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Use of Folk Music in History Education

GUEST,Rambam99 22 May 01 - 11:15 PM
GUEST,Smitty 22 May 01 - 11:48 PM
gus C 23 May 01 - 01:16 AM
Whistle Stop 23 May 01 - 08:19 AM
GUEST,Louisa 23 May 01 - 08:58 AM
GUEST 23 May 01 - 09:05 AM
GUEST 23 May 01 - 09:14 AM
GUEST,Karen 23 May 01 - 09:47 AM
M.Ted 23 May 01 - 11:07 AM
mousethief 23 May 01 - 11:47 AM
GUEST,Rambam99 23 May 01 - 12:09 PM
Amergin 23 May 01 - 12:29 PM
mousethief 23 May 01 - 12:33 PM
Wolfgang 23 May 01 - 12:50 PM
Hollowfox 23 May 01 - 12:53 PM
GUEST,djh 23 May 01 - 12:55 PM
GUEST,chanteyranger 23 May 01 - 01:14 PM
Clinton Hammond 23 May 01 - 01:14 PM
Chicken Charlie 23 May 01 - 04:45 PM
paddymac 23 May 01 - 09:39 PM
toadfrog 23 May 01 - 10:01 PM
Sorcha 23 May 01 - 10:12 PM
Melani 23 May 01 - 11:56 PM
Melani 23 May 01 - 11:57 PM
GUEST,Rambam99 24 May 01 - 01:52 PM
Chicken Charlie 24 May 01 - 04:38 PM
Shields Folk 24 May 01 - 04:53 PM
GUEST,getgone05 25 May 01 - 04:19 PM
Hawker 25 May 01 - 09:39 PM
M.Ted 25 May 01 - 11:57 PM
FrankieB 26 May 01 - 03:46 AM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 26 May 01 - 01:28 PM
GUEST,Joan 26 May 01 - 07:12 PM
Amergin 26 May 01 - 07:30 PM
Amergin 26 May 01 - 07:37 PM
GUEST,WayneMonro@aol.com 27 May 01 - 11:50 AM
Desert Dancer 27 May 01 - 05:50 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 27 May 01 - 08:12 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 27 May 01 - 09:10 PM
Nik 27 May 01 - 11:06 PM
GUEST,Rainbow 28 May 01 - 12:50 AM
GUEST,Rambam99 28 May 01 - 04:15 AM
Rhiannon Fox 28 May 01 - 07:37 AM
Amos 02 Oct 01 - 09:31 PM
Sourdough 03 Oct 01 - 01:04 AM
masato sakurai 03 Oct 01 - 02:58 PM
Amos 03 Oct 01 - 04:33 PM
Wolfgang 04 Oct 01 - 06:08 AM
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Subject: Use of Folk Music in History Education
From: GUEST,Rambam99
Date: 22 May 01 - 11:15 PM

My last thread on IRA songs caused quite a stir, but I think this one might cause fewer disagreements. I'm hoping for a massive and disparate series of answers. I teach history at a public high school, and this year we are being allowed to (FINALLY!!!) have a much greater personal say in the creation of the curriculum and lesson plans. Good teachers try to include as many ways of learning as possible, because not everyone responds to notes and lecture.

All this being said, what would everyone suggest as key or relevant songs to explain aspects of history, such as thought or emotion? For example, obvious uses would be "Let My People Go" for plantation slave life, "16 Tons" for early labor troubles, "Yankee Doodle" to demonstrate English contempt for the colonial armies of 1776, or "We Shall Overcome" for the civil rights movement.

I hope to get a lot of creative responses to spark ideas, but please remember that modern history teachers have to go from "Plato to NATO in 38 weeks", and that the amount of time we can spend on ANYTHING is very limited, so if your suggestion is very narrowly applicable (like a 57 verse chorus on West Virginian quilting in March of 1911), please put the word SPECIFIC in all-caps at the top. I know its presumptuous to ask for submissions in a particular way, but this list is going to be edited and forwarded around a history teacher webring that will reach hundreds of educators, and they just don't have time any other way, so please post them like this:

GENERAL (or) SPECIFIC

"We Shall Overcome" (by whoever or traditional) - pertains to the Civil Rights movement

Lyrics: Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah

(y'all get the idea!)


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Subject: RE: BS: Use of Folk Music in History Education
From: GUEST,Smitty
Date: 22 May 01 - 11:48 PM

GENERAL

"Over There" - all about America fighting in World War I.


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Subject: RE: BS: Use of Folk Musiv in History Education
From: gus C
Date: 23 May 01 - 01:16 AM

My list pretty much belongs in a US class room- A student asked about "the 1913 Massacre" only days ago, this or "the Ludlow Massacre"(both Woody Guthrie) are great examples of the antagonism between management and the growing unions during the labor movement of the early 20th century.
"A hard rain's a gonna fall"(Dylan) - the threat of nuclear war
"No more auction block" (trad. negro spiritual)- Slavery/reconstruction
"Black and Evil"(Lightning Sam Hopkins)- Racism
"God Moves on the water"(Willie Johnson) or "when the Great Ship went Down" ( Trad. blues) - The Titanic
"Blowing in the wind" ( Dylan)- Civil rights movement
"John Henry" ( Trad. Blues)- As response to industrial revolution**** TEACH THIS! and stop teaching that the industrial revolution is over, it aint.
"Buffalo Soldier" (Bob Marley)
"Highway 61 revisted" (Dylan) - The ugly commercialization of our age . Start this lesson with the blues ballad "Hwy 61" preferably Fred Mcdowell's version and then move on to " do you know where I can get rid of these things?.....take 'em on down to hwy 61"
"Whitey's on the Moon" ( ???) - urban disenfranchisement "my sister just got bit by a rat and whitey is on the moon"
Dan Bern's song about teaching the children "song for the Children" (I believe that is the title) may be useful to inspire your fellow educators.
good Luck, God Bless, and Gods speed


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Subject: RE: BS: Use of Folk Musiv in History Education
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 23 May 01 - 08:19 AM

If you get into Vietnam at all, Tom Paxton's "Lyndon Johnson Told The Nation" is a good example of topical songwriting that dealt with fairly specific issues of the day. Country Joe McDonald's "Feel Like I'm Fixin' To Die Rag" is also a good one, and funny (helps keep the kids' interest, you know).

For the Great Depression, you might consider some of Woody Guthrie's songs -- "So Long, It's Been Good To Know You" is a good one, or "Do Re Mi".

The American Civil War produced some good examples as well -- "Dixie" and "Battle Hymn of the Republic" are a couple of pretty obvious choices.


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Subject: RE: BS: Use of Folk Music in History Education
From: GUEST,Louisa
Date: 23 May 01 - 08:58 AM

My aunt is a Lecturer in Education, and History is her speciality. She's also a great concertina player and trad singer. I know she uses in folksong in her teaching.


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Subject: RE: BS: Use of Folk Musiv in History Education
From: GUEST
Date: 23 May 01 - 09:05 AM

General comment: Congratulations to you and your fellow teachers for being able, apparently and at least for the moment, to avoid being forced to redirect your teaching toward rote preparations for standardized tests. Would that more teachers around the country could do the same!

The approach you are hoping to take -- integrating multiple forms of expression into a curriculum previously limited to narrative texts -- is similar to the one modelled by Roy Rosenzweig and Steve Brier in their "Who Built America," a linked high school/intro. college textbook/cd-rom which addressed US late 19th to early 20th century history by including text, recordings of contemporary speeches, video, music, art, etc. WBA is worth investigating, if you aren't familiar with it already.

Where are you located? There are funds available that might support the kind of curricular innovation you are encouraging.

SPECIFIC - Industrial Revolution Aragon Mill (Trad.) Peg and Awl(Trad.) - U.S. Western Expansion Buffalo Skinners (Trad.) - U.S. Depression a huge series of Woody's songs ("So Long...," etc.) - 1950s Ballad of Sherman Wu Jack Ash Society try some Tom Lehrer favorites: "Wild West is Where I Wanna Be," "Wernher Van Braun"

The lists will go on and on.


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Subject: RE: BS: Use of Folk Musiv in History Education
From: GUEST
Date: 23 May 01 - 09:14 AM

Apologies, "Werner Van Braun." And the formatting collapsed on the specifics list above. I'll try again here...

SPECIFIC

- Industrial Revolution

Aragon Mill (Trad.)

Peg and Awl(Trad.)

- U.S. Western Expansion

Buffalo Skinners (Trad.)

- U.S. Depression

a huge series of Woody's songs ("So Long...," etc.)

- 1950s

Ballad of Sherman Wu

Jack Ash Society

try some Tom Lehrer favorites: "Wild West is Where I Wanna Be," "Wernher Van Braun"


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Subject: RE: BS: Use of Folk Musiv in History Education
From: GUEST,Karen
Date: 23 May 01 - 09:47 AM

I stole this from another thread. Thanks to Jon Freeman for putting a blue clicky there.
Click here for music in American history


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Subject: RE: BS: Use of Folk Musiv in History Education
From: M.Ted
Date: 23 May 01 - 11:07 AM

Before you do anything else, buy a copy of John A. and Alan Lomaxes Folk Songs:USA--a wonderfully entertaining and well written book that gives you plenty of material to work with and plenty of the real sense of the lives that people lived and they way that songs reflected them--

it is also important to realize that everything else that you may find that uses folksongs as a way to focus on understanding lives, society, and history, including even the excellent Contemplator web site, follow in the footsteps of their work(in a pinch, you could probably do everything that you wanted to do by just using these two sources, but that would be a bit shakey, and anyway, it wouldn't be as much fun as just using them as a starting point)--

Next thing is for you to make up you lesson plans, then ask people to post songs that relate to each of the topics that you will be teaching, rather than getting a million songs about every historical event imaginable and trying to make build a curiculuum--You don't want to end up saying"Here's another song about...something historical."

Anyway, many have paved the way for you, and with a little library research, you can find some excellent resources--


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Subject: RE: BS: Use of Folk Musiv in History Education
From: mousethief
Date: 23 May 01 - 11:47 AM

SPECIFIC

KEY: historical event: "song title" by Artist, album it's on (click on song title for lyrics)

Fall of Constantinople, 1453: "Constantinople" by Al Stewart, 24 Carrots

Second Great Northern War, 1793: "Coldest Winter in Memory" by Al Stewart, Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time

German invasion of Russia during WW2; treatment of Russian officers after the war: "Roads to Moscow" by Al Stewart, Past Present and Future

Shoah (Holocaust during WW2): "Trains" by Al Stewart, Famous Last Words

Treaty of Versailles: "League of Notions" by Al Stewart, Between the Wars

Stalin's rise to power: "Joe the Georgian" by Al Stewart, Between the Wars

Lindbergh's famous flight: "Lindy Comes to Town" by Al Stewart, Between the Wars

Spanish Civil War: "Always the Cause" by Al Stewart, Between the Wars

Benjamin Franklin: "Franklin's Table" by Al Stewart, Down in the Cellar

Death of Ernst Roehm, last challenger to Hitler's hegemony over the Nazi Party: "Last Day of June, 1934" by Al Stewart, Past Present and Future

Presidency of Warren G. Harding: "Warren Harding" by Al Stewart, Past Present and Future

Events at the start of the Great War: "Manuscript" by Al Stewart, To Whom It May Concern

Life of Admiral Lord (John) Fisher, and role of the British and German navies in the Great War: "Old Admirals" by Al Stewart, Past Present and Future

Thomas More: "Man for All Seasons", by Al Stewart, Time Passages

French Revolution: "Palace of Versailles" by Al Stewart, Time Passages

The Murmansk run (supplying goods to Russia during WW2): "Murmansk Run/Ellis Island" by Al Stewart, 24 Carrots

Ellis Island: "Murmansk Run/Ellis Island" by Al Stewart, 24 Carrots

The Cold War: "Russians and Americans" by Al Stewart, Russians and Americans

Josephine Baker: "Josephine Baker" by Al Stewart, Last Days of the Century

Trojan War: "Helen and Cassandra" by Al Stewart, Last Days of the Century

Peter the Great and the founding of the Russian Navy: "Peter on the White Sea" by Al Stewart, Famous Last Words

A very expressionistic view of the Nuremburg trials: "Necromancer" by Al Stewart, Famous Last Words

Appeasement and the run-up to WW2: "Three Mules" by Al Stewart, Between the Wars

Life of Marion Davies (wife of W.R. Hearst): "Marion the Chatelaine" by Al Stewart, Between the Wars

Alex (ps if I screwed up any of the HTML will a Joe Clone please fix? I tried to be real careful but sometimes things slip through. Thanks.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Use of Folk Musiv in History Education
From: GUEST,Rambam99
Date: 23 May 01 - 12:09 PM

Thanx to everyone who has posted so far (hint, hint!) I've been given a lot to work with, but I sure hope i get a lot more. For those who wondered, I'm in Denver, colorado

Thanks, and keep suggesting!

Rambam99


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Subject: RE: BS: Use of Folk Musiv in History Education
From: Amergin
Date: 23 May 01 - 12:29 PM

Let me see....Christmas In The Trenches by john McCutcheon...(WW1)

Preacher and the Slave Joe hill (free speach fights in Spokane and elsewhere)....

I agree with MTed...pick yourself up a copy of some of the Lomax books....very informative...


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Subject: RE: BS: Use of Folk Musiv in History Education
From: mousethief
Date: 23 May 01 - 12:33 PM

British Civil War: "Red and Gold" by Ralph McTell. As performed by Fairport Convention on Red and Gold:

Red And Gold
Ralph McTell

Red and Gold are royal colours,
Peasant colours are Green and Brown
Green is the corn in the Brown earth when it's growing
Red and Gold when the harvest is cut down.

Through Cropredy in Oxfordshire theCherwell takes it's course
And the willows weep into the waters clear
My name is Will Timms and it's here that I was born
And raised in faith my King and God to fear.

In 1644 the King in Oxford town did dwell
Though we'd heard that Cromwell's Army was nearby
It did not occur to me that little Cropredy
Could be witness to the meeting of both sides.

On June the 29th that year I was about my work
Cutting hedges in a meadow by the stream
My blade slipped,I cut my hand and my own dear blood did flow
Upon the brown earth and the corn still green.

Now it did distress me so to watch my own blood flow
And quickly soak into the greedy ground
In Red and Gold my colours swam and sweat broke on my brow
And faint I knew that I must lay me down.

At first I thought the thundering was just inside my head
So I raised myself above the hedge to see
And watched as in a dream as the armies fought downstream
The battle for the bridge at Cropredy.

Now the Kings men fought in Red and Gold
Though Cromwells men were plainer
The blood they spilled was coloured just the same
Through the hedgerows fragile cover I saw brother killing brother
And all this was done in Jesus' name.

All that day and all the next the battle it was raging
Though when darkness came, I slipped
But the crying of the dying kept me wakeful and just lying
In my bed until the dawning of the day.

And the dreams I had were Red and Gold
And the little stream became a flood
From all my brothers killing one another
Till waking I did relise it was all my own dear blood.

Some were buried in the church and some just where they fell
With no markers to declare their place of rest
But the poppies they do grow where they were never sown
And to my mind they do declare it best.

And each year when the Green corn once again turns into Gold
And the poppies in the field again remind me
Like the scar upon my hand and the blood spilt on this land
And the hungry earth so eager to confine me.

For Red and Gold they are the colours
One is blood and one is power
Though I may find my rest in Cropredy church
In Golden fields forever will sping the poppy flower.

By Cropredy the Cherwell is still bidden to keep flowing
And the willows by its side still gently weep
But still in restless dreams by this most peaceful stream
The poppies wake me from my rightful sleep.

And the dreams I have are Red and Gold
And the little stream becomes a field
From all my brothers killing one another
Till waking I realised it's all my own dear blood.

------------

Alex


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Subject: RE: BS: Use of Folk Musiv in History Education
From: Wolfgang
Date: 23 May 01 - 12:50 PM

Spanish Civil war: Viva la quince brigada

Northern Ireland: There were roses thread

German concentration camps: Peat bog soldiers thread

Just one remark: There's no need to use the 'BS' label for a thread about a core theme of a folk music forum, music in its historical context.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Use of Folk Musiv in History Education
From: Hollowfox
Date: 23 May 01 - 12:53 PM

If you'll be allowed to fit in labor history, look into Rosalie Sorrells' piece "Aunt Molly Jackson Defines Folk Music Once and for All". I'm at work, so I can't tell you which CD it's on. On the same subject, look into the works of U Utah Phillips. For how war can change a soldier, and for how hard it is to live your principles afterward, look into his first CD collaboration with Ani DiFranco. For World War II, don't overlook Bill Mauldin's book Up Fron. It's the war from the enlisted man's point of view. His political cartoons from then to now (as well as other artists) can give more insight in less time to an incident than the textbook.

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Subject: RE: BS: Use of Folk Musiv in History Education
From: GUEST,djh
Date: 23 May 01 - 12:55 PM

I expected someone to comment on my silly inclusion of "Whitey is on the moon". Nothing I am dissappointed. Has anyone heard this hysterical yet poignant song?


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Subject: RE: BS: Use of Folk Musiv in History Education
From: GUEST,chanteyranger
Date: 23 May 01 - 01:14 PM

A few great recordings, in addition to ones already mentioned, are:

INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION: Pete Seeger, "Industrial Ballads," and, Mike Seeger, "Tiple, Loom, and Rail." Both on Smithsonian Folkways.

-chanteyranger


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Subject: RE: BS: Use of Folk Musiv in History Education
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 23 May 01 - 01:14 PM

Pick up any of James Keelaghans albums... as far as I'm concerned, he's the contemporary who's doing historical stuff BEST these days...

Especially look for...
Hillcrest Mine... about Canada's worst ever mining disaster
Fires of Calais... The Allied evacuation of same...
Boom Gone To Bust... a labour movement song, tied into the On To Ottawa march
Rebecca's Lament... a wonderful look at the woman who loved Tecumseh
Small Rebellion... about the Bienfait Massacre in 1931
cold Missouri Waters... about Wag Dodge and the Mann gulch fire, August, 1949
Kiri's Piano... Set against the backdrop of the paranoia of ww2... Internment camps.... for shame...
Captain Torres.. possibly James' Best Ever song...

So much for mentioning a few eh!

LOL!!

;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Use of Folk Musiv in History Education
From: Chicken Charlie
Date: 23 May 01 - 04:45 PM

Ram' 99--

I think specific song suggestions are half the problem. The other half is good reliable concentrated background material to help folks on both sides of the podium understand what's going on in a given song.

May I presume to start this ball rolling with two titles:

"Scalded to Death by the Steam" by Katie Letcher Lyle. On train wreck songs, but good for RR operation.

"Ten Thousand Goddam Cattle" by Katie Lee--backgrounds of lots & lots of cowboy stuff.

If you're tired of your profession, you could throw in Hoyle--teach the kids how to play casino and shoot craps so they can dig Staggerlee and Frankie and Johnny. That outta get the Harper Valley PTA's attention. Maybe their math scores would improve in your last year as a tenured instructor--that would be a nice legacy.

Seriously, the two aforesaid Katie books are strong recommends for this noble pursuit. Mudders must know of others.

CC


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Subject: RE: BS: Use of Folk Musiv in History Education
From: paddymac
Date: 23 May 01 - 09:39 PM

Actually Chicken Charlie mentioned a great song, but didn't recommend it. "Harper Valley PTA" - about the problems of poor folks and single parenting, and folks who "don't fit the mo(u)ld". [sorry. couldn't resist.]

Some of the great labor songs speak to many other issues as well. Examples: "No Irish Need Apply" (later 1800s US); "Deportee"(about migrant laborers in the US, 1940-50s); "Eight Hours" (about the campaign for the 8-hr work-day and the so-called Haymarket riot in 1886); "Molly Maguires"; "Lament For The Molly Maguires" (both about labor attempts to win better conditions in the PA coalfields in the 1860-70s); "Follow the Drinking Gourd" (anti-slavery, about the underground RR in the 1850-60s).

Then there are a raft of songs from both sides of the US Civil War.

And, nearly every parody written to the tune of "Roisin the Beau/Bow" (except the bawdier ones): political campaign songs; anti-slavery; agrarian reform; nuclear protest; even a state song[Wash.'s "Old Settlers' Song"]

There's probably a good doctoral dissertation oe two in this topic.


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Subject: RE: BS: Use of Folk Musiv in History Education
From: toadfrog
Date: 23 May 01 - 10:01 PM

With all due respect, history is not always that one sided, and if you use those songs suggested, you get not only a an extremely skewed hip-radical approach, but you teach your class to see all history from the standpoint of a single generation, the baby boomers, who wrote most of those "folksongs."


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Subject: RE: BS: Use of Folk Musiv in History Education
From: Sorcha
Date: 23 May 01 - 10:12 PM

You could use some Stephen Foster songs to present the "White" side of the slave question---how whites romanticized slavery so that they could justify it....(don't throw things please--I mean some whites, and I like some Foster stuff as much as anybody, OK?)


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Subject: RE: BS: Use of Folk Musiv in History Education
From: Melani
Date: 23 May 01 - 11:56 PM

"Waste Deep in the Big Muddy"--Pete Seeger--Vietnam Then you could always go to "Ballad of the Green Berets" for the other side.

While we're looking at the other side, I've always sorta liked "The Bonnie Blue Flag" to present a Confederate point of view.

"The Man From Athabaska," from an album by Country Joe McDonald called "War, War, War," which is the WWI poetry of Robert W. Service set to music.

"Coming Around the Horn," and "Humbug Steamship Companies," by John Stone, from "Songs and Shanties of the California Gold Rush," by Dick Holdstock and Tom Murphy--written in the 1850's and '60's.


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Subject: RE: BS: Use of Folk Musiv in History Education
From: Melani
Date: 23 May 01 - 11:57 PM

Oh, and I forgot--"Stonewall Jackson's Way." Great tune, as well.


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Subject: RE: BS: Use of Folk Musiv in History Education
From: GUEST,Rambam99
Date: 24 May 01 - 01:52 PM

Toadfrog- you do me and the mudcat community a disservice in assumin we can't assess the value of these songs, that only boomers wrote them, or that we can't balance presentation.

rambam99


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Subject: RE: BS: Use of Folk Musiv in History Education
From: Chicken Charlie
Date: 24 May 01 - 04:38 PM

Nobody liked my book suggestion? Sulk. Sulk.

OK, then: "Little Log Cabin Down the Lane." Great song. Shows how there is NO free lunch. All us Liberal white kids would say Emancipation was great, and here's this one old man left alone because he's too old to leave the plantation, and he misses all his friends, who have gone North. Very poignant; also very PI, as he refers to how he "Used to hear the Darkies singin' round the ol' banjo..." But I try to use that as a teaching point. Burl Ives, who even called Massah "the Boss" in Blue Tail Fly, made a 'Western' out of it (Little Log Cabin on the Plain) thereby sanitizing it totally.

Nobody wants to sing "Kingdom Comin," but that's another similarly insightful piece. I compromise with "children" instead of "Darkies." But dang, who gets made fun of? The massah, the overseer and the "Lincoln soldiers" in that order, not the Africans.

As a confirmed Union re-enactor, my favorite CSA numbers are "I am a Rebel Soldier," "Southern Soldier Boy" and "The Yankees Came to Baldwin," aka "Old Abner's Shoes."

CC


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Subject: RE: BS: Use of Folk Musiv in History Education
From: Shields Folk
Date: 24 May 01 - 04:53 PM

These songs represent a cultural snapshot from when they were written and not neccesarily the historical episode they claim to represent.They are cultural artefacts and may not represent the truth. They can give positive and negative bias, but this isn't always a bad thing. But I cant think of anything better to represent the cultural history of ordinary folk.


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Subject: RE: BS: Use of Folk Musiv in History Education
From: GUEST,getgone05
Date: 25 May 01 - 04:19 PM

Who said these songs had to be fair or accurate? They are meant to show that real people did real things and had real beliefs and emotions. This soinds like a great way to teach, just wish I could think of one that hasnt been used. How about "Let us remember Pearl Harbor" ?


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Subject: RE: BS: Use of Folk Musiv in History Education
From: Hawker
Date: 25 May 01 - 09:39 PM

I run a lot of workshops in the UK in schools linking local history, legends, and folklore, arts and music. It is a really great formula and the children really enjoy it. Traditional songs were written by real people about a particular time and therefore have emotion which is easy to relate to. You can also be creative and encourage them to write songs to express how people of that time might have felt. GO FOR IT, You won't regret it!
GOOD LUCK!
Lucy


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Subject: RE: BS: Use of Folk Musiv in History Education
From: M.Ted
Date: 25 May 01 - 11:57 PM

Just as an aside--for me at least, the history is one of the best parts of folk music--every song seems to tell a real story, and I love to fill in the rest of the story from books, reseach, etc--the thing is that we could fill twenty threads like this with song titles-give us some topics that you plan to teach, and then sit back and let everyone fill in your lesson plan!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Use of Folk Musiv in History Education
From: FrankieB
Date: 26 May 01 - 03:46 AM

Here here, Rambam! Looking back across the Atlantic to my school years, I see how biased most of the history we learned was towards the rich, the white, the established-- just the very fact that in the eighties we were still taught that Columbus "discovered" America tells you a lot right away. I had one teacher though, who, like you, tried to balance this picture-- it was pretty amazing how many kids in a class of what were then high school juniors who would have born at the tail end of the Vietnam war actually thought the US had "won" the war. She taught us about Wounded Knee and the KKK and the experiences of immigrants at Ellis Island when nobody else did. We looked at songs and letters and personal diaries. I thank her for that because it sparked my interest in the stories of the ordinary people, which has ultimately shaped the course of my career now and always helps me pick the songs I'm going to sing. That one teacher taught me more that's relevant to me now than probably all of my others combined-- so go for it! And if it's all just a little skewed towards the working man and woman, what's wrong with that at the end of the day? Enjoy! FrankieB


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Subject: RE: BS: Use of Folk Musiv in History Education
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 May 01 - 01:28 PM

One Civil War song seldom heard but liked by kids when they hear it is "Goober Peas." An old southern word for peanuts. The song is southern but it was taken up by northern soldiers as well. Soldiers on the march were sometimes reduced to eating goober peas from the fields. Lomax books on song, regardless of edition, cost $50 or so if you can find them. To get two copies of Lomax, Cowboy Songs (best edition 1938 or later), I found one in Australia and another in Denmark through Abebooks.com. Once someone gets a copy, they keep it. Lomax, The Folk Songs of North America in the English Language is a little easier to get, but a copy of his American Ballads and Folk Songs was listed at $90. Also see his Hard-hitting Songs for Hard-Hit People.


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Subject: RE: BS: Use of Folk Musiv in History Education
From: GUEST,Joan
Date: 26 May 01 - 07:12 PM

Chicken Charlie mentioned "Abner's Shoes." CC, do you or anybody know who Abner was? A soldier or an officer? I've been curious about that song for a long time.

Nice thread. I've always said that music is a great way to teach history. It's a primary source, not just a third person account of what "they" did in some nebulous long ago time.

Joan


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Subject: RE: BS: Use of Folk Musiv in History Education
From: Amergin
Date: 26 May 01 - 07:30 PM

If you know where to look for the Lomax books (try Powells.com...I live not too far from their main store) you can find copies for under 20 bucks american....but yeah those would be great sources of information...


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Subject: RE: BS: Use of Folk Musiv in History Education
From: Amergin
Date: 26 May 01 - 07:37 PM

Ok, I found a copy of john Lomax's American Ballads and Folk Songs listed at www.powells.com for $9.95...


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Subject: RE: BS: Use of Folk Musiv in History Education
From: GUEST,WayneMonro@aol.com
Date: 27 May 01 - 11:50 AM

Bob Gibson's "Let The Band Play Dixie"; John Stewart's "Armstrong"; "Billy Broke Bolts"/"The Escape of Old John Webb" (Kingston Trio version)


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Subject: RE: BS: Use of Folk Musiv in History Education
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 27 May 01 - 05:50 PM

I've been thinking about getting into doing traditional song in schools (I have been doing some dance stuff) and was thinking that a lot of the old timeless ballads, though they may fit more into "social studies" than history classes, per se, sure would be interesting -- all that death and destruction is a timeless human thing, evidence that we still don't have it all figured out, and that we're not just recently sinking into some brand new cesspool of immorality that can be blamed on [name your scapegoat]: for example, the Cruel Mother, Edward, etc.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: BS: Use of Folk Musiv in History Education
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 27 May 01 - 08:12 PM

The Civil War, Its Music and its Sounds, Frederick Fennel and the Eastman Wind Ensemble, is a great album on 2 cds, Mercury recording, recently re-issued. Musical instruments used are original to the time. All of the old bugle calls are there. The selection of Union and Confederate music is good. The booklet shows the musical instruments of the time and has a good text, albeit very brief.


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Subject: RE: BS: Use of Folk Musiv in History Education
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 27 May 01 - 09:10 PM

Just a thought. In this era of sanitization and political correctness, I hope you keep the songs in their original form. It takes clear explanations and more than a little courage, but otherwise history becomes Pablum.


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Subject: RE: BS: Use of Folk Musiv in Hist.-general&specifi
From: Nik
Date: 27 May 01 - 11:06 PM

I've taught several workshops on folk songs---with a look at several Kentucky favorites using a great lesson plan and booklet on folk songs distributed by Rita H. Smart, Univ. of Kentucky Extension agent (Madison County, P.O. Box 270, Richmond, KY 40476 859-623-4072). You may want to write to her to ask for a copy of the booklet (H.E. 1-366A) and the teachers' guide on Kentucky Folk Music. Points to ponder and discuss include: 1. People are still writing folk songs. The songs often tell a story---sometimes identifying a social ill or make a protest. For example, the last Presidential election brought about new folk songs about the "Dimpled Chad" and other problems with the election. 2. While it's hard to define folk music, doing so should be a point of discussion for your class. 3. Certain musical instruments are often used to accompany folk music. The Appalachian Mountain dulcimer became Kentucky's state musical instrument in March 2001.

Another thought: Jean Ritchie, a some-times Mudcatter has probably done more to popularize and pass on folk songs than any other Kentuckian. Her stirring song "Black Waters" tells of the distruction of Eastern Kentucky farmland as coal slurrys wash down the mountainsides.


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Subject: RE: BS: Use of Folk Musiv in History Education
From: GUEST,Rainbow
Date: 28 May 01 - 12:50 AM

"Bread and Roses" refers to women's rights; "Buttermilk Hill," "The Praties, They Grow Small," and "The Wearing of the Green" are about Ireland; "John Henry" is kind of a standard African-American song.


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Subject: RE: BS: Use of Folk Musiv in History Education
From: GUEST,Rambam99
Date: 28 May 01 - 04:15 AM

I much appreciate the suggedtion to start new threads on specific topics to 'fill lesson plans', but Fall is 3 months off and I'm still not sure what we will be doing yet. Rest assured that I will make such requests in the fall. The response so far has been very good and has been passed around. i sure hope that this thread continues to grow!

Thankx everybody, Rambam99


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Subject: RE: BS: Use of Folk Musiv in History Education
From: Rhiannon Fox
Date: 28 May 01 - 07:37 AM

There is a superb book called: The Sounds of History. Can't remeber who the author is. I've got a copy somewhere but can't find it at the moment. Will search further if it helps?


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Subject: RE: Use of Folk Music in History Education
From: Amos
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 09:31 PM

"Good Old Rebel Soldier", "The Battle of Bull Run", "Bonnie Blue Flag" are good alternate perspective songs on the Civil War.

Seeger's Union songs are great reflections of the labor battles and socialist waves of the Thirties -- Union Talkin' Blues, Which Side Are You On?, Get thee Behind Me Satan, The Union Maid. Black White and Tan Blues is a heatbreaker. Bourgeois Town (Leadbelly) is another.

There are a number of good songs from the Western expansion and the building of rail West, including John Henry, Pat Worked on the Railway, Drill Ye Tarriers Drill, and the great Lomax collection of cowboy songs. I would try hard to dig up some songs of battle and suffering from the Amerindian side too. Not my field of expertise.

I have said before that it is my believe that folksingers, as often as not, are really time travellers who just happen to pop into this coordinate system we call the present to file reports!


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Subject: RE: Use of Folk Music in History Education
From: Sourdough
Date: 03 Oct 01 - 01:04 AM

Battleship Maine (Spanish American War and patriotism profiteers)

My Name is Charles Guiteau (Presidential Assassination - Garfield)

Riflemen at Bennnington - American Revolutionary Battle

Mad Anthony Wayne - Hero of Revolution

(All student-tested and approved)

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: Use of Folk Music in History Education
From: masato sakurai
Date: 03 Oct 01 - 02:58 PM

In another thread, "Follow the Drinking Gourd" and its meanings and historicity have been discussed. I've read recently an article "No Irish Need Apply: A Myth of Victimization". I admit the use of folk song in history education, but my impression is how difficult it can be to talk about the relation between history and folk song.

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Use of Folk Music in History Education
From: Amos
Date: 03 Oct 01 - 04:33 PM

It seems to me, honored friend, that the difficulty lies in establishing the context. A song is a creative burst that may well be a solution to terrible burdens or woes, or a rally by an otherwise helpless individual against some oppression. When the Irish were dispersed, economically oppressed and had little hope of organized resistance, they wrote songs. When they did have organized reisistance, they wrote songs. When the circumstances of paternalistic dominance messed up women's lives, they wrote songs. When women messed up men's lives, and they didn't have the resources to move anywhere else, they wrote songs (or got drunk).

Context behind a song is the real key to seeing the waves of history running through it.

A.


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Subject: RE: Use of Folk Music in History Education
From: Wolfgang
Date: 04 Oct 01 - 06:08 AM

What a great link, Masato, plenty to read and to think.

Wolfgang


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