Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/139

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Reviews. 113

Of more general interest for the study of folklore are the songs called Stdfidelieder, i.e. songs which refer to the various occupa- tions or trades, e.g. The Song of the Shepherd. It is customary, the author tells us, for the farmer, annually in the winter, to renew his agreement with his shepherd. On this occasion a great feast is always prepared, which generally lasts two days. The shepherd sings this song, and those who are present repeat every verse in chorus. The song dates from 1714. Two songs are in praise of the honourable calling of a peasant and the joy of the peasant's life. Gypsies, miners, bricklayers, tailors, threshers (who, horribile est, use the threshing-machine), and the night watchman, all have their song, — even the poacher, and naturally the forester, the green of whose uniform is the subject of a pretty song. The evil tongues are not forgotten, nor is a bridal-song lacking. There is also a riddle in the form of a duet. Some of the songs are based upon old ballads; others remind one of other well-known old Volkslieder. Some of the melodies are adaptations from older well-known tunes, but there is many a charming original tune. The collection includes 177 songs with their melodies, and some- times the author has given variants. A study of this collection will well repay those who are interested in Volkslieder, either for the sake of the folklore element in them or for the sake of the melodies.

The last-mentioned number contains an article on Der Kohl (the cabbage). It was offered by women to the Greek gods, and was one of the firstfruits dedicated to Apollo. A fragment attributed to Hipponax of Ephesus (c. 542 B.C.) refers to a votive offering of cabbage by some one who had injured himself by slipping. Pythagoras, Hippocrates, and the later Greek and Roman medici attribute to it great healing and purifying power. Its sacrificial as well as its cult character are still maintained in wedding customs in certain districts of Germany (pp. 188 et seq.), in ceremonies connected with the occupation of a house, and, in Berchtesgarden, with those observed when a death occurs. The use of cabbage as a cult food at weddings is met with almost exclusively in that portion of Germany included in the old Roman Empire. The plant was brought to Europe by the Greeks, and Germany received it from the Romans.

H. H. Spoer.

H