Parallel Anthology Track 58

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Icon Public Domain.jpg Track 58: Buell Kazee - East Virginia   Brunswick 154-B; Recorded in New York, 20.4.1927

No image of record label available. Neither Anthology booklet assigns authorship, nor does

The Roud Folksong Index classifies this song as a version of Roud 3396. A Roud number search returns several versions from Kentucky, N Carolina and Virginia which predate Kazee's recording by around a decade.

The Where Dead Voices Gather blog states that "there is evidence that 'East Virginia' might have evolved from a ballad," but does not say what that evidence is.

According to the Old Weird America blog:

“East Virginia”, like “The Cuckoo”, is a perennial folk song with complex roots. Some of the verses can be traced back to 17th century England, others are “floating” ones, which can be found in other folk songs like “Man of constant sorrow” or “The Drowsy Sleepers”. One of the earliest printed version comes from Cecil Sharp’s collection of folk songs from the Appalachian mountains. One of the fourth version he collected was sung by Judy Baker in Harlan County, Kentucky in 1917, under the name “In Old Virginny”

It seems reasonable to treat this composition as public domain

Parallel anthology main index page

Alternative Versions

East Virginia by Pete Steele    recorded in 1958 (according to discogs): Spotify
Liner notes for this album treat this song as traditional.
East Virginia by Cisco Houston    from album released in 1960 (according to Spotify
Liner notes for this album make no claim for authorship or arrangement of this version.