Recommended song collections and CDs
Anderson, Cheryl P. Shaker Hymnal. Woodstock, NY: The Overlook Press, 1990. "Simple Gifts" is only one on many beautiful and profound Shaker songs.
Barnwell, Ysaye, and George Brandon. Singing in the African American Tradition: Choral and Congregational Vocal Music. Woodstock, NY: Homespun Tapes, Ltd., 1989. Six tapes or CDs on which Ysaye Barnwell teaches harmonies one part at a time—her way of keeping the songs within the aural tradition. Includes useful background information. Highly recommended!
Bell, John L. Come All You People: Shorter Songs For Worship. Chicago: GIA Publications, Inc., 1994.
GIA publishes several of John Bell's worship song collections. Most of the songs are quite simple, and all are beautiful. He draws on Christian music from many world traditions, so you will likely find, for example, an Alleluia from South Africa, India, Europe, and Indonesia.
Blood-Patterson, Peter (ed.). Rise Up Singing. Bethlehem, PA: Sing Out!, 1988.
The best collection of folk song lyrics around. CDs of the songs are available.
Burton, Bryan. Moving Within the Circle: Contemporary Native American Music and Dance. Danbury, CT: World Music Press, 1993.
Book and tape/CD. Especially teacher-friendly. Highly recommended!
Carawan, Guy, and Candie Carawan. Ain't You Got a Right to the Tree of Life? The People of John's Island, South Carolina—Their Faces, Their Words, and Their Songs. Athens: The University of Georgia Press, 1989.
A fascinating look at a fascinating culture.
———. Sing for Freedom: The Story of the Civil Rights Movement Through Its Songs. Bethlehem, PA: Sing Out!, 1990.
Includes excellent historical information.
Cooke, Nym. Awake to Joy! Christmas Carols for Part Singing.
An amazing collection of mostly early-American Christmas music. To purchase, send $15, which includes postage, to Nym Cooke, 290 Wine Road, New Braintree, MA, 01531-1604, or call 508-867-9144.
Davidson, Marilyn Copeland. Earth: Voices of a Planet, Teacher's Guide. Miami: CPP/Belwin, Inc.
Curriculum based on the CD, Earthbeat, from the Paul Winter Consort. Includes geography/culture lessons that incorporate the songs.
DiSavino, Liza (ed.). For the Beauty of the Earth.
An environmental songbook to benefit the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater. For copies, contact Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, 112 Market Street, Poughkeepsie, NY, 12601.
Ellington, Duke. Sacred Concerts. Miami Beach: Hansen House.
If you ever want to lead a jazz service, this collection is a great place to start. Duke Ellington composed three sacred cantatas at the end of his life. One of them, entitled It's Freedom, focuses on the theme of freedom and includes a most enjoyable song, "Sweet Fat and That."
Feierabend, John M. (ed.). The Book of Echo Songs; The Book of Canons; and The Book of Call & Response. Chicago: GIA Publications.
These series of songbooks are exceptional for people who sing with young children. Feierabend's books of bounce songs and other songbooks for younger children are also available.
Friedman, Debbie. The Best of Debbie Friedman. Cedarhurst, NY: Tara Publications, 1997.
Debbie Friedman is beloved for her contemporary Jewish folk and pop songs like "Miriam's Song," and "L'Chi Lach (You Shall Be a Blessing)."
Glazer, Joe and Edith Fowke. Songs of Work and Protest: 100 Favorite Songs of American Workers. New York: Dover Publications.
This is the Dover reprint of the 1960 collection of union and work songs. Complete with music and historical notes.
Gold, Ben-Zion. The Harvard Hillel Sabbath Songbook. Boston: David R. Godine, Publisher, 1992.
The second half of this book features secular Jewish songs of great beauty, with translations and piano accompaniments.
Hammil, Joanne. Rounds & Partner Songs, Vols. 1 and 2.
Joanne is a wonder working with children. Her songs sound and look complicated, but are quite accessible for children who love singing them. Her themes are consistent with UU themes. Her songbooks and CDs are available from http://www.joannehammil.com.
Hirschhorn, Linda. Gather Round: New Hebrew Canons, Rounds, and Musical Settings. Cedarhurst, NY: Tara Publications, 1989.
Exciting collection, especially for those looking for new and/or feminist songs within the Jewish tradition.
———. The Music of Linda Hirschhorn: More Hebrew Canons, Rounds, and Musical Settings. Cedarhurst, NY: Tara Publications, 1995.
Her recordings with Vocolot are available from Oyster Albums, Box 3929, Berkeley, CA, 94703, or from Tara Publications.
Jagoda, Flory. The Flory Jagoda Songbook: Memories of Sarajevo. Cedarhurst, NY: Tara Publications, 1993.
Exciting Ladino songs, including "Ocho Kandelikas" and "Hanuka."
Langstaff, John, (ed.). A Revels Garland of Song: In Celebration of Spring, Summer & Autumn. Watertown, MA: Revels, Inc., 1996.
A collection of traditional processionals, carols, rounds, ritual, and children's songs. Revels also publishes a midwinter celebration curriculum. Both books offer ancient English solstice songs, rituals, plays, and traditions appropriate for earth celebrations.
Libana. A Circle Is Cast; Night Passage; Fire Within.
Three songbooks and CDs by the Boston-based women's chorus, Libana. Contains great chants from many traditions, including earth-centered traditions. Available from Libana, Box 400530, Cambridge, MA, 02140, 800-997-7757, or online at http://www.libana.com.
Marks, Kate. Circle of Song: Songs, Chants, and Dances for Ritual and Celebration. Lenox, MA: Full Circle Press, 1999.
If you can find a copy, it is an excellent collection of earth-centered songs.
Masters, Brien (ed.). The Waldorf Song Book. Edinburgh: Floris Books, 1987.
The songs are beautifully sequenced from easy to advanced.
Middleton, Julie Forest (ed.). Songs For Earthlings: A Green Spirituality Songbook. Philadelphia: Emerald Earth Publishing, 1998.
If you can find a copy, this is an incredible collection of sacred and secular earth songs, many perfect for children.
Near, Holly. Singing For Our Lives. Oakland, CA: Redwood Records, 1982.
Music from Holly's albums, Imagine My Surprise and Fire In The Rain. Contains "Voices" and "Singing For Our Lives (We Are a Gentle, Angry People)"
Nyberg, Anders (ed.). Freedom Is Coming: Songs of Protest and Praise from South Africa. Chapel Hill, NC: Walton Music Corporation.
Great book and tape of songs and chants for mixed choir (SATB).
———. Freedom Is In Your Hand. Chapel Hill, NC: Walton Music Corporation, 2003.
Orozco, Jose-Luis (ed.), and Elisa Kleven (illus.). De Colores and Other Latin-American Folk Songs for Children. New York: Dutton Children's Books, 1994.
———. Diez Deditos 10 Little Fingers and Other Play Rhymes and Action Songs from Latin America. New York: Dutton Children's Books, 1997.
Parker, Alice. Creative Hymn Singing. Chapel Hill, NC: Hinshaw Music, 1976.
Alice Parker, a beloved American composer, conductor, and song leader, has much to teach us about making old hymns come to life again. This book is a must for all church musicians.
———. Melodious Accord: Good Singing in Church. Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 1991.
Pasternak, Velvel. The Jewish Music Companion: Historical Overview, Personalities, Annotated Folksongs. Cedarhurst, NY: Tara Publications, 2002.
Velvel Pasternak is a fascinating man, publisher of the Tara songbooks, and a renowned expert on a great diversity of Jewish music. This book is an introduction to a rich and diverse tradition.
Perinchief, Robert. Honor Your Partner Songs. Silver Springs, FL: Perry Innovations, Inc.
A fine collection of partner songs (two or more songs that can be sung at the same time). To acquire a copy, contact Perry Innovations. Inc., P.O. Box 395, Silver Springs, FL, 34489, 1-800-527-2966.
Peter, Paul & Mary: Deluxe Anthology. Alfred Publishing Co., Inc., 1990.
Contains melodies, lyrics, and chords.
Reynolds, Malvina. The Malvina Reynolds Songbook. Berkeley, CA: Schroeder Music Company, 1984.
Songs like her "Magic Penny" and "Turn Around" are wonderful for children.
Ritchie, Jean. Jean Ritchie Celebration of Life: Her Songs ... Her Poems. Port Washington, NY: Geordie Music Publishing, 1971.
Collection of sacred and secular Appalachian folksongs, including Jean Ritchie's song for the early environmental movement, "Now Is the Cool of the Day."
Schmid, Will (ed.). Get America Singing and Get America Singing . . . Again! (Vols. 1 and 2). Milwaukee, WI: Hal Leonard, 1996.
Three excellent songbooks prepared by the National Association for Music Education (MENC).
———. New Folk Favorites. Milwaukee: Hal Leonard Publishing, 1987.
Will Schmid is well suited to edit this collection of songs by his friends, ranging from Bill Staines and Si Kahn to Holly Near and Jean Ritchie, plus many others.
———. World Music Drumming: A Cross-Cultural Curriculum. Milwaukee: Hal Leonard, 1998.
A series of teacher manuals and octavos with CDs for teaching drumming with children.
Scott, John Anthony, and John Wardlaw Scott. Ballad of America: A History of the United States through Folk Song, Rev. 3rd edition. Holland, MA: Folksong in the Classroom.
Fine American songs telling our country's eminent history. Delightful stories accompany each song. Highly recommended! For more information and to download an order form, go to http://folksongintheclassroom.org/BalladOfAmericaOrder.pdf.
Seeger, Pete. Abiyoyo. NY: MacMillan, 1985.
This is an illustrated children's story adapted by Pete Seeger. Children can sing along with the song, "Abiyoyo," as you read the book to them. Delightful!
———. Where Have All the Flowers Gone: A Musical Autobiography. Bethlehem, PA: Sing Out!, 1993.
The story of Pete Seeger's life, told through the songs he learned and wrote.
Seeger, Pete, and Bob Reiser. Carry It On: The Story of America's Working People in Song and Picture. Bethlehem, PA: Sing Out!, 1985.
Seeger, Ruth Crawford. American Folk Songs for Children in Home, School and Nursery School. New York: Doubleday, 1948.
A classic collection of songs. Includes an excellent introduction about the folksong tradition.
Songs of Zion. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1981.
Fantastic collection of African American hymns, spirituals, and gospel songs, with historical backgrounds for each style.
Stone, Mollie Spector. Vela Vela: Striving for authentic performance in black South African choral music. 2004.
Mollie presents South African choirs teaching their songs and dances on a superb DVD with accompanying handbook. You don't need to read music to learn and teach these songs. The songs are in SATB arrangements, but you can have younger children learn just the melodies and the dances. DVD and handbook available at http://www.molliestone.org/PuchaseVelaVela.html.
Sweet Honey in the Rock. All for Freedom. Redway, CA: Music for Little People, 1989.
Recording of great African and African American songs for children, including "Silvie," "Cumbayah," "Little Red Caboose," "Ise Oluwah," and others.
———. I Got Shoes. Redway, CA: Music for Little People, 1994.
Weber, Sol (ed.). Rounds Galore! Captivating Rounds, Old and New. 1994.
The best collection of rounds. Recommended. An "informal set," including the book and a CD/tape of the rounds is also available. Distributed by Sing Out! Also available from Sol "Roundman" Weber, 25—14 37th Street, Astoria, NY, 11103-4228.
Wilson, Chesley Goseyun, Ruth Longcor-Harnisch Wilson, and Bryan Burton. When the Earth Was Like New: Western Apache Songs and Stories. Danbury, CT: World Music Press.
Book and CD.
Yogananda, Paramahansa. Cosmic Chants. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1987. Remarkable devotional songs in English, Hindi, and Sanskrit.