Friday, September 03, 2004

Community singing

This afternoon I was looking for song books for informal group singing. I came across two volumes called Get America Singing ... Again!, put together by the Music Educators National Conference. In the tradition of school song books my grandmother used, these two books feature traditional and folk songs, spirituals and gospel songs, patriotic music, 1960s folk/rock, and songs from musicals. Pete Seeger is the honorary chair of the campaign.

Content lists:

Volume 1

Amazing Grace
America, The Beautiful
Battle Hymn Of The Republic
Blue Skies
Danny Boy
De Colores
Dona Nobis Pacem
Down By The Riverside
Frere Jacques (Are You Sleeping?)
Give My Regards To Broadway
God Bless America
God Bless The U.S.A.
Green Green Grass Of Home
Havah Nagilah
He's Got The Whole World In His Hands
Home On The Range
I've Been Working On The Railroad
If I Had A Hammer (The Hammer Song)
Let There Be Peace On Earth
Lift Ev'ry Voice And Sing
Michael Row The Boat Ashore
Music Alone Shall Live
My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean
My Country, 'Tis Of Thee (America)
Oh! Susanna
Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin'
Over My Head
Puff The Magic Dragon
Rock-A-My Soul
Sakura (Cherry Blossoms)
Shalom Chaveyrim (Shalom Friends)
She'll Be Comin' 'Round The Mountain
Simple Gifts
Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
The Star Spangled Banner
This Land Is Your Land
This Little Light Of Mine

Volume 2

(Oh, My Darling) Clementine
All Through The Night
Auld Lang Syne
Both Sides Now
Camptown Races
Down In The Valley
Every Time I Feel The Spirit
Five Hundred Miles
Follow The Drinkin' Gourd
Getting To Know You
Goodnight, Irene
I Got Rhythm
I Love The Mountains
I've Got Peace Like A River
It's A Small World
Jamaica Farewell
Kum Ba Yah
Let It Be
Let Me Call You Sweetheart
Make New Friends
My Favorite Things
Old Macdonald Had A Farm
Over The Rainbow
Precious Lord, Take My Hand (Take My Hand, Precious Lord)
Rock Around The Clock
Side By Side
Take Me Home, Country Roads
The Erie Canal
The Midnight Special
The Red River Valley
Try To Remember
Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is A Season)
Water Is Wide
We Shall Overcome
What A Wonderful World
When Johnny Comes Marching Home
When The Saints Go Marching In
Where Have All The Flowers Gone?
Yankee Doodle
You Are My Sunshine
You Are The Sunshine Of My Life
You're A Grand Old Flag
You've Got A Friend

You can purchase inexpensive singer's editions (linked to above) that have the words, melody line, and guitar chords, and piano music editions, at approximately the intermediate level.

From the Introduction to Volume 2:
Singing with others builds community, and America and the world are in bad need of that. When people join together in song it creates a sense of being connected, of belonging, and of being an active participant in life. This feeling is so needed in an age of electronic isolation and "virtual" participation in life. There is also mounting evidence that singing and other forms of interpersonal active music making [...] has [sic] significant health and long-term wellness benefits.
I hope to try out the books with a group this weekend, so I'll report back how they worked.

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