Music Annotated Bibliography
Dr. Ava L. McCall
● Children’s books
● Adult books
● Curriculum guides/books and tapes/compact discs
● Audio tapes and compact discs
● General resources for social studies music
Bryan, A. (1974). Walk together children: Black American spirituals. Hartford, CT: Aladdin
A collection of 24 African American Spirituals including "Go Tell it on the Mountain," "I
Got Shoes," "Nobody Knows the Trouble I See," and "Go Down Moses." The words and
melody line for each Spiritual is included as well as an introduction which explains the
significance of African American Spirituals.
Burgie, I. (1992). Caribbean carnival: Songs of the West Indies. New York: Tambourine.
A collection of 13 calypso songs printed with the words, simple piano accompaniment,
colorful pictures, and written explanations to illustrate the background and meanings of
the songs. The songs deal with everyday work, play, forgotten events, and nature.
Christensen, B. (2001). Woody Guthrie: Poet of the people. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
The author provides important background information on the folk musician Woody
Guthrie and his life circumstances, which contributed to the creation of “This Land is
Your Land.” She describes the many hardships of Guthrie’s life, including the death of
his older sister, his mother’s mental illness, his father’s economic struggles, and the many
difficulties of living through the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl which contributed
to Guthrie’s music. Guthrie composed over a thousand songs, including Dust Bowl
ballads, union songs, children’s songs, patriotic World War II songs, and songs
celebrating America’s beauty and power. However, he wanted all seven verses of “This
Land is Your Land” remembered, including those dealing with hardship and unfairness in
Connelly, B. (1997). Follow the drinking gourd. Lancaster, PA: Rabbit Ears Books.
The folksong “Follow the Drinking Gourd” is interspersed with a story of a slave family
escaping on the underground railroad in the text. Included with the text is a compact disk
which integrates Morgan Freeman’s dramatic oral version of the story with musical
accompaniment by Taj Mahal.
Guthrie, W. (1998). This land is your land. Boston: Little, Brown.
Woody Guthrie’s lyrics are beautifully illustrated by Kathy Jakobsen. She includes the
most beautiful and inspiring areas of the U.S. and scenes of diverse people coming
together through music as well as scenes of homeless people, soup kitchens, and urban
poverty. Another scene illustrates community members cleaning up this same urban area
and building playgrounds and community centers. The end of the text includes an
explanation of Woody Guthrie’s folk music which documented the lives of migrants,
factory workers, and the working class. The song is recorded by Woody Guthrie on the
compact disk This Land is Your Land: An All-American Children’s Folk Classic by
Woody Guthrie and Arlo Guthrie. It is available from Rounder Records, One Camp
Street, Cambridge, MA 02140.
Hinojosa, T. (2002). Cada Nino every child: A bilingual songbook for kids. El Paso, TX: Cinco
Colorful illustrations, the melody line, and suggested piano or guitar chords accompany
10 bilingual songs. “Escala Musical” or “Music Scale” is a song heard on the Texas-Mexico border for over a century, but the author modified the lyrics to show similarities
between the Spanish and English music scales. “Siempre Abuelita” or “Always
Grandma” celebrates a Grandmother’s love and the stories she told her granddaughter.
“Magnolia” acknowledges a magnolia tree in the author’s backyard where she and her
sister played together growing up. “Hasta Los Muertos Salen a Bailar” or “Even the Dead
are Rising Up to Dance” deals with the “Day of the Dead” celebration in Latin American
countries. “Las Fronterizas” or “The Frontier Women” recognizes the brave women who
fought for people’s rights during the Mexican Revolution beginning in 1910. The
compact disk Cada Nino Every Child (1996) contains all the songs sung in Spanish and
English from the text and is available from Rounder Records, One Camp Street,
Cambridge, MA 02140.
Hudson, W. & Hudson, C. (1995). How sweet the sound: African-American songs for children.
New York: Scholastic.
Beautifully illustrated traditional songs, spirituals, hymns, gospel songs, work songs,
freedom songs, street cries, ragtime, jazz, and soul music from the African American
tradition. The authors also provide valuable information about the origins and meanings
of the 23 songs. Simple melody lines with chords for guitar or piano are also included.
"Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing" and "Happy Birthday" to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. are
examples of the songs contained in the text.
Igus, T. (1998). I see the rhythm. San Francisco: Children’s Book Press.
The author reviews 500 years of African American music, beginning with the origins in
Africa and continuing through slave songs, blues, ragtime, jazz, swing, bebop, gospel,
rhythm and blues, rock ‘n’ roll, funk, and hip hop. A simple text and beautiful painting
illustrate and describe each type of music while a timeline provides more advanced
readers with additional background knowledge on the history of African American music.
Johnson, J. W. (1993). Lift every voice and sing. New York: Walker.
This book is an illustration of the song "Lift Every Voice and Sing" which became
known as the Negro National Anthem with the music and lyrics printed at the end. The
introduction contains an explanation of how James Weldon Johnson came to write the
lyrics and his brother J. Rosamond Johnson the music and how this uplifting song became
so well known. The song shows the hardships African Americans have endured, but also
the enduring hope they have had for a better life for their people. “Lift Every Voice and
Sing” is recorded by Women of the Calabash on the compact disk The Kwanzaa Album
available from Bermuda Reefs Records, 225 Lafayette Street, Suite 814, New York
Johnson, J. W. (1995). Lift ev’ry voice and sing. New York: Scholastic.
The text is an illustration of the song “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” which includes many
illustrations of Maasai children from Africa. The illustrator explains the connections
between the Maasai people, who believe children are nature’s most precious gifts, to
James Weldon Johnson, who wrote the lyrics of “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Johnson
believed in the power of children lifting themselves up, moving forward, and marching
ahead, which are portrayed in the illustration of the lyrics. The text also includes the
complete music for the song.
Mattox, C. W. (1989). Shake it to the one that you love the best: Play songs and lullabies from
Black musical traditions. El Sobrante, CA: Warren-Mattox Productions. (Audio tape also
available which records all songs printed in book.)
This collection of children's songs is to help increase children's awareness of African
American music. Examples of themes in children's songs include: believe in yourself and
become what you want to be, be resourceful, influence of African, Spanish, and French in
Creole dialect, and food during slavery.
McCutcheon, J. (1996). Happy adoption day. Boston: Little, Brown.
The text is an illustration of the lyrics to the song “Happy Adoption Day” by John
McCutcheon recorded on the compact disk Celebration of Family. The song celebrates
the joy of a family created through adoption and the significance of parents choosing their
child. The illustrations reveal an Asian child adopted by European American parents. The
new family invites friends to celebrate “adoption day” with them. The song also affirms
Myers, W. D. (2003). Blues journey. New York: Holiday House.
The text includes an explanation of the blues and its origins in the African “call and
response” style of music with the pentatonic, five tone, or “blues” scale. Both were
brought to America by Africans during the slave trade, and the blues evolved during
slavery, African Americans’ movement into urban areas, and finally spread nationally and
internationally. Most of the text contains illustrations of blues lyrics with many of the
terms explained in the glossary. The author also includes a timeline to summarize the
evolution of the blues and contributions of leading blues artists.
Near, H. (1986). The great peace march. New York: Henry Holt.
This song emphasizes the importance of world peace, the value of people of different
"colors," and the importance of each person's contribution toward world peace. The book
was created after Holly Near wrote and recorded the words and music for The great peace
march. The song is recorded on "Singer in the Storm" produced by Chameleon Music
Group and "Singing with You" produced by Redwood Records. Both are available from
Redwood Records, 476 West MacArthur Boulevard, Oakland, CA 94609.
Orgill, R. (1997). If I only had a horn: Young Louis Armstrong. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
The text is based on Armstrong’s autobiographies and describes how he learned to play
the cornet as a boy living in New Orleans. Readers learn about the poverty in
Armstrong’s young life as well as his love of music. While serving time at the Colored
Waifs’ home, a place for poor boys who got into trouble, Armstrong asked to join the
brass band. At first the music teacher refused the request, but Armstrong’s persistence
eventually led to his learning to play the cornet, the instrument he most prized. The text
can be used to introduce children to Armstrong’s contributions to jazz.
Orozco, J. L. (1994). De colores and other Latin-American folk songs for children. New York:
The text contains 27 beautifully illustrated songs, chants, and rhymes from Latin
America, including Paraguay, Panama, Guatemala, Argentina, Mexico, Dominican
Republic, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Chile, and Puerto Rico. The title song "De Colores"
or "Bright with Colors" is the United Farmworkers of America's anthem. Every song is
accompanied by simple musical arrangements for piano, voice, and guitar. The lyrics are
written in both Spanish and English and the author provides background information and
suggestions for using the music. The text also includes a subject index.
Pinkney, A. D. (1998). Duke Ellington: The piano prince and his orchestra. New York:
Hyperion Books for Children.
The text introduces children to Duke Ellington who played piano, conducted an orchestra,
and wrote music, including the musical suite Black, Brown, and Beige which celebrated
African American heritage. Ellington created swing music during the early 20th century, a
form of jazz, which Ellington described as “the music of my people.” The text describes
the improvisations of various musicians in Ellington’s orchestra, their successful run at
the Cotton Club in Harlem, a triumphal concert at Carnegie Hall, and the broad
distribution of Ellington’s music through the radio and recordings. Ellington’s unique
style and the prolific number of his compositions had an important influence on music in
Raffi. (1988). One light, one sun. New York: Crown.
An audio tape (also sung by Raffi) of the same title is also available. The text emphasizes
the commonalities among people all over the world. We all share the same sun and world
as well as dreams, songs, love, hope, and joy.
Rappaport, D. (2002). No more! Stories and songs of slave resistance. Cambridge, MA:
Picture book, elementary level. The author uses African American spirituals, slave
narratives, folktales, autobiographies, and interviews in constructing many stories
illustrating how slaves never accepted slavery, but fought against it through many
avenues until they were legally freed in 1865. The songs included within the text illustrate
slaves’ hope for freedom (“Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel?”and “Steal Away to Jesus”),
signals for slaves to escape (“Gospel Train” and Go Down Moses”), and joy in new
freedom (“Many Thousand Gone”). She describes the actions and feelings of such slaves
as Frederick Douglass, Olaudah Equiano, John Scobell, William Still, Suzie King Taylor,
Nat Turner, and Booker T. Washington. Readers learn how slaves escaped to live with the
Cherokee or Seminoles or to find freedom in Mexico or Canada.
Schroeder, A. (1996). Satchmo’s blues. New York: Dell Dragonfly Books.
The author created the text based on an incident in Louis Armstrong’s life in which he
saved money to purchase a horn from a pawn shop. Readers learn about the influence of
poverty and music on Armstrong as he grew up in New Orleans. Armstrong loved the
music he found in music halls, on the streets, at church, and at home. He practiced
playing an imaginary horn before earning the $5 he needed to buy his first horn. By
selling rags, coal, and onions, running errands, pulling weeds, and polishing tombstones,
Armstrong was able to claim the horn as his. The text can be used to introduce children to
Armstrong’s contributions to jazz.
Smith, C. R. (2002). Perfect harmony: A musical journey with the boys choir of Harlem. New
Picture book, elementary level. The text is a collection of poems which clarifies such
musical concepts as tenor, bass, alto, soprano, tempo, rhythm, and harmony embellished
with photographs of the Boys Choir of Harlem. The author carefully selects words as well
as poetic forms, including haiku, couplets, or free verse to illustrate the concepts. The text
also contains a glossary of poetic and musical terms. The closing poem “One Mighty
Voice” celebrates the power of one and many voices to evoke emotions.
Taylor, D. A. (2004). Sweet music in Harlem. New York: Lee & Low.
Picture book, elementary level. The fictional story is inspired by a photograph of famous
jazz musicians taken in Harlem, New York in 1958 by Art Kane for Esquire magazine.
As a young boy searches for his uncle’s hat to wear during a photograph, he lets
musicians in Harlem know about the upcoming event. Many Harlem musicians and
singers from the 1950s gather to pose for the photograph.
Weatherford, C. B. (2000). The sound that jazz makes. New York: Walker
Written in rhyming verse, the author explains the development of jazz in this well-illustrated text. The roots of jazz began with the sounds of drums and the kalimba in
Africa; moved to America with slave songs and jigs; grew with ragtime, the Delta blues,
and gospel; and was born in New Orleans. Jazz prospered in Harlem with many
individual African American musicians contributing to its growth and spawned bebop
and rap musical styles.
Weiss, G. D. & Thiele, B. (1995). What a wonderful world. New York: Atheneum Books for
The text is an illustrated version of the song “What a Wonderful World” written by Weiss
and Thiele, but made famous by Louis Armstrong. The song is recorded on The Best of
Louis Armstrong compact disk by MCA Music Media Studios, North Hollywood,
California. The illustrator Ashley Bryan portrays children dramatizing the lyrics through a
puppet play. Children of diverse backgrounds are included as well as Louis Armstrong
and his trumpet.
Winter, J. (1988). Follow the drinking gourd. New York: Dragonfly.
The book describes the ways slaves escaped through the Underground Railroad and the
importance of the song "Follow the Drinking Gourd" in giving directions for escaping.
The words and music are printed at the end of the book.
Blood-Patterson, P. (Ed.) (1988). Rise up singing. Bethlehem, PA: Sing Out.
A collection of the words and chords for 1200 songs dealing with: life, culture, and
history of the USA; traditional music and carols of the British isles; care for the earth and
environment; farmers, migrant workers and cowboys; popular music from the 1890's to
the 1940's; African American life and the civil rights movement; life in Appalachia;
peace; traveling on canal boats, railroad, and driving trucks; and working people's
experiences and struggles.
Carawan, G. & Carawan, C. (Eds.) (1990). Sing for freedom: The story of the Civil Rights
Movement through its songs. Bethlehem, PA: Sing Out.
The words and music are included for each song. Background information on the music
and/or personal stories of people who participated in the civil rights movement introduce
most of the songs. The songs deal with sit-ins, freedom rides, voter registration, and the
march on Washington.
Krull, K. (1992). Gonna sing my head off! American folk songs for children. New York: Alfred
The text is a collection of 62 folk songs for children ages seven and older. Brief
background information is provided for each song along with the lyrics and simple piano
and guitar accompaniments. Songs deal with traveling/working on trains, ships, or canals,
organizing labor, the California gold rush, lumbering, herding cattle, slaves escaping on
the Underground Railroad, civil rights movement, protesting war and pollution, and
changing the world.
Levene, D. B. (2004). American musicians making history. Portsmouth, NH: Teacher Ideas
The text explores the impact of music and American musicians on the history of the U.S.
and how American musicians reflect this history. Teachers may use the text to study
periods in U.S. history through music. This resource is divided into 10 sections: minstrel
songs and parlor songs; songs of abolition, suffrage, temperance, and war; spirituals;
blues; ragtime; musical theater; jazz, country music; folk music; and classical music.
Chapters focusing on specific musicians include learning objectives, resources for
introducing the musician, quotations about the musician, the historical eras of the
musician, and a timeline of the musician’s life. The author also includes student sections
which provide questions to research, possible projects and products that demonstrate
learning, and a list of print and Internet resources from which to gather information.
Peters, H. B. (Ed.) Folk songs out of Wisconsin: An illustrated compendium of words and music.
Contains the lyrics and music of 200 songs once sung by ordinary people of Wisconsin.
Reid, R. (1995). Children’s jukebox: A subject guide to musical recordings and programming
ideas for songsters ages one to twelve. Chicago: American Library Association.
This text provides titles of songs and recordings where they can be found which fit
different subject areas. The overall purpose is to encourage children to sing along with the
recordings. One subject especially pertinent for social studies is
“brotherhood/sisterhood.” The author offers several titles, teaching suggestions for using
the music, main ideas in the lyrics, the musician who recorded the song, and title of the
recording on which the song can be found.
Reid, W. (1992). Popular music in American history (Rev. Ed.). Portland, ME: J. Weston Walch.
The text is written in a conversational style for teachers and students to learn more about
U.S. history through popular music. The first part of the book explains aspects of music,
including definitions of popular music, and the themes, lyrics, melodies, rhythms,
composers, performers, and publishers of this type of music. The second part focuses on
popular music of specific time periods beginning with songs of Native people, through
colonization and settlement, the American Revolution, economic and geographic
expansion during the late 18th century and the first half of the 19th century, the Civil War,
industrialization and urbanization of the 19th century, international events and business
developments during the late 19th century and early 20th century, World War I, the roaring
twenties, the Great Depression, World War II, the cold war, the civil rights movement,
the Vietnam War, the recession and political changes in the 1970s, and closing with the
eras of the 1980s and 1990s. The author also lists additional reference books and records
for different eras in U.S. history. One weakness of the text is the lack of attention to
Native people’s music in contemporary times, especially powwow music.
Sheldon, K. (2005). Tunes that teach American history. New York: Scholastic.
The text offers background information and lyrics to songs dealing with several events in
U.S. history: European exploration of the New World, Native American traditional
lifestyle and the harmful effects of European settlement on their lands, events leading to
the American Revolution, the Bill of Rights, Lewis and Clark’s exploration of the West,
the European American movement to the West, the Battle of Gettysburg during the Civil
War, slaves escape on the Underground Railroad, different inventions which changed
people’s lives, and the theme of European immigration through the New York harbor.
Silverman, J. (1992). The American history songbook. Pacific, MO: Mel Bay.
The lyrics, piano accompaniment, and guitar chords are given for over 90 songs organized
into different historical categories and with brief background information about the songs.
The categories include colonial America; Revolutionary War; the War of 1812; Texas
and Mexico; the gold rush; settling the West; the cowboy; Negro spirituals; abolition; the
Civil War; transportation; women's rights; the Spanish American War and the Philippine
insurrection; World War I; the labor movement; work songs; the Great Depression;
World II; Korean War; Vietnam War; civil rights movement; and campaigns and
campaigners. Available from Mel Bay Publications, #4 Industrial Drive, Pacific, MO
Silverman, J. (1993). Ballads & songs of the Civil War. Pacific, MO: Mel Bay.
The lyrics, piano accompaniment, and guitar chords are given for over 90 songs organized
into categories related to the Civil War. Brief background information is given for many
of the songs. The categories include the Union; the Confederacy; Lincoln; universal
sentiments; soldiers' songs; battles; Negro spirituals and abolitionist songs; the lighter
side; and post bellum. A few songs use racist language which should be discussed with
students. Available from Mel Bay Publications, #4 Industrial Drive, Pacific, MO 63069.
Sporborg, J. D. (1998). Music in every classroom. Englewood, CO: Teacher Ideas Press.
The text is a good starting point in identifying musical resources for social studies. The
author suggests articles, pamphlets, books, and recordings (including LPs, audiocasettes,
compact discs, and videocassettes) which address social studies topics. Such topics
include: African Americans, American history (organized chronologically from the
colonial period through the Vietnam War), geography, government, holidays, local
history, Native Americans, occupations, regions, states, transportation, women’s history,
and world cultures. Even though some of the sources seem a bit dated, they may be
available in school or public libraries.
Thomas, E. L. (1950). The whole world singing. New York: Friendship Press.
Although a significant number of the songs are religious, many are folk songs from
different countries. The lyrics and piano accompaniment are given for each song. The
songs are indexed by country and include several from Africa, China, France, England,
Germany, and India. This collection uses more male names and pronouns than female
which should be addressed as these songs are used so that girls as well as boys understand
they are included.
Thomas, M. (1974). Free to be . . . you and me. New York: Bantam.
The purpose of this book is to help children and adults refute sex-role stereotypes and
become free to explore their talents and interests. The words and piano accompaniment
for each song are provided. Songs include "Free to Be You and Me," "Parents are
People," "It's All Right to Cry," and "Glad to Have a Friend Like You."
Thomas, M. (1987). Free to be . . . a family. New York: Bantam
The purpose of this book is to affirm the different kinds of families and address some of
the difficulties contemporary families face. The words and melody line are provided for
each song. These songs are much less familiar than those included in Free to be . . . you
and me, seem a little more difficult to sing, and appear to be focused on upper elementary
and middle school children.
Wenner, H. E. & Freilicher, E. (1987). Here's to the women: 100 songs for and about American
women. New York: Syracuse University.
This collections contains the lyrics and melody line for each song. Songs deal with such
themes as prohibition, suffrage, work in factories, mills, and at home, role models
(Harriet Tubman, Lucretia Mott, Mother Jones, Amelia Earhart, Sally Ride), and
contemporary issues such as life on welfare, aging, and the destruction of the
Curriculum guides/books and tapes/compact discs
Barnwell, Y. M. (1998). No mirrors in my nana’s house. San Diego: Harcourt Brace.
The text provides striking illustrations and the lyrics of the song “There Are No Mirrors
in Nana’s House.” The song’s message is that low socioeconomic African American
children do not need to be told something is wrong with their skin color, facial features,
clothes, and the place they live. Instead, they should be reminded of their own beauty and
the beauty around them. The accompanying compact disk includes the music sung by
Sweet Honey in the Rock and the author’s reading of the text.
Guthrie, W. (1964). Howdi do. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick.
The text includes the lyrics and illustrations for the song “Howdi do.” Some of the lyrics
are playful, but the illustrations and lyrics emphasize the importance of welcoming many
different people. The accompanying compact disk includes “Howdi do,” “Bling Blang,”
and “My Dolly,” all by Woody Guthrie. “Howdi do” would be an excellent way to
encourage friendliness among children.
Halperin, W. A. (2003). Turn! Turn! Turn! New York: Simon& Schuster.
The text is a very detailed illustration of the song lyrics for “Turn! Turn! Turn!” which
may prompt discussion about the meanings. The lyrics originated in Ecclesiastes from the
Bible, but Pete Seeger set the poem to music and added a refrain and line of his own in
1961. The musical group the Byrds also recorded the song in 1965. The compact disk
includes both Pete Seeger’s and the Byrds’ versions of the music.
Harris, K. & Demarest, J. H. (1988). Music and the Underground Railroad. Philadelphia:
This curriculum kit contains a teacher’s guide for K-5 and another for grades 6-8
suggesting activities for teaching about the Underground Railroad, an audio tape of songs
related to the Underground Railroad, and a poster of Harriet Tubman and John Brown
(and other scenes of slavery). Included within the teacher’s guides are a glossary of terms
and song sheets containing lyrics for all songs on the cassette tape. Available in the
Educational Materials Center, Polk Library.
Judd, N. (199). Love can build a bridge. New York: HarperCollins Children’s Books.
The beautifully illustrated text portrays children from different cultural backgrounds
reaching out to help other children and illustrate the lyrics to the song “Love Can Build a
Bridge.” The text includes a cassette recording of the music sung by Wynonna and Naomi
Judd. The text and music encourage young readers to think about the implications of
individual actions of helpfulness when they are multiplied many times.
Krull, K. (1992). I hear America singing! Folk songs for American families. New York: Alfred
The text is the same as Gonna sing my head off! American folk songs for children;
however, a CD accompanies this text. The CD contains 23 selections, including “Casey
Jones,” “Clementine,” “Down by the Riverside,” “The Erie Canal,” “Follow the Drinking
Gourd,” “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad,” and “This Little Light of Mine.”
Lipman, D. (1994). We all go together: Creative activities for children to use with multicultural
folksongs. Phoenix, AZ: Oryx.
The text provides guidelines for teaching songs, incorporating games and movements
with singing songs, and creating new verses for songs. The text and accompanying tape
include 30 songs categorized into work songs, religious songs, dance songs, game songs,
and ballads and other folksongs. The author provides valuable background information on
each song which illustrates ways the songs can accompany units on African American
culture and history, life at sea, life in the Western U.S., family life, Jewish holidays, and
Korea. Available from Oryx Press, 4041 North Central at Indian School Road, Phoenix,
Long, L. (2003). I will be your friend: Songs and activities for young peacemakers. Montgomery,
AL: Teaching Tolerance.
This curriculum guide and compact disk is free for educators. The curriculum guide
contains the lyrics and background information for 26 diverse songs. “1492" questions
Columbus’ discovery of America; “Courage” encourages youth to become friends with
others considered “strange;” “What Can One Little Person Do?” honors the contributions
of Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King, Jr.; “It Could
Be a Wonderful World” asks for food, housing, and recreation for all; “Paz y Libertad”
asks for peace and liberty for all children; and “What a Wonderful World” encourages
appreciation for nature and people, which costs nothing. The songs and activities are
categorized by theme: honoring traditions, love and friendship, one world, building
community, and struggles for justice.
McGill, A. (2000). In the hollow of your hand: Slave lullabies. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
The author/singer introduces 13 lullabies with their connection to her family history on
the compact disk and in the text. She also provides additional information on the context
of the music, especially the meaning of the selection during slavery. Despite the hardships
of slavery, the music communicates parents’ love for their children and the collective
efforts of the slave community to raise children.
Northeast Foundation for Children. (1998). 16 songs kids love to sing. Greenfield, MA:
Northeast Foundation for Children.
The book contains the lyrics and chords of the songs while the cassette recording contains
the voices of Pat & Tex LaMountain performing each song. Songs appropriate for social
studies include “We are One in the Center” and “Love Grows One by One” which
emphasize the importance of cooperation and caring. “River” describes general qualities
of rivers while “So Sang the River” focuses on more specific characteristics of particular
rivers. Additional verses could be created about different rivers, following the pattern of
“So Sang the River.”
Petta, B. & Schlotte, T. (1993). Geography jingles. River Falls, WI: P.S. Don't Forget the Music.
The guide focuses on identification of places on globes or maps by using music. It
includes suggestions for teaching location, lyric sheets, and labeled and blank maps for
the Americas, Europe, Asia, Europe-Asia Update, Africa, Australia, Antarctica, Islands,
and Territories. The music should help to teach location, but should be integrated with
higher level thinking and critical thinking strategies. Available from the authors, N8815-650th Street, River Falls, WI 54022.
Reed, M. (2006). Hurrah for woman suffrage! Forty minutes of songs from the woman suffrage
movement. Available from Miriam Reed Productions (www.miriamreed.com).
The CD contains 17 suffrage songs from the 19th and early 20th centuries. The
accompanying booklet provides a brief history of the struggle for women’s voting rights
as well as songs dealing with women’s rights and women’s suffrage. The lyrics, tune,
approximate date, and author for each song is included in the booklet.
Stanley, L. (1994). Be a friend: The story of African American music in songs, words and
pictures. Middleton, WI: Zino Press.
The teacher's guide (which could also be read by upper elementary students) provides
valuable background information and pictures to help explain the different types of
African American music: spirituals, blues, jazz, gospel, and rap. The author begins with
the origins of African American music in Africa and the historical context which
contributed to the development of each type of music. The author arranged or composed
one or two songs to illustrate each type of music suitable for children. On one side of the
tape which accompanies the book is a recording of children singing each selection and the
second side has the instrumental accompaniment.
Swinger, M. (1999). Sing through the day: Eighty songs for children. Farmington, PA: Plough.
The text is written for adults or upper elementary students and includes illustrations for
each song. The songs are organized into the categories of: morning, play, nature, games,
birthday, weather, and evening. Songs are from different cultures, including Slovakian,
Macedonian, Finnish, Danish, English, Irish, French, Swiss, Russian, Puerto Rican,
Jamaican, Cajun, American Indian, African American, Argentinian, and Japanese. The
accompanying compact disk invites the audience to sing along with 56 of the songs in the
Thunderchief. (1994). Native realities. Madison, WI: Author.
The teacher's guide includes song lyrics, background information on each song, strategies
for using the songs in the classroom, resources for teaching about Native Americans, and
biographical information on the artist Thunderchief or Francis Steindorf. The songs deal
with protecting the earth, the importance of sovereignty and honoring treaties, use of
Indians as mascots and logos, and traditional American Indian songs. The tape provides
the beautiful music created by Thunderchief and available from him at PO Box 5273,
Madison, WI 53705.
Audio tapes and compact discs
Archer, D. & Meier, P. (Producers). (2003). Come join the circle: Lessonsongs for peacemaking.
Cincinnati, OH: LessonSongs Music.
Includes “Come Join the Circle” and “Come on Board” which emphasize inclusion and
equality. The song “Clothes Don’t Make the Person” encourages consumers to resist
pressures to purchase expensive, popular brands in order to be accepted by others and
raises the problem of low-paid workers who make the products.
Blue, E. et al. (Vocalists). (1987). The children of Selma: Who will speak for the children
[Cassette Recording]. Cambridge, MA: Rounder Records.
Includes "Unite Children" which encourages children to fight against poverty, racism,
injustice, sexism, and war, "Black is Beautiful" which affirms the worth of people of
color, "Vote for Me" which encourages adults to exercise their right to vote for children,
"Someone Died for Me" which honors those who fought and died in the Civil Rights
struggle and encourages adults to vote, "Try Looking Up" which encourages us to see the
good people have done. Available from Rounder Records, One Camp Street, Cambridge,
Birkett, C. & Sainte-Marie, B. (Producers). Buffy Sainte-Marie: Running for the drum [Compact
Disk]. West Chester, PA: Appleseed Recordings.
Selections include “No, No, Keshagesh” which focuses on the greed from Columbus to
current business interests to steal land and resources from Native people. However,
Native people will no longer allow this to happen. “Working for the Government”
criticizes the ubiquitous, unfeeling, greedy, and aggressive nature of government.
“America the Beautiful” is infused with Native people’s presence and views on our
mother America. A documentary DVD on Buffy Sainte-Marie’s life “A Multimedia Life”
is also included.
Broderick, B. (Executive Producer). (2000). Bright spaces: Children’s music to benefit the
homeless [Compact Disk]. Cambridge, MA: Rounder Records.
Proceeds from the recording are donated to the Bright Spaces program to provide
homeless shelters with safe and educational shelters areas to play. The recording includes
“Arthur Theme Song” which emphasizes the importance of getting along with others,
“This Land Is Your Land” highlights the inclusion of all groups as part of the United
States, and “All I Really Need” affirms the importance of all children having their basic
human needs met. A more contemporary version of “Old MacDonald” deals with
different animals on farms while “Bling-Blang” describes the process of building homes.
Buffett, P. (Producer). (2002). Ojibwe: We look in all directions [Compact Disk]. Milwaukee,
WI: Bisonhead Records.
The compact disk includes Ojibwe singers and flutists from Mille Lacs, Fond du Lac, and
Red Cliff reservations as well as speakers from Mille Lacs, White Earth, Lac du
Flambeau, Red Cliff, and Lac Courte Oreilles. The selections integrate contemporary
music and rhythms with traditional Ojibwe music. In “Words are Songs,” Dorothy Sam
speaks about the integration of words, songs, and prayers. In “Returning,” Winona La
Duke explains this is the time of the Seventh Fire when Anishinabe people return to who
they are and their traditions and revitalize themselves. The concluding piece “My Prayer”
encourages the Ojibwe to continue their ceremonies and come together as one mind.
Burch, S. (Vocalist). (1999). Colors of my heart [Compact Disk]. Phoenix, AZ: Canyon Records.
The artist sings in both English and Navajo and portrays Navajo culture. “Wee Play,”
sung in Navajo with the English translation, describes children attending school to learn,
play, dance, and sing. “We Are Here,” sung in both English and Navajo, encourages
listeners to care for ourselves, others, and the earth. “Earth Child,” sung in English and
Navajo, affirms the importance of living in love and peace with the beauty surrounding
Collins, J. (Vocalist and Producer). (1997). Forever [Compact Disk]. New York: Elektra
Includes the song “Bread and Roses,” which is based on the 1912 woolen mills workers’
strike to protest the reduced hours and increased workload imposed by the company. The
10-week long strike resulted in concessions from the company. The music is also
published in Here’s to the Women: 100 Songs For and About American Women.
Erbsen, W. (Vocalist). (1994). Ballads & songs of the Civil War [Cassette Recording]. Pacific,
MO: Mel Bay.
Includes 12 of the songs published in the book Ballads & songs of the Civil War. The
recording artist uses a folk singing style to record songs sung by soldiers from both the
North and the South accompanied by such instruments as the banjo, fiddle, mandolin,
guitar, and harmonica. A number of the songs show an eagerness to fight while a few
reflect sadness about war. Available from Mel Bay Publications, #4 Industrial Drive,
Pacific, MO 63069.
Eyabay et al. (Drum Groups). (1995). International Falls pow wow [Cassette Recording].
Winnipeg, Manitoba: Sunshine Records.
Includes songs sung by different drum groups at an Anishinabe Pow Wow in International
Falls, Minnesota in 1995. Examples of the songs include the Grand Entry Song, Flag
Song, Retreat Song, and Intertribal Songs. Available from Sunshine Records, 275 Selkirk
Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R2W2L5.
Fite, S. (Vocalist). (1991). We're just like crayons [Cassette Recording]. OKC, OK: Melody
The title song celebrates the diversity among people as represented by our many skin
colors but also reminds us we are equal. "We've All Got Differences" emphasizes
respecting and getting along through differences, "My Special Friend" tells about special
needs people, "Do You Mind If I Cry" focuses on the value of crying to release emotions,
and "Daddy Is Moving Away" deals with divorce or separation. Available from
Constructive Playthings, 1227 East 119th Street, Grandview, MO 64030-1117.
Fox/Wolf Rivers Environmental History Project (Organizers and Distributors). (1997). The river
rocks! [Compact Disk]. Green Bay, WI: Fox/Wolf Rivers Environmental History Project.
All the songs deal with caring for the rivers. “Mr. Ware, You Were There” discusses the
removal of trees from Wisconsin’s forests to meet immigrants’ need for lumber and the
tree replanting work of Walter Ware. “The Day They Blew Up the Bog” describes the
destruction of bogs that floated down the Fox River into Oshkosh in the early 1900s.
“Give It Up for the Trees” portrays the Civilian Conservation Corps’ work in replanting
trees in northern Wisconsin in the 1930s. “Jean Nicolet, What Were You Thinking?”
encourages the audience to question why Nicolet came to Wisconsin in 1634 and how he
might feel about the results of his contact with Native people. Available from Fox/Wolf
Rivers Environmental History Project, PO Box 1161, Green Bay, WI 54305-1161 or the
Future! & Future! Children's Ensemble. (Vocalists). (1994). We are the future [Cassette
Recording]. Houston, TX: JoySounds.
The title song encourages children and youth to get involved and make the world better.
"What Can I Do?" and "Come Along" urge children to work together to improve their
own lives and help bring peace to the world. "How Good and How Pleasant" stresses the
importance of becoming friends with others who are different. Also available as a
compact disk from JoySounds, P.O. Box 27185, Houston, TX 77277.
Gonzalez, D. (Composer and Artist). (2005). Columbus day [Compact Disk]. Available from
CDBABY at www.cdbaby.com.
The single song focuses on Columbus as representative of the age of imperialists who
took advantage of Native people by stealing gold and taking Native people as slaves. The
artist asks why we celebrate historic acts of “taking” and suggests replacing them with
acts of giving. In conjunction with this message, the artist is donating all profits from the
sale of the recording to Rethinking Schools, a non-profit organization committed to
education for social justice.
Harley, B. (Producer). (1990). I'm gonna let it shine: A gathering of voices for freedom [Cassette
Recording]. Seekonk, MA: Round River Records.
Songs from the African American tradition, especially the civil rights movement. Many
of the songs from Sing for Freedom are recorded on this tape. A co-production of Round
River Records and WGBH Radio in Boston. Available from Round River Productions,
301 Jacob Street, Seekonk, MA 02771.
Harris, K. & Harris, R. (Vocalists). (1997). Steal away: Songs of the Underground Railroad
[Compact Disk]. West Chester, PA: Appleseed.
A collection of spirituals sung by slaves as they sought freedom, such as “Oh Freedom,”
“No More Auction Block for Me,” “Let Us Break Bread Together on Our Knees,” “Wade
in the Water,” “Go Down Moses,” “Steal Away,” “Now Let Me Fly,” “Sinner Please
Don’t Let This Harvest Pass,” and “Trampin.’” More contemporary songs are also
included, such as “Harriet Tubman,” “Follow the Drinking Gourd,” “Heaven is Less Than
Fair,” and “Ain’t I a Woman?” based on a speech Sojourner Truth gave at a Women’s
Rights Convention in 1851.
Hartmann, J. (Vocalist). (1993). One voice for children [Cassette Recording]. Freeport, NY:
Educational Activities, Inc.
The title song emphasizes the importance of children all over the world and children and
adults working together to help children become all they can be. "Respect Yourself and
Others Too" focuses on the importance of respect in individual health and good
relationships with others. Available from Educational Activities, Inc., P.O. Box 392,
Freeport, NY 11520, phone 1-800-645-3739 or Constructive Playthings, 1227 East 119th
Street, Grandview, MO 64030-1117.
Kids of Widney High et al. (Vocalists). (1992). Rainbow sign [Cassette Recording]. Cambridge,
MA: Rounder Records.
Includes "Banana" a Nicaraguan song about the universal appeal of bananas, "Mirror,
Mirror" which reflects the concerns of youth about their appearance, "Family Tree" tells
about one family but shows similarities among all people, "Unite Children" which
encourages children to fight against poverty, racism, injustice, sexism, and war, "1492"
which explains that people were already living in the land Columbus "discovered," and
"Ride Away" which emphasizes the importance of freedom. Available from Rounder
Records, One Camp Street, Cambridge, MA 02140.
Ko-Thi Dance Company. (Vocalists and Drummers). (1980). Drum talk [Cassette Recording].
Milwaukee, WI: Ko-Thi Dance Company.
Includes traditional African musical instruments and songs. The Ko-Thi Dance Company
was founded to preserve, document, and promote the African, African American, and
Caribbean performing arts. Available from Ko-Thi Dance Company, PO Box 1093,
Milwaukee, WI 53201, (414) 273-0676.
Markus, M. & Kagel, K. D. (Executive Producers). (2002). Walela [Compact Disk]. New York:
Singers and sisters Rita and Priscilla Coolidge (whose father is a full-blooded Cherokee)
and Laura Satterfield (Priscilla’s daughter) use the Cherokee language in several songs,
including “Amazing Grace” and “Cherokee Morning Song” which are sung completely in
Cherokee. They also sing about Native issues in “Wounded Knee,” “Cherokee River,”
“Cherokee,” and “The Warrior,” which won the 1998 Song of the Year from the Native
American Music Awards. Available from Artemis Records, 130 Fifth Avenue, New
York, NY 10011.
Martin, P. (Writer). (1998). The Wisconsin story: A new musical celebrating the people and the
history of Wisconsin [Compact Disk]. Madison, WI: Pretty Lady Publishing.
The original songs summarize some of the history of Wisconsin from early explorers,
lead mining, European and European American settlements, statehood, slavery and
suffrage for women and African Americans, the lumber industry, and progressive ideas.
The collection needs to be balanced with some of the history of Native Americans in
Medins-Serafin, M et al. (Vocalists). (1994). Fiesta musical: A musical adventure through Latin
America for children [Cassette Recording]. Redway, CA: Music for Little People.
Includes children's songs from different Latin American countries such as Cuba, Mexico,
Venezuela, Bolivia, Peru, Argentina, and the commonwealth of Puerto Rico. All songs
are introduced in both English and Spanish, but most are sung in Spanish. Accompanying
booklet provides English translation of the lyrics and additional information on the
countries. Available from Music for Little People.
The Mosaic Project. (Producer). (2003). Children’s songs for peace and a better world [Compact
Disk]. Berkeley, CA: The Mosaic Project.
Includes the “Mosaic Project Theme Song” which focuses on the importance of respect,
open mindedness, and community; “Empathy Song” which clarifies the meaning and
significance of empathy; “Don’t Laugh at Me” which emphasizes the importance of
accepting others who are different; “Fighting is Not the Solution” which offers conflict
resolution rather than fighting to solve conflicts; “Dance and Be Free” which explains the
meanings of stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination; and “We are the Mosaic” which
emphasizes diversity and community.
Music for Little People Kids Choir et al. (Vocalists). (1989). Peace is the world smiling [Cassette
Recording]. Redway, CA: Music for Little People.
A collection of songs, stories, and poems sung and spoken by children and adults dealing
with the importance of peace. Manufactured and distributed by Music for Little People, P.
O. Box 1460, Redway, CA 95560.
Near, H. & Gilbert, R. (Vocalists). (1988). Lifeline [Cassette Recording]. Oakland, CA:
Includes "Harriet Tubman" describing Tubman's activities with the Underground
Railroad; "Biko" honoring Bantu Stephen Biko, a speaker for the Black Consciousness
Movement in South Africa who was killed by the South African police in 1977 for his
activities; and "Singing for Our Lives" encouraging people of all colors and sexual
orientations to unite and sing together for a better world.
Near, H. & Gilbert, R. (Vocalists). (1996). This train still runs [Compact Disk]. Berkeley, CA:
Abbey Alice Music.
Several vocal selections focus on historical or social issues. “Home is Where the Heart
Is” affirms gay and lesbian families; “Agitator” tells about Mother Jones’ fight for better
working conditions for miners and child workers; “Build High the Bridge” attests to the
importance of labor unions; and “Pastures of Plenty” describes the contributions of
migrant workers for everyone in the U.S.
Near, H., Guthrie, A., Gilbert, R., & Seeger, P. (Vocalists). (1985). HARP [Cassette Recording].
Oakland, CA: Redwood Records.
Includes "All Over the World" and "Good for the World" which focus on world peace,
"Small Business Blues" which laments the struggles of small businesses to survive in
competition with multi-national corporations, and an adaption of "Jacob's Ladder" as a
social protest song. Available from Redwood Records.
Near, H. & Williamson, C. (Producers and Vocalists). (2003). Cris & Holly. [Compact Disk]. H
& C Records.
Includes “We the People” which encourages people to take a stand against terrorism and
war and “In Our Little Town” asks why we send kids off to die in war.
Ostrow, L. (Producer). (2001). Brown girl in the ring [Compact Disk]. Music for Little People.
Includes “Brown Girl in the Ring” which describes village life in the Caribbean through a
child’s eyes, “Three Sisters: Corn, Beans, & Squash” which portrays an important aspect
of Oneida and other Haudenosaunee nations’ cultures, and “Follow the Drinking Gourd”
which provides clues for escaping slaves on the Underground Railroad.
Ostrow, L. (Producer). (2001). Celebration of family [Compact Disk]. Redway, CA: Music for
Includes “All I Really Need” which affirms the importance of all children having their
basic human needs met. "Family Tree" tells about one family’s history, but shows
similarities among all people. “Happy Adoption Day” celebrates adoption as a loving
choice for a family. “A Song for Mama” recognizes a mother’s constant love and support
for her child and the importance of the child’s loving response.
Ostrow, L. (Producer). (2002). This land is your land: Songs of unity [Compact Disk]. Redway,
CA: Music for Little People.
Includes poems by Langston Hughes and Maya Angelou who celebrate human diversity.
The stories of Claudette Colvin (“The Story of Claudette Colvin”), Rosa Parks (“Sister
Rosa”), and the freedom rides (“Calypso Freedom”), important actors and events in the
civil rights movement, are also included. “If I Had a Hammer” is a protest song for
women’s right to vote, denied by the U.S. Constitution until 1919. Readings
acknowledging the importance of civil and human rights for all people are integrated
within the song. The underground railroad is remembered in the poem “Ballad of the
Underground Railroad” and “Follow the Drinking Gourd.” “Anishinabe” or “the first
people” provides some insight into Anishinabe culture. Background on each selection is
described in the CD’s insert.
Parthum, P. (Collector and Editor). (1992). Chippewa game and social dance songs [Cassette
Recording]. Washington, DC: Center for Folklife Programs and Cultural Studies, Smithsonian
Includes Moccasin Game Songs, Social Dance Songs, and Pow-wow Songs sung by
Ojibwa people living in urban areas as well as reservations in Minnesota in 1970-1975. A
brief booklet accompanies the cassette recording giving background information on the
songs. Available from the State Historical Society Museum Shop in Madison or from the
Center for Folklife Programs and Cultural Studies, 955 L'Enfant Plaza 2600, Smithsonian
Institution, Washington, DC 20560.
Preservation Singers. (Vocalists). (n. d.). Autumn shadows: Songs in the Oneida language
Traditional melodies of songs in the Oneida hymnal. Available from The American
Indian Shop, 797 North Jefferson Street, Milwaukee, WI 53202.
Recording Laboratory, Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division, Library of
Congress. (Producer). (1950). Songs of the Chippewa [Cassette Recording]. Washington, DC:
The Recording Laboratory.
Includes Dream Songs, War Songs, Dance Songs, Moccasin Game Song, Love Songs,
and songs used for treating illnesses sung by Ojibwa people on reservations in Minnesota
and Wisconsin during 1907-1910. An accompanying brief booklet gives some
background information on the songs.
Reed, A. (Vocalist). (1993). Hole in the day [Cassette Recording]. Minneapolis, MN: A Major
Includes "I Don't Like It" which describes the discomfort of encountering homeless
people and "Heroes" or those who inspire others to do the right thing even when it is very
difficult. The heroes are all women who have done important things in human history.
Available from A Major Label, P. O. Box 8240, Minneapolis, MN 55408.
Roderick, L. (Vocalist). (1990). If you see a dream [Cassette Recording]. Anchorage, AL: Turtle
Includes the song "Rosa" which is dedicated to Rosa Parks, one of the leaders of the civil
rights movement. Within the song, other African American women are honored including
authors Nikki Giovanni, Audre Lorde, and Alice Walker and activist Fannie Lou Hamer
in the U.S. and South African activist Winnie Mandella. Available from Turtle Island
Records, P.O. Box 203294, Anchorage, AK 99520.
Sainte-Marie, B. (1987). The best of Buffy Sainte-Marie [Compact Disk]. Santa Monica, CA:
Includes the song “Universal Soldier,” an anti-war song describing different causes for
war and questions who is responsible for war and killing people. Buffy Sainte-Marie
created the music to protest the Vietnam War. The music is included in Here’s to the
Women: 100 Songs For and About American Women. “Now that the Buffalo’s Gone” and
“My Country ‘Tis of Thy People are Dying” address unjust U.S. policies toward Native
people. “My Country” includes the use of boarding schools to assimilate Native children
into majority culture, the intentional spread of diseases among Native people in order to
gain land, and the creation of laws to diminish the first people in North America. The
artist questions such policies in a country dedicated to freedom.
Sainte-Marie, B. (Vocalist and Composer). (1996). Up where we belong [Compact Disk]. New
York: Angel Records.
Buffy Sainte-Marie recorded her own songs on this CD, several of which address Native
American issues from a Native American perspective. “Now that the Buffalo’s Gone”
critiques the U.S. policy of taking Native people’s land and breaking treaties with Native
nations. “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” focuses on the alliance between the U.S.
Government and businesses in taking Native people’s land for its resources. It also
provides a Native American perspective on specific events from the conflict between
some Lakota and federal marshalls at Wounded Knee. “Universal Soldier” is an anti-war
song which raises the issue of individual responsibility during war.
Sather, M. E. (Vocalist). (n. d.). Folktrails [Cassette Recording]. Sauk City, WI: American Music
Includes "Pick and the Shovel" and "Drill Ye Tarriers" featuring mining, "Old Time
Lumberjacks" focusing on lumbering, "Little Old Sod Shanty" describing the first houses
on the plains, "Chisholm Trail" highlighting cowboys driving cattle, and "Gone the
Rainbow" focusing on men fighting and dying in war. Available from American Music
Corporation, 123 Water Street, Sauk City, WI 53583.
Shenandoah, J. (Vocalist). (1995). Life Blood [Compact Disk]. Boulder, CO: Silver Wave
The vocalist sings the ancient Haudenosaunee-Iroquois songs in the original language.
English translations of the meanings of the songs are provided. “Circle of Friendship”
affirms the importance of community and friendship among the Haudenosaunee. “Path of
Beauty” emphasizes the significance of women’s worth in guiding people’s lives as they
become elders. “Woman’s Dance” portrays the importance of women continually giving
to others, including the ill, hungry, and the children. “Dance of the North” is a somber
melody or mourning song sung by Haudenosaunee women when their children or lovers
were killed in disasters or war.
Shenandoah, J. (Vocalist). (2000). Peacemaker’s journey [Compact Disk]. Boulder, CO: Silver
The vocalist also wrote the 12 songs describing the development of the Iroquois
Confederacy and the Great Law of Peace. Each song is sung in the Oneida language and
tells of an important event on the journey to creating peace among the Iroquois nations.
Briefly, the songs tell of the peacemaker’s birth, the sharing of the message of peace with
the five nations, the woman who first accepted the Great Peace, the planting of the tree of
peace, and the five nation’s acceptance of the great peace. Available from Silver Wave
Records, P.O. Box 7943, Boulder, CO 80306.
Sherman, S. (Executive Producer). (2002). Celebration of America [Compact Disk]. Redway,
CA: Music for Little People.
The compact disk contains well-known and lesser known songs which describe and
highlight the importance of the United States. “Big Country” affirms diverse people in the
U.S.; “Cotton Fields” acknowledges the significance of cotton in the southern U.S.; “Old
Man River” depicts the importance of the Mississippi River in transporting people and
goods; and “This Land is Your Land” asserts the U.S. belongs to all people, not just those
with money to purchase land. The compact disk also contains patriotic songs including
“America,” “America the Beautiful,” and “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Available
from Music for Little People, P.O. Box 1460, Redway, CA 95560.
Six Nations Women Singers et al. (1995). Heartbeat: Voices of First Nations women [Cassette
Recording]. Washington, DC: Smithsonian/Folkways Recordings.
Contains a variety of music sung by Native American women from different nations
throughout the U.S. and Canada, including songs showing reverence for Mother Earth,
giving thanks for water creatures, for dancing, for courting lovers, and for honoring
returning warriors. Available from the Center for Folklife Programs and Cultural Studies,
955 L"Enfant Plaza, Suite 2600, Washington, DC 20560.
Storper, D. (Producer). (1995). Putumayo Presents: Women of the world international [Compact
Disk]. New York, NY: Putumayo World Music.
Includes music sung by women from Mozambique, Benin, South Africa, Tunisia,
Zimbabwe, Reunion Islands, England, Scotland, Greece, Israel, Haiti, and Brazil. The
accompanying booklet provides background information on the artists and selections.
Available from Putumayo World Music, 627 Broadway, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10012,
Summer Cloud Singers. (Vocalists). (1993). Pow wow songs of the Menominee [Cassette
Recording]. Bowler, WI: Woodland Recording.
Includes different powwow songs sung and drummed by the Summer Cloud Singers.
Examples of some of the songs include Chief's Song, Grand Entry Song, Flag Song, and
Intertribal Songs. For additional information about this drum group, contact Summer
Cloud Sings, in care of John Teller, Box 122, Keshena, WI 54135, (705) 799-3137.
Sweet Honey in the Rock. (Vocalists). (1984). B'lieve I'll run on. . . see what the end's gonna be
[Cassette Recording]. Oakland, CA: Redwood Records.
Includes "Fannie Lou Hamer," celebrating Hamer's struggles as an African American
activist in the civil rights movement.
Sweet Honey in the Rock. (Vocalists). (1989). All for freedom [Cassette Recording]. Redway,
CA: Music for Little People.
A collection of songs from Africa, the 60s freedom movement, traditional favorites, and
stories. Manufactured and distributed by Music for Little People, P.O. Box 1460,
Redway, CA 95560-1460.
Sweet Honey in the Rock. (Vocalists). (1992). In this land [Cassette Recording]. Redway, CA:
Includes "Trying Times" focusing on the need for love amidst such problems as riots and
ghettos, "Patchwork Quilt" (AIDS quilt) honoring those who have been affected by the
AIDS epidemic, and "Now that the Buffalo are Gone" which focuses on the
discrimination Native Americans endured. Available from Earthbeat Records, Box 1460,
Redway, CA 95560.
Sweet Honey in the Rock. (Vocalists). (1993). Still on the journey [Cassette Recording].
Redway, CA: Earthbeat Records.
“No Mirrors in My Nana’s House” affirms the beauty of people who are often devalued
by society. “I’m Going to Get My Baby Out of Jail” focuses on a woman civil rights
worker’s refusal to allow her husband pay the fine to release her from jail when she
protested racially segregated waiting rooms in hospitals. “Sojourner’s Battle Hymn” was
originally created by Sojourner Truth to highlight African Americans’ participation in the
Sweet Honey in the Rock. (Vocalists). (1994). I got shoes [Cassette Recording]. Redway, CA:
Music for Little People.
Includes African American spirituals "I Got Shoes" and "Little David Play on Your
Harp," traditional African American children's songs "Run Molly Run" and "Shoo Fly,"
African American freedom songs "Freedom Now" and "Freedom Train," traditional
African American songs "Deep Blue Sea" and "Down the Road I Be Going," counting in
Japanese, Swahili, Spanish, and French, traditional songs from Guinea and South Africa,
and "Young and Positive" which applauds diversity.
Sweet Honey in the Rock. (Vocalists). (1998). Twenty-five [Cassette Recording]. Salem, MA:
In “Greed” the singers address the social issue of greed, in “Run” they deal with the social
problem of domestic violence, and in “Sound Bite from Beijing” they focus on women’s
oppression worldwide and the need for solidarity and freedom. Available from
RYKODISC, Shetland Park, 27 Congress Street, Salem, MA 01970.
Sweet Honey in the Rock. (Vocalists). (2003). The women gather [Compact Disk]. Redway, CA:
The title song “The Women Gather” laments the loss of life due to random violence.
“Fly” addresses people’s fear and courage following the terrorist attacks of September 11,
2001, and “Let Us Rise in Love” is a call for change rather than retaliation for the attacks.
“Give the People Their Right to Vote!” and “We Want the Vote! Chant” advocates for
the right to vote for citizens in Washington, DC, who currently do not have this privilege.
Songs about the civil rights era include “Ballad of the Sit-Ins” and “Ballad of Harry T.
Moore,” who was killed fighting for African American freedom.
Thunderchief. (Vocalist). (1998). Good medicine [Compact Disk]. Madison, WI: Author.
“Standing on the Shore” provides a Native American perspective on Europeans’ arrival to
North America while “Manifest Destiny” offers a Native American view on European
Americans’ efforts to “take the land by any means.” “Something About It” encourages
listeners to take care of the environment before we destroy it. The “AIM Song”
commemorates the conflict between Native Americans and the U.S. Government at
Wounded Knee in 1973, and “Heart of the Dancer” describes the importance of Native
people’s dancing to mother earth’s heart beat.
Winter, C. & Rose, B. (Vocalists). (1982). As strong as anyone can be [Cassette Recording].
Albany, NY: A Gentle Wind.
A collection of songs for children including "I Live in the City" which affirms the
creation of cities through the work of diverse people, "What Does Your Mama Do" which
describes different jobs women do including working at home, "Truck Driving Woman"
which illustrates women in a nontraditional job, and "I Want to Grow Up to Be an Old
Woman" which introduces many different types of work to children. Available from A
Gentle Wind, Box 3103, Albany, NY 12203.
Yarrow, P. (Producer). (1998). Peter, Paul, and Mary: Around the campfire [Compact Disk].
Burbank, CA: Warner Brothers Records.
Includes such popular songs as “This Land is Your Land,” several anti-war songs “If I
Had a Hammer,” “Where Have All the Flowers Gone,” “Down by the Riverside (Study
War No More),” and “Blowin’ in the Wind, and the Negro national anthem “We Shall
Overcome.” A few songs affirm the importance of each person by looking within
(“Inside”), the connections among people (“River of Jordan”), and the significance of
hopefulness (“Light One Candle”).
General resources for social studies music
Folksong in the Classroom, a newsletter published by teachers focusing on specific topics
such as American Revolution, Slavery, Civil War, or Songs for the World's Children in
North America. Songs are reproduced with melodies, lyrics, and background information
which explains the songs and circumstances leading to their creation. Back issues are also
available from 1993-94 to 1980-81. Available from Folksong in the Classroom, Diana
Palmer, Assistant Editor, P.O. Box 925, Sturbridge, MA 01566.
Back issues of Folksongs in the Classroom are located in the Educational Materials
Center of the library (shelved with music textbooks). Back issues include: New England
textile workers; songs of the Civil War; women's songs--suffrage, women and warriors;
the frontier; songs for the world's children; teaching about slavery; the westward
movement; lumbering; railroads; farmers of the plains and prairies; Bicentennial
Celebration of the Constitution; rivers; federal period (1786-1801); Jefferson and
Madison administrations and the War of 1812; ecology; troubled children and bad people;
mines, mills, and tunnel workers; soldiers' songs; Irish immigration; Jewish people; and
Depression and the New Deal.
Harris, S. R. (2002-2005). Songs for teaching: Using music to promote learning. Available at
The web site offers song titles, sources for songs, and some lyrics for different subject
areas, including social studies. The social studies songs include music about African
American history and culture, American history and government, Canadian history and
government, diversity and multiculturalism, folk music, geography, and U.S. presidents.
Music resources are also available for sale through the web site.
Annotated bibliography list