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RISE UP SINGING II - Current Status???


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Jack (who is called Jack) 01 Mar 98 - 09:59 PM
Joe Offer 01 Mar 98 - 10:13 PM
Joe Offer 01 Mar 98 - 11:13 PM
Jack (who is called Jack) 01 Mar 98 - 11:30 PM
Will 02 Mar 98 - 09:59 PM
BK 02 Mar 98 - 10:16 PM
GaryD 03 Mar 98 - 11:24 PM
GaryD 21 Aug 98 - 12:21 AM
Joe Offer 21 Aug 98 - 08:34 AM
Peter Blood-Patterson 25 Aug 98 - 02:38 PM
dick greenhaus 25 Aug 98 - 09:50 PM
MickyMan 18 Jan 04 - 07:18 AM
Joe Offer 18 Jan 04 - 12:06 PM
The Fooles Troupe 19 Jan 04 - 01:30 AM
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Subject: RISE UP SINGING II - Current Status???
From: Jack (who is called Jack)
Date: 01 Mar 98 - 09:59 PM

News circulated last summer that songs were being collected for a second volume of the RISE UP SINGING Fake book.

Now I know that some folks don't like RUS very much by virtue of its being used like some kind fundamentalist folk hymnal, but I like it a lot. Granted I dont really use it for group singing, rather as a reference and a starting point for figuring out songs I want to learn.

Does anyone know if there is a projected date for the second volume's release?

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Subject: RE: RISE UP SINGING II - Current Status???
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Mar 98 - 10:13 PM

Hi, Jack - Peter and Annie Blood-Patterson (the editors of the original book) were commissioned by Sing Out! Magazine to simply compile a list of songs for the new book, and their deadline for the book was November, 1997. They stopped taking suggestions in November, but I did get an e-mail from them in December, asking for more information about some of the songs I had suggested.
By now, the final list should be in the hands of Sing Out! The organization's staff will then gather lyrics and chords, get copyright permissions, and do the layout work. The book is supposed to go to press sometime in 1999.
-Joe Offer-

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Subject: RE: RISE UP SINGING II - Current Status???
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Mar 98 - 11:13 PM

Forgive me for this posting being so long. It's one reason (that and the fact I had to reformat it by hand) why I hadn't posted it, even though I got it in August. It's Peter Blood-Patterson's explanation of the whole process of selecting songs for Rise Up Singing 2.
-Joe Offer-


BACKGROUND: The original Rise Up Singing ("RUS1")

Our original vision was to create a collection of lyrics and chords for use in group singing in churches, schools, social change groups, camps, etc. The book was rather heavily weighted towards folk music for two reasons:
1. These were the songs which we (Annie & Peter) and the others working closely with us on the first book knew best and
2. We didn't think we would be able to obtain permissions for many of the songs administered by major music publishers (e.g. Broadway, rock and roll, country music, etc.), so we didn't look as deeply into considering those kinds of songs as we might have.

The book ended up being a bit different than we expected in several respects:
1. We were able to obtain a far higher percentage of permissions than we expected. All of the biggest publishing companies (Hal Leonard, Warner Bros., Columbia Pictures) gave us licenses for all the songs they administered. We actually only failed to obtain licenses for few dozen songs from Walt Disney, Shapiro Bernstein (Side by Side, Swinging on a Star), Irving Berlin, and a very
profit-greedy religious publisher which owned "They'll Know We Are Christians by Our Love" (this company, FEL Publications, is no longer in business - Joe Offer-).
2. The book certainly has been used quite a bit in group singing (e.g. in families and small get-togethers of friends, by Quakers and other religious liberals, alternative schools, and in song circles which have sprung up partly as a result of the book). But the book has ended up being used much more as an individual resource or fake book for both performers and individuals and families to be able to find the words & chords easily to lots of songs.
3. On the other hand, the book became much more successful overall in terms of sales than we even dreamed it might, selling perhaps as many as half a million copies in its first decade, making it almost certainly one of the best-selling folk music or group singing songbooks in the history of this country.

People have often asked us if we were ever going to do a "sequel" to Rise Up Singing and have sent us suggestions in case we ever did. We've always felt the project would be too big for us to handle given other things we're doing. Then Sing Out came to us with the invitation to try and put together a list of songs for a new collection and leave everything else to them. This was too
tempting an idea to turn down.

Even then we didn't feel there was any way we could make the book all we want it to be without getting ideas and help from lots of other people. We've been deeply moved by how many people who have volunteered already to help out. Our heartfelt thanks to you all!

GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF PROJECT: Overall Mission, Guidelines, Roles

The basic purpose for the new book will be identical to the old: i.e.
to provide easy access to the words, chords & sources
- to large number of GREAT songs
- from a wide diversity of song genres and on a wide variety of subjects
- in a compact and inexpensive collection.

We'd like the new book to be suitable for group use, but it may well be even less purchased as such than the original book (since those considering such a use would not be too likely to buy 2 songbooks in bulk for their group and they might well already have RUS1 or prefer to buy RUS1). So we're probably looking at people buying it primarily as a personal source for 1200 more songs.
Sing Out will again be the publisher. Our contract specifies that the basic format, organization and appearance will be as close as possible to RUS1. RUS1 will continue to be sold: there will be no overlap in content between the two books.

We envision a few important differences from RUS1:

1. MORE DIVERSITY OF SONG GENRES: There are widely known and easily singable songs from genres which we weren't as familiar with as others. Examples are country music, bluegrass, blues, and gospel other than very early "white" gospel. We are working hard to seek help in identifying what are the best songs in such groupings (along with other genres that we want to include at least a few songs from such as Cajun, reggae, even "classical" arias perhaps). We also want to "go" this time for more popular music titles knowing that we may well be able to get permissions for these again this time.

2. MORE DIVERSITY OF SONG CONTENT: RUS1 steered heavily away from songs on a number of subject including: drinking, bawdy songs, patriotic songs, my-lover-left-me-so-I-might-as-well-die songs, and songs which framed military activity in a positive light. Pete Seeger has suggested that it's fine for everybody to hate some of the songs in the book since there are plenty of others there to love! We want to be more open in terms of content and let people choose to sing the songs they choose to sing.

3. INCLUDING MORE "WIDELY AVAILABLE" SONGS. We tended to steer away from songs which we thought people could easily find elsewhere, such as "mainstream" Christmas carols a la "Jingle Bells" and "Silent Night". Even though many folks can get these songs elsewhere, other collections often do not include guitar chords and it is certainly handy to be able to get the words to such songs in a couple of volumes (RUS1 and RUS2!) which people can carry around with them everywhere.

You should be aware of a couple of important parameters that have been insisted upon by Sing Out:
1. We will ONLY be involved in song selection this time around. We will have only minimal involvement and NO decision-making power on such items as obtaining copyright permissions, choosing chords, researching most of the sources for songs, or even choosing which version of traditional songs to be included.
2. The book will have a new title (i.e. NOT be officially called Rise Up Singing, Vol. 2). They have received a strong & clear message from their book and music trade distributors that both books will sell much better with a new title. (Rise Up Singing will certainly be prominently mentioned on the cover.)
3. Sing Out intends to eliminate the "alternative words" feature of RUS1. If people don't like a given line of a song, they'll have to make up their own alternative. (Additional or new verses to songs CAN be included in some instances.)


1. OUR ROLE: We are the editors of the new book and will have the final say as to what songs go in and in what kind of order..

2. SELECTION ADVISORY TEAM. 15 or so people scattered around the country have volunteered to work closely with us between now and the end of the year in coming up with the song list. These people have offered to think about the selection process with us in a general way and help out in a wide variety of ways including:
- helping to identify and work with "song genre experts",
- helping spread the word about the new book widely and recruit submissions,
- helping go through recordings and songbooks to screen for good songs to include,
- reviewing each others' suggestions,
- perhaps getting together with others for one or more song review singalong gatherings, and
- looking over the overall lists as they begin to emerge.

Exactly what role and the degree of involvement will vary from person to person in this group.
The difference between these folks and the "genre experts" described next is that these folks will be looking at a number of song genres or subject areas and communicating with us back and forth on a more regular basis until the songlist is complete later this fall.

This will NOT be an entirely democratic process. We won't have time to try and reach consensus on the songlist and if we do "vote" in some sense on what songs we think should finally go in, the results will not necessarily determine what goes in and what won't.

3. SPECIFIC SONGTYPE ADVISORS ( previously referred to as "genre experts"). These are people who have offered to help us come up with the songs of a specific type, such as blues, country, doo-wop, African-American gospel, English traditional. Someone could also work on suggesting songs with a particular subject matter such as environmental songs, labor songs, or sea songs. Some of the things these people may do include:
- brainstorming an initial list of songs to be included
- helping us review/evaluate songs which we or others have suggested in this category
- helping us track down audio or print sources for words & music to songs in the category
- helping us prioritize and come up with a final list in this area if we have too many songs.

Unlike folks in the Selection group (all of whom are extremely familiar with RUS1) some of these advisors may not be very familiar with RUS1 or have a very clear concept of what we're looking for for RUS2. As a result, it will be really important to make sure these folks understand the "criteria" for choosing songs in the new book.

4. SONG CIRCLES: We're hoping some regular song circles which use RUS1 will want to become actively involved in the selection process. Involvement can include:
- collecting names of songs they've wished had been in RUS1 or volunteering to "try out" some of the songs we're wondering whether to include in RUS2.

5. SONGWRITERS & PERFORMERS: We encourage songwriters to send us lists of the songs they feel would be good to include in the new book. We're anxious to get input from people like Si Kahn, Ruth Pelham, Bob Franke, Bill Staines, Gordon Bok, Lou & Peter Berryman etc. who had a lot of very popular songs in RUS1. But it's equally important to identify and make contact with newer singer songwriters....

6. SING OUT. Sing Out will have a very limited role in the song selection process. They're willing to provide out-of-pocket expenses (e.g. postage, phone, duplicating, limited travel assistance). They're helping to spread the word about wanting suggestions and will be forwarding us anything they receive. They may be making some song suggestions themselves. They can provide a small amount of office assistance. All of us in the selection team are welcome to use the Resource Center to help in the selection process.

Once the selection process is done with this fall, Sing Out is in charge of everything else. They'll be working on obtaining permissions, researching additional sources for songs to be listed under songs, hiring an artist to do illustrations, obtaining and typing in lyrics, coming up with "chord lines", doing indexing. Some of these tasks may be done in the Bethlehem office, some will undoubtedly be handled by special contractors. They are hoping to complete the book in 1999.


These are what you should be looking for in choosing songs (more or less in order of priority):

1. QUALITY. Great lyrics, great tunes. 1200 of the very best songs in the English language (or in other languages but known to many English-speakers) which weren't included in RUS1!

2. EASY SONGS. Tunes which are: easy to learn, easy to remember, easy to play. Since there are no tunes in the book, people have to be able to pick up the melodies easily when they hear others singing the song (either in person or on recordings). The melodies need to have pretty straightforward rhythms, melodic movement, and chord structures. Most traditional folk songs pass muster on this criteria because this is how they got passed by word of mouth from person to person. Commercially recorded and performed songs, on the other hand, are sometimes easy for others to pick up and learn - but in many cases AREN'T.

3. WIDELY KNOWN SONGS. If people are already familiar with the song, they will be able to use the book right away to find the words & chords to it when they want to sing it. They can also teach the song to others using the book who don't know it.

4. ACCESSIBLE SOURCES. If people don't already know the tune, how hard will it be for them to obtain the melody? If it's from a Broadway musical, or recorded by a person whose recordings are widely/commonly available, or in lots of songbooks, that's a cinch. The song having been in Sing Out is good, being in a book like Collected Reprints from Sing Out is even better. Even being included in a hymnal such as the new Quaker or Unitarian ones means there are gonna be a lot of people around who can find the melody and teach it to others.

Appearing only on a private issue or minor folk label recording by one artist is not going to help a lot for the public in general. Phil Hoose says he got a lot of people writing him asking how they could learn "What If the Russians Don't Come?" We can't justify putting in a lot of songs like this.

There is no guarantee that we'll do "teaching tapes" this time around. If a song is not recorded or printed ANYWHERE at this point, for the song to be seriously considered for inclusion we'll have to be convinced that it seems
- likely to really "catch fire" by word of mouth
- likely to be recorded by artists in the future and/or
- be a good candidate to be printed at some point in SO magazine.
And we're going to be tough to convince...

5. MESSAGE. This is where content of the song will still get SOME weight. Sure, other things being equal we're going to love including songs which have an important message about peace or disabilities or respect for gays or compassion for AIDS victims or whatever. ***But the song has GOT to pass muster on a number of the other criteria to go in the book. There's NO point in putting in either poor songs or songs which nobody is going to ever be able to find/learn the tune to - even if they have great message!***

In thinking about the criteria, think about what songs made it into RUS1. In most cases, we chose very well. Think also about (in your experience) which songs in RUS1 get asked for or referred to most. These are the kinds of songs we're particularly looking for in the new book (even if we personally may be kind of sick of those songs! These are songs which are becoming "classics" even as we speak...)

And think about the songs that we've rarely or NEVER heard anybody sing or ask about in RUS1. There are reasons: either the song is too obscure (the main case), too difficult, or (occasionally) just a poor song. Or sometimes a song just doesn't catch on...


- Formation of Selection Advisory team
- Develop basic materials (criteria for song selection, flyers, databases, etc.) & distribute to team
- SO web page & editorial announcement, announcements to CDSS, Bay Area FSS, CMN, Sassafras?

- Finish identifying and contacting "Genre Experts"
- Finish getting info from selection team and advisors on resources, software, specific assignments, etc.

- Selection team & advisors begin brainstorming initial lists of songs for specific genres, subject matter, or artists
- Contact in some way some of the likely sympathetic folk composers (Bob Franke, Holly Near, Berrymans, Fred Small, Charlie King, Cris Williamson) to see if they want to suggest/submit songs.
- Announcements to as many folk song societies and sympathetic organizations (Augusta? Pinewood? ECSR? Friends Journal? internet sites) as possible
- Spread word informally via song circles, festivals, clubs, etc.
- Redistribute to Selection team, advisors & song circles that have offered to help songlists & leadsheets/recordings that have been received up to this point for review/feedback

- Team evaluation of distributed lists and individual leadsheets/recordings
- Entering songs/ratings into database
- Complete initial review of any song suggestions received by team
- Aggregate responses & distribute initial gen. list to Selection team
- Distribute narrower genre or subject lists to Experts
- Deadline for receiving suggestions from songwriters, groups, general public

- Two evaluation weekends - one in Philly, one in New England?
- "Second reviews" on best unfamiliar/new songs recommended by "first reviewers"
- Complete team evaluation of all submitted lists & recordings
- Feedback from team on general lists sent around to each other
- Identify where we are in numbers overall & for specific genres

- Team helps us prioritize/adjust numbers (e.g. prune excesses in specific areas) as needed
- Team helps us to identify at least one source for each song chosen where missing
- Peter & Annie forward finalized songlist to Sing Out

- Decide on chapter organizational system for RUS2 & begin assignments to specific chapters
- Complete any source identifications missed before
- Forward finalized chapter groupings to Sing Out

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Subject: RE: RISE UP SINGING II - Current Status???
From: Jack (who is called Jack)
Date: 01 Mar 98 - 11:30 PM

Thanks Joe!! Everything I wanted to know and more.

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Subject: RE: RISE UP SINGING II - Current Status???
From: Will
Date: 02 Mar 98 - 09:59 PM

Also, thanks. Like Jack(Jack) I think RUS is a great resource.

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Subject: RE: RISE UP SINGING II - Current Status???
From: BK
Date: 02 Mar 98 - 10:16 PM

Ditto; RUS is a great resource, even though I hardly ever use the chords listed. And nobody has offended me by trying to make me use it as an arbitrarily exclusive source. I'm of the mind that such dogmatism is un-folkish, and I'm sorry that RUS is sometimes tainted by such a reputation; It's still great! I'll be quick to buy the new version when it's available. Cheers, BK

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Subject: RE: RISE UP SINGING II - Current Status???
From: GaryD
Date: 03 Mar 98 - 11:24 PM

I love the book..glad to hear about the sequel..It's great to bring to jams & get others to break out of their routine songs and hear some great but obscure (to them) songs. I've gotten some real positive response to songs which I did not have the words for but loved, like "Amelia Earhardt" Being able to sing it for my friends has gotten them interested in music outside their ordinary musical performances. Many of them have decided to experiment with new songs, too, & most have asked me where I got the book. I am still amazed at the value of getting more that 1,000 songs for that price! Keep up the good work!
Messages from multiple threads combined. Messages below are from a new thread.
-Joe Offer-

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From: GaryD
Date: 21 Aug 98 - 12:21 AM

I'm looking for the next edition of Rise Up Singing by Sing out... was a discussion a while back that some of you are contributing.. When is the new one going to be ready..?

Also..for curiosity's sake.. How often is DT updated and added to? Thanks again to you guys who set it up.. I downloaded it and am delighted to use it for learning new songs..the sound files are fantastic!... Gary

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From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Aug 98 - 08:34 AM

Hi, Gary - 11/97 was the deadline for the Blood-Pattersons to give Sing Out! their list of suggested songs for the second volume of "Rise Up Singing." Sing Out! was then going to do the entire production job - gathering lyrics, getting permissions, and all that. All that's been said about the target date for publication is "1999." The last correspondence I got from Peter Blood was early in February of this year, when he asked for information about songs I had suggested.
Of the ones I had suggested, they accepted "That's the Way the World Goes Around" (John Prine), "Peggy Sue" (Buddy Holly), "Can't Help Falling in Love With You" "Greenback Dollar", and "As Time Goes By." They said there were others on my list that had been accepted, but didn't say which ones. They sent me a long list of traditional folk songs and asked me to vote - it was very interesting to see what was on the list. i wonder which songs will make the cut.
I checked through Dejanews, and didn't find any new information about the publication date. I guess we have to wait until 1999, whenever that is....

The Digital Tradition used to be updated in April and October. After Chief Editor Dick Greenhaus got ribbed for a couple incidents of tardiness, "April" and "October" were renamed "Spring" and "Fall."
Hmmmm. I wonder if he'll have a comeback for that crack....
-Joe Offer-

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From: Peter Blood-Patterson
Date: 25 Aug 98 - 02:38 PM

We only contracted with Sing Out to provide the songlist this time. They are to do all the other aspects of the project including permissions, chord lines, lyrics, sources, layout, illustration, indexing, etc. Quite a task! We submitted the list to Sing Out on schedule, but to my knowledge SO has not moved on to the next step of obtaining copyright permissions as yet. I would predict they are looking at a minimum of 2-3 years of work once they get started on obtaining permissions. It's an awesome amount of work! I certainly wouldn't hold your breath! Maybe around 2002? The main thing we are doing now is working on assigning the songs to subject oriented chapters as was done in the original volume. Thanks for your interest! Are you a Sing Out member? You can reach their website at They will print updates on the project from time to time in the magazine. Also, you might be interested to know that annie (my coconspirator) has just issued a new cassette of folk music called "Deep Roots". We also have a catalog of stuff we sell. If you'd like our catalog you can contact us at

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From: dick greenhaus
Date: 25 Aug 98 - 09:50 PM

FWIW, the DT is updated twice yearly, in the spring and fall.

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Subject: RE: RISE UP SINGING II - Current Status???
From: MickyMan
Date: 18 Jan 04 - 07:18 AM

Is there now a RUS2. Where can I get it. How do people feel about it?

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Subject: RE: RISE UP SINGING II - Current Status???
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Jan 04 - 12:06 PM

Well, MickyMan, RUS2 was promised long ago, but we haven't seen it, and Sing Out! hasn't said anything about it lately. I sent an e-mail to them and asked if we can get any information.
There is a revised edition of the original book coming out soon.
-Joe Offer-

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Subject: RE: RISE UP SINGING II - Current Status???
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 19 Jan 04 - 01:30 AM

Seeing as how long ago this thread started, maybe it really is a "Fake Book"!

    It did finally come out - in August, 2015. The title is Rise Again, and the publisher is Hal Leonard because Sing Out! was not able to publish the book. And one Associate Editor was a guy named Joe Offer.
    -Joe, December 2015-

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