Michael Cassius Dean of Virginia, Minnesota was probably the most important singer of folk songs in Minnesota history. In 1922 he gathered together over 150 songs he had learned and published them in a book called The Flying Cloud. This book was reprinted once, but that was decades ago. It is now long out of print, and hard to find — the original was printed, very badly, on cheap, acidic paper. Copies are hard to find and generally in very bad condition.
This directory contains complete scans of a 1922 first edition copy of The Flying Cloud. The scans are fairly low resolution, because the pages of the book are brown with acid damage; the low-resolution scans were actually more readable than anything I did at higher resolution. To make the book more usable, I have added a marginal commentary, with information about authorship of the songs, alternate titles of the songs, midwestern tunes, and other references, as well as an index of titles, alternate titles, and first lines.
Download your annotated copy of The Flying Cloud here.
Note: Since the Heritage Songbook was published, Brian Miller has been doing extensive research on M. C. Dean, and has found more tunes (from the papers of Franz Rickaby) as well as a recording. Visit his web site for more information.