1st Edition

Disaster Songs as Intangible Memorials in Atlantic Canada

By Heather Sparling Copyright 2023
    234 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Disaster Songs as Intangible Memorials in Atlantic Canada draws on a collection of over 600 songs relating to Atlantic Canadian disasters from 1891 up until the present and describes the characteristics that define them as intangible memorials. The book demonstrates the relationship between vernacular memorials – informal memorials collectively and spontaneously created from a variety of objects by the general public – and disaster songs. The author identifies the features that define vernacular memorials and applies them to disaster songs: spontaneity, ephemerality, importance of place, motivations and meaning-making, content, as well as the role of media in inspiring and disseminating memorials and songs. Visit the companion website: www.disastersongs.ca.

    Chapter 1


    Chapter 2

    Formal Memorials, Vernacular Memorials, and Disaster Songs

    Chapter 3

    Going Down in History: The Story of Disaster Songs

    Chapter 4

    Locating Meaning: The Place of Disasters in Songs

    Chapter 5

    Spontaneity and Ephemerality: The Timing of Memorialization

    Chapter 6

    Social Significance: The Motivation to Create Disaster Songs

    Chapter 7

    Personal Motivations: Relationships and Grief

    Chapter 8

    News and Social Media: Inspiring, Informing, and Disseminating Disaster Songs

    Chapter 9


    Works Cited


    Heather Sparling is Professor of ethnomusicology and the Canada Research Chair in Musical Traditions at Cape Breton University in Canada.