April 21, 2009
Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
Folk, Political Folk, Folk Revival, Children's Folk, Folksongs, Traditional Folk

Album Review

In his 60-some years as a public performer, Pete Seeger has left an indelible footprint on popular music. As a member of the Almanac Singers in the '40s and the Weavers a decade later, Seeger helped midwife the urban folk boom of the '60s. His comfortable voice and graceful banjo style give his many compositions and folk adaptations an easy and elegant dignity, and on the political front, well, he's been a kind of canary in the coal mine for decades, speaking (and singing) out on any number of vital issues. This wonderful five-disc set (each disc comes with its own booklet) shows Seeger at his calm, plainspoken best as he runs through the American folk songbook accompanied only by guitar or banjo. The discs were originally released by Moses Asch's Folkways Records as individual LPs between 1957 and 1962 (in all, Seeger recorded some 40 albums for Folkways between 1950 and 1964), and Smithsonian Folkways reshuffled and reissued them as stand-alone CDs in the digital era, but put together like this, they make a grand and sweeping survey of the songs America has been singing for a century or two, all filtered through Seeger's wise, politically aware perspective. It adds up to some six hours of music, history, and memories, a fine testament to Seeger, Asch, Folkways, and the grand music of the American people.
Steve Leggett, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. John Henry [I'm Gonna Die with a Hammer in My Hand] [John Henry Blues]
  2. Shenandoah [the Rolling River] [the Wide Missouri]
  3. Blue-Tailed Fly (Jimmie Crack Corn)
  4. Black Girl [in the Pines] [Where Did You Sleep Last Night?]
  5. Skip to My Lou
  6. The Big Rock Candy Mountain
  7. Clementine [Darling Clementine] [My Darling Clementine] [Oh, My Darling
  8. Yankee Doodle
  9. Home on the Range
  10. John Brown's Body
  11. Goodnight, Irene [Irene, Goodnight]
  12. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
  13. Oh, Susanna
  14. Wayfaring Stranger [the Wayfaring Pilgrim] [I'm a Poor Wayfaring Strang
  15. Oh, Mary, Don't You Weep [Mary, Don't You Weep]
  16. Down in the Valley [Birmingham Jail] [Little Willie] [Bird in a Cage]
  17. The Wabash Cannon Ball
  18. On Top of Old Smoky
  19. Frankie and Johnny [Frankie] [Frankie and Albert] [Frankie Baker] [Litt
  20. I Ride an Old Paint
  21. The Wreck of the Old 97
  22. Wagoner's Lad [My Horses Ain't Hungry] [Drunken Hiccups] [Lovin' Nancy]
  23. Old Dan Tucker
  24. I've Been Working on the Railroad [Someone's in the Kitchen with Dinah]
  25. Cielito Lindo
  26. So Long, It's Been Good to Know You (Dusty Old Dust)
  27. America the Beautiful
  28. This Land Is Your Land [#]
  29. Barbara Allen [Barb'ry Ellen] [Barbara Ellen]
  30. Young Man Who Wouldn't Hoe Corn [A Lazy Farmer Boy] [Lazy Man] [the You
  31. Midnight Special
  32. House of the Rising Sun [Rising Sun Blues] [Rounder's Luck]
  33. Careless Love [Careless Blues] [Loveless Love] [Reckless Love]
  34. Oh, What a Beautiful City [Twelve Gates to the City]
  35. Poor Boy [Who's Gonna Shoe Your Pretty Little Foot (Or Feet)?] [Green V
  36. Sally Ann [Sandy Land]
  37. The Riddle Song [I Gave My Love a Cherry] [Captain Walker's Courtship]
  38. Go Tell Aunt Rhody [the Old Gray Goose] [the Old Grey Goose Is Dead] [G
  39. The Water Is Wide [Waly, Waly] [the Brisk Young Lover] [Down in the Meadow]
  40. The Fox [the Fox and His Wife] [the Fox and the Grey Goose] [Old Miss Flipp
  41. The Keeper and the Doe [the Keeper] [Hey Down, Hoe Down]
  42. Pretty Polly [the Gosport Tragedy] [the Cruel Ship's Carpenter] [the Sh
  43. Jesse James [the Death of Jesse James] [the Life and Death of Jesse Jam
  44. Stagolee [Stackolee] [Stagger Lee] [Stack Lee]
  45. Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair [Black, Black, Black]
  46. Camptown Races [Gwine to Run All Night]
  47. Blow the Man Down
  48. Froggie Went a Courtin' [the Frog and Mouse] [the Frog He Would a Wooin
  49. I Had a Rooster (Barnyard Song) [the Barnyard Song] [My Little Rooster]
  50. Putting on the Style
  51. The Farmer's Curst Wife [the Farmer's Old Wife] [the Devil and the Farmer's
  52. Hard Travelin'
  53. Alabama Bound [Don't You Leave Me Here]
  54. Wimoweh [the Lion Sleeps Tonight]
  55. Dink's Song [Dink's Blues] [Nora's Dove] [Fare Thee Well]
  56. Gypsy Davy [Raggle-Taggle Gypsies] [the Gypsy Laddie] [Whistling Gypsy]
  57. Deep Blue Sea
  58. New River Train [Darlin'] [I'll Be on That New Road Someday] [Green Riv
  59. St. James Hospital [the Unfortunate Rake] [Gambler's Blues] [Streets of
  60. E-Ri-E Canal [Erie Canal] [the E-Ri-E Was Rising] [the Canal Boat Song]
  61. St. Louis Blues
  62. Boll Weevil [Boll Weevil Song] [Boll Weevil Blues] [Mississippi Boweavi
  63. The Girl I Left Behind [Brighton Camp] [Regimental Song of the 7th Infantry
  64. When I First Came to This Land
  65. The Titanic [When That Great Ship Went Down] [the Sinking of the Titanic] [
  66. El-A-Noy [Illinois] [the Plains of Illinois] [the State of Illinois] [S
  67. Lady of Carlysle [in Carlysle There Lived a Lady] [the Bold Lieutenant]
  68. My Good Man [My Good Old Man] [Three Nights Drunk] [Four Nights Drunk]
  69. Golden Vanity [the Lowlands Low] [the Lonesome Sea Ballad] [the Sweet T
  70. Ain't It a Shame [Ain't Dat a Shame] [Bill Bailey, Ain't That a Shame]
  71. Swanee River [Way Down Upon the Swanee River]
  72. Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child [Motherless Child]
  73. The Boys from County Mayo [Shamrock]
  74. No Irish Need Apply
  75. Paddy Works on the Railroad [Fillimeeooreay] [Pat Works on the Railway]
  76. Arkansas Traveler [Arkansaw Traveler] [the Original Arkansas Traveler]
  77. When I Was Single [When I Was Single, My Pockets Would Jingle] [I Wish
  78. Wond'rous Love
  79. Ground Hog [Groun' Hog] [Old Ground Hog]
  80. Old Blue [Go on Blue] [Old Dog Blue]
  81. She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain
  82. Erie Canal [My Gal Sal] [Low Bridge] [Everybody Down] [Fifteen Miles on
  83. Banks of the Ohio [the Banks of the O. B. D.] [Down Beside the Ohio] [D
  84. You Are My Sunshine
  85. Hallelujah, I'm a Bum [Hallelujah, Bum Again] [Hallelujah on the Bum]
  86. The Foggy Dew [the Foggy, Foggy Dew] [the Bugaboo]
  87. Molly Malone [in Dublin's Fair City]
  88. Old Maid's Song [Take Me out of Pity] [Don't Let Me Die an Old Maid] [t
  89. Oh, How He Lied [the Deceiver] [He Told Her He Loved Her] [the Villain
  90. Where the Old Allegheny and the Monongahela Flow
  91. Leatherwing Bat [the Bird Song] [the Birds' Courting Song] [the Birds'
  92. Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier [Shule Aroon] [Shule Agrah] [Buttermilk H
  93. Farther Along
  94. Go Down, Moses
  95. All My Trials
  96. Monsieur Banjo [Michie Banjo] [Mister Banjo] [Mister Banjo - Look at th
  97. No More Auction Block [Many Thousand Go]
  98. Hole in the Bucket [the Bucket Song] [Jug Hot en Loch, Der] [Leiwer Hei
  99. What Shall We Do with the Drunken Sailor [the Drunken Sailor] (Early in
  100. Army Life [Gee, But I Want to Go Home] [I Don't Want No More Army]
  101. Blue Mountain Lake [the Bells of Long Lake] [Come All Ye Good Fellers]
  102. Lady Margaret [Lady Margaret and Sweet William] [Fair Margaret and Swee
  103. John Hardy [Johnny Hard] [John Hardy Was a Desperate Little Man] [Johnn
  104. Johnson [the Three Butchers] [the Two Butchers] [Young Butcher Boy]
  105. John Riley [Pretty Fair Maid] [the Broken Token] [as I Walked out Some
  106. Washer Lad [Four Pence a Day]
  107. Talking Blues [the Original Talking Blues]
  108. Lolly Too Dum [the Fit Comes on Me Now] [I Must and I Will Get Married
  109. T. B. Blues
  110. Summertime [Summertime an' the Livin' Is Easy]
  111. Trail to Mexico [Following the Cow Trail]
  112. Red River Valley
  113. Old Joe Clark [Joe Clarke] [Ole Joe Clark]
  114. St. James Infirmary [the Unfortunate Rake] [St. James Hospital] [Gamble
  115. Green County Bachelor [Starving to Death on My Government Claim] [Lane
  116. Ox Driver's Song [Ox Driving Song-Pop My Whip]
  117. Buffalo Gals
  118. Joe Bowers [the Disappointment of Joe Bowers] [When I Struck Muskoka]
  119. Texian Boys
  120. My Sweetheart Is a Mule in the Mines
  121. Johnny Gray [Peter Gray] [Ballad of Peter Gray] [Blow Ye Winds of Morni
  122. Cowboy Yodel
  123. Sioux Indians
  124. Ida Red
  125. Holler
  126. Cumberland Gap
  127. Wake Up, Jacob [Cowboy's Gettin'-Up Holler] [Morning Grub Holler]
  128. Sweet Betsy from Pike [Betsy from Pike]
  129. Buffalo Skinners [the Buffalo Range] [the Range of the Buffalo] [Boggy
  130. Whiskey, Rye Whiskey [Jack O'Diamonds] [Clinch Mountain]
  131. Stewball [Skewball] [Molly and Tenbrooks] [Stuball]
  132. Whoopie Ti-Yi-Yo, Get Along, Little Dogies [Git Along, Little Dogies]
  133. Strawberry Roan [#]
  134. Jay Gould's Daughter [Kassie Jones]
  135. Play-Party
  136. I Never Will Marry [the Damsel's Lament] [Down by the Sea-Shore] [One D
  137. Riflemen of Bennington [the Bennington Riflemen]
  138. Kingdom Coming (Year of Jubilo) [the Year of Jubilo] [Jubilo] [Lincoln'
  139. Cumberland Mountain Bear Chase [Bear Hunt] [Bear Chase]
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