Celebrate Pioneer Day with "Songs of the Mormons," from the Library of Congress

The Cricket and Seagull Fireside Chat show

Summary: Happy Pioneer Day! Music has been a part of the Mormon tradition from the very beginning.  Whether it was hymns or folk songs, it seems there was music created to mark most important occasions.  For instance, we have the dedication of the Kirtland, Ohio, temple in 1836 to thank for the hymn "The Spirit of God" appearing in our hymnals today. The wagon company of 1847 was hardly under way before William Clayton came up with his new version of "All is Well" which we know as "Come, Come Ye Saints."  And it was just over 150 years ago when the first of many handcart companies set out for the Rocky Mountains, pushing and pulling their way across a continent to the tune of "The Handcart Song."  Plus there were the humorous songs about the railroad and the bad influence it was bound to bring to the territory.  This week in celebration of Pioneer Day on July 24th—a state holiday in Utah—we feature Mormon folk songs from the Library of Congress Archive of Folk Culture.  These examples were recorded in 1946 and 1947 by Austin Fife and his wife Alta on a trip covering Utah, gathering songs passed on in the folk tradition—either learned firsthand from the writer or passed down in families and communities through the generations.  
 That's this week on The Cricket and Seagull.