Infobox Film
name = Songcatcher

image_size =
caption = Theatrical release poster
director = Maggie Greenwald
producer = Richard Miller
writer = Maggie Greenwald
narrator =
starring = Janet McTeer
Michael Davis
Michael Goodwin
Jane Adams
E. Katherine Kerr
Emmy Rossum
Pat Carroll
music = David Mansfield
cinematography = Enrique Chediak
editing = Keith Reamer
distributor = Lions Gate Films
released = January 25, 2000
runtime = 109 min
country = USA
language = English
budget = $1,800,000 (estimated)
gross = $3,050,934
preceded_by =
followed_by =
website =
amg_id = 1:187081
imdb_id = 0210299

"Songcatcher" is a 2000 drama film, directed by Maggie Greenwald. It is about a musicologist researching and collecting Appalachian folk music in the mountains of western North Carolina. Although "Songcatcher" is a fictional film, it is loosely based on the work of Olive Dame Campbell, founder of the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina.


Set in 1907, Dr. Lily Penleric (Janet McTeer), a professor of musicology, impulsively visits her sister Eleanor (Jane Adams), who runs a struggling rural school in Appalachia, following a denial in a promotion at the university where she teaches. There, she makes a discovery of her lifetime – a treasure trove of ancient Scots-Irish / Ulster Scots ballads, songs that have been handed down every generation, preserved intact by the seclusion of the mountains.

With the goal of securing her promotion, Lily ventures into the most isolated areas of the mountains to collect the songs. She finds an orphan, Deladis Slocumb (Emmanuelle Rossum), and then finds herself increasingly enchanted - not only by the rugged purity of the music, but also by the raw courage and endurance of the local people as they carve out meaningful lives against the harshest conditions. But she is unable to help and becomes privy to the struggles to save their land from Earl Giddens, who is working for coal magnate Ambrose McFarland (Steve Boles).

Lily goes into the Gentries' farmhouse to witness iniquity where the people start to labor, Parley's wife Rose criticizes Earl Giddens (David Patrick Kelly) when he offers him a scant fifty cents an acre for his land.

She, along with Deladis, attends a garden party with Reverend Merriweather (Taylor Hayes), Ambrose and his wife Clementine (Rhoda Griffis), a local arts and crafts collector. Deladis is interested in collecting songs. Then, they dance together.

She meets Tom Bledsoe (Aidan Quinn) - a handsome, hardened war veteran and talented musician - that she's forced to examine her motivations.

Cyrus Whittle, a recently-hired professor from England, comes to the area on a collection foray of his own. Finally, Lily's tests and trials have been ended.



* The minor character of Clementine McFarland resembles to that of Jacqueline Kennedy, which was played by Rhoda Griffis in her previous film "Love Field".


Infobox Album
Name = Songcatcher: Music from and Inspired by the Motion Picture
Type = Soundtrack
Artist = various artists

Cover size =
Released = January 23, 2001
Recorded =
Genre = Country
Film score
Length =
Label = Vanguard
Producer = David Mansfield
Reviews = *Allmusic Rating|4|5 [ link]
Last album =
This album =
Next album =

The film's score was written by David Mansfield, who also assembled a roster of female country music artists to perform mostly traditional mountain ballads. Some of the songs are contemporary arrangements, and some are played in the traditional Appalachian music style. The artists include Rosanne Cash, Emmylou Harris, Maria McKee, Dolly Parton, Gillian Welch and Patty Loveless. Singers Iris DeMent and Hazel Dickens, who appeared in the film, are also featured on the soundtrack.

The soundtrack album inspired the 2002 follow-up album by Vanguard Records, "Songcatcher II: The Tradition That Inspired the Movie", that compiled recordings of some of the songs selected for the film as performed by authentic Appalachian artists. The recordings are mostly from the 1960s, out of the Vanguard vaults.

Track listing

# "Fair and Tender Ladies" (Traditional, performed by Rosanne Cash) - 2:56
# "Pretty Saro" (Traditional, performed by Iris DeMent) - 2:54
# "When Love Is New" (Composed and performed by Dolly Parton) - 5:16
# "Barbara Allen" (Traditional, performed by Emmy Rossum) - 0:43
# "Barbara Allen" (Traditional, performed by Emmylou Harris) - 4:35
# "Moonshiner" (Traditional, performed by Allison Moorer) - 3:34
# "Sounds of Loneliness" (Composed by Patty Ramey, [performed by Patty Loveless) - 3:44
# "All My Tears" (Composed and performed by Julie Miller) - 3:11
# "Mary of the Wild Moor" (Traditional, performed by Sara Evans) - 3:51
# "Wayfaring Stranger (Traditional, Maria McKee) - 3:24
# "Wind and Rain" (Traditional, performed by Gillian Welch and David Rawlings) - 3:25
# "The Cuckoo Bird" (Traditional, performed by Deana Carler) - 3:33
# "Score Suite # 1" (Composed by David Mansfield) - 5:01
# "Conversation With Death" (Traditional, performed by Hazel Dickens) - 3:01
# "Score Suite # 2" (Composed by David Mansfield) - 4:58
# "Single Girl" (Traditional, performed by Pat Carrell) - 1:04

Further reading

* Scarborough, Dorothy (1937). "A Song Catcher in Southern Mountains: American Folk Songs of British Ancestry." New York, New York: Columbia University Press.

External links

* [ About World Film: Don't See This Movie!]

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