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ERIC Number: EJ906309
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0275-7664
"It's Now We've Crossed Pease River": Themes of Voyage and Return in Texas Folk Songs
Baake, Ken
Great Plains Quarterly, v30 n3 p171-182 Sum 2010
Stories of development from childhood to adulthood or of journeying through a life-changing experience to gain new knowledge are replete in oral and written tradition, as exemplified by the Greek epic of Odysseus and countless other tales. Often the hero journeys naively to an alien land and then, with great difficulty, returns home wiser but forever scarred. Such a journey can take the hero to a terrible place, from which he may escape physically, but from which he can never escape emotionally. Because the Great Plains has often been portrayed as vast, wind tormented, desiccated, without succor of trees and nurturing meadows, and because it represents in American mythology the wide border between homelands and the dangerous frontier, it has been the setting for many narratives of a heroic crossing over and return. Not surprisingly, this theme of crossing a line between innocence and baptism into life's travails is the essence of much folklore and many musical folk ballads of the Great Plains and the American West. [Note: To hear samples of Texas folk songs, see "Educational Resources" on the Great Plains Quarterly website:]
Center for Great Plains Studies. University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 1155 Q Street, Hewit Place, P.O. Box 880214, Lincoln, NE 68588-0214. Tel: 402-472-3082; Fax: 402-472-0463; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Texas