Songs of Long Ago, Collected by Golden Bibee

Back in the early 70's, I founded and ran a folk club in Olympia called Applejam Folk Center.

Applejam had a wide variety of performers, both local and traveling.  One of my favorites was a delightful 92 year old poet named Golden Bibee.  He would come and recite his poems and stories or dance a jig, and was a much beloved presence.


Shortly before he died, he gave me his large collection of newspaper clippings which he called, "Songs of Long Ago". These were songs collected from the pages of the Spokane Daily Chronicle in the 1930s and 1940s. I took these clippings, organized them for him, and then assembled them into a book that I intended to give him. He died before I was able to do that, however.

They are a wonderful collection and I’ve always wondered what would be the best way to make them accessible to song collectors and historians. Now, through the wonders of technology, here they are!

The songs you’re about to enjoy have been scanned in from the original clippings and sorted loosely into categories. Because they are from the newspaper, the type font is small. The songs are, however, in a .pdf format and so if you’re having trouble reading a song, just zoom in on it and you should be just fine. Enjoy!

And thank you, Golden!


Learn a bit more about Golden Bibee, or read one of his classic poems.


(Click on the links below to access songs from each category.)

(Note: On page #7 of “Cowboy Songs”, the song on the left column is missing a title and the first line. The title is, “The Face on the Barroom Floor”, and the missing first line is, “Twas a balmy summer evening and a goodly crowd was there.”)

From The Golden Bibee Collection

From The Golden Bibee Collection

DISCLAIMER: We have presented traditional songs with their original wording, realizing that in some cases these songs may represent language which is offensive. We want to make it clear that traditional songs are presented to showcase the cultural and historical context out of which they grew. We do not condone sexist or racist language contained in any traditional song, nor do we support the ideology or bigotry it may represent or have represented. As is appropriate, we ask for your understanding. Thank you!