The Dutch Country, like the rest of singinging [sic] America, has a two-fold folksong tradition: secular & religious. The Pennsylvania Spiritual is an original contribution to American hymns. Of the two folksong traditions the most important in Dutchland is the religious.
The secular folksong, apart from the ballad, was most commonly sung at the schnitzing party, where the courting youth gathered, & in the crossroads store-tavern, where the Dutch farmers stopped for schnapps. The ballad tradition belonged to the grandmothers, who sang the murder & gallows songs to warn the youngsters against the sins of the world.