MA (Master of Arts)
Date of Award
Committee Chair or Co-Chairs
Dr. Thomas Alan Holmes
Dr. Charles Strong Olson, Dr. Nathaniel Jay Olson
In this thesis, I demonstrate how analysis through literary criticism can provide a commentary on Appalachian song. While literary analysis of both sacred and secular song lyrics is an approach that is largely overlooked in this region’s traditional music, it nonetheless provides insightful perspective on the art form itself. As I argue, one particular duo of Appalachian musicians, the Louvin Brothers, are uniquely suited to this inquiry. I propose that themes that are found in many of the Louvin Brothers’ songs, such as love, acceptance, and rejection, create a bridge between the historically documented theoretical gap between bluegrass and country music’s sacred and secular songs. I document how the Louvins successfully navigated these traditionally separate subgenres using these common subjects while offering a commentary on musical history, their own upbringing, and religion.
Thesis - unrestricted
Porchak, Aynsley, "“If I Could Only Win Your Love”: Lyrical Analysis of the Sacred and Secular Songs of the Louvin Brothers" (2020). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 3687. https://dc.etsu.edu/etd/3687
Copyright by the authors.