Old Songs for Young Folks
These Old Songs are for Young Folks - And Other Folks, Too. This is music kids will love, and so will parents and grandparents. Marti Rogers sings and plays Autoharp, Guitar and Appalachian Mountain Lap Dulcimer (3 different, all handcrafted by David S Field) Husband, Tom Levy, Plays Stand-Up Bass Fiddle and Bodhran (Irish Hand Drum). All tracks are vocals unless otherwise noted. All the songs have stood the test of time remaining popular for at least a century - some much longer. Relatively new, "Low Bridge on the Erie Canal" was written in 1905, while a version of "Froggie Went a Courtin" has been mentioned in medieval documents. Most, like "I've Been Working on the Railroad" and "Oh, Susanna" are widely familiar. One, not so well remembered, "On the Banks of the Yukon," was a popular parlor song parody of the early 1900s, yet it has so much of the humorous quirkiness of songs written for kids, that it fits right in with it's contemporary, "Daisy Bell" -- also known as "Bicycle Built for Two" -- originally written for a stage show. There are a few nursery rhythms, both sung and instrumentals, and "Twenty Froggies," a school song learned by Marti's grandmother and passed down through her family as "their" song. Here is more about each song and which instruments you will find on the track:* 1 Working on the Railroad first printed in 1894, author unknown (so far). autoharp, bass fiddle 2 Darby Ram has a very long history from somewhere in the Middle Ages. A "tall tale" about one person's trip to Darby, England. Guitar, bodhran 3 Oh, Susanna has entered the oral tradition so thoroughly that most people don't know it was written by Stephen Foster and published in 1848. dulcimer, bass fiddle 4 Low Bridge on the Erie Canal sung by all the bargemen as a reminder to passengers to duck! Thomas S. Allen 1905. autoharp, bass fiddle 5 My Darling, Clementine, broadly believed to be "unwritten" has been attributed to Percy Montrose circa 1834. There are a lot of spurious verses. Guitar, bass fiddle 6 Sweet Betsy From Pike was a popular heroine of the old West . There are hundreds of verses made up by pioneers, cowboys and folk. Other versions have her crossing rivers or the plains with her husband or uncle. Some, like this one have happy endings, many have them breaking up after all that trouble. Guitar 7 Home on the Range, generally attributed to Dr. Brewster Higley and Daniel Kelly. It's possible that they "borrowed" or "collected" it. autoharp, bass fiddle 8 Thirty-nine French Brothers, a medley of Three (3) Blind Mice, Frere Jacques (Brother John in French), & Ode to Joy (from Beethoven's 9th Symphony). dulcimer instrumental 9 Sing a Song of Six Pence goes way back, but not to Black Beard's Pirates -- that was an urban myth. The true part is that cooks used to put live birds between two baked pastry crusts, so that they would fly out when the pie was cut - for special occasions, for rich and royalty. (They served real eating pie afterwards.) dulcimer 10 Oh, Where Has My Little Dog Gone? The first verse of a humorous song, 'Der Deitcher's Dog,' from 1864 by Septimus Winner. Dulcimer 11 I Love Little Kitty My favorite song as a child. I played it over and over until I broke the wind-up Victoria. Guitar 12 Twenty Froggies My grandmother learned this song in school, then sang it to my mother when she was a child, and me when I was growing up. For years I thought it was my family's "very own song" until I read a thread about it on the internet - turns out other families loved it, too! Autoharp, bass fiddle 13 Nursery Rhymin' a medley of Go Tell Aunt Rhody; Mary Had a Little Lamb; Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Dulcimer instrumental 14 Yankee Doodle sung by the British soldiers during the American Revolution as a taunt to the Americans, soon turned around by the Americans to mock the British. Dulcimer, bass fiddle 15 Paper Of Pins was originally a party game in which a man and woman had to make up alternating verses, with the man first. It's unclear what the criteria were for winning. Pins cost a lot more money then, they were not a cheap gift, the "chest" was a common place to keep money, gold and jewels. Dulcimer 16 There's A Hole in My Bucket, originally from Germany shows that some people will go a long way to avoid work! Autoharp, bass fiddle 17 On the Banks of the Yukon based on "Banks of the Wabash" by Paul Dresser, written while looking for gold in Alaska in 1899 by Eugene Schmitz, who was later Mayor of San Francisco during the 1906 earthquake . autoharp, bass fiddle 18 Daisy Bell or Bicycle Built for Two was written for a musical in 1892 by Harry Darce. The second "verse" is one of many folk variations, actually to the melody of the chorus. The original verses are hardly ever heard these days. Autoharp, bass fiddle 19 Froggie Went a Courtin' dates to the Middle Ages. There are probably thousands of versions. Guitar, bass fiddle No official reviews from the press yet, but here is one from our very picky family - in the "Other Folks" category: 'I have to tell you that I'm really enjoying the CD you sent .... Love the drum! .... I love 'I Love Little Kitty', 'Twenty Froggies' and one other song I don't know the title of. It has a chorus of unusual words that's all I can remember." [Sweet Betsy from Pike] Anita (Tom's older sister) *The notes by track number are included with the CD and are copyright (C) 2008 Marti Rogers.