for Marsh Cat by Peter Parnall
This comprehensive collection of 492 songs constitutes a body of work surprisingly large in proportion and revealing in scope. Drawn from a wide selection of sources, it is the only collection of antislavery songs currently in print. The songs are organized in six sections representing variations of antislavery thought and activity. Compiled from songs originally printed with music, lyrics with designated tunes, and lyrics otherwise indicating that they were actually, sung, the book follows a chronology that is historically meaningful. There is an explanatory introduction for each section, in which both the music and the lyrics are discussed. Sources are included for each song and five indexes provide ready access to author, title, tune, first line, and subject. The author's extensive introductory essay examines the historical background of the antislavery movement and its music.