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




Children’s books


Bryan, A. (1974). Walk together children: Black American spirituals. Hartford, CT: Aladdin Books.


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 America.


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 Puntos Press.


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 10012.


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 diverse parents.


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: Dutton.


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 the U.S.


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: Candlewick.


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 York: Hyperion.


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 Young Readers.


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.



Adult Books


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 A. Knopf.


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 Press.


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 63069.


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 environment.



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: Ascension Productions.


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 A. Knopf.


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, AZ 85012-03397.


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 (


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 text.


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, MA 02140.


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 us.


Collins, J. (Vocalist and Producer). (1997). Forever [Compact Disk]. New York: Elektra Entertainment Group.


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 House.


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 website


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


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: Artemis Records.


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 Wisconsin.


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: Redwood Records.


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 Little People.


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 Institution.


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 [Cassette Recording].


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 Label.


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 Island Records.


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: Vanguard Records.


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 Corp.


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 Records.


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 Wave Records.


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, 1-800-995-9588.


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: Earthbeat Records.


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 Civil War.


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: RYKODISC USA.


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: EarthBeat Records.


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