Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts




Through a detailed focus on these five groups and their music, with an added emphasis on their lyrics, this thesis attempts to create a meaningful tie between Slotkin' s study of American myth-making and story creation with a key area of popular culture - music - that he did not focus on. The thesis itself is separated into three key chapters - the first reveals how nature and landscape are presented in these songs and how they viewed modern twentieth century America with idealized notions of a rural past. The second discusses their presentations of heroes and anti-heroes as musical expressions of populist sentiment. The third demonstrates how these songs incorporated images of death and destruction to tie into a folk and blues tradition and reinforce a populist connection. Finally, a short conclusion wraps up the importance of these artists and their songs and presents how this musical tradition is still being utilized to express populist sentiment today.

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