Maud at the Kensington. Lily was to have been there — she is staying with us for the night — but did not turn up till after tea time. I work with Maud at the Berea book after tea when I dress for dinner and go to Kittredges to dine at his house in Cambridge. I like Mrs Kittredge and her two daughters very much and we have a very pleasant and simple evening. I told them a lot about my collecting experiences in England and the mountains, played the piano a little and altogether had a very pleasant time — I like them all very much. The daughters have promised to some to our C[ountry] D[ance] party next Monday. Get home soon after 11 p.m. — still feeling very tired & slack generally. Weather extraordinarily warm still but expect colder weather tomorrow — so the papers say.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p96)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 96. Wednesday 3 April 1918 - Boston

Diary date
3rd Apr 1918

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Quite a cold day. I go off quite early to the school but return at 11.45 and meet Maud and Lily (who stayed last night with us) at the Kensington to lunch. I got a telephone from a Miss Hibberd of Wellesley [College] about a possible lecture there next week if I remain till Tuesday. Then we motor together with a fireman[?] to Lincoln — open motor alas! and a very cold and wet ride. I take a singing class there in the afternoon for girl scout-captains and after supper give them a talk and a class in dancing teaching Mary & Dorothy and Black Nag. Have a very bad crowded, wet and cold motor drive home arriving back well after 11 p.m. Rather a miserable business altogether but glad to do anything for Mrs Storrows. The Scout Captains were not very interesting people but one or two were rather nice e.g. Mrs Lowe who has a house in London — Grosvenor Square — and was interested in ballads etc — or said she was!

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p97)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 97. Thursday 4 April 1918 - Boston

Diary date
4th Apr 1918

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Woke up with a headache and very cold. A NE wind all day which after the late warm weather is particularly searching. Had breakfast in our own rooms, Lily having lent us an electric toaster and given us a pot of marmalade! Then to school where I finished off Sweet William & Jackie he went a-sailing. Then I lunched Dr Chase at the Red Cross affair, rested and after tea wrote out S[weet] William and then tackled Berea book till dinner. A slow uninteresting business, all the worse because my head had become really very bad. With aid of an aspirin got through a good lot of work before dinner and then continued it afterwards till 10 p.m. when I wrote to Constance, Bradley & Farnsworth. We have done nearly half the book thank goodness. Had a wire from Miss Hamilton asking me to take a weeks work at Toronto from the 19th. Replied that I could take it a week earlier from the 11th, but practically impossible to manage the later date.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p98)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 98. Friday 5 April 1918 - Boston

Diary date
5th Apr 1918

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A frost last night! Very cold N East wind to day with clear sky and hot sun. Went to school to harmonize as usual directly after breakfast till 11.30 when we had a practice for Monday’s party — two morris dances, Brighton Camp and Cuckoo’s Nest (Sherborne) with Maud, Lilly Mrs Gibbs, Miss Bolles, Miss Edgerley & Miss Chapin. Maud Lily and I lunched at Hennenway Hotel — a very nasty meal — so we were glad we didn’t go there. Then I returned, rested, had tea and then wrote out tunes for the Berea book and worked at William Hall which I started harmonizing this morning. I have now started 11 and more or less finished nine in first state. Some are rather nice but some are weak and may have to be rejected. We dined here at the hotel and then went on with the Berea book in the evening. We shall find it a little difficult to get it done in time i.e. before Monday when I have undertaken to take my books up to Harvard. Miss Hibberd telephoned this morning and I am to go to Wellesley on Tuesday by the 3 train, see Physical School in the afternoon and lecture on ballads in the evening — my only engagement here this trip.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p99)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 99. Saturday 6 April 1918 - Boston

Diary date
6th Apr 1918

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Went off to School after breakfast but did next to nothing. Indeed I feel very depressed about my harmonizations since I came to Boston and begin to doubt whether I have done anything of any value. Perhaps this is only my mood of the moment. Let’s hope so! After tea — we lunched at the Kensington — worked desultorily at my music and the Berea book, then got ready and met Kittredge at Adams House — he was to be my guest at dinner. On the way I passed by the procession inaugurating the 3rd Liberty loan this being the anniversary of America’s declaration of war. It was rather imposing — 80,000 people marching with simple but sometimes very effective home-made decorations. Had a very interesting talk with Kittredge. We sat at table from 7 to 10.15 jawing all the time. He is a good raconteur and he has had many experiences in America and other counties to relate. He told me a good deal about the inner life at Harvard which I found very interesting and entertaining.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p100)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 100. Sunday 7 April 1918 - Boston

Diary date
7th Apr 1918

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Had breakfast in our own room as we have been doing this last few days, thus saving time as well as shekels — apple, tea, toast (made on Lily’s electric machine) and marmalade — what could be better? Then Maud and I hacked out the words of the last 2 recalcitrant ballads, I wrote out the tunes, dictated a letter to Prof[essor] Raine, made a parcel of the MS and lo! the Berea book was completed and dispatched to Kentucky. What relief was ours. It had been a hard grind the major pull of it having been made by the faithful Maud. Lunch downstairs — stodgy, rich and expensive — rest and then a walk to get some stamps and take the air. Back home to write out the setting to Jack went a sailing and then Miss Sandiford called, chatted in Maud’s room and then joined us at dinner downstairs. Did more work of a desultory sort after dinner and then to bed. I am still feeling hopelessly slack. Perhaps the mountain air and some new folk songs will restore me. I must have some sort of change or I shall be collapsing again. Wrote to Mr V[aughan] W[illiams] this morning.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p101)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 101. Monday 8 April 1918 - Boston

Diary date
8th Apr 1918

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Directly after breakfast in our own room we got ready, packed up my precious MS books and trammed to Harvard Square and went to the Library to see Mr Potter. He called Kittredge down and we discussed how the books should be copied. They decided that the books should be photographed page by page as being more accurate and scarcely more expensive. Then we came back to Boston. I called for my Panama hat which I had left to be cleaned, wrote to Julianda and Bradley at Washington and then Maud and I went out to the Kensington to lunch. I rested afterwards going into a sound sleep for 2 hours straight off! Then tea after which I re-cast my accompaniment of W[illiam] Hall, then went down to dinner, got into flannels and taxi’d to the school for the E.F.D.S. C[ountry] D[ance] Party. A very enjoyable and successful party. Demonstrated Cuckoo’s nest, Brighton Camp, None so Pretty & Lumps [of Plum Pudding]. I talked a little about B[righton] Camp. Mrs Storrows came in for a short while. The Peabody’s motored us back, Pickwick driving. Lily stays the night here in this hotel. Weather still fine but rather cold.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p102)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 102. Tuesday 9 April 1918 - Boston

Diary date
9th Apr 1918

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Packed all the morning and settled up things generally. Lunched at the Kensington. Lily came in afterwards for a short while and went with us to the station and saw us off to Wellesley. We arrived at 3.30 and met by Miss Hibberd who motored us to the Hennenway Physical school where I have a long interview and discussion with the Principal, Miss Holman, and her lieutenant and teacher of folk dance, Miss Manship[?]. The former a nice old lady of very limited views and knowledge, the latter a stupid and very ignorant commonplace teacher. Miss Hibberd said afterwards she had never seen so many books discharged in so short a time! Then Miss H[ibberd] took us over to Tower Court, where we had tea and were introduced to many members of the Faculty. Dressed for dinner at 6.15, after which another reception followed by a lecture on ballads in the Hall. Caught the 9.54 train back to Boston and got to the Hotel about 10.45 very tired. The lecture went fairly well — I was rather tired with overmuch preliminary talking and did not speak very easily or fluently.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p103)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 103. Wednesday 10 April 1918 - Boston — New York

Diary date
10th Apr 1918

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Breakfasted at 7.15. Mrs Storrows called for us at 8.15 and we all went up to N[ew] York together arriving at 2.30. I went out at once and called at Schirmer and got proofs of the Introduction; and then at Gray’s where I got plate proofs of the C[ountry] D[ance] book and found of course that they had done the "cut" wrongly — what abject fools those people are. I had tea at Peg Woffington’s with Maud and then went round to the Gilman’s where Rabold was teaching the rapper dance. Had a long talk there after the class was over. Rabold returned with us to the Algonquin where we found Mrs Storrows determined to take us out to dinner and the theatre. We all four dined at Henri’s and then saw a stupid but amusing play A cure for [....?]. I saw Mrs S back to her Hotel then returned to the Algonquin to join Maud & Rabold in a milk debauch. Got to bed about 11.30 thoroughly tired out. I am still very seedy and thoroughly worn out — evidently in great need of a change. The weather is simply deplorable — a strong NE gale threatening snow. Am glad to get into my furs again — and last week it was 79 one day!

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p104)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 104. Thursday 11 April 1918 - New York

Diary date
11th Apr 1918

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Early breakfast after which I read my proofs and then went round with Maud to Gray’s where I left my proof and then to Schirmer’sDr Baker was out — and then to get some pyjamas — bought 3 pairs at 7_ dollars apiece. I then went to call on Glenn with whom I arranged to lunch at the Century Club. On the way back bought my stock of tobacco for the mountains, made an app[ointment] at Dr Kabler’s[?] for 2.15. Met Maud, washed up & went to lunch where I told G[ray] all we had done in Boston, & discussed our mountain trip and showed him proof of the "folder" which Putnams are printing. We were going on to Washington tomorrow but we decided this morning to stay one more day and go off on Saturday, wiring to Bradley — who is finding us rooms — to that effect. Had tea in our room and then began sorting out my clothes for the mountains. Saw Dr Baker and settled proof of Introduction. Rabold dined us at 7 candles. In the evening I wrote & posted letter to Kittredge about the question of publication of the tunes etc I left at Harvard on Monday. Weather worse than ever. 8 inches of snow in Pennsylvania. It is snowing hard this evening and we may be snowed up tomorrow!!!

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p105)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 105. Friday 12 April 1918 - New York

Diary date
12th Apr 1918

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Did a little packing after breakfast and then went off to see Jenkins the Russell Sage librarian concerning the Putnam folder. He approved the latter and promised to send out 650 of them to a special list of libraries which he has on hand. I am to let Putnams know of this list so the folders are to be sent to me — or rather to Miss Gilman — and then to him. Had a talk with Glenn who advised me to call on Dr Pritchett. Then to Rabold’s room where I played my Jig airs and my accompaniments. We all lunched with the Gilmans and afterwards talked with Miss Beiderhaze who looked in. I then went to Putnam’s and arranged about the folders, and afterwards called on Dr Pritchett with whom I had a friendly talk. He said the war was swamping all their funds at the moment but held out some hope that some day they might be able to give me some assistance. Home to tea and then began packing in great earnest and so continued until dinner which we had downstairs. After dinner wrote several letters to Constance, Joan, Chase, Aldrich etc, Lewisohn & Jenkins. Weather worse than ever, very cold with violent show flurries, anything but a spring day. Hope we may run into better weather tomorrow night at Washington.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p106)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 106. Saturday 13 April 1918 - New York — Washington

Diary date
13th Apr 1918

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Finished off packing in the morning and then did several odd jobs e.g. putting my mountain photos in my album buying several necessities at the drug store, writing letters & arranging & sorting newspaper notices. At 1 o’clock the Gilmans & Rabold called and lunched with us. We discussed many matters connected with the Summer School and future plans, also concerning my letters being sent on in my absence. Caught the 3.30 train for Washington, dined on the train and arrived at 8.45 in a very gorgeous railway station. Bradley met us and guided us via a trolley to Richmond Hotel. Rooms very unkempt, not over clean nor comfortable but of course very expensive, 4 dollars a day — ye Gods! After a wash-up went out and walked round to the Willard Hotel to have lemonades and see some of the Washington elite disporting themselves, passing the White House — an imposing structure — the Treasury, War office etc on the way. There are 63000 non-combatant officers doing civilian office work in Washington — all be-decked in khaki and strutting about with very un- military bearing. Got back to the hotel 11.30 & so to bed.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p107)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 107. Sunday 14 April 1918 - Washington

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14th Apr 1918

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Breakfast — very nasty — at 8.30. Aldrich telephoned and arranged to call for me at 12.30 & take me home to lunch. Also telephoned to Alphonso Smith & promised to call on him in the afternoon. Then wrote long letter to Mr Oppe, by which time Aldrich made his appearance resplendent in tight fitting wasp-waisted Captain’s uniform and trolleyed with me to the outskirts of W[ashington]. We passed the English Embassy which gave me a thrill and saw something of the lay-out of the City which is spacious, open, well-built with many open spaces and fine & dignified in appearance. Had a nice quiet meal & talk with Mr & Mrs A[ldrich]. Then trolleyed down to N[ew] York Avenue met Bradley & Maud and we all went to Annapolis Naval Academy to call on the Alphonso Smiths. He took us over the Academy a very fine place and we discussed many things. We had supper after which M[aud] & I sang them several ballads. Made an attempt to get the 9.20 trolley back and found it had been taken off so we had to wait for the next which landed us back in Washington at 12.30 — a very slow and wearisome journey. We were all pretty tired when we got back and I had a pretty bad neuralgic headache!

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p108)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 108. Monday 15 April 1918 - Washington

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15th Apr 1918

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Missed Bradley at the Florida so breakfasted at Hotel. After writing some letters etc went in search of Julianda and ran her to earth at the Red Cross place. Arranged for her to lunch with Bradley Maud & self at Ford conservation[?] place. Then went round to B[radley’s] office and had a long talk with Sanger one of the chiefs of the Camp Activities Com[mittee], showed him Miss Daking’s letters which so impressed him that I left them to be copied. Something, with B[radley’s] assistance may come of this. Decided to go on to Woodstock by 3.30 train tomorrow, wired for rooms and took tickets. After lunch rested and then (after nearly killing myself by letting the wardrobe attachment of my trunk fall on my head) went out to meet Mrs Arthur Willert 2334 Mass[achusetts] Ave[nue] and Mrs Aldrich to tea. Talked about mountain experiences and foreshadowed a lecture in Washington in about a fortnight’s time. Met Shale [Shane] Leslie of Ludgrove there who is doing Sinn Fein work here. Dined with B[radley] & Maud with Julianda and afterward went round to a friend’s house and on her piano played my Schirmer accompaniments which they - & especially Bradley — seemed to like very much. Spent a very jolly evening there with Julianda & her room- mates — too numerous to specify, as usual! — and then trolleyed home about 11.30.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p109)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 109. Tuesday 16 April 1918 - Washington — Woodstock

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USA : Washington DC / USA : Viginia : Woodstock
Diary date
16th Apr 1918

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Breakfasted at Florida with Maud and Bradley. Then packed, sent off our trunks to station and took train to the Capitol. Saw as much as we could, Senate and Congress chambers, Supreme Court and the Library. The position of the group of buildings is superb and the way Pennsylvania Ave[nue] leads up to the first part is very wonderful. The main building is very imposing and the whole thing is very dignified and noble. Some of the details e.g. decoration of entrance hall of Library, nearly all the paintings and stone effigies in the Capitol are very open to criticism, nevertheless it is a great conception worthy of the lofty ideal which inspired it. Nothing has affected me in America more than this and I feel much more reverence for America and the real effort she has made to reform humanity — much of it mistaken perhaps but all of it sincere — than I hitherto had. In the afternoon after lunch with Bradley we trained to Woodstock, a 5 — h[our] journey arriving 8.45. We took sandwiches for our meal in the train. Quarters rather humble of course but quite good in their way. Weather very hot and sultry.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p110)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 110. Wednesday 17 April 1918 - Woodstock

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USA : Viginia : Woodstock
Diary date
17th Apr 1918

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Found my bed very hard — a straw mattress! — but was very tired and slept pretty well notwithstanding. Took a long walk toward Blue Ridge i.e. East but found nothing. Conditions not at all favourable — evidently largely Dutch (i.e. German). Our landlord is Holtzman, the Superintendent of Schools Shumacher, the Editor of the paper Gieben, the doctor Smoot etc! Then it is a very flourishing valley — no cabins or small people living on the land. It is a pity for the place is a nice one we are fairly comfortable and the surroundings pretty. We decide to go on to Harrisonburgh tomorrow. After tea go on another long walk but get no results. The war news very disturbing and we both find it very hard to think of anything else. The evening paper’s telegrams are a little bit more comforting so I may get to sleep all right, but it is clear that we are going to have very anxious times for a while. I wish I were in England now that we are all passing through such a crisis. We look in at the Movies in the evening and saw a very good story — sentimental but well told and quite well worth seeing.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p111)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 111. Thursday 18 April 1918 - Woodstock — Harrisonburg

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USA : Viginia : Woodstock / USA : Viginia : Harrisonburg
Diary date
18th Apr 1918

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Pack in the morning, write some letters, settle up and leave for Harrisonburg by the 12.30, arriving 2.30. Get very nice rooms at The Kavanagh, unpack, have some tea and then call on a Miss Martha Davis. Find her a comfortable looking middle-aged spinster quite ready to help us but not able to be of any great assistance. She has done very little collecting as most of her finds were traditions in her own family — including the Robin Hood’s as I had suspected. She tells us however that this valley is almost wholly peopled by Dutch or Germans and that we shall have to get into the mountains proper to find the Scotch-Irish as she calls them. We then do a little shopping at a very decent grocer’s shop and return to hotel where our trunks have by now arrived. After dinner try to get on by phone to Revd Ellis. He however is out and Mrs E promises to ask him to phone us in the morning. We patronize the movies again after dinner, have drinks at the drug store afterwards and then to bed. Weather very fine & warm but less stuffy here than at Woodstock.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p112)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 112. Friday 19 April 1918 - Harrisonburg, Virginia

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USA : Viginia : Harrisonburg
Diary date
19th Apr 1918

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Ellis phones after breakfast that he will be here tomorrow so we decide to wait until we see him before deciding on our next move. Maud works all day at the maps shaping our itinerary. I prospect a little in the morning but find conditions quite hopeless. It is a queer little place with a grand square with a massive Court House in its centre, a few good shops surrounded by residences, largish houses tailing off to small & dirty ones. All the names here are of German origin — one store had written up watches, Guns and Confectionery, a queer combination! The electric street lamps burn all day regardless of waste, we found the same thing at Woodstock — they are an extravagant people in some things. In the afternoon we prospect again but with no better luck. No letters as yet — have had none for nearly a week now. News from the Front a little better but we are very anxious still. Weather not so warm and clouding over — evidently means rain. Go to movies again after dinner. Quite amusing and as it costs only 11 cents not an extravagant business. Feeling very slack and terribly sleepy — perhaps a good thing to have a few restful days like to-day.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p113)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 113. Saturday 20 April 1918 - Harrisonburg

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USA : Viginia : Harrisonburg
Diary date
20th Apr 1918

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Rained without ceasing all day and all last night and temperature fell steadily all day. We found our rooms very cold — as the heating apparatus didn’t work, so worked in our overcoats all day. Got a lot of mail including letters from England — one from Evie and one from Miss Daking, the latter necessitating a cable to France to the following effect Yes preferably with my alterations. I wrote a lot of letters and finished harmonizing the Cuckoo for the second time, this attempt being I think more satisfactory. Except for 2 or 3 trips to the Telegraph & Post Offices we stayed at home all day until after dinner when we again paid a visit to the Movies this time finding the show a very dull one although the entrance fee was doubled for the occasion! The news from France is much better and our minds are more easy than they have been for 2 or 3 weeks. Probably another crisis will yet occur but the 3rd will perhaps be the last, and even that may not come at all. Telegraphed to Afton Hotel for a room as Ellis, who lunched with us, was unable to take us in next week as he will be away in the country.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p114)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 114. Sunday 21 April 1918 - Harrisonburg

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USA : Viginia : Harrisonburg
Diary date
21st Apr 1918

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Rained hard all night — which was a very cold one — and continued without cessation until noon when it cleared, the sun came out and it became warmer. Got a reply from Afton saying they can accommodate us so decide to go on there tomorrow by the 10-5, via Elkton and Basic City. I wrote a long screed to Miss Louise Pound of Nebraska University, traversing her two articles on origins which she sent me in England and Constance forwarded to me. Our spirits which had fallen with the rain & cold rose with the appearance of the Sun. We went for a walk after tea, telegraphed to Miss Gilman to hold mail for the present, called on Miss Pain who returned the book I had lent her and after a short walk round the town came back in time for dinner. After dinner wrote some letters, packed ready for the morrow and got to bed fairly early. News from France continues favourable. I am feeling rather more fit but am not good for much and my toe still bothers me particularly when I walk.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p115)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 115. Monday 22 April 1918 - Harrisonburg — Afton

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USA : Viginia : Harrisonburg / USA : Viginia : Afton
Diary date
22nd Apr 1918

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Had early breakfast; finished packing, settled up at Hotel and caught 10 train for Afton. When paying my ac[count] Mr Geary the manager told me the greater part of this county was Dutch and pacifist, that they were secretly against the war though they did not dare openly to avow their opinion. We changed at Elkton, a wretched little place with a "resort" hotel facing & close to the mountains, stayed there an hour and finally got to Afton at 1.45, eating our lunch in the train. We then put our suit cases in a motor and drove to Afton to find the Hotel shut up! Why they had wired us yesterday that they could accommodate us when they knew they couldn’t, was and remains a mystery! However, we got rooms at Mrs Robinson’s, not very grand ones, but passable. Rested, had tea and then called on the Corbett’s. He is an orchardist — grows apples and peaches — and an Englishman of about my age with a regular Corbett face. She is Mrs Glenn’s sister and very much like her. What they told us and what we had heard elsewhere leads us to fear that the people are too mixed up with the Dutch for us to get songs here. Call on an old lady Mrs Goldberg whom we soon find is Dutch! Weather fine but very cold and we shiver in our rooms after supper. I write to Mrs Aldrich.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p116)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 116. Tuesday 23 April 1918 - Afton, Virginia

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USA : Viginia : Afton
Diary date
23rd Apr 1918

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Weather fine but still chilly. After breakfast Maud and I walk down the road, talk to several people without result. Finally call on a Mrs MacDonald, a nice rather fat woman of 35, who was making baskets and eventually sang to us 4 or 5 quite decent tunes. What was more important she told us of other singers and of the dances which were done in these parts. We stayed at her house a couple of hours or more and left greatly rejoiced at our hitting the trail at last. Lunched with the Corbett’s and had a nice time there till 3.15. Walked home, rested, had tea and then walked up the mountain to Royal Orchard a grand house owned by a millionaire Mr Scott, and called on Mrs Fitzgerald, Mrs Macdonald’s daughter, who sang 2 or 3 tunes very well. Discussed dances with her and promised to call again on Thursday morning & perhaps on Sunday to see her husband who sings & plays. We got caught in a thunder storm going up the mountain and got rather wet, but the weather cleared before we got to the top where we had a very wonderful view. This is a very beautiful place and we shall be glad to stay here a few days if only we can go on getting songs.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p117)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 117. Wednesday 24 April 1918 - Afton

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USA : Viginia : Afton
Diary date
24th Apr 1918

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Maud not well so stays in bed for breakfast. I go to Greenwood making friends with a Mr Langdon an orchardist. He went with me in the train & discussed English politics. He said Asquith was a notorious drunkard a very weak, superficial person who relied on his power of oratory to win over the mob — a sort of William Jennings Bryan he said! This comes from reading Maxse I discover!1 At Greenwood I went to the school and saw Miss Maxwell (engaged to H. M. Macmanaway!) but couldn’t get any eventually[?] information from her or from her children. But I heard of a Mrs Mayo between Greenwood and Afton and on my way back called on her and got 5 very good tunes. Eat my bread & cheese in a wood and tramped home about 5 or 6 miles calling on several cottages but not getting anything good enough to take down. Got home at 4.30 and had tea with Maud who afterwards got up for the evening meal. I wrote my tunes out in the evening and also some letters to Professor Cox of Morgantown[?], Mrs Callery and Susannah . Weather fine and quite hot in the middle of the day when tramping along a dusty road, but very chilly in the evening when the wind changed round to the east. We may be in for some cold weather again I fear.


1: Leopold Maxse (1864-1932), right-wing journalist, owner of the National Review, who referred to H. H. Asquith (Prime Minister 1908- 16) as H. H. Boozle.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p118)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 118. Thursday 25 April 1918 - Afton

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USA : Viginia : Afton
Diary date
25th Apr 1918

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A very cold night and I couldn’t sleep. Have plenty of clothes on my bed but all cotton no wool at all and therefore no use whatever against this cold. A heavy Scotch mist when we got up and this we carried with us to the top of the mountain whither we went after breakfast in search of Mrs Fitzgerald. The lady sang again to us and gave me amongst other things a very good version of Polly Oliver. Discussed question of dance on Sat[urday] night. The difficulty is to get a room. We lunched with the Corbett’s and they suggested the hotel but when I saw the proprietor — who keeps the store — he was afraid the people might harm it, but suggested Mr Bragg’s house. Called on Mr B but no use. Then looked at another empty house which was too tumble down to be safe. Went round to Corbett’s in the evening and they suggested an empty house belonging to Mr Rhodes. Will investigate etc in the morning. White the agent of Royal Orchard is very strongly opposed to dancing and will do all in his power to wreck my scheme. His wife seemed more amenable but they are both very ignorant prejudiced narrow people. If he threatens the Fitzgeralds & Co and stops their dance it will be as high-handed an action as Feudal England could be capable of! Shouldn’t be at all surprised!

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p119)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 119. Friday 26 April 1918 - Afton

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USA : Viginia : Afton
Diary date
26th Apr 1918

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Weather colder than ever. I don’t know the temperature but it must be pretty low. Damp but not actually wet. Go and see empty house called the Vineyard belonging to Mr Rhodes and think it will do for dance tomorrow night. Write to Mrs Fitzgerald telling her to prepare for the dance. Then train to Crozet. Look up Mrs Henry, mother of Mrs Mayo, but she has nothing more than what her daughter gave me. Then had lunch at a drug store and set out for Mrs Spence Gibson. A long walk or seemed long as it was very steep to a lovely place with a wonderful view. Mrs Gibson was a fine woman regular type of mountaineer and sang very well. Got several songs from her including fine versions of Pretty Saro and Earl Brand. Enjoyed our visit very much. On our return got a lift in a motor driven by Mr O’Neil a farmer who was interested in our search because he had been in Prof[essor] Alphonso Smith’s class at Charlottesville. The boy was very nice mannered and a good specimen of an American University. Trained home arriving soon after 6. Supped with the Corbett’s sang to them afterwards and discussed the mountain people at great length. Mrs C tried hard to get our p[oint] of view but her old idea is so deeply rooted that she is really incapable of taking on any other.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p120)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 120. Saturday 27 April 1918 - Afton

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USA : Viginia : Afton
Diary date
27th Apr 1918

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Directly after breakfast we walked up the mountain to the Royal Orchard to see Mrs Fitzgerald and her husband and make arrangements for the dance this evening. Settled to have the dance at his house if Mr White made no objection. Saw the latter who seemed quite converted after my last talk and argument with him — indeed he bombarded me with my own arguments quite believing them to be his own! Maud met Mr Fitzgerald later and he had then decided to have the dance down here at Miss Joy’s cottage. In the afternoon Mr Corbett motored us to Mrs MacDonald’s cottage where we met Mrs Venn & sister in law. All these promised to come to the dance and bring men. To facilitate their coming we motored Mrs Venn & sister to their home about 2 miles away. Then called on Mrs Hidden, cousin of Hidden Page, and had a nice talk with her. The dance was very amusing. The Fitzgeralds drove down with the whole of their family including the month-old baby. Although her baby only a month old Mrs Fitzgerald danced with great vigour and agility! The Venn pair never turned up but Mrs MacDonald did. We managed to make an eight, Mr F[itzgerald] fiddling, Maud and I and Mrs Corbett dancing while Mr Truslow led and "called". I noted the dance which was a rather tame & somewhat sophisticated version of the Kentucky Running Set. Quite interesting with several nice technical points. It was nice of Mrs Joy to lend us her room for it kept the thing quiet & decent. Left off about 11 p.m. beginning between 9 and 9.30.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p121)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 121. Sunday 28 April 1918 - Afton

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USA : Viginia : Afton
Diary date
28th Apr 1918

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Trudged up to Royal Orchard for the 4th time directly after breakfast and called on the Fitzgeralds who both sang to us. Mr F sang me several very good songs including two very beautiful tunes of his father’s one to Earl Brand and the other to The Lady and the Dragoon. He told us a lot about Rockfish and the Tye river valley to both of which places we ought to go sometime. Got back to lunch. After tea I wrote several letters Mrs Aldrich, Bradley, Mrs Storrows, Gray, Dr Leland, & Miss Gilman, also sending telegrams to Mrs Aldrich saying that May 14th will suit for my lecture and to Miss Gilman about mail. Wrote up a lot of my tunes. Find I have taken down about 30 this week of good average quality. Everyone knows of the songs about here although they sing a good many of the modern ones — more than they did in N[orth] C[arolina] but no more than they do in Kentucky. We decided to move on to Buena Vista tomorrow. Had supper with the Corbett’s and said good bye with some compunction. They have been exceedingly nice to us and their society — as well as the meals they gave us — have helped us out this not over comfortable week. The weather which has been dreadfully cold since Wednesday with strong East wind has changed to day and is now warmer & brighter.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p122)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 122. Monday 29 April 1918 - Afton — Buena Vista

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USA : Viginia : Afton / USA : Viginia : Buena Vista
Diary date
29th Apr 1918

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Began preparations for our departure directly after breakfast, checking trunks, telephoning for motor etc. Mrs Corbett looked in at 11 and brought me a letter from Mr Aldrich. We left at 12, motoring to Basic City and then to Buena Vista taking our cheese & biscuits with us for lunch. We arrived at 2.30 and after some hesitation — there are 3 hotels here — we selected the Hotel Mailbrook, quite the ugliest front I have ever seen on any building. Our rooms are passable, but grubby and in ill-repair after the manner of the South. After a rest and some tea we sallied forth to look around. Got into conversation with a Mrs Henson who had known the songs and probably knows them still if we could persuade her to "bide and steed". She sent us on to some people of the name of Campbell from whom we picked up some cues[?] which will be worth investigating tomorrow. In the evening wrote up my tunes and letters to Mr Aldrich & Glenn. This place is a quiet little railway town surrounded by wooded mountains, very pretty, but horribly untidy. There is absolutely no civic pride in the South. Weather very hot and sultry and we find it very trying after the cold of last week.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p123)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 123. Tuesday 30 April 1918 - Buena Vista, Virginia

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USA : Viginia : Buena Vista
Diary date
30th Apr 1918

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A very dull and stifling day which turns to rain about noon and continues till sundown. After breakfast we began prospecting and hit upon Mrs Nanny Birch from whom I got 4 good songs including a first rate version of "Kitty alone and I". Then Maud called on the principal, Miss Rickett’s, of the Ladies Seminary here in the hope that we might get a mild job there; prospects not very rosy however! After tea we put on oilskins and tramped 3 miles in mud & rain to Green Hall’s Farm to find a Mrs Maddox, sister of Mrs Birch. From her I got two really beautiful tunes, Lord Randal and Jack he went a sailing — well worth the effort. After dinner wrote up my books, drafted my notation of the Afton dance and wrote a long letter to Campbell. We are fairly comfortable here, but service as bad as it could be. Food is clean but very rich and mainly meat, so we are living on eggs and cheese almost exclusively for the moment. Maud meditates canned soups etc but I am not very keen. People in the hotel not at all obliging. Hotel noisy mainly owing to the squalling family of the proprietor!

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p124)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 124. Wednesday 1 May 1918 - Buena Vista

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USA : Viginia : Buena Vista
Diary date
1st May 1918

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After breakfast sallied forth as usual on the hunt. First drew Mrs Hayes Gilbert, Mrs Campbell’s sister, but without result. Then walked to Mr Hughes from whom I took down one song, then to Mrs & Miss Campbell who gave me their version of Lord Rendal. Then returned to lunch which took us a full hour to negotiate owing to the indifferent service — one waitress to about 16 people. After a short rest and some tea went off at 3 p.m. to Mrs Maddox again, our 3 mile grind, only to find — contrary to her promise of yesterday — she had gone into town for the day! So had to tramp home disconsolate. Then called on Mrs Wheeler whom we had found out this morning. This time she was surrounded by her 13 thoroughly dirty but delightful children, nearly all of whom sang with her when she started The Green Bed to a first rate air. Her husband came in after she had sung two and interrupted the séance. Must go tomorrow again. After dinner went to the movies for an hour, the drug store for a drink, and then to bed, thoroughly tired out after a long & arduous day. Weather cold and very blustery — quite unpleasantly so.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p125)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 125. Thursday 2 May 1918 - Buena Vista

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USA : Viginia : Buena Vista
Diary date
2nd May 1918

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Really a "pretty" day — as they say here, cloudless, heat-misty in the morning & warm in the afternoon with a coolish breeze. Walked out in the morning to the settlement behind the seminary and worked pretty hard at it till lunch time but got absolutely nothing. We found it an industrial quarter, nearly every house providing one or more members to the Stationery factory, or the paper, fertiliser[?], or furnace and those at home disinclined to receive strangers, let alone sing to them. Directly after lunch called on Mrs Wheeler and spent a long time there taking down songs and afterwards photographing the delightful but dirty family, 13 in all, 7 of her own and 6 step-children. Then at last ran the Howard Campbell’s to earth only to find that although they had been having one & two dances per week at their house through the winter they had just discontinued them. Found out they always danced the square-eights, apparently in the Afton manner. Dictated first part of Afton dance to Maud in the evening but the squalling children and negro music was so distracting we fled at 9.30 to the drug store and drowned our cares in soft drinks!

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p126)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 126. Friday 3 May 1918 - Buena Vista

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USA : Viginia : Buena Vista
Diary date
3rd May 1918

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Had an early breakfast and then took train to Loch Laird[?] thinking it would land us near Mrs Maddox’s dwelling but it only took us 3 or 4 hundred yards on the way and then turned us down to tramp the rest of the way. This time luck was on our side and we found Mrs M[addox] in and she sang several very beautiful tunes to us — she has not given us one bad tune. To-day, amongst others, she gave us the first good and complete version of the 2 Crows and also Green Bushes. Weather much the same as yesterday but rather warmer. On our return we did some shopping buying canned goods etc in preparation for our leaving for Natural Bridge by the 4.39. Lunched, rested, packed had tea and embarked on train arriving at the station at 6.15 and at the hotel — 3 miles away — at 6.30. Lovely place and very comfortable rooms but I am afraid we shan’t get any songs. Still it will be nice to get some decent food and rest and time to write up our books. Probably shall not stay beyond week end. Several people at the hotel and lovely country, but the hotel has clearly spoiled the immediate neighbourhood.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p127)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 127. Saturday 4 May 1918 - Natural Bridge, Virginia

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USA : Viginia : Natural Bridge
Diary date
4th May 1918

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Slept very well in a comfortable bed and after breakfast tramped around. Met some nice cottages in the vicinity and got a cue which took us a four mile tramp in a very hot sun, and all to no purpose as our quarry Mr & Mrs Hayslett were pious & fanatical soft shell Baptists & w[ould] only sing hymns! Got back at 1.30, had lunch and a rest and then wrote letters till dinner time to Miss Gilman, Mrs Aldrich etc. Wired Bradley in the morning to know if he has got rooms and if so where. Made friends with several people here, Miss Purcell of N[ew] York, Miss Beales[?] a teacher and Mrs Willoughby Sharp a millionaire person[?] living in Washington Square N[ew] York. They insisted on our singing on the verandah in the evening so we gave them a nice little concert until quite late. Weather very beautiful but beginning to get unpleasantly warm. Went to see the Natural Bridge with Miss Purcell after dinner — a very beautiful gorge — for the sight of which the hotel people had the audacity to charge us $1.20 apiece! This place is absolutely useless for collecting but it is fairly comfortable and we shall get a nice rest. Determine to tackle Tye River & Rockfish on Monday.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p128)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 128. Sunday 5 May 1918 - Natural Bridge

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USA : Viginia : Natural Bridge
Diary date
5th May 1918

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Breakfasted at 9 a.m. then set to work in earnest on letters etc. First I dictated to Maud descriptions of figures of Afton dance and finished that off. Then I wrote 10 letters to Barnicott, Dr Rouse, [….?] Duncan, Geo[graphical] Society, Bank, Miss Hewitt, Gray, Bradley Alphonso Smith and cleared the slate more or less to my satisfaction. Then lunch and a long talk on the verandah with our lady friends Mrs Willoughby Smith reading a letter from her sister describing a visit to the Fabian Summer School in Surrey. Rested, wrote more letters and began packing. This needed great care as after tomorrow we shall not see our trunks till we get to Washington. Had a cryptic telegram from Bradley evidently wrongly transmitted, but I gather that he has engaged rooms for us at the Dewey. Also received proof of Cut[?] from Gray much to my satisfaction. Had a long talk with our friends here after dinner trying to interest Mrs Willoughby Smith & Miss Purcell in the Gilman School. Telegraphed Miss Gilman to hold mail for the moment. Weather bright and sunny but not too hot — just nice.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p129)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 129. Monday 6 May 1918 - Massie’s Mills, Virginia

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USA : Viginia : Massie's Mills
Diary date
6th May 1918

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Breakfasted early, settled up and caught 8.45 for Lynchburg then booked to Tye River, arriving at 12.45. Here we found that earlier[?] train had gone and no other train till tomorrow. So chartered a motor from Mr Parr the store keeper and drove to Massie’s Mills — $5. Rather a squash for 3 people on one seat and it wanted careful packing to get ourselves & suitcases, type- writer into this crazy contraption. Road bad part of the way & good the rest — punctured a tyre which however was mended pretty quickly. Found Massie’s Mills a very beautiful little village at the bottom of a basin enclosed by hills and found quite nice rooms at Mrs Bayrd’s Virginia House. At first we thought we could get songs here but soon found that one half of the population were industrials aiming at gentility, the other half African. So decided to leave our comfortable quarters early tomorrow for Nash, 10 miles further into the mountains and out of reach of everything — even the telephone! Weather stiflingly hot, particularly when the breeze which had made things passable died down in the evening. Bedrooms full of beetles, may bugs, moths & other flying vermin! We ought to have gone to Arrington, next station to Tye River, where fast trains stop & where there is a macadam road.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p130)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 130. Tuesday 7 May 1918 - Nash, Virginia

Place
USA : Viginia : Nash
Diary date
7th May 1918

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Mr Fulton Ligon — a half-caste negro — calls before we are up, and I arrange with him to motor us to Nash at 10 o’clock. So after breakfast we settle up with the Bayrds telephone to Tye River station and order our trunks to be sent to Charlottesville, change some money at the bank and then start for Nash — a wonderful 10 mile drive right into the heart of the mountains. Road quite good after our experiences in Kentucky. On arrival call on Mr Hency Coffey whose wife agrees to take care of us. A very primitive little house, scarcely more than a log cabin, but very nice people of good mountain stock. Three children living with them Bruce, a very handsome youth about 18, Maisie about 13, and William, who is sick, about 10. We have some lunch and then sally forth and call on Mr Philander L. Fitzgerald (father of Clinton of Afton) and his blind wife, with whom we spend several delightful hours. He sang several excellent songs and is a really delightful old man 76 years old. We got a corrupt version of John o’Hazelgreen from him & several others. They live in a very small cabin high on the mountain side. Return about 6.30 and make ourselves some tea. Sup with the family at 8.30 and sit on the porch singing songs till 10, both Mr and Mrs Coffey contributing ditties. Then bed. Only one sheet — an under one — to my bed — just a patch work coverlet over me. Only one wash basin in the house! But things are fairly clean and that is what matters most of all.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p131)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 131. Wednesday 8 May 1918 - Nash

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USA : Viginia : Nash
Diary date
8th May 1918

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The family get up first & use the wash-basin in the back porch. Maud then has it in her room and I get it last of all and manage to shave & wash in it after a fashion. Slept fairly well and should have slept quite well except for the dogs who barked incessantly in the early part of the night. After breakfast we take our lunch and start off for A. T. Allen — Andy Allen — about 5 miles off — a glorious walk over the hills, through woods, and the rushing Tye sometimes 100 feet below us. Call on several people on the way and finally on Mrs Fanny Coffey & her son. She gives me half a dozen fair — not very good — songs, and her son — shortly going to Camp — accompanied us on part of our journey. Eventually arrive at Allen’s house to find he has gone away for a week’s visit. His two sons sing & fiddle but all modern stuff and we console ourselves for our disappointment by imagining that the father sang nothing else. So about 2.30 we turned our faces homewards and tramped back in a very hot sun and — for the first 2 or 3 miles — very little shade. Called in on the Coffeys on our way and Mrs Coffey sang me 7 more songs really good ones this time! So after all I have not done badly to day. Get back soon after six and Maud makes me some tea. Rather tired after our 11 or 12 miles tramp but not over much so. The family go to prayer meeting after supper but we beg to be excused and, instead, retire early to bed — not however to sleep, so far as I am concerned because of the dogs who bark worse than ever!

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p132)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 132. Thursday 9 May 1918 - Nash

Place
USA : Viginia : Nash
Diary date
9th May 1918

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Slept very badly again although the night was quite cool, even cold. But I miss a sheet (upper one) and the dogs make an infernal row and prevent my getting off to sleep. Weather fairly cool, so directly after breakfast make for Crab Tree Falls, calling at P[ost] O[ffice] where I found a large batch of letters awaiting me from England, Bradley etc. Last night there was a prayer meeting after which apparently the whole village discussed us. It was generally agreed we were German spies — noting tunes etc was clearly a blind to hid nefarious intentions — the fact that we eat no meat too was a clear indication that there was something wrong. Then we had asked at Mrs Taylor’s yesterday where her spring was (of course we had done no such thing) and that meant we intended to poison it! Although how killing poor Mrs Taylor would assist the Kaiser, no one seemed to think! Last of all we were 4 people not two and Mr & Mrs Coffey were greatly to be pitied for being taken in by two such obvious rascals — but then "Selina would do anything for money!". All this we heard at the houses we called at, chiefly from dear old Aunt Betty Fitzgerald aged 85 with whom we had many talks, but from whom we got no songs! The [….?] FitzGeralds obviously eyed us askance & refused to sing, and the two [….?] Elders staying with her treated us most curtly. Got no songs until we called on old Philander who sang us several first raters. His old blind wife, he told us, had cut out, made & served the skirt she wore all by herself. She threads the needle in her mouth with her tongue. In the evening I showed Coffey my passport in case he might be influenced by rumours. We all sat in my room & sang & laughed and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves till nearly 11 p.m. Bruce — a delightful youth of about 17 — Maisie nice but fat — William who has been and still is very sick and the parents. We have decided to leave tomorrow if we can get a motor to take us to Arrington. We have more or less finished the singers within walking distance.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p133)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 133. Friday 10 May 1918 - Nash

Place
USA : Viginia : Nash
Diary date
10th May 1918

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Had a very poor night again but slept a bit towards morning when the dogs quietened down. Maud went off with Maisie to Mr Hatter at Tyre to get him if possible to motor us while I walked in steaming hot weather to Mrs Fanny Coffee. Found her, her father, old Alex Coffey, & her mother sitting out some distance away from her home. She & her father sang me several nice songs including a beautiful version of Arise Arise. Then her father went to the mill while I waited behind for some time calling on the father at the mill on the way back, tested Arise and got him to sing several others. He is a fine singer. I got back very hot at 1 had lunch and then took 8 photos of the family. The motor came at 2.30 & we said good bye with genuine reluctance. They are thoroughly nice people, with nice feelings. They never did anything snobbish or affected or unpleasant — a great contrast to the Bayrd’s — and were not in the least bit shy or overawed — took us just as we were and obviously interested in our lives which were so different from their own. A very hot, dusty & unpleasant motor drive to Arrington arriving at 4.30. Happily there was a clean little hotel where we got a wash, some tea & jam[?] and a quiet room for a smoke. Dived on the G&S[?] train and got rooms at the old Gleason revelling in a bath & clean sheets!

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p134)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 134. Saturday 11 May 1918 - Arrington, Virginia

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USA : Viginia : Arrington
Diary date
11th May 1918

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After breakfast I went out in search of Mcmanaway, the School Inspector of Albemarle Co[unty] and had a long talk with him about Summer School and the advisability of some of his school-teachers taking the course. He advised me seeing Mr Maphis the Professor at the University here who arranges the Summer Course and getting him to appoint someone to give a course in English folk-dancing. But I have no time as the whole of to-day has been spent in writing up my tunes collected this past week. I find I have taken down nearly a hundred since we left Washington and nearly 40 this last week. On the whole they are an average lot as regards the words, but the tunes are distinctly above the average. It is very warm to day but our rooms are fairly cool and I have enjoyed the quiet and rest after the turmoil of travelling and staying at indifferent places. Wrote to Mrs Coffey a "Collins" and to Ditson to tell them to send a copy of my book to her. This will I hope please her and her husband. In the evening we went to the Movies — a very poor show. A heavy thunderstorm and rain as we went and returned — but the wet is really refreshing after the dusty windy days we have been have been having. Saw Marcella Callery this morning driving with a friend.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p135)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 135. Sunday 12 May 1918 - Arrington — Washington

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USA : Viginia : Arrington / USA : Washington DC
Diary date
12th May 1918

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Packed after breakfast, sent trunks to the station and went over, got tickets etc and finally left at 12.30 for Washington arriving at 4 p.m. Met Miss Florence Cobb of Hindman on the train and sat and talked and had lunch with her. On arrival taxi’d to the Hotel Powhatan and took rooms which Bradley had reserved with us, rather nice ones. Dined at the hotel and then went up to see Mrs Aldrich with whom I had a long and pleasant talk. She told me about the arrangements for the lecture on Tuesday and asked Maud and me to dine with her on that evening. I wrote several letters in the afternoon. My Schirmer book arrived — the six complimentary copies.1 It is well printed but I am not enamoured with the cover which is white in colour and will soon get soiled in use. Weather very warm, dusty & windy. Washington, now that all the trees are out in full leaf in the boulevards & parks looks very beautiful.


1: Anglo-American Folk Songs (Schirmer: New York, 1918).

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p136)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 136. Monday 13 May 1918 - Washington

Diary date
13th May 1918

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Breakfasted at the hotel at an enormous price — 2 dollars for toast, marmalade & tea! Profiteering is rampant in this country, and quite shamelessly! Telephoned to Bradley and arranged to lunch with him. Wrote several letters, Peabody, Bank, Peggy Scovill etc and sent lists of copies of my book to be sent to friends here & in England etc. After tea wrote more letters and read Shane Leslie’s book — The End of a Chapter — which I found very good and brilliantly written. Yet it seems only the other day when I taught him & his brother the piano at Ludgrove.1 I am not feeling at all well this morning — evidently gout — my eye is bad too, ulcerated slightly. Had dinner at a small restaurant with Bradley who came back to our rooms. I showed him the songs we had collected in Virginia and sang several of them to him and he appeared very interested. He left at 9 when I wrote a longish letter to Fox Strangways, sending him some of my latest tunes. Weather still very warm with heavy thunder & showers in the afternoon.


1: The End of a Chapter: memoir (1916). Sharp was music master at Ludgrove [preparatory] School from 1893 to 1910.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p137)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 137. Tuesday 14 May 1918 - Washington

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14th May 1918

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Breakfasted at the Tea Pot Inn with Bradley and spent the morning doing many odds & ends in the way of shopping. Bought and despatched a nice woolen jersey to old Philander FitzGerald — Maud sending his wife a pair of kid gloves. We laid in a store of canned things & marmalade for the next expedition. I bought my photofilms etc. Ernestine [Evans] called and we took her out to lunch. Afterwards I rested, wrote one or two letters and then got ready for dinner at Mrs Aldrich’s at 8 — the Leslie’s & Willert being there. We all went off to Henry White’s at whose large ambassadorial house I lectured before a "distinguished" company, Leslie introducing me. Lady Reading, the French Ambassador & his wife, Mr & Mrs Jusserand, Mrs George Vanderbilt, the Claxtons (education) Hendersons, Willerts and some Generals & Judges & Major Swinton[?] were there. The lecture went off quite well and everyone seemed very pleased. Maud and I sang quite a number of ballads & songs which it was clear people liked. One or two afterwards hinted to me that it was nice to have an Englishman speaking about something which he had found in America! Quite a long "court" after it was over and I was glad to get home and to bed.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p138)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 138. Wednesday 15 May 1918 - Washington

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15th May 1918

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Woke up rather tired and then went to Tea Pot Inn & breakfasted again with Bradley, afterwards getting off my last M.S book to Kittredge, my films to Meyrowitz etc and purchasing a new straw hat. Through the telephone arranged to lunch with the Leslies, tea at 4 with the Hendersons at 5 with Mrs Vanderbilt and dine at 8 with the Willerts. The lunch was very pleasant and Shane walked back with me to the hotel discussing Ludgrove, Arthur Dunn, G. O. S[mith] etc to our hearts content.1 Mrs Henderson is an old lady, widow of a Senator living in a high Rock Castle[?] She talked about the ballet and the Delsante[?] arm movements etc and lived in the Mid Victorian days of dancing. Mrs Geo Vanderbilt is a fine rather Jewish looking woman, a widow who received us in her garden, smoked with us, and was free & easy. Evidently interested in the mountain people but not I imagine artistically inclined. The dinner at the Willerts was most interesting; we sang several songs and everyone was clearly most sympathetic to the work I am doing. There were Mrs & Capt[ain] Aldrich, Mrs Crane of Mass[achusetts] & her sister and Sir Babington Smith of the English Commission in America. Maud & I walked home in the cool of the evening very well pleased with our day’s work though very tired withal. We decide to go back to Nellysford on Friday, via Charlottesville.


1: Arthur Dunn founded Ludgrove. G. O. Smith was among the consortium which took it over after Dunn’s death in 1902.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p139)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 139. Thursday 16 May 1918 - Washington

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16th May 1918

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Breakfasted at the Chancery Inn with Bradley and then after a little shopping returned to the hotel and wrote several letters including a long one to Mrs Storrows in reply to her sending me the subs[criptions] she had collected on my behalf for the collection — [….?]. Also a long one to Constance and several others. Shane Leslie called for me and we went out and lunched — at his request — at a steam table restaurant, a kind of cafeteria which if rather crude in many ways was at least quiet. We sat, smoked and chatted there for 2 hours or more. After tea we met Bradley and together trudged out to the Rock Creek Cemetery to see the famous St Gaudens statue.1 It was a terrible journey in a very crowded hot car and when we arrived it took us a full hour to find the statue. But it was worth taking trouble to see as it is fine. It was 8 p.m. before we got back and we had difficulty in finding a place open so had to fall back upon the Steam Table place once again! Then to Bradley’s office where we met some of his friends — not very interesting ones to tell the truth — and to them we sang some of our songs. Bradley is beginning to get hold of the songs and to feel them musically. A visit to the drugstore moistened our dried throats & then to bed.


1: The Adams memorial (1891) by Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907).

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p140)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 140. Friday 17 May 1918 - Washington

Diary date
17th May 1918

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Woke up feeling rather seedy and on the way to the Tea Pot Inn returned to the hotel. Stomach pains — rather severe — attacked me and I sent Maud out to get me some morphia etc to relieve them, which it did. I packed my trunk as well as I could, rested and then went to lunch with Mrs Aldrich to say good bye. Had a nice quiet hour with her and then back to the hotel in her motor. Finished packing suit-case etc and settled up when Ernestine [Evans] called to say good bye. Left hotel at 3.40 to catch 4.15 train — arranged for us by the hotel porter — only to find on arrival that the 4.15 had long ago been cancelled. It was therefore a case of either taking the slow 4.5 or waiting for the 7.30 fast. We decided on the former which we caught by the skin of our teeth after a long run down a never-ending platform laden with luggage. This effort cost me dear for the pains came on again worse than ever and I had a very wretched journey. We got to Charlottesville at 8.45 and found the hotel very full having to put up with very poor rooms without baths. Maud went out and got some milk — we had not dined — and this with some dry biscuits we had with us formed our supper. I felt very ill indeed & quite collapsed, but very sleepy so I soon dozed off.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p141)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 141. Saturday 18 May 1918 - Charlottesville, Virginia

Diary date
18th May 1918

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Felt better on waking though very weak & feeble so I stayed in bed, having my breakfast brought to me, and dozed on to lunch which I got up for. After lunch moved into better rooms and slept again till 4, when we had tea. The pains have not returned but I am feeling very collapsed and generally out of sorts, quite unable to set about any strenuous collecting for a day or two. So we decide to stay here till Monday & recuperate. Two Steam- tables in one day were too much for me! After tea we walked to the University Book Shop to try and get some books to take with us to the mountains but found nothing but magazines, washy novels of no account, and college text-books, the proprietor saying that monthly magazines & novels formed the staple reading of the undergraduates! Called on Prof[essor] Metcalf, the successor of Alph[onso] Smith. He was out but he returned the call in the evening and I had a pleasant chat with him. Professor Johnson also called and is coming to see me, together with Dr Lewis tomorrow morning. The walk did me good and I am feeling a bit better, but not much to boast of. Telephone to Corbett at Afton. We may go on there tomorrow for the night.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p142)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 142. Sunday 19 May 1918 - Charlottesville

Diary date
19th May 1918

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After breakfast set to work to clear off correspondence. Wrote letters to Mrs Aldrich, Ditsons (copy to Henry White) Tet Miss Gilchrist, Butterworth, Geographical Soc[iety] (sub[scription] for Reuben Hensley) Mrs Luigi Zande, Miss Wells, & John Glenn. After tea we went over to the station checked our baggage and waited for the 5.15, which eventually puffed into the station at 6.15 and arrived at Afton rather more than an hour late. Corbett met us and drove us to his house where we were made very comfortable. His brother — the real estate man in Charlottesville was staying week-end. I like him but prefer Guy. The brother is sharper and shrewder and more the man of the world. They were all interested listening to the account of our doings in Washington and we had many a laugh over Mrs Aldrich’s telephone messages to Mrs Corbett concerning the mythical Mrs F. W. Scott. I am feeling very seedy and down on my luck. That attack I had at Washington seems to have sapped all my vitality. I expect however when I get out into the country I shall buck up again. I think Charlottesville is a thoroughly unhealthy place. In the morning Johnson, Dr Lewis & Bowling — all professors from the University — called and Lewis gave me a nigger chantey.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p143)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 143. Monday 20 May 1918 - Afton - Nellysford

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USA : Viginia : Afton / USA : Viginia : Nellysford
Diary date
20th May 1918

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Slept well but wake up feeling pretty bad and good for nothing. Telephoned for a motor from Waynesville and started down the Rockfish valley soon after 10. Hearing that Chisholm — presumably the brother or relation of Nep - lives at Greenfield we made enquiries there about lodgings but finding that C[hisholm] had recently moved on to Nellysford we go on there where after a little trouble we obtain a lodging in a fine old Queen Anne farmhouse belonging to Charlie Godwin. I have a large square room high ceiling, plenty of air & light & quite clean, while Maud has a similar room immediately above me. The food too is quite nice and the people friendly so we have dropped on very pleasant surroundings for once. After a rest & some tea we walk in search of Chisholm, calling on Mrs Berry on the way, from whom I get a couple of tunes. Mrs C and her daughter are at home but not Chisholm. We find out that he is Nep’s brother and that he is a thoroughly musical man. Mrs C arranges for him to be home tomorrow between 2 & 3 so we make that appointment. Weather very hot but cools off after dinner. We all sit out on the grass in front of the house until it is time to go to bed i.e. about 9 p.m.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p144)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 144. Tuesday 21 May 1918 - Nellysford, Virginia

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USA : Viginia : Nellysford
Diary date
21st May 1918

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A very hot day with thunder about. Began to rain about 1 o’clock and rained quietly at intervals the rest of the day. Wrote a lot of letters in the morning to Bradley, Bispham, Schirmer, Mattie Lindo etc. Called on some so-called singers but found them out. After early lunched trudged off by myself — Maud was seedy — in the rain to Jim Chisholm. Found him at home as he promised and he and his wife sang me some rather nice songs including the Lark in the Morn which I had not hitherto got here before two very interesting tunes to Cruel Mother & Sweet William and a fine tune to the Soldier Boy — not a bad lot considering that he is an instrumentalist rather than a singer. He plays the organ, fiddle & guitar while his daughter also plays the last. I played some tunes on the organ which they liked very much. Altogether quite a pleasant afternoon. Called on Mrs Berry on my return. The walk very hot, rather wet & extremely tiring. Got back about 7 p.m. We shall probably stay here another day though we do not expect to get much more here. But the food is very good — lots of milk — and we are comfortable and as neither of us is overfit we feel we ought to postpone for one day a change for the worse.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p145)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 145. Wednesday 22 May 1918 - Nellysford

Place
USA : Viginia : Nellysford
Diary date
22nd May 1918

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Breakfast at 6.30 -7 and then wrote up in my books the tunes I got yesterday — in fact a very fine lot. Then we go out on the hunt and call at the Small’s first where we get a splendid bunch including one or two well above the average. A Miss Small — now Lola Harris accompanies us to another woman, Mrs Willy Roberts, about 2 miles away — one of the hottest walks I have ever essayed! There we got a really beautiful version of The Cruel Mother and others. By lunch time we had walked for some 4 or 5 hours and got together 8 or 9 splendid songs. A Presbyterian Minister was at lunch much to the enjoyment of Miss Gardelow, sister of Mrs Godwin who lives here and shares with the latter the onus of the housekeeping. The Godwins are well to do farmers, by no means lacking in refinement or education, rather clever, but very simple and in many ways unsophisticated. After tea we went to see an old Coloured woman, Aunt Maria Tomes who sang us one good tune. She was a slave woman and was born 80 years ago — rather a nice old lady. She smoked a pipe. Weather very hot to day — really a July rather than a May day. Everyone predicts rain, but so far it has held off.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p146)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 146. Thursday 23 May 1918 - Nellysford

Place
USA : Viginia : Nellysford
Diary date
23rd May 1918

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Weather hotter than ever after a little rain in the night. We make for Stony Creek, a very beautiful tributary of the Rockfish river, and call at several houses but without any result. At two of the houses we were received quite sullenly — the people evidently suspecting us in these troublous times. The papers have worked up the spy scandal and we are the victims. We shall evidently have to be careful. After tea called on Mrs Willie Roberts and got one or two nice tunes out of her. After supper went into the Dol Small’s a most delightful family, Dol & his wife and 12 children, all smiling! They sang to us and then adjourned to the next house where there was a new and quite good piano upon which I operated greatly to the delight of the family who smiled more than ever! They are really a delightful and happy lot and it was a great pleasure to be able to return them something. We decide to go on to Beechgrove tomorrow as we have several good clues to follow up. A large packet of mail letters from England etc and my photographs from Meyrowitz which have come out splendidly this time.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p147)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 147. Friday 24 May 1918 - Beechgrove, Virginia

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USA : Viginia : Beechgrove
Diary date
24th May 1918

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Packed and motored to Beechgrove soon after breakfast in Dol Small’s motor. Called on the Smalls, Dol insisting that I should play the Cuckoo’s Nest on the piano as a farewell — which of course I did greatly to his satisfaction. Rather a nasty road and bumpy journey and then on our arrival found great difficulty in finding a lodging. Mrs Lindy Thompson was most suspicious about us and refused us finally point blank. Mrs Ewing however agreed to board us and give Maud a room if I could persuade Mrs L. Thompson to give me a bed. This after much persuasion she ultimately agreed to do, but not until after I had shown & read to her my passport. We had a scrap lunch and then walked a couple of miles up the valley — a very beautiful walk by the side of the Rockfish — which is very nearly but not quite as lovely as the Tye. Called on Napoleon FitzGerald, brother of old Philander, and got some interesting songs from him though he is not the singer that his brother is. Then to Mrs Dodd from whom I got some very good ones. After supper went to Thompson, made friends with him and then to bed, on a shuck[?] mattress and no sheets, but room & bed fairly clean. So dead tired that I managed to sleep.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p148)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 148. Saturday 25 May 1918 - Beechgrove — Afton

Place
USA : Viginia : Beechgrove / USA : Viginia : Afton
Diary date
25th May 1918

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In very cloudy weather walked up again to FitzGeralds and got one more song from him; then to Mrs Dodd who sang me 3 first raters. Returned to Mr FitzGerald’s where I took several photos of himself and family but in a very bad light. It began to rain & thunder as we returned and presaged a very slippery & nervy motor ride back to Afton. After lunch sang several songs to the three teachers who board at Mrs Ewing’s. Then to the Thompson’s to say good bye. The car came at 3 and we began in heavy rain a very nasty ride of some 20 miles. The rain stopped before we got to Nellysford (where I got my letters) and after that the roads got worse & worse and a very inexperienced and rather reckless young driver (Hughes by name) added to my terror. When we got to Avon I alighted & walked the rest of the way — about 5 miles — in very heavy clay roads so that I arrived at Afton quite tired out. The Corbett’s provided a warm bath which was a real treat — there was no wash basin in my room last night — not even a looking glass! — and revived me. After dinner & a smoke went to bed early thoroughly tired out. Weather very hot.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p149)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 149. Sunday 26 May 1918 - Afton

Place
USA : Viginia : Afton
Diary date
26th May 1918

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Had a very comfortable night, despite the heat, and had a late breakfast. Then adjourned to the cottage hard by and wrote up my tunes, some 25 or more, making 45 for the week, a very respectable haul. Lunched at 2 when the Corbett’s came back from church and had a rest afterwards. Then went to the station to see about my trunks and on the way back called at Miss Joy’s to find her out. Called on Mr Robinson with whom I had a very pleasant chat. Then wrote several letters, Bank (for cheque book), Dr Ellis, Miss Daisy Moore, Miss Gilman etc. After supper sat on verandah in the cool moonlight, talked, sang songs etc till pretty late. Weather extremely hot but bright & nice. Have decided to give up Virginia for the present and spend the last 3 weeks in West Virginia by way of experiment, to that end making for Ronceverte by the 8.40 a.m. train tomorrow. In this way we shall break new ground, give W[est] V[irginia] a test and continue our explorations in V[irginia] later on, where we know we can get good stuff.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p150)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 150. Monday 27 May 1918 - Ronceverte, West Virginia

Place
USA : West Viginia : Ronceverte
Diary date
27th May 1918

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Mr Corbett motored us to the station after breakfast and we began a long & wearing & hot 5-hour journey. The scenery was the most beautiful we have yet passed through by rail. Except for a flat piece round about Staunton we were in the midst of high mountains the whole way, crossing 3 ranges in turn, The Shenandoah, Blue Ridge and Alleghenies. We found Ronceverte a beastly railroad town, very dirty and very smelly. The Hotel was quite one of the worst we have yet struck, 50% worse than the Atkin at Knoxville! Expensive too, 3 & 3_ dollars a day! If we get away without any disease we shall be fortunate. After a short rest & some tea we stroll out to prospect and find conditions here anything but hopeful. We noticed that the mountain passes we went through were practically uninhabited, unlike any other part of the mountains that we know. Ronceverte is in a hole surrounded by high mountains and although 1600 feet in altitude, very stuffy hot & airless — a most unsavoury place! Went to Movies in the evening with a drink at the Drug Store!

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p151)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 151. Tuesday 28 May 1918 - Ronceverte

Place
USA : West Viginia : Ronceverte
Diary date
28th May 1918

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Got up at 6 and caught the 7.30 electric trolley to Lewisberg making friends with a nice old lady Mrs Strater in the train whom we found smoking her pipe. Lewisberg is an old fashioned County Seat situated on a high plateau covered with large & flourishing farms. Not at all the place for us the more especially as Lewisberg consists of comfortable homes peopled by white men & women of respectable standing, and negroes in large numbers by whom the labour is performed. We had an interesting talk with a Mrs Gilman a lawyer’s wife who told us about the country generally and we got 2 or 3 songs from a Mrs Vergie Charlton and should have got more from her brother in law, Rutterford, a blacksmith had he not been too busy. We returned by the 1.30 trolley. After tea sent off my photos to Meyrowitz, wrote to Miss Hough of Baltimore, Miss Dickey etc. Telephoned & found out that the hotel at Pence Springs was open and decide to go on there tomorrow, but dread another night here! Go to Movies, drug store and then to bed.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p152)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 152. Wednesday 29 May 1918 - Ronceverte

Place
USA : West Viginia : Ronceverte
Diary date
29th May 1918

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After breakfast pack our trunks and then go out prospecting but without any result — indeed we did not expect any. Then back at 11.30 to write up tunes, and do some letters etc. Wrote to Joan and Miss Barnett (Bedford). After lunch, settle up and go to station where take train (_ hour late) for Pence Springs, arriving there about 3.30. A new hotel just finished and we are the first guests to write our names in the book. A fine building commanding a great mountain view. The springs are mainly sulphur, smelling & tasting of rotten eggs. As they supply no other drinking water we wonder whether we can stand it. After a rest walk out & interview Miss Pence brother[?] of the man whose father discovered the spring and make enquiries about neighbourhood. From what she tells us & we ourselves see it ought to be a fruitful hunting ground — at any rate it will serve as a good test of W[est] V[irginia] as a folk song country. After dinner sit on porch with Manager & his wife — Mr and Mrs Paxton — whom we find were proprietors of the Richmond Hotel, Washington when we stayed there last month! Very hot indeed but the nights seem cool.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p153)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 153. Thursday 30 May 1918 - Pence Springs, West Virginia

Place
USA : West Viginia : Pence Springs
Diary date
30th May 1918

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Start off directly after breakfast up one of the creeks and call on Mrs Fletch Miller a very nice woman who after considerable pressure sings me 3 tolerably good ones. Then a long walk thro’ the woods — very beautiful — to Mr Hill’s whose wife (the reputed singer) is out. Then to Mr Canterbury who also is out, and whose wife seems to know nothing whatever about love-songs. Call also at a Mrs Duncan who knows nothing either. Things begin to look ominous as these people in other parts would certainly know something at any rate about the songs. We get back at 3.45 extremely hot, dusty and tired out. Get some milk and biscuits, lie down, wash up and have tea after which we feel fairly refreshed. Do not feel up to going out again so stay in room and put photos in my book. In the evening the weather gets a little cooler and we sit outside on the verandah with Mr & Mrs Paxton and enjoy the cool and the quietude.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p154)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 154. Friday 31 May 1918 - Pence Springs

Place
USA : West Viginia : Pence Springs
Diary date
31st May 1918

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Weather hotter than ever. The papers talk of "unprecedented" heat for May — apparently we are breaking another record, about the sixth this year! In the morning go a long tramp and get absolutely nothing — cannot even make people understand what we want. So on our return worn out at lunch time we decide to move back to V[irginia]. Mrs Paxton says she is not surprised at our failure because the people about here are all new, taking the places vacated by the old originals who have gone west after the coal. As this accords with what we had already found out it heightens our determination to go. So we go to Clifton Forge by 5 train arriving 7.45. Soon after we started I got a cinder in my right eye which hurt me very much. The only way I could stay the pain was by closing both eyes and keeping absolutely still — and this I did for 2 solid hours in dreadful heat & discomfort! On arrival went to a barber, by name Harte, who at once took it out. Oh the relief! Put up for the night at Gladys Hotel. Telephoning to Natural Bridge we found Mrs W[illoughby] Sharp had just left for N[ew] York so decide to go on to Lynchburg and Blue Ridge tomorrow.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p155)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 155. Saturday 1 June 1918 - Blue Ridge Springs, West Virginia

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USA : West Viginia : Blue Ridge Springs
Diary date
1st Jun 1918

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Left by 7 a.m. train for Lynchburg in awful weather — it reached 93 today & yesterday! Arrived there at 10.45 and had a 4-h[our] wait to get a train for B[lue] Ridge. I hunted about for Cissie Coffey and eventually ran her to earth at the Lynchburg City Hospital. Found her a very nice person, very much like her mother, Selina. She could not get away so had to refuse to lunch with us. Left Maud at The Virginia where I now joined her and had lunch. The room nearly full of idle over-dressed young girls — a gruesome sight. The young women of America do not attract me! Then to the station where we had to wait in torrid heat on the platform for 1_ h[ours] for the train which as usual was horribly late. By the time we got to Blue Ridge I was just done up and so was Maud. The hotel is in a gorge completely hidden away among trees, rather dilapidated, no electric light, nor wire screens, and practically no light nor air. Rooms fairly good, bath without hot water but beds & food fairly good. Dined, got into bed and went to sleep in a moment just like a log or a hog!

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p156)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 156. Sunday 2 June 1918 - Blue Ridge Springs

Place
USA : West Viginia : Blue Ridge Springs
Diary date
2nd Jun 1918

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Wake feeling rather refreshed but find the place very depressing, chiefly because of the darkness. I cannot write in my room and can scarcely see to read except in the middle of the day. Breakfast rather late — nearly 9. Met a nice old Gentleman at our table a real old Virginian a Capt[ain] Tait, one of the celebrated Newmarket Cadets1. He is a little dotty but a gentleman with a mild sense of humour and we like him. Go out on the tramp 10-2 and get a few songs, calling on 3 houses. I think this may be a favourable hunting ground if we can stand the hotel! After a rest and some tea sally out again and get one or two more tunes at the Pooley’s. Then home to write letters on the verandah — the only place I can see! Write to Mrs Aldrich, Mr Corbett & Gray and put my papers in order. I am feeling pretty done up, partly the result of the extreme heat but chiefly I believe because 7 or 8 weeks of this work brings me about to the end of my tether. However, after a blank week like the last one I cannot give up yet.


1: Newmarket Cadets: students of the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) who had a decisive part in the Battle of New Market (1864).

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p157)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 157. Monday 3 June 1918 - Blue Ridge Springs

Place
USA : West Viginia : Blue Ridge Springs
Diary date
3rd Jun 1918

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A very dull rainy day. We put on our oil skins and sally forth in the morning to explore the neighbourhood but get nothing. We however gather together some clues which will be useful when we go to Villamont and Montvale tomorrow. After tea we go out again and call upon Mrs Charlie Grey from whom we learn all about the Grey family in the mountains. In the evening we sing to the Elliston children, old Capt[ain] Tait and a Mr Clark the Depot agent. We are making quite a reputation here with our singing. Capt Tait who is an old Newmarket Cadet and fought through the Civil War and is a dear old man is very enthusiastic. Last night we had a private audience consisting of several men from Roanoke, lawyers, Perkins & Coleman were two of them, the latter a sister of Mrs Ewing of Beechgrove! Tait goes on Wednesday and we shall miss him. It is interesting talking about Virginian politics and the civil war.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p158)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 158. Tuesday 4 June 1918 - Blue Ridge Springs

Place
USA : West Viginia : Blue Ridge Springs
Diary date
4th Jun 1918

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Breakfasted at 6.30 and caught 7 a.m. train for Villamont about 3 or 4 miles away. We first called on Mrs Reba Dooley and got a little from her; then to Mrs Roberts to settle a point about the Brown Girl and back again to Mrs Dooley’s where we met a Mrs J. L. Long who not only sang to us but took us to a Mrs Bowyer who was quite a good singer. Mr Bowyer who when he appeared in his working clothes, excused himself because of his "outside appearance" showed me some old coins he had collected. Then we went on a long hot tramp to Dewey where we found Mrs Donald out! Then through the woods to the Lawson Greys meeting an old lady Mrs Thomas in a small log cabin nursing a small baby and singing a lullaby which I noted. The Greys were very nice and I got a nice bunch of songs at their house. Then another 2 or 3 miles to Montvale station where we took the train home arriving about 5 — a good 10 hours day in great heat, walking over 10 miles, and neither eating nor drinking anything. Some milk, tea and a rest. After dinner sang some more songs to old Capt[ain] Tait and a friend of his etc.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p159)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 159. Wednesday 5 June 1918 - Blue Ridge Springs

Place
USA : West Viginia : Blue Ridge Springs
Diary date
5th Jun 1918

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Decide to take a day off and get ready for another tramp to Villamont & Montvale tomorrow. Wrote up my tunes on the verandah after breakfast, wrote to Rabold (re Miss Shaw) and than had a bath — this is the only time in the day when the water is hot. This occupied us till dinner. Weather as hot as ever, but beautifully bright & sunny. Maud went into Roanoke by the afternoon train after tea to get supplies, canned soups marmalade etc, as the food here is very inadequate. I first tried to harmonize in ball-room but the attendants came in to clean so had to leave. Wrote a long letter to Constance and one or two others. Met Maud at 7 train & carried her package back. Weather keeps very hot with occasional showers not of much account. My asthma is getting pretty bad here, scarcely surprising considering the dense forest in the midst of which we are living!

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p160)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 160. Thursday 6 June 1918 - Blue Ridge Springs

Place
USA : West Viginia : Blue Ridge Springs
Diary date
6th Jun 1918

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Breakfast at 6.30. Caught 7 train for Dewey a small flag-station between here & Montvale. Walked to Mrs Donald’s house and got Mrs Donald — an old lady — to sing which she did very beautifully giving me 10 first rate tunes — words not of much account. Then walked on to the Lawson Gray’s eating our lunch in a wood (bread and raisins is my fare, but Maud debauches herself with hard-boiled eggs) getting there about 11. Had quite a concert, Mrs Tina Dooley, Mr Gray’s sister being there and singing rather well. We sang a great many songs, The two Crows being the most popular one. I got some nice songs and at 2.30 we walked back to Montvale station, in a shower, which though not very heavy, spoiled my new white umbrella! Very tired on getting back. Had milk and tea & rested till dinner. Sang songs on verandah to the hotel guests in the evening.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p161)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 161. Friday 7 June 1918 - Blue Ridge Springs

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USA : West Viginia : Blue Ridge Springs
Diary date
7th Jun 1918

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Stayed at home all day. Weather extremely hot and close. Wrote up my tunes — 20 of them — in the morning and then went to the Post Office to correct address. Those infernal Western Union people had, as usual, blundered and sent my telegram to Miss Gilman "Bluefield Springs" instead of Blue Ridge. I also wired to Miss Gilman to correct the error. This is the 3rd mistake they have made this trip — Wellisford for Nellysford and "why" for "where" in telegram to Bradley. No one seems to mind here, complacently remarking, "Well mistakes will happen sometimes"! Wrote several letters to Mr Glenn, Miss Hough (Baltimore) & Campbell and Grove Park Inn. We cannot make up our minds whether to go to the latter place for our rest or Natural Bridge. The latter is cheaper and will save us long railway journeys and heavy fares but the food is poor and we both want feeding up. Haven’t yet decided. Rain in the afternoon after which it gets very cold and I shiver in bed nearly all night!

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p162)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 162. Saturday 8 June 1918 - Blue Ridge Springs

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USA : West Viginia : Blue Ridge Springs
Diary date
8th Jun 1918

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Weather quite cold when we get up at 6 a.m. and I put on my coat — but not waistcoat. Catch the usual 7 a.m. train for Dewey and walk on to Mrs Donald’s again. Get some songs from her but not nearly such good ones as on Thursday. Then after eating our lunch in the woods to the Lawson Grays. I photograph the family and they sing some more songs. Mrs Gray strongly advises us to go & see Mrs Gross, her mother, who lives 2_ miles up the side of the mountain; and then walk over the mountain back to Blue Ridge. Unhappily our luck is against us. We find Mrs Gross’s house but she is out! Then we fail to get any clear directions and go 2 or 3 miles out of our way going down the mountain on the wrong side and having to toil up again! I got terribly tired but Maud stood it fairly well. We must have walked 9 or 10 miles from Mrs Lawson Gray’s, i.e. 12 or 13 miles altogether and most of it pretty rough travelling. Got a few songs from Mrs Rhoda Gray who lives with Mrs Julia Gray, Lawson’s mother, near Mrs Gross’s house. Go to bed early having secured extra blankets!

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p163)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 163. Sunday 9 June 1918 - Blue Ridge Springs

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USA : West Viginia : Blue Ridge Springs
Diary date
9th Jun 1918

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A very cold night again even with overcoats on the beds as well as extra blankets! Breakfast rather late — at 8.45 — and then write up tunes, sitting on verandah. Last week was one of the best weeks I have ever had. I took down 62 tunes including some very fine ones indeed. The Virginian tunes are the best I have yet got, though the words are poor and we do not get many ballads. The folk songs are dying out here slowly but surely just as in England. Everyone has known them, it is just a matter of recalling them. And we get most of them from oldish people. After tea called at Ed Donald’s but drew a blank. Then at his suggestion went to see Bob Bradley from whom we got several rather nice ones. Sitting under the trees with him & his family was very pleasant; he sang & we sang in return much to their delight. We promise to go in again one evening.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p164)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 164. Monday 10 June 1918 - Blue Ridge Springs

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USA : West Viginia : Blue Ridge Springs
Diary date
10th Jun 1918

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Breakfast at 6.30 & train to Dewey and thence to Mrs Donald, for the last time. We got several more from her but she is a vague inconsequent person and it is hard work pumping her — but worth the trouble. Then to Mrs Bowyer from whom we extracted several more including quite a wonderful tune to the "Little Merchant’s Daughter" and a nice variant of "Geordie". Then we called on Mrs Long who was "sick" and couldn’t sing so we tramped back 3 or 4 miles home along a dusty road in an intense heat arriving in a state of sweat & collapse — Maud worse than I on this occasion. After lunch, a rest and tea wrote out my tunes. I find I have taken down between 70 & 80 in this last week — a record. In the evening walked round to Bob Bradley’s, got some more songs from him and sang several ourselves. His son played the banjo and a man did a very spirited hoe-down after which Maud danced Lumps of Plum Pudding & None so Pretty to my singing accompaniment, much to everyone’s delight! Home to bed pretty tired.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p165)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 165. Tuesday 11 June 1918 - Blue Ridge Springs

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USA : West Viginia : Blue Ridge Springs
Diary date
11th Jun 1918

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Our last day here. We both feel pretty tired but make a great effort and, despite the heat, walk up the mountain to Mrs Grey the woman who put us on our way last Saturday & said she knew some songs. We at last found her and discovered she was a young unmarried girl only 13 years old! She knew nothing of value in the way of songs but she showed us a lot of rather nice crochet work and we promised to try & help her get a sale for it at one of the Mountain Industries Societies. After lunch we rested and then packed, a gruesome business as usual, rendered doubly difficult because of the stygian darkness of our rooms. We staid at home after supper, sitting on the verandah and viewing for the last time our two little wrens feeding their family and wondering how they will teach their young ones to fly from such a place.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p166)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 166. Wednesday 12 June 1918 - Blue Ridge Springs

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USA : West Viginia : Blue Ridge Springs
Diary date
12th Jun 1918

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Got up early, locked up our boxes, said good bye and started off by the 8.25 for Roanoke, Ellison accompanying us that far. It was terribly hot in Roanoke but we did a good many things, bought biscuits and marmalade, some ribbons for Mrs Lawson Gray’s granddaughter, arranged for N[ew] Y[ork] Times to be sent to me at Natural Bridge and then went to the movies meeting our Roanoke friend there Mr Kaski. We then had a drink at the Drug Store, got some lunch at the station and found, as usual, the train was _ h[ou]r late. It was terribly hot waiting in the waiting room which — as well as the platform — was densely crowded. Tried to get a newspaper, but the station has no book stall and there were no boys with papers. Apparently there is no intelligent interest taken in the war at towns of this kind in the South. Reached Natural Bridge about 3.30 and got some nice rooms, large & airy & not expensive as things go in this millionaire country. Found Mrs Willoughby Sharp had left for N[ew] York the night before. Mrs Munday however was still here.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p167)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 167. Thursday 13 June 1918 - Natural Bridge, Virginia

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USA : Viginia : Natural Bridge
Diary date
13th Jun 1918

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After breakfast wrote a lot of letters including one to Constance, and more or less in the course of the morning cleared off arrears of correspondence. Didn’t sleep very well because the piano went on hard until 10.30 or so and after that we were kept awake by the loud voices of girls talking in our corridor. There are two young sailors here one of whom plays the piano — rag-time of course — incessantly and nearly drives me mad. As the piano is in easy ear-shot of our room, and in addition there is a gas-engine which grinds out the electric light just under our window, we soon see no chance of the peace & rest for which we have come here. So we see the manager and change our rooms to another wing away from the engine and more or less removed from the piano. The latter however makes it almost impossible to sit on the verandah after dinner. I begin to understand the necessity of the iron rules about talking etc in force at Grove Park Inn. People here have no idea of behaving in public places decently and with consideration for others.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p168)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 168. Friday 14 June 1918 - Natural Bridge

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USA : Viginia : Natural Bridge
Diary date
14th Jun 1918

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Mrs Massie tells me I may use the piano in the ball room which is nice & quiet, secluded & cool. So I go there in the morning and harmonize the Nightingale or rather revise what I did at Boston. In the afternoon I tackle the Cruel Mother and begin making fair copies of these in the afternoon. The weather is very hot and I am getting a lot of hay fever and asthma. I had a very bad night last night from asthma and have had it more or less all day. This place is evidently a bad one for us as besides asthma I am very rheumatic. Perhaps it is the water which is full of sulphur & other minerals. The sailor boy’s playing gets worse & worse and is maddening. I never heard anybody make so much noise on a piano — a veritable restless clatter — and as he plays in a large empty room with windows & doors wide open the sound carries everywhere. The curious thing is that no one seems to object at all except ourselves — one of the most wonderful instances I have met of American docility — or is it insensitiveness?

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p169)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 169. Saturday 15 June 1918 - Natural Bridge

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USA : Viginia : Natural Bridge
Diary date
15th Jun 1918

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I harmonize all the morning, finishing off The Cruel Mother and then starting on William Hall. But I am feeling far from well; my hay fever is very bad and asthma particularly at night. Maud has been indexing our recent finds and we both have been examining the 230 tunes we have taken down this trip. The more closely we look at them the more wonderful they seem to us. I do not think I have ever had such a rich haul at any other collecting bout either here or in England. I calculate that I have taken down in this last tour about 50 first class tunes, i.e. over 20% a very high proportion. I could harmonize a couple of volumes out of this material only. The piano gets more & more irritating and nerve-wracking. I seriously think of moving away from here and if there were any suitable place close by I would pack up tomorrow and flit! There are about 40 or 50 visitors here besides ourselves but no one of the slightest interest so far as we have yet been able to discover.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p170)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 170. Sunday 16 June 1918 - Natural Bridge

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USA : Viginia : Natural Bridge
Diary date
16th Jun 1918

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After rather a late breakfast make out a list of the best 25 tunes I have got this year and make two copies of these. One I send to Aldrich together with a letter telling him roughly of our experiences. The other I am going to send to Vaughan Williams. This occupies me for about 3 or more hours, right up to dinner time i.e. lunch. Room rather full as there are many day visitors from Roanoke & Lynchburgh attracted by the Bridge. The latter must be a grand asset to the hotel as everyone is charged a dollar to go in & see it. That is how they make money in these parts! Went on writing letters to various people after tea including Osborne[?] of the Morning Post concerning his article on my Putnam book and one on Soldiers’ Songs in the Field. The sailor man has made the day more hideous than ever by continually harmonizing at the piano. But we hear he is leaving tomorrow so that we shall have peace for the last 2 or 3 days of our stay here. We are fairly comfortable, but the people are very uninteresting and my asthma is pretty bad.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p171)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 171. Monday 17 June 1918 - Natural Bridge

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USA : Viginia : Natural Bridge
Diary date
17th Jun 1918

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Go to the Ball room piano directly after breakfast and work away at my songs. I am not doing much good work on them — I suppose I am not in the right mood. To-day I worked at Sweet William and got out something. In the afternoon after tea went on working at the songs in my own room and began making a third copy of my tunes for my own use. I have learned most of them fairly well by now. Maud is not very well to-day and has been lying down since she got up in the morning. Wrote some more letters after tea. The proofs of my Running Set Tunes reached me this evening and I played them over after dinner. It has been very wet and muggy to-day and we have all felt woefully slack. I shall be quite ready to leave here on Wednesday if for no other reason than that I shall get a decent paper to read every day. Here we often get nothing at all, or at most The Lynchburgh & Roanoke papers — both utterly worthless. No one hear takes any intelligent interest in the war!

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p172)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 172. Tuesday 18 June 1918 - Natural Bridge

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USA : Viginia : Natural Bridge
Diary date
18th Jun 1918

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Maud had breakfast in bed. I talked to a man here of the name of Bell interested in the camps. His whole interest in the war was centred on the doings of the American soldiers. He knew and cared just nothing at all about the present tremendous drama in France — "it will be all right when our boys get over there"! This is quite a typical attitude in this Southern part of America! Then I worked at "The Two crows" and made numerous notes which may be useful some day. After tea wrote to Mrs Vaughan Williams & sent her the tunes. Weather very dark & rainy and awfully close & hot. I got some newspapers by late afternoon’s post and read them after dinner on the verandah. It is very hard to get news at a place like this. Practically no papers get here. The general interest in the war is very small indeed.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p173)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 173. Wednesday 19 June 1918 - Natural Bridge

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USA : Viginia : Natural Bridge
Diary date
19th Jun 1918

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Weather very much colder. I woke up with a touch of lumbago — an ominous sign at this time of year! After breakfast — which we had very late, mistaking the time — I worked at my songs, finishing off The Two Crows somewhat to my satisfaction. Then packed my trunk ready for the journey to N[ew] York to-night. Shall be sorry to leave this place and its beautiful views but I don’t think it agrees with me. The water is full of sulphur and other minerals and I expect this is what is disagreeing with me. I looked through my Running Set Tune — proofs last night & this morning. They are good & wanted but little correction. After tea I played the songs I have been arranging to Maud and believe I have really done more here than I thought I had. Directly after dinner motored to station and after waiting 35 minutes caught the train for New York. Weather so cold that I found it hard to sleep. As usual train suddenly stopped for nearly an hour — heard afterwards engine had broken down — about 3 a.m. so we were 2_ h[ours] behind time when we had breakfast next morning!

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p174)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 174. Thursday 20 June 1918 - New York

Diary date
20th Jun 1918

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Weather still very chilly. Had a very bad night. It was noon before we arrived at N[ew] York instead of 9.26. Very annoying because in this way we lost a whole morning out of spare free time before school opens on Monday next. Had a bath & lunch and then went down town to the Consul about our passports for Newfoundland. Found it would be better to get them visa’d at Boston as visa only lasts 14 days. So had our passports renewed for 2 years. Filled up forms and promised to call tomorrow morning. Then called on Glenn, arranged with him to meet tomorrow afternoon. Subscribed for New Statesman at Brentano’s, bought some tea & then home to tea after calling at Meyrowitz’s about my glasses. Dined at Peg Woffington — "7 candles" alas is no more — and then home to write letters to Constance Ronald [Sharp], & others going to bed dead tired soon after 10. We are very comfortable in our rooms. my lumbago is not very bad but it is still there, invest in a belladonna plaster!

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p175)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 175. Friday 21 June 1918 - New York

Diary date
21st Jun 1918

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A Miss Carter, a journalist, called after breakfast to interview me and to take my photograph. Then came a Mr Rath head of Physical Normal School of Indianapolis who wanted to know about our School. Found him very ignorant but did my best to enlighten him! Miss Gilman then looked in for a few moments to tell us about prospects of school which are none too bright. Then Maud and I went to our banker to get him to ignore passport applications after which we journeyed down Town to the Consul and got our renewals. I lunched with Bispham at the Century and had rather a nice time with him meeting Glenn, Arthur Whiting, Boggert[?] & others there. Then back home to tea and attend to my photos. Glenn was to have called round to see me but for some reason didn’t do so. Maud and I dined at English place in 43rd St[reet] and then feeling very depressed went to the Movies at the Strand and were greatly entertained especially by the Navy pictures. Weather getting very cold and rather wet. Have got into warm clothes but shall have to add warmer and more undergarments if it gets worse.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p176)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 176. Saturday 22 June 1918 - New York

Diary date
22nd Jun 1918

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Called at Gray & Co to find, as usual he was away holiday making. I saw Trench however and left with him the proofs of the R[unning] S[et] tunes to send to Novello’s. Settled several business points & then went on to Meyrowitz to get my spectacles and afterwards to Schirmer’s where I had an interview with Sonneck. Agreed to give Schirmer’s Canadian as well as U.S.A. rights and altered original letter accordingly, initialing it. Sonneck didn’t seem at all ready or eager to consider a second vol[ume] but asked me to give them the refusal of it — to which I assented. Lunched at Old English place. We were to have gone to Rabold’s Pageant at White Plain but the wet weather led to its postponement. In the evening we dined with the Gilman & Rabold at the latter’s old rooms now occupied by the G’s. Had a very pleasant evening singing several songs and humming many of the ‘selected’ tunes I had copied out and put in my pocket. Discussed school prospects and other things. Walked home in very cold weather about 11.30.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p177)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 177. Sun 23rd June 1918

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23rd Jun 1918

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p178)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 178. Mon 24th June 1918

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24th Jun 1918

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p179)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 179. Tuesday 25 June 1918 - New York

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25th Jun 1918

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Spent the greater part of the day at the School which grows no larger and shows no sign whatever of doing so. Rabold turned up to breakfast — he is staying at this hotel — and said that the pageant yesterday was a success. I start the Running Set at the afternoon class. Maud, Rabold and I dine together in the evening at the Old English place. After dinner Mr Gallagher called to discuss business arrangements concerning Surete’s[?] Liberty Play. I suggest that I give them a week during rehearsal in September, write to O’Neill about the dance music arrange the dances etc and instruct[?] Meredith here to teach them etc for $500. This he said seemed very reasonable and promised to lay before his superiors and acquaint me with the result in the course of a few days. He evidently looked upon the thing as settled but I shall not regard it so by any means until my offer is definitely & formally accepted! He is an american and a very decent sort of man, but of course a typical theatre-person!

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p180)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 180. Wednesday 26 June 1918 - New York

Diary date
26th Jun 1918

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School as usual all day. Going very well but a terrible waste of time & energy — there are two people in the school for each number of the staff! We take tea with Peggy [Scovill] at Henri’s after the afternoon session. [Percy] Grainger and his mother call on us after dinner and stay here 2_ hours or more. He looks very chastened and much older than when I last saw him, far less boyish and buoyant than he used to be. He told me what he is doing in the Army band business and apparently he is kept pretty busy. He showed considerable interest in my Appalachian tunes and Maud & I sang some snatches. Maud & Mrs G[rainger] foregathered while I talked shop with Percy. They are both very enamoured of America and I take it that he means to throw in his lot with that country now. I am sorry but it would be useless to attempt to make him change his mind. Weather remarkably cool & pleasant for this time of year. I am feeling a bit tired as the work is just as hard as though we had a full school.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p181)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 181. Thursday 27 June 1918 - New York

Diary date
27th Jun 1918

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Nothing particular happened to day. The school goes on as before, the numbers remain substantially the same and we keep the same number of classes going except that I have dropped my talk in the afternoon. The weather keeps remarkably cool so that we are both keeping very fit & well. I have very little asthma, much less that I had at Natural Bridge. In the evening Peggy Scovill and Rabold dine with us at the Old English place. They come home afterwards and we sing them many songs and discuss E.F.D.S. matters. I hear from Mrs Storrows who tells me about Lily’s illness and suggests that if the school is a small one I might like to come to her for the last week, i.e. two weeks instead of one. I have not said anything about this to Miss Gilman as yet and decide to wait till Monday before making a decision. In the meanwhile I write to Mrs S[torrow], tell her how things stand and ask her if she really wants me.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p182)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 182. Friday 28 June 1918 - New York

Diary date
28th Jun 1918

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Get up rather earlier than usual and write a long letter to Constance. Have scarcely posted letter when a letter arrives from her from England and one from Joan also. Miss Shaw sees me about our dance-work in France. I have already put her off on various grounds and she now comes to me from Brancher the Recreation Society’s manager and makes some wild suggestions about dancing in training camps. I refuse to attempt anything on any scale, large or small, until I am convinced that there is a better chance of its succeeding here than there was in England; and then, if I am so convinced, I propose that a trial should be made at some typical camp. She then says I had better see Mr Brancher and I arrange to call on him on Tuesday next at 11.30 a.m. Rabold dines with us at Martins in 44th St[reet], the place the Steinbergs had told us about. A fairly good dinner but nothing very remarkable. Weather still quite cold.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p183)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 183. Saturday 29 June 1918 - New York

Diary date
29th Jun 1918

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Have rather a grand day at the school with a rather elaborate demonstration in honour of Bingham, his Basque friend Laparra and some professional dancing men belonging to the ballet school introduced by Mr Rath the physical Indianapolis man who takes the morning classes this week. We do part of the Running Set Maud, Rabold and I taking part. I talk a little to the small audience pegging away at the ballet men — to little avail of course. No classes in the afternoon so we have a nice long rest. I take tea with Glenn at the Century Club and arrange to go down to Forest Hills tomorrow to dine with them. Rabold dines with us at the Peg Woffington and Maud and I go to the movies at the Rialto and are pleasantly entertained there. The aviation pictures are particularly interesting. Back about 11 and go to bed pretty tired after a rather strenuous week. Weather still cool but promising to get warmer pretty soon.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p184)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 184. Sunday 30 June 1918 - New York

Diary date
30th Jun 1918

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I breakfast at 9.15, Maud somewhere about 11!! I write several letters and send copies of my new C[ountry] D[ance] book to Helen [Kennedy], Mrs Callery, Miss Pettit and Mrs Zande. Then walk to the Long Island railway in 33rd St[reet] and go to Forest Hills Maud being too tired to accompany me. Dine with the Glenns and her sister and have a nice long talk afterwards. I show Glenn Miss Sarah Atherton’s letter and my reply to it. He promises to find out about her and also get in touch with Brancher before my interview with him on Tuesday. We discuss many things and I tell them about our trip in Virginia. I get back about 5, have some tea and then rest till dinner. The weather is much hotter and I have a slight headache. Dine rather uncomfortably at the Old English place and go to bed pretty early, feeling all the better for a quiet day.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p185)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 185. Monday 1 July 1918 - New York

Diary date
1st Jul 1918

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School as usual in the morning and afternoon, lunching at the Algonquin as usual. I give the students a long talk in the afternoon, and do not get back till 5.45 and then go off again to 93rd street to dine at the Binghams (Rabold and the Gilman’s are there, also M. Guy (Mrs Bingham’s father) 2 sisters of Binghams, the Basque musician Laparra and an Inca — a real Peruvian. Maud and I sang many songs after dinner much to the delight apparently of a very sympathetic audience. Laparra and his Peruvian friend — who by the way is a painter — were most appreciative. Then Laparra played some Basque folk-songs & some Spanish dances. He is a great artist and a very beautiful & skilful pianist and I enjoy his performance immensely. I have not spent such an evening since that one in March at the same house when I met M. Bonnet. Laparra told me he went last Sat[urday] night to see Isadora Duncan’s pupils dance and that having seen ours in the morning made hers look very poor stuff! This was nice of him & quite genuine criticism.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p186)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 186. Tuesday 2 July 1918 - New York

Diary date
2nd Jul 1918

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I was to have seen Brancher of the Playgrounds Association at 11.30 to talk about folk dances in the Camps, but at the last moment he put me on to Dr Fetter of Princeton. Had a pleasant chat with him but I do not suppose much will come of it. He promised to put my views before Dr Raycroft the head physical man of Princeton and if needful communicate with me again. I then went to Meyrowitz to get some developed photographs, took my old Panama to be furbished up again and then met Maud at lunch. Talked a long while to the students again after afternoon course and got home rather late in consequence. Dined with Maud at Old English place and both feeling terribly sleepy went to bed at 9.45. Weather still beautifully cool and bright and lovely.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p187)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 187. Wednesday 3 July 1918 - New York

Diary date
3rd Jul 1918

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At the demonstration in the morning I danced Trunkles — the first time I have danced a corner morris in public and acquitted myself if not exactly to my own satisfaction fairly well. I am much stronger than I was and with practice I believe I might do the morris in a quiet staid sort of way! Lunched at Algonquin and in the evening dined at the Old English place as the guest of Peggy Scovill. Rabold, the Gilmans and of course Maud were there also. We had a nice dinner and adjourned afterwards to one of the large sitting rooms at the Biltmore, Peggy’s hotel and talked & smoked till after 10 p.m. Very tired when I went to bed as I taught for 2 or 3 hours to-day besides doing much dancing. Wrote to Hercy Denman & Philips Barker in the morning and to Chubb and several others in the afternoon after the School was over. Weather still beautifully fine but rather warmer.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p188)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 188. Thursday 4 July 1918 - New York

Diary date
4th Jul 1918

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Independence Day! We celebrated the day by singing The Star Spangled Banner and God Save the King at the Singing Class! I demonstrated in Bean Setting also! We decided to adjourn the afternoon classes to-day so as to allow students to see the procession if they were so misguided as to do so! Lunched quietly at the Algonquin, had a longish rest and after tea watched the aeroplanes doing stunts over N[ew] York from our window, sent off a dozen Running Sets to various people and wrote a few letters. Then gummed papers on to my collecting books in preparation for the autumn work. Rabold came in about 6.30 and we went out and dined together at Peg Woffington’s. He came back with us and we found Peggy waiting for us at hotel and we all adjourned to my room where we sat chatting till a late hour when we all had "fruit lemonades" before we separated. Weather a good deal warmer.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p189)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 189. Friday 5 July 1918 - New York

Diary date
5th Jul 1918

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Feeling rather tired and rather the worse for wear and tear. We got through the school as usual. I taught the Winster Reel in the afternoon session from 4-4.30 in the time we had devoted to Bacca Pipes the other days of the week. I gave a longish chat about folk-music and the genesis of folk art generally. I have not talked over much this year for the students have been so few. The only interesting pupils we have had are Miss Rutherford who is going to Evanston under Miss Lambkin and her friend Miss Whitworth who is going to a high school in Louisburgh. They were to dine with us tomorrow but we have put them off till Monday. Maud and I dined at Peg Woffington’s and then went to Columbia University Grounds where we listened to the wind band and heard Grainger play 2 concerti and the Gumsucker’s March as an encore.1 He is an amazing man in many way. I liked his Gumsucker March for its exuberant vitality. Met Mrs Steinberg there and arranged to try & meet her before we go to Boston.


1: ‘Gumsucker’s March’: No.4 of the In a Nutshell suite (1916).

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p190)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 190. Saturday 6 July 1918 - New York

Diary date
6th Jul 1918

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School in the morning as usual. Very tired when we got home at lunch time. After a rest wrote a long letter to Gilmour. Rabold looked in at 6 and we all walked round to 33rd Street to take dinner with Misses Gilman. Spent a very pleasant evening there Rabold reading two stories aloud out of Neve’s Communion of Saints of which he is very fond. Talked about many things but kept off subject of future prospects. The outlook for poor Miss Gilman is anything but bright. Indeed the future of all of us is pretty murky at the moment. Weather getting much warmer but still quite pleasant and bearable. Some thunder in the evening as we walked home very tired, glad to get to bed fairly early with the prospect of a quiet Sunday ahead of us. One more week and then, the school being over, we go on to Boston. Have practically given up all thought of going to Newfoundland. We have had a very expensive time in N[ew] York and of course no fee to put against it so we must economize.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p191)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 191. Sunday 7 July 1918 - New York

Diary date
7th Jul 1918

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I breakfasted at 9, Maud much later. Wrote a long letter to Lily and then practised some morris steps with Maud — Old Molly Oxford, Shepherd’s Hey etc. Then wrote to Gallagher, read the papers and lazed generally till lunch time. After tea & rest we went to the Metropolitan Museum in a 5th Ave[nue]. Bus — an infernal contraption! — and spent 1_ h[ours] there with great pleasure looking first at the Rodin’s a marvellous collection of beautiful forms amongst which Adam perhaps stood out as the greatest. Then we examined the musical instruments and I found one which seems to me to throw great light on the Appalachian "Dulcimer" in a German primitive 18th cent[ury] zither. It is almost exactly like the mountain instrument except that 2 of its 3 strings are fretted and the third a drone. We walked back and thus escaped a return journey in the bus! We dined at Arthur’s restaurant, rather expensive and not over nice. Went to bed pretty early after I had harmonized Molly Oxford for use tomorrow at the School. A quiet day spent entirely to ourselves & perhaps the more restful on that account.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p192)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 192. Monday 8 July 1918 - New York

Diary date
8th Jul 1918

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School as usual in the morning though perhaps duller than usual, three of our scanty number being more or less hors de combat with swollen ankles — each one the head of a Physical establishment! Made appointment for Wednesday 12.30 with Feakins to discuss California tour next winter. Lunched at home. Miss Whitworth & Miss Rutherford came to dinner with us. We dined downstairs and afterwards came upstairs to talk. They are nice women, Miss W[hitworth] from Cleveland, Miss Rutherford from Illinois. The latter may be going to work with Lamkin at the N.W. University Evanston. Miss W gave me an amusing account of Dr Ward and the physical activities at Columbia University. She is fully alive to the value of the work we are doing at the School compared with that which she has taken at the numerous[?] other places of the kind at Columbia & New York. Spent quite a pleasant evening going to bed rather late after 11 p.m.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p193)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 193. Tuesday 9 July 1918 - New York

Diary date
9th Jul 1918

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Peg away at the School again. Dreadful and disheartening work of course but we have to get through the 3 weeks as though it were a flourishing paying concern and this is not altogether easy. Lunch at Algonquin. In the afternoon get the electric pad for Constance and arrange to have it sent off direct from the shop, Hart & Morison, 780 Sixth Avenue. Teach Parsons Farewell and Lady in the Dark to 4 students at the close of the afternoon session. Dine quietly at the Old English place with Maud and afterwards write letters to Joan — a long one on her birthday — and several other people. Weather still delightfully cool and we are both quite well though beginning to feel tired & jaded after our heavy work.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p194)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 194. Wednesday 10 July 1918 - New York

Diary date
10th Jul 1918

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At the morning school Dr Anderson of Yale attended. We danced Trunkles and Hey Boys to him & 2 Morris Jigs, Pr[incess] Royal, Ladies Pleasure. He seemed interested but mainly in the physical aspect of the dances. He at once felt our pulses after Trunkles and was surprised to find that mine had quickened so little — it was only 100! Taught singing games & processionals at the afternoon session. Interviewed Feakins on prospects of getting work in California early next year. He suggested trying to get us lectures at Omaha, Nebraska, Denver etc on the way over and also said he might get us work in N[orth] Carolina and Virginia in October next. I don’t suppose anything will come of it all but I suppose we must give it the chance. Dined at Old English and tried afterwards to dish up a lecture circular but found myself far too tired to do it. Am beginning to feel the strain of the continuous daily work. Weather still cool.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p195)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 195. Thursday 11 July 1918 - New York

Diary date
11th Jul 1918

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School as usual. I took the afternoon classes by myself, Rabold being on the sick list with a strained back and Maud having shopping to do. So I taught the Morris Jigs and afterwards several new country dances. Miss Wathern dined with us at the Old English place. She is a real nice woman despite her bulky appearance! I like her very much and am glad she is going to play for me next week. We had a nice long talk with her but did not ask her to return home with us as we had so many thngs to do. About 9.45 the Steinbergs paid us a visit. She is much thinner & livelier than of yore; he looked like a sulky whipped dog but brightened up after a cigarette or two and the fruit lemonades which we all had together. Only one more full day of the school, thank goodness. Weather still cool but close in the afternoon with thunder in the evenings.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p196)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 196. Friday 12 July 1918 - New York

Diary date
12th Jul 1918

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Feeling very tired after these 3 weeks at the school and go there this morning glad to know it is the last full day. Leave at 12 and call on Gray to discuss business concerning the 5th C[ountry] D[ance] book and to get some of my MS books which they store for me. After afternoon session type out circular for Feakins and make an app[ointment] to meet him at 11.15 tomorrow. Maud and I dine alone at the Old English place and after dinner the Gilmans come round and we discuss plans for the future. She is very brave and has not lost heart even after the failure of her efforts to get together a Summer School. Happily Peggy Scovill has come to the rescue and by paying the printers bill has saved financial disaster. Indeed the School now shows a profit of 150 dollars which Miss Gilman thinks should be divided between the teachers. We demur and think she should have it. After fruit-lemonades at 10.30 they go and we go to bed. Weather rather close but not unbearably so.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p197)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 197. Saturday 13 July 1918 - New York

Diary date
13th Jul 1918

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Get up early and attend to several matters before going to the school for the last time — writing to Mr Zande amongst other things. We hold an exam at which Meredith takes his Advanced, the misses La Hard, Rutherford and Peggy [Scovill] their Elementaries and Miss Stone her C[ountry] D[ance]. Then in a great hurry to Feakins where we discuss winter campaign and settle about the circular. I go to Meyrowitz leave 10 films to be made into slides and some bad — rejected films to be printed out of curiosity. After lunch and a rest set to work packing again — how I hate it! Send copies of C[ountry] D[ance] book to [Archibald] Flower & Fifine [Peabody] and arrange & destroy accumulations of papers. In the evening go to Old English place to dine as guest at Maud’s and Miss Scovill’s invitation the Gilmans and Rabold being there also. We all return to our rooms and spend the rest of the evening in serious[?] and gay manner. Separate pretty late and go to bed very tired feeling that we have worked very hard for 3 weeks, have emptied our pockets but have got a good deal of pleasure also.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p198)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 198. Sunday 14 July 1918 - New York

Diary date
14th Jul 1918

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Finished off packing and sent our trunks off at 9.30. Wrote a lot of letters, looked through papers & packed book box and other portmanteaux & receptacles — a dreary business. Rabold came round at 12, we settled up at Hotel and went round to the station where we said good bye to Rabold and caught the 1 train for Boston. Got in a bad draught which started my hay fever and I arrived sneezing with a painful & inflamed nose at Boston at 7 p.m. Mrs Storrows met us and took us to our hotel — the Somerset on Commonwealth Avenue. Nice rooms but very noisy. We dined at hotel and went to bed early I still sneezing and feeling very uncomfortable. Had a very disturbed night owing to the noise of trains & cars. Curious that the 3 chief hotels here, Lennox, Copley Place and this one are all close to the main line. But then Americans are used to noise — think of their conversational voices! — so probably are quite indifferent!

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p199)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 199. Monday 15 July 1918 - Boston

Diary date
15th Jul 1918

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Still feeling very seedy and perpetually sneezing get up fairly early. After breakfast decide to change our rooms and telling porter to change our luggage etc go off to Massachusetts Hospital to see Lily. Find her dressed and very glad to see us. We spend an hour or more with her and taxi back to the hotel at 12 only to find that our baggage has not been moved to our hotels. Have lunch and finding our rooms fixed up when we return to them hastily unpack, change clothes etc and go to Girl Scout Camp at 2. Take C[ountry] D[ance] class till 3, singing class till 3.30, lecture till 4. Then interval for tea and sword dance from 4.15-5. Then Fifine & Peggy Peabody, Margaret Edgerley Louise Chapin etc team up & we do morris till 6. Maud dines with Lily while I go to Union Club to dine with Kittredge. My hay fever gradually departed in the afternoon and so I had a very jolly time chatting with Kittredge. Got home about 10.30 and went to bed to sleep well in comparative quiet.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p200)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 200. Tuesday 16 July 1918 - Boston

Diary date
16th Jul 1918

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Spent a very quiet morning at home while Maud went to the hospital to see Lily. We lunched at the hotel and then went to the School for classes the same as yesterday. The classes are very unsatisfactory, unpunctual while the students are a particularly clumsy inartistic lot — the kind of girls who would be attracted by the girl scout business. Mrs S[torrow] fumes a good deal and makes my task much more difficult but she will never understand and never alter! Margaret Edgerley and Louise Chapin motored us to the hospital at 6.30 and we dined quietly in Lily’s room and discussed many things. Dick [Conant] has gone to France — she may or may not be going to have a baby — at any rate she must make up some kind of home of her own. We leave about 9 and walk home by the river. The roads & paths were crowded with people because it was a very hot night and scarcely one of them — of those we heard — could speak English — nearly all foreigners speaking their native language or broken English! What a commentary on the centre of New England! Weather very hot and humid, but quite bearable.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p201)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 201. Wednesday 17 July 1918 - Boston

Diary date
17th Jul 1918

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Wrote several rather important letters this morning — to Mrs Armstrong, Miss Perrin and Miss Gilchrist in the hope that I may get some engagements at Detroit & Pittsburgh in November on my way to California at the turn of the year. I can see that I am going to find it very difficult to make a living next year especially if California turns out badly. Classes as usual in the afternoon. The morris class for the last hour was great fun for everybody is dancing for enjoyment and we are not troubling particularly about technical accuracy! Old Black Joe, Cuckoo’s Nest, Step Back & for jigs Bonnets so Blue, Old Molly Oxford & Lumps [of Plum Pudding]. Miss Edgerley & Louise drove us back in heavy rain following a thunderstorm and we dined quietly at the hotel and went to bed early. So far I have seen just nothing of Mrs Storrows and unless we go to Lincoln for week end I shall not have had 5 min[utes] private conversation with her! Lily went to Lincoln to day to convalesce.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p202)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 202. Thursday 18 July 1918 - Boston

Diary date
18th Jul 1918

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Continued writing more letters to stimulate autumn campaign in the morning — including a long letter to Miss Boutelle of Minneapolis. After lunch went to the school which was disorganised preparing for demonstration. Took a rehearsal of Black Nag & Peascods & Flamborough. Then after singing class gave a small talk on the mountain songs which was apparently very much appreciated. Then came the Girl Scouts Demonstration, drill, signalling, fire-work, baby-tending, camping out etc ending with dances which were greatly appreciated. Then we had a nice morris practice came home to the hotel dined & went to bed. In the first time for 12 months the newspapers give us something nice to read in the news of the Foch offensive in France. The relief of it is very great though it is too soon to crow loudly. Weather very close and muggy but we shall soon get away. Mrs Storrows wants us to spend week end at Lincoln and go to N[ew] York Monday, and South on Tuesday.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p203)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 203. Friday 19 July 1918 - Boston

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19th Jul 1918

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After reading the welcome news from France after breakfast took the train into Boston and did a lot of shopping. Bought a hand bag for provisions in the mountains, tea, raisins etc, tobacco, pipes, asthma powder, photo films, ink etc and had my eyeglasses mended! Lunched here and after a rest went to Camp to hold a Morris class with Mrs Gibbs & the Misses Bowles, Christiansen, Edgerley, Chapin, Coit. We did London Pride, Molly Oxford and Bonnets so blue, greatly to our satisfaction and spent a most enjoyable couple of hours. These few have really got hold of the English dances but alas! they represent nearly all the real converts I have made in America. Louise Chapin drove us back in Miss Edgerley’s motor and we dined quietly at the hotel. I wrote a lot of letters in the afternoon, Douglas Smith, de Croze[?], Campbell, Miss Rutherford, Mrs Corbett, Miss Lamkin & Farnsworth! Got letters from Joan and Constance this morning, the former telling me of the prize she has won in the A.G.[?] competition.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p204)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 204. Saturday 20 July 1918 - Boston

Diary date
20th Jul 1918

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Spent a quiet morning at home, packing, writing letters, reading etc. At 1 o’clock Miss Edgerley and Louise Chapin came to lunch with us. The weather was hot but we got a fairly cool table and had rather a nice little reunion. At 3 Maud went off in their motor to Lincoln. I finished off my packing, read, rested and at 5.15 went downstairs to pay my bill. The accountant first presented me with a bill (not itemised) for 63 dollars which I paid by cheque. Then 10 minutes later with many apologies another for 75 which I again paid by cheque, cancelling the former one. Finally 20 minutes later with some apologies offered me a third one for 103 dollars which I treated the same way cancelling No.2. Happily Mrs Storrows then turned up & whisked me off to Lincoln or I might have been ruined! Dined at Lincoln had a nice chat with Mrs Storrows afterwards. We all went to our very comfortable beds at 10.30. Weather getting very hot indeed. Am afraid we are in for a hot spell.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p205)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 205. Sunday 21 July 1918 - Lincoln, Massachusetts

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USA : Massachusetts : Lincoln
Diary date
21st Jul 1918

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Breakfasted at 9 and we soon saw we were in for a terribly hot day and our fears were realized though in such a comfortable cool house we could bear it without distress. Sat out in the shade in the morning, Maud, Lily, Mrs Storrows and I and a very pleasant desultory talk. Lunched at 1, rested afterwards and had some more talking etc till dinner when Mr Storrow returned from his day’s gardening. In the evening Maud and I regaled the company with many songs. The company included Lily’s nurse — a very uninteresting "sympathetic" individual — and a head nurse who is eventually to take charge of the patients when the house is turned into a hospital for wounded American soldiers! Lily is still very unwell and I do not look forward with much confidence to the results of her confinement next January. It is rather a tragedy in its way as her husband left for France about a fortnight ago. News from the front very good and exciting.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p206)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 206. Monday 22 July 1918 - New York

Diary date
22nd Jul 1918

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Weather hotter than ever. Mrs Storrows motored Maud and me into Boston to catch the train. We talked a good deal on the way about my plans for the Autumn and she promised her help. She will always stand by me generally but her interest in folk-dancing is subordinate now to her interest in girl scouting! Even she is bitten with the American craze for change. No one in this country seems capable of sticking to one job for more than a month or two. The journey to N[ew] York was a terrible business owing to the intense heat and we arrived at 4 p.m. to find the city even hotter than the train! How we got through the evening I hardly know. I dined with Payne and Dr Esquene[?] of Pittsburgh at Mangin’s[?] restaurant and then came back to the hotel to entertain the Gilmans. We all had fruit lemonades in the vain attempt to get cool or to assuage our thirsts! They went at 10.30 and we retired to our rooms with a very hot night in prospect thermometer then 92 having been 98 when we first reached N[ew] York.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p207)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 207. Tuesday 23 July 1918 - New York

Diary date
23rd Jul 1918

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After breakfast set to work at packing again both of us wearing the smallest amount of clothing consistent with decency. At 11.30 interviewed Feakins about autumn campaign and then went to bank to get our traveller’s cheques. We lunched with Payne at Old English tea rooms in 40th street sweltering in tropical heat while we eat & talked! Then after a little shopping came back here to the hotel, finished our packing and got our trunks away by 4 p.m. My trunk to my amazement is badly broken and it is doubtful whether it will hold together much longer — perhaps not this journey even! Had tea in our rooms after which I went out to get a few things before dinner. After dinner at the hotel we caught the 8.45 train to Bedford City. It was still terribly hot, but I got a draught in my sleeping bunk by keeping the window open, although this meant that my feet & legs got covered with blacks!

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p208)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 208. Wednesday 24 July 1918 - Peaks of Otter, Virginia

Place
USA : Viginia : Peaks of Otter
Diary date
24th Jul 1918

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Slept quite well considering all things. The fact was I was worn out with the two hot days in New York and I was very weary. We breakfasted on the train at 9 a.m. and arrived at Bedford City, V[irginia], at 10 a.m. — quite punctually for a wonder. We left our luggage at the station and walked into the town, quite a nice, clean little place, where I got shaved. Then with the aid of a Mr Gentry we procured a motor-car, picked up our suit cases at the station and drove up to the Mores Hotel, overlooking the celebrated Peaks of Otter. The Hotel is rather a primitive, simple sort of hostelry with about 18 rooms in it, clean and nice and airy. We are introduced to the company and have lunch at 1 p.m. and a rest and tea afterwards. We then sally forth and call at a log-cabin not far from the hotel where a Mrs Agee sings me a couple of songs. The dinner was quite passable at 7 o’clock after which we sat out on the porch where everyone talked their loudest — and they can talk in this country — while the children played, shouted and squealed without reproof from their parents or objection from anyone else. Not exactly a restful evening!

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p209)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 209. Thursday 25 July 1918 - Peaks of Otter

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USA : Viginia : Peaks of Otter
Diary date
25th Jul 1918

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Breakfasted at 8 and at about 9.30 walked over the mountain by Jennings Creek. Called at two or more homes and met some nice people but got no songs to speak of though Mrs Ewbank, wife of an old Confederate soldier, sang me one or two. Back to lunch rather late as it was a heavy pull back to the hotel. After tea went down the Peaksville road and called on an old lady, Mrs Mary Gross — no near relation at any rate to Manimie Gross of Montvale. She promised to think up some old songs and sing to us tomorrow "evening" i.e. any time after noon. After dinner Mr & Mrs Campbell and a Mrs Scott with whom we had made friends insisted on our singing some of our songs which we did. They were more interested in the novel idea of it all than in the songs themselves I fancy. The people here are very so-so, not at all educated , but very provincial though by no means simple. I have not as yet seen one of them open a book, though they sit on the verandah the whole day except meal-times, gossiping and talking trivialities!

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p210)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 210. Friday 26 July 1918 - Peaks of Otter

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USA : Viginia : Peaks of Otter
Diary date
26th Jul 1918

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In the morning we go along Jennings Creek as far as Newford[?], a small settlement, post-office etc, but we get no songs at all. It was a long 3 miles there and the return journey — uphill all the way — we found very tiring. But a rest & sleep after dinner completely restored me so after tea we went down to old Mrs Gross. She sang me several songs some of them rather interesting ones. The porch whereon we sat soon became filled with people. At one time I counted 22 people on it counting ourselves, of which 11 were small children. This made it difficult to take down the songs but I think I got them down all right. We got back in time for dinner and afterwards sat on the porch which though noisy is fairly restful. From 9 p.m. onwards the piano was going — sentimental songs sung in unison with bad p[iano]f[orte] accompaniment occasionally in harmony (3rds of course). Sentimental songs are less aggressive and noisy than rag-time, but that is about all that can be said in their favour.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p211)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 211. Saturday 27 July 1918 - Peaks of Otter

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USA : Viginia : Peaks of Otter
Diary date
27th Jul 1918

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After breakfast walked along the Buchanan road (pronounced Buck- hannon) and called on Mrs Bertha Bryant, daughter of Mrs Gross, and Mrs Sinclair. The former sang me several rather good songs including a nice version of True Lover’s Farewell. Mrs Sinclair like anyone in these parts knew the songs well enough but didn’t sing herself. We did not go out again in the afternoon as we were both feeling a bit leg-tired after our somewhat strenuous exertions. Happily the weather has been lovely, warm but not too warm, fine for the most part but usually a thunder shower in the evening. This place is 2800 feet up, very beautifully situated, but awfully damp — the dampest place I have ever lived in. Clouds constantly envelop the Peaks and sometimes us at the hotel as well. Crowds of people arrived here in the evening, most of them going up to spend the night on the Peak where there are 2 or 3 cottages to house them. They are a terribly noisy rowdy lot and it is a relief when they have gone.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p212)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 212. Sunday 28 July 1918 - Peaks of Otter

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USA : Viginia : Peaks of Otter
Diary date
28th Jul 1918

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All the signs of a thoroughly wet day. Verandah crowded with people who have come out from Bedford for the day so the place is noisier than ever — more like Hampstead Heath on a bank-holiday than anything else. So we retire to our rooms and write letters. I write in the morning and again in the afternoon quite a lot viz to Margaret Andrews (San Francisco), Glenn, The Bank, Peggy Scovill, Miss Gilman, Miss Perrin, Gray, (ordering C[ountry] D[ance] books to be sent to various people) Miss Otis & Dorothy Kennedy — quite a lot and many of them long ones. Have a long rest after lunch. I can always sleep here and I dream more than I have ever dreamed in my life. It rains very hard at intervals and the damp and the cold is rather depressing. The thermometer after breakfast was 64! It was a very cold proceeding sitting on the verandah after dinner and as the piano went on all the evening accompanying the very worst songs that the American mind had ever conceived we were glad when bed-time arrived!

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p213)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 213. Monday 29 July 1918 - Peaks of Otter

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USA : Viginia : Peaks of Otter
Diary date
29th Jul 1918

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In the morning went along the Reba road to a Mrs Johnson where although we got no songs we learned a good deal about the people in these regions. Mrs J[ohnson] and her daughter strongly advised us to go to Taylor’s Mountain where they said the people were very poor and primitive and where they all sang old songs played the violin & banjo etc. It sounds like a veritable collector’s Utopia but it will probably be worth trying. Then we returned and went down Munford Road to Mrs Charlie Johnson from whom we go a song or two. After tea we went to Mrs Agee again but got nothing more from her. It is clear that we have exhausted this district thoroughly. It is a little disappointing but might have been worse. We get Mrs Ware to telephone to Reba, the nearest spot to Taylor’s Mountain to try & get someone to "take care of us". Before dinner I answer letters which arrived this morning & wrote the following, Neve, Walker (Iowa), Shane Leslie, Girl Scouts, Bradley, Percival Chubb, Bank & Dr Edes. After dinner After dinner I tried to play the piano but as it had 8 or 9 dumb[?] notes owing to the damp I was not very successful. So Maud & I regaled the company with songs which for the most part they comprehended not.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p214)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 214. Tuesday 30 July 1918 - Peaks of Otter

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USA : Viginia : Peaks of Otter
Diary date
30th Jul 1918

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Soon after breakfast Maud and I started off to walk up the Peak. This stands close by the hotel 3878 feet high i.e. 1078 f[eet] above the hotel. It is a conical hill rising to a point which consists of huge rocks & boulders piled on the top of each other, the whole surmounted by a flag staff. It took us 50 minutes to climb up — a comparatively easy business after other hills we have gone up. There were a good many clouds about on the top but by waiting we eventually got a good view all around. We came down in 35 minutes. After tea went to old Mrs Mary Gross and her son William. They both sang us several songs as we sang several to them. We walked there & back over very muddy roads as a thunder storm struck us about lunch time. We have decided to go off tomorrow to Reba which is within easy distance of Taylor’s Mountain where we hope we may get some songs. Our last evening on the verandah was a pretty bad one, the visitors playing the piano for 2 hours or more and singing sentimental songs. Not one note of decent music has been played or sung during our week here. The people are very uninteresting of no quality whatever and we shall be glad to get quieter quarters even if less comfortable.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p215)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 215. Wednesday 31 July 1918 - Peaks of Otter

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USA : Viginia : Peaks of Otter
Diary date
31st Jul 1918

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A pouring wet day following a very rainy & stormy & cold night. It looked impossible for us to move on to Reba as we had intended to do but after waiting till lunch time the clouds cleared a bit and we decided to risk it & start off after lunch, a coloured man undertaking to drive over with our suit cases. So after lunch we settled up said good bye to the Wares — Mrs Ware had been a very good hostess to us — and the other guests and, clad in mackintoshes set out fearing the worst. But as a matter of fact it ceased raining & we had a dry walk of 6 miles to Reba where we persuaded Mrs Jens Falls to put us up. After making ourselves some tea we walked down in the direction of Taylor’s Mountain to survey the land. Had a pleasant dinner with Mr and Mrs Falls, 2 daughters a friend whose name I did not catch and another boarder an old lady, Mrs Casly. In the evening several people came round on the porch. We sang some songs, some played cards and the Victrola made a general musical background.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p216)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 216. Thursday 1 August 1918 - Reba, Virginia

Place
USA : Viginia : Reba
Diary date
1st Aug 1918

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Did not sleep at all well as my room very small and airless and it was a very hot night. Maud fared rather better though she shared a room with a Miss Falls and her friend. After breakfast we took some lunch with us and made off for Taylor’s Mountain. As we had been led to expect we found a large community of small farmers living in cabins — just the people from whom we expect to get songs. But alas! the missionaries have been there at Cool Springs for 8 or 10 years and without exception the people we attacked refused to sing pleading that they had "joined the Church" and that it was not Christian to sing love-songs! It was maddening as they all owned that they knew the songs and no doubt they did! So we returned empty except for a few we got from Mrs Esther Overstreet, grandaughter of of Manimie Gross of Porters Mountain, who lived nearly next door to Mrs Falls! A most disappointing day and we feel greatly depressed as we had expected great things and the omens were propitious.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p217)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 217. Friday 2 August 1918 - Reba

Place
USA : Viginia : Reba
Diary date
2nd Aug 1918

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Decided it was useless to stay any longer so we persuaded the elder Miss Falls — a very nice woman about 30 or so — to motor us over to Montvale, about 15 miles, where we arrived at 12 o’clock and secured fairly good rooms at the Montrose[?] hotel. After lunch, a rest and some tea we walked out to Dewey, about 2 miles to Mrs Donald’s, only to find that she was in Montvale, nursing a maternity case. Called on her on our return and she was delighted to see us & promised to look round this or tomorrow evening and sing to us. But we are pretty sure that she won’t come to night and as a matter of fact she doesn’t. Weather terribly close & hot and we sit on the verandah after dinner trying in vain to get some cool air to breathe. There are about a dozen fat be-powdered dames here as at Mores, only a cut lower, who all talk at the tops of their voices. America would be so much more pleasant a place to live in if people talked less loud!

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p218)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 218. Saturday 3 August 1918 - Montvale, Virginia

Place
USA : Viginia : Montvale
Diary date
3rd Aug 1918

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Directly after breakfast we take our lunch and sally forth up Porter’s Mountain in search of Mrs Lawson Grey & old Manimie Gross. Soon after we had started we met Mrs Lawson Grey in a wagon coming in to shop but we promised to look in on her on our return journey. It was a long, hot climb up the mountain to Mrs Gross’s and, as bad luck would have it, we found the old lady — who is 89 — in a great fluster preparing to receive a preacher to dinner. She would scarcely talk to us so we had to leave almost as soon as we had arrived. The fates are certainly against us this trip, all three of our singers, Mrs Grey, Mrs Donald & Mrs Gross having for different reasons, failed us. We got a few songs from Mrs Rhoda Grey and her cousin a Mrs Grass[?] — Max Grass’s wife — but Mrs Grey sang us nothing so we returned again with practically empty note-books! Another hot evening on the porch — indeed hotter than last night. I am feeling very gouty indeed and my right eye has been threatening for several days.1


1: Sharp suffered from a condition then known as ‘gout in the eyes’ which was probably Iritis, inflammation and ulceration of the eyeball.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p219)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 219. Sunday 4 August 1918 - Montvale

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USA : Viginia : Montvale
Diary date
4th Aug 1918

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We determine to make one more shot so take our lunch and go off to Taylor’s Mountain. We meet Mrs Donald who has not yet been to see us but promises to come round to day! We call at a cabin about a mile away — another Mrs Grey — but get very little; then again at Mr Woolridge’s but are unable to prevail upon him to sing. We walk a long way but soon see that this is the wrong side of the mountain as there are very few houses. So after eating our lunch and resting under a tree in the vain endeavour to get shade & cool we tramp back arriving at the hotel at 3, very hot and thoroughly worn out. After some tea rest in very hot rooms and there write a little and prepare for supper. In the evening the weather gets hotter than ever and we get no air to breathe on the porch before going to bed. Mrs Donald turns up but only for a few minutes and didn’t sing. We are evidently in for a very hot night.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p220)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 220. Monday 5 August 1918 - Montvale

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USA : Viginia : Montvale
Diary date
5th Aug 1918

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Last night was the hottest we have had this year. I managed to sleep a little. We had breakfast soon after 7 a.m. and caught the 8.15 for Roanoke taking rooms on arrival at 9 a.m. at the Hotel Roanoke. At 11 we went out and did some shopping returning in time for luncheon at 1. The heat is just terrible and is over 95 with no sign whatever of moderating. After tea I get to work on letters and write long ones to Mrs Storrows & Constance also others to Miss Gilman Mrs Swanwick, Geographical Soc[iety], Batchelor, & Wardale. Also mess about with Preface of tunes for Running Set. We have some dinner at 7 and then go out to the movies which was a rotten show. Returning we sat in the garden literally gasping for air; it is still over 90. After a while go indoors which if anything is cooler than outside and get baths and go to bed about 11 p.m. It is difficult to make plans in this weather as it is obviously impossible for us to do much actual work in this intense heat.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p221)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 221. Tuesday 6 August 1918 - Roanoke, North Carolina

Place
USA : North Carolina : Roanoke
Diary date
6th Aug 1918

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Weather hotter than ever. As usual the newspapers are full of statements that records of heat have been made this year all over the country. Washington reports 115 in the shade. Go out in the morning to get my glasses mended and also to take Maud’s typewriter to the repairer. Wrote a lot of letters including one to Tet, to Martin Shaw, Sonnecke requesting him to send a batch of books to friends here & in England including Batchelor (to whom I also wrote) Swanwick, [Katherine] Sorby, Martin Shaw, Hickson & Mrs Kettlewell. After a rest went out again to get typewriter etc. After dinner went to Movies again sat in the garden afterwards & tried in vain to get cool. I have never experienced heat like this. It is really dangerous and we hesitate to move on to Rockymount as we had intended to do. Possibly we may go to another hotel resort on the west of the range but in any case we shall stay here over tomorrow. Our rooms are comfortable but the food is very poor. We are living on cheese, spaghetti, lettuce & cucumber!

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p222)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 222. Wednesday 7 August 1918 - Roanoke

Place
USA : North Carolina : Roanoke
Diary date
7th Aug 1918

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Last night was the record! I had a little sleep but not much and feel pretty chippy when I get up. Then I nearly hurt myself very badly with the falling lid of my trunk — as I did at Washington. This time it scraped the bridge of my nose smashed my pince-nez but escaped[?] hurting me. But it was a shock. This left me without glasses so I had to go out and get the spectacles leaving the pince nez to be fitted. Then dictated letters to Novello — sending proofs of Title page etc & M.S. of Preface — Gray, Winthrop Rogers & Kleeberger. Glad to get these done. Write a long letter to Lily sending her Batchelor’s letter etc. After tea go out get my glasses, buy presents for the Rhody Grey children, Knife for Carl, pencils of Lilian, Doll for Vicey[?] & rattle for Helen! Finish up shopping & prepare to move on tomorrow to Crockett Springs if we can get rooms there.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p223)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 223. Thursday 8 August 1918 - Crockett Springs, Virginia

Place
USA : Viginia : Crockett Springs
Diary date
8th Aug 1918

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Finding that we can get rooms at Crockett Springs we catch the 9 train and sit in it a whole hour before it consented to move on arriving at Shawsville at 11. Then we motored 5 very rough miles to Crockett Springs a large hotel on the model of Natural Bridge but smaller. It was very full so we were allotted two very bad attic rooms very hot & without fly-screens! We lunched — very indifferently — and after tea walked out to see the country but found it quite unsuitable for collecting — as we had suspected from our observations on the way hither. The weather was very little if at all cooler than at Roanoke so we decide to move back tomorrow to Rockymount, Franklin Co[unty], where it was our original intention to go. In the evening a group of women bombard us and make us sing to them. They were rather nice one of them — name unknown — remembering me at St Louis — she is the librarian there. Another — a Miss Leeds — knew of me as a dance- teacher — such is fame! We stayed out till midnight in order to allow our rooms to cool down a bit before we went to bed. This they did to some extent[?] and we had a fairly cool night.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p224)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 224. Friday 9 August 1918 -

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Diary date
9th Aug 1918

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In the morning a very interesting Episcopal parson Revd Dr Bryan of Petersburg introduced himself to me. He sang me an old song of his father’s and strongly advised me to go to Rockymount — the very place we were bound for — and to make friends with Revd Roberts, the Episcopal priest there, who runs a mission School, S[t] Peters, in the mountains. We leave at 10, catch the 11.34 and arrive and lunch at Roanoke Hotel at 1. I find my trunk which has been showing signals of distress for some time has now succumbed to the attentions of the railroad porters. So very reluctantly I have to purchase a new wardrobe trunk in Roanoke and carry it off with me by the afternoon train to Rockymount where we arrive about 6.30 and find quite a nice hotel. Weather hotter than ever however. After dinner call on Roberts to find he is away very ill — a nervous breakdown — Mrs Roberts however sees us and advises us to communicate with Miss Davis who runs the mission in the morning. We go to bed fearing the worst as no air is moving and thermometer at 86!

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p225)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 225. Saturday 10 August 1918 - Rockymount

Place
USA : Viginia : Rockymount
Diary date
10th Aug 1918

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Had a very bad night waking at 4 a.m. stifled with asthma. Get up late and have breakfast in my room. We then phone Miss Davis and decide to move on to the mission on Monday morning. During the morning I have my two trunks sent over here and busy myself, with Maud’s assistance, in transferring my clothes from the old to the new one a task which occupied us till lunch time. In the afternoon a heavy thunderstorm with a great rain struck us and cooled us down at first to 76 but later on to 86. However, this was some improvement for which we were most thankful. Very few people stay here but some of them, including a Mrs Robertson ask us to sing to them in the evening, which we do. As usual they were quite unimpressed — which was scarcely surprising judging by the music with which we have been regaled here. Went to bed with the thermometer at 80 hoping to sleep better than last night. I wrote a long letter to Mrs Oppe and posted it.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p226)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 226. Sunday 11 August 1918 - Rockymount

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USA : Viginia : Rockymount
Diary date
11th Aug 1918

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Had a much better night and woke fairly refreshed in time for 9 o’clock breakfast. Then went on with my correspondence writing letters to Hickson (concerning my will and power of attorney to Constance) Mrs Kettlewell of Harptree, Mark Cross (to advise them about my old trunk) Steele (asking him to receive & keep my trunk when repaired) and a long letter to Constance asking her to order some shirts for me at Harman’s. Also a letter to Bradley sending him Joans sketch. After tea wrote some more letters and then went downstairs and watched a magnificent thunderstorm with heavy rain. The latter of course spoiled the roads for motoring to St Peter’s Mission tomorrow but it cooled things down a bit. The light in the evening after the storm was quite wonderful and I took a photograph of one of the most beautiful views, but I am almost afraid it won’t come out. The temperature went down about 15 [degrees] during the storm but recovered the greater number of these, alas, before bed-time.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p227)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 227. Monday 12 August 1918 - Rockymount

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USA : Viginia : Rockymount
Diary date
12th Aug 1918

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Got Mr Simms to telephone for me to arrange for a conveyance to take us to St. Peters. The roads were too bad for a motor so we got a man, Mr Pursell, to drive us up in a Surry — a two-seated buggy — with a pair of rather dilapidated horses. The roads were very bad indeed and would have been quite impassable for a motor — in many cases so washed out that the surface was entirely gone leaving the native rock-bed entirely exposed. It was only 15 miles but it took us 4 hours. Miss Davis with her two assistants, Miss Montgomery and Miss McDonnell gave us a very hearty reception.1 The Mission consists of a new and substantial School Building, a new and as yet unfinished Church and a comfortable dwelling house in which Maud and I are given extremely nice adjoining rooms. Weather very hot but slightly cooler than in Rockymount. We have lunch on arrival soon after 2, then rest and in the late afternoon Mr & Mrs Bridges turn up and stay to supper, singing to us afterwards. I got one or two rather nice tunes. Prospect is hopeful.


1: St Peter’s Mission School was founded by Revd. William T. Roberts, rector of Trinity Church, Rockymount 1902-22/24. It closed in 1957. Its long-serving staff were Caryetta Davis (1907-37) and Mamie Montgomery (1917-32).

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p228)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 228. Tuesday 13 August 1918 - St Peters Mission, Virginia

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USA : Viginia : St Peters Mission
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13th Aug 1918

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Maud is rather seedy — knocked up by the heat! — so I sally forth by myself. I first call upon Mr & Mrs Webb whom I find sitting side by side in their back verandah, he in his very dirty shirt sleeves, she smoking a long cob-pipe & wearing a straw hat thrown back on her head. I had a delightful talk with them but no songs from them. They passed me on to the Fulton Jones where I got several songs from Sally the eldest of a very large and delightful family of 9 children. Stayed there talking and then tramped back to house and found lunch just beginning at 2 p.m. Very tired & hot and after a rest decided not to go out again. So wrote up my books, sitting on the verandah nearly eaten up by flies! Another thunderstorm fell on us and rather terrified us some of the explosions being very close indeed to us. But there was not much rain so its cooling effect was very small. Saw a Mrs Richards who is a sister of Mrs Fulton Jones and also of Mrs Webb. She would not sing but said her father Jake Sowder knew a great many. Decide to go & see him tomorrow.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p229)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 229. Wednesday 14 August 1918 - St Peters Mission

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USA : Viginia : St Peters Mission
Diary date
14th Aug 1918

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Maud seems much better so we go out together to attack old man Sowder. We have to pass the Fulton Jones’s on the way so we go in and get a couple more songs from Sally including a delightful variant of the Rebel Soldier. Then find old Jacob & Mrs Sowder at home and stay there a long while. They are very delightful people and he (who is 70) evidently knows a lot of songs if we can only extract them. We leave about 12.30, promising to return at 5 p.m., as we have promised to teach the school children some songs & dances. At first we sing to them then teach them Roman Soldiers and Sally go round and then try Gathering Peascods which however we find nearly impossible — none of them have the remotest conception of dancing. At 5 we return to the Sowders and the old man eventually sings me quite a lot of interesting modal tunes which delight me greatly. I like him & his wife immensely but Miss Davis gives him a very bad character and tells me he is a foul mouthed backbiter and a degenerate both physical & moral. As he is 70 years of age, very active on his feet & in his mind it is difficult to see the force of the criticism!

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p230)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 230. Thursday 15 August 1918 - St Peters Mission

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USA : Viginia : St Peters Mission
Diary date
15th Aug 1918

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First went to Mrs Richards to take her my laundry and to get her and her daughter Naomi to sing which they did. It was very hot & muggy and threatening a storm but we trudged a mile or two first to meet Mr Geno Guillams who sang to us. Then on to Judge Jones and his wife — both of them just upon 80 years old. But alas! the old man could not be persuaded to sing so we had to confine ourselves to conversation and admiration of Mrs Jones who is beautiful to look at. Called at another house on our way back but failed to get any more songs. On our return to teach at the school we found the children being dismissed because of the approaching thunderstorm which burst on us in great fury when we got back — cooling the air considerably. Wrote out tunes etc after tea and a rest (in a cool room, by way of a change). In the evening sang songs to Miss Davis & her coadjutors, Miss Montgomery (a very conceited, censorious, "managing" person of Teutonic disposition); and Miss Walker (a very ignorant, superficial, Lynchburg, high school type).

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p231)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 231. Friday 16 August 1918 - St Peters Mission

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USA : Viginia : St Peters Mission
Diary date
16th Aug 1918

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Much cooler — thank heaven — though not much to boast about yet! First called on Mrs Laura Beckett, Mrs Bridge’s sister. Found her very delighted to see us and very ready to sing. Sang me a fine version of Golden Vanity amongst other things. Then went on a half-mile to a Mrs Ebe Richards, who to our joy proved to be a first-rate singer, the first we have struck this trip. She sang me a dozen and then it was time to get back — nearly 3 p.m! I found our hostess rather sniffy as the two singers we had tapped and were now praising were not on the "approved" list. We were told bloodcurdling stories of the escapades of their fathers & near relations, their rascality & low mentality etc. O these missionaries. Their whole life seems set upon nosing out what is objectionable in anybody — except themselves of course — and ignoring the good. Two women came to give an address on "canning" with magic lantern slides. We listened to the usual gushing but completely empty discourse by one who was subsidised by the Federal Government as well as by the State!! Maud & I sang some songs and taught some of them a couple of dances — Brighton Camp & Butterfly. Went to bed at midnight.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p232)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 232. Saturday 17 August 1918 - St Peters Mission

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USA : Viginia : St Peters Mission
Diary date
17th Aug 1918

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Felt rather tired after the fierce dissipation of last night but started off pretty early, nevertheless, to Mrs Richards who sang me several more songs. Called on Mrs Beckett again and Mr Ormerod but got no more. After lunch a thunder storm struck us and it was nearly 5 before we could start over the fields for old Jake Sowder’s. When we got there we found Mr Webb there who had just received news that his son had been badly wounded in France — for the second time. Had a very nice long talk and laugh but did not get much more out of old Sowder. Sally Jones walked back as far as her home into which we went for a few minutes and sang several songs. Our own singing has made quite a reputation here! In the evening the rain came on again and it began to get quite cold and Miss Davis said it looked as though we were in for a bad spell of wet weather and there are certainly many signs of it. Find it hard to get warm in bed under two blankets and a thick quilt! And only a few hours ago we were sweltering under a heat between 90 & 100!!

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p233)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 233. Sunday 18 August 1918 - St Peters Mission

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USA : Viginia : St Peters Mission
Diary date
18th Aug 1918

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Rained more or less all night and to day we are evidently enveloped in a rain-cloud. Wrote letters in the morning to Constance, Mr Glenn, Gray, Mr Graves (sending him ballet of the Keeper) and then wrote up my tune book. So cold we were glad of the fire which they lit in the hall and we toasted ourselves before it with great eagerness. Lunched at 3 — punctuality is unknown in these parts — and directly after Maud and I started to wade through the rain and mud under our mackintoshes to Ebe Richards’s. It was a dreadful walk, that red Virginia mud being the worst of its kind I have ever struck. He sang us several nice songs including a good version of Edward and at about 6.30 we started for home arriving in a pretty bad state. Changed everything of course and put trousers & boots before the fire to dry. Sat over the fire after supper and then shivered in bed unable to get warm for a long while. We had intended to go on to Endicott tomorrow but that is now out of the question. Decide, if we can get away at all to go back to Rockymount but I am afraid we may be stuck here for some time unable to move out of the house.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p234)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 234. Monday 19 August 1918 - St Peters Mission

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USA : Viginia : St Peters Mission
Diary date
19th Aug 1918

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Rain continued all night and the clouds had not broken when we had breakfast. Decided it was useless to attempt the road to Endicott but though we might make the Ferrum road & catch the 4.49 train to Rockymount so engaged one Daniels to drive us in a Surry. Packed up during the morning, dried our clothes which were wet through after yesterday’s walk and after lunch started for Ferrum, the rain ceasing just before we moved off. I asked Miss Davis to let me pay something for our board & lodging but she resolutely refused and seeing that I should hurt her feelings by pressing the matter I accepted the situation as gracefully as I could. The drive was a very slow one — 8 miles in 2_ hours — very dirty, and shook us to a jelly but we reached Ferrum in good time. Maud telephoned to Mrs Cannady of Endicott who agreed to take us for a couple of nights on Wednesday while I arranged with a Mr Johnson to meet us by the morning train on that day and drive us up. Very glad to get to the Rockymount Hotel and to our old rooms there. Weather too cold to sit out on the verandah for long and we were glad to take refuge in the sitting room where there was a blazing fire!

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p235)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 235. Tuesday 20 August 1918 - Rockymount

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USA : Viginia : Rockymount
Diary date
20th Aug 1918

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After breakfast went out to send telegram to Miss Gilman to send mail to Stuart. Called at P[ost] O[ffice] and arranged with postmaster about our mail and sent off two films (registered) to Meyrowitz. Did some shopping, changed some traveller’s notes at the bank, called on Mr Dick Raikes who is Mr Turner Raikes’s brother — the one who lives in Shooting Creek. Then called on Mrs Roberts and told her all about our week at St Peters. Got our mail which included three important & rather worrying letters. One from Helen [Kennedy] about E.F.D.S. matters, one from Arnold Shaw and the third from Boyd of Pittsburgh concerning Grove’s Dictionary. After tea dictated answers to all three letters and then wrote to Miss Davis, to Gray ordering books to be sent to St Peters and a long letter to Mr Vaughan Williams. After dinner called on Dick Raikes again only to find him out once more. Then packed again — O this interminable packing! — getting supplies from my trunk and finally got to bed fairly late & very tired. Weather still very cold down to 48 morning & evening. But very fine & beautiful while the roads are drying up splendidly.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p236)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 236. Wednesday 21 August 1918 - Rockymount

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USA : Viginia : Rockymount
Diary date
21st Aug 1918

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Finished off packing and then got down to the station to catch the 10.6 train for Ferrum which was nearly an hour late as usual. On arrival at Ferrum the faithful Johnson met us and we started off into the mountains a ten mile drive to Endicott whither we arrived about 2 o’clock. Found Mrs Cannady rather young & pretty and very nice & sociable. Her husband is storekeeper, postmaster farmer & all sorts of things, works very hard and is a man of substance. Lives in a nice house overburdened with furniture & nick-nacks of all sorts — mainly quite useless. My room is very nice but loaded up with possessions which obscure light & occupy space. We have lunch, a rest & tea and then make for Hurd’s Creek, draw two people Mrs Wagoner & Mrs Scott but get nothing. We are right in the mountains here & prospects look good but in 2 days we cannot do very much and the Cannady’s cannot take us in for more than 2 nights. After supper sit on the verandah while Charles Cannady, a son about 18 years old plays some dance tunes on the fiddle. He plays well and I note 3 or 4 of them. To bed about 11 p.m.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p237)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 237. Thursday 22 August 1918 - Rennet Bag Creek, Virginia

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USA : Virginia : Rennet Bag Creek
Diary date
22nd Aug 1918

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Breakfast at 8 and then taking our lunch we make for Hurd’s Creek. We draw several cabins but get nothing of value. When we get to the head of the Branch we decide to cross the mountain & return by Runninghog creek. We got up the mountain all right but missed the path going down and had a terrible job battling our way through the forest. Eventually we reached the bottom and found a small cabin the old man & his wife who lived there giving us water and shade to sit in but no songs alas! Then we tramped 4 or more miles down the creek in a hot sun back to our house where we arrived about 4. Had some tea which largely restored us and then went downstairs & tackled Mrs Cannady & her mother in law an old lady well over 70. Between them we got some very good songs — about a dozen! It so often happens that we get nothing when we work hard & a lot when we work not at all. Weather rather warmer but quite cool mornings & evenings. Shall probably move on to Shooting Creek tomorrow.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p238)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 238. Friday 23 August 1918 - Shooting Creek, Virginia

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USA : Viginia : Shooting Creek
Diary date
23rd Aug 1918

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Decide to go on to Shooting Creek in the afternoon the Thomas’s undertaking to put us up. In the morning we pack and take down several more songs from our hostess and her mother in law. At 3 p.m. we set out in the motor driven by young Mr Cannady and accompanied by his mother for Shooting Creek. On arrival at the Thomas’s find they have changed their mind and taken it upon themselves to make other arrangements — Maud to go to the Pres[byterian] Mission, I to a cabin hard by! This amazed me very much the more especially as the Thomas girls were talkative officious people, mountain born but aping town girls! However there was nothing for it but to accept the situation at any rate for the night. I had dinner at the Mission and then slept — very uncomfortably — at the Boyds. It is clear however, that Shooting Creek, despite its reputation for roughness etc will be no use to us as the residents are all people of position. Apparently they have made so much money by brewing Moonshine Whiskey that they have gone up in the world — or is it down? Shooting Creek is one of the most beautiful pieces of scenery we have yet struck.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p239)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 239. Saturday 24 August 1918 - Shooting Creek

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USA : Viginia : Shooting Creek
Diary date
24th Aug 1918

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p240)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 240. Sunday 25 August 1918 - Woolwine, Virginia

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USA : Viginia : Woolwine
Diary date
25th Aug 1918

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Slept indifferently and woke early owing to the flies! Feeding very indifferent — quite the worst biscuits I have ever tasted. Maud gets violent indigestion as the day goes on but I manage to stand the food though I don’t like it! The family all go off in the morning to a large Baptist Communion meeting about 3 miles off leaving us in command of the house. We sit in the upper verandah and I write up my books and letters to Constance, Campbell, Meyrowitz etc. Maud makes me some spaghetti and this with marmalade forms a fairly satisfactory lunch. The Weavers return about 4.30 and we manage to get a few songs from Mrs Weaver. I walk round to the store with Weaver to post my letters. They tell us their sister is coming to stay with them tomorrow so that they cannot keep us any longer. We decide to move on to Stuart tomorrow and arrange with Weaver to motor us in his car. Shall be glad to get away as this is too far from the mountains for songs and we are evidently not going to be comfortable here.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p241)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 241. Monday 26 August 1918 - Stuart, Virginia

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USA : Viginia : Stuart
Diary date
26th Aug 1918

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Have breakfast at 7 and leave about 8. A very beautiful ride and pleasant one to Stuart — about 14 miles — though the roads are very rough indeed in places. On arrival take rooms at the Perkins Hotel, a very elementary sort of place — a cross between Manchester & Beattyville but a little better than each of them — we do some shopping, change a travellers cheque at the bank and arrange to get some money from N[ew] York to buy some more cheques. Telephone up to Meadows of Dan — about 17 miles off and finally get a Mr Byerly to promise to take us in tomorrow. After dinner & a rest try to arrange for a motor car to carry us tomorrow, but meet with unexpected difficulties. Weather is terribly hot, over 93 in the afternoon & no air stirring! In the evening after a very unsavoury dinner a Mr Franklin, a drummer, came into my room and talked about & sang a couple of songs. It rained and we are fearful that the roads will be impassable tomorrow even if we can get a motor to take us up.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p242)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 242. Tuesday 27 August 1918 - Meadows of Dan, Virginia

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USA : Viginia : Meadows of Dan
Diary date
27th Aug 1918

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Ran up against Mr Adams the motor driver at the post office and arranged with him to take us up to the Meadows of Dan for 10 dollars & we started at 9 o’clock in his Ford. We must have gone up at least 2000 feet — for our house we stay at is 3480 feet up — over the worst & most dangerous mountain road I have ever seen. We constantly got out & walked over especially bad patches. At one very bad corner, with a 700 f[ee]t fall on the left, he asked us to get out as he was afraid it might topple over! The rains had recently washed out the road and had he known this Adams would not have attempted the trip. However we arrived at 11.30, 2_ hours for 18 miles and put up at the Byerly’s. He is an old engine driver, a typical Yankee, hollow cheeks, nasal drawl, great talker & braggard. She a talker too, a small woman reminding us of Miss both of them over 70. Her mother Mrs Spangler, 94, lives with them. After lunch, rest & tea go out & find country very bad for our purpose — a large plateau with rolling meadows and comfortable frame houses. Call on a Mr Reynolds & his wife. He claims relationship with Sir Joshua says it is a tradition in the family & that several members have a gift for drawing. 1 He is very intelligent & a good talker with a wide vocabulary. We stay a couple of hours because of a thunderstorm but get no songs.


1: Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-92), painter, first President of Royal Academy.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p243)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 243. Wednesday 28 August 1918 - Meadows of Dan

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USA : Viginia : Meadows of Dan
Diary date
28th Aug 1918

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A wet night & morning. Mackintosh up and call on Mrs Green Shelor but get nothing. Then walk a couple of miles to see Preacher Shelor but mistake his house & call on Mrs William Shelor instead. She sings me 2 or 3 songs and then tells us of Joe Blackett the postman who is home for the day. We call there to find him out but arrange with his daughter to call at 4 p.m. Then on the way home see the Preacher & make an app[ointment] with him for tomorrow "evening". After lunch & a short rest go to the Blackett’s and stay there a couple of hours. He sang me 7 or 8 fairly good songs and is a "banger-man" while I played the piano — quite a nice one — and Maud & I sang. Got back in time for dinner at 6.30 — "fast" time! We live very comfortably here. Our rooms are nicely furnished scrupulously clean — as is the whole house — and more like a small English Farm house than any other we have yet struck in the mountains. The 3 old people are each & all famous talkers. "Bill" & his wife are regular Chicago people but Mrs S is more or less a mountaineer & wonderfully fit for her age. Weather clears up in the afternoon but we have a very heavy thunder shower after dinner. We sing & play in the parlour.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p244)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 244. Thursday 29 August 1918 - Meadows of Dan

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USA : Viginia : Meadows of Dan
Diary date
29th Aug 1918

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As it is plain that the Byerly’s are not anxious to have us for more than one night, and as the songs are few & far between we decide to leave on the morrow. But it seems impossible to get a wagon or car. Maud walks 7 miles and I 6 independently in the morning but with no result. The telephone is out of order & we cannot get Stuart. After lunch we go off straight to Bill Shelor the Baptist preacher, a nice old man with all his family around him. He sings but has forgotten most of his love-songs. He & I crack many jokes together, Maud & I sing and I play Joe Blackett’s Rebel Song on the organ. When we get home again Mr Debart comes on the scene and throws some energy into the matter of our conveyance and after much telephoning prevails upon Mr Hilton of Ballard to promise to come over tomorrow at 7.30 & take us down so that by catching the 12 train we can get to Winston Salem tomorrow night. We pack in the evening and go to bed very tired not from collecting but from our efforts to get away tomorrow. The Meadows of Dan is a regular rat-trap, except that it was nearly as hard to get into it as out of it.

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Cecil Sharp Diary 1918 (1918/p245)  

Sharp diary 1918 page 245. Friday 30 August 1918 - Meadows of Dan

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USA : Viginia : Meadows of Dan
Diary date
30th Aug 1918

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Permanent URL: https://www.vwml.org/record/SharpDiary1918/1918/p245

 

Have breakfast early so as to be ready to start, but of course Hilton does not make his appearance until 9.30 — two hours late! In the meanwhile we call upon Mrs Debart & say good bye to her. Hilton is a first-rate driver, the best we have struck as yet in the mountains and excites admiration by the skilful way with which he negotiates those awful rocks going down. The result of his skill was that we got down with comparatively few tremors, but only just in time, arriving at the station 3 minutes before 12. However the train didn’t start till 12.30 so we had time to get our tickets, checks etc. We got lunch at Martinsville whither we arrived at 2 p.m. and later our dinner also, going to the Movies in between whiles to kill time! We caught 7.30 train (45 min[utes] late of course) for Winston Salem making friends with a Mr Chadwick on the way. We smelt W[inston] S[alem] about 8 miles away — tobacco & molasses! — It is one of the largest tobacco manufacturing places in U.S.A.! I had an acute attack of asthma on getting out of the train and could only walk to the hotel with the greatest difficulty and in slow stages.