American Songs to Sing

American Songs to Sing

Side One

  1. Yankee Doodle (1:11)

    This song was originally sung by the British to poke fun at the ragged-looking Americans. But after the battles at Lexington and Concord, the Yankees sang it back to the British and made it their own. The word “macaroni” in those days meant “fancy dress” — which the Americans did not have. Sung by Robert Michael Jones and Richard Shulberg.

    Yankee Doodle went to town,
    Riding on a pony;
    Stuck a feather in his hat
    And called it Macaroni.

    Chorus:
    Yankee Doodle keep it up,
    Yankee Doodle dandy;
    Mind the music and the step,
    And with the girls be handy.

    Father and I went down to camp,
    Along with Captain Goodin’,
    And there we saw the men and boys
    As thick as has-ty pud-din’.

    Chorus

  2. The Ballad of the Tea Party (1:23)

    A sailors’ tune from 1730 was used as the melody for this song. In 1773, angry patriots responded to the British tax on tea by disguising themselves as Indians and dumping 342 chests of tea into Boston Harbor. Your children might enjoy acting out the verses of this song, and can join in on the chorus. Sung by Hermes Nye (Soldier Songs FH 5249 used by permission of Folkways Records)

    Tea-ships near to Boston lying,
    On the wharf a numerous crew.
    Sons of Freedom never dying,
    Then appeared in view!

    Chorus:
    With a rink-tum, dink-tum,
    Fa la link-tum, then appeared in view,
    With a rink-tum, dink-tum,
    Fa la link-tum, then appeared in view!

    Armed with hammers, axes, chisels,
    Weapons new for war-like deed,
    Toward the tax-éd, freighted vessels
    On they came with speed.

    Chorus:
    With a rink-tum, dink-tum,
    Fa la link-tum, on they came with speed.
    (2 times)

    Overboard she goes my boys, ho,
    Where darkling waters roar:
    We love our cup of tea full well but
    Love our freedom more.

    Chorus:
    With a rink-tum, dink-tum,
    Fa la link-tum, love our freedom more.
    (2 times)

    Deep, into the sea descended
    Curséd weed of China’s coast;
    Thus at once our fears were ended,
    Rights shall ne’er be lost!

    Chorus:
    With a rink-tum, dink-tum,
    Fa la link-tum, rights shall ne’er be lost!
    (2 times)

  3. Ten Green Apples (1:17)

    Counting songs were as popular in colonial times as they are today. This tune was adapted by Alan Mills from a popular English song. The easy lyrics are perfect for singing along. Sung by Alan Mills (14 Numbers, Letters and Animal Songs FC 7545 used by permission of Folkways Records)

    Farmer Brown had 10 green apples hanging on a tree.
    Farmer Brown had 10 green apples hanging on a tree.
    Then he plucked one apple and he ate it greedily,
    Leaving 9 green apples a-hanging on a tree.

    Farmer Brown had 9 green apples hanging on a tree.
    Farmer Brown had 9 green apples hanging on a tree.
    Then he plucked one apple and he ate it greedily,
    Leaving 8 green apples a-hanging on a tree.

    Farmer Brown had 8 green apples hanging on a tree.
    (Etc.)

    NOTE: Have children continue the song until there are “no green apples a-hanging on a tree.”

  4. The Erie Canal (1:10)

    Finished in 1825, the Erie Canal helped to open the territories of Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Bridges over the canal were quite low, hence the cry: “Everybody down!” Sung by Robert Michael Jones and Richard Shulberg

    I’ve got a mule, her name is Sal,
    Fifteen miles on the Erie Canal.
    She’s a good ol’ worker and a good ol’ pal,
    Fifteen miles on the Erie Canal.

    We’ve hauled some barges in our day,
    Filled with lumber, coal and hay;
    And we know ev’ry inch of the way,
    From Albany to Buffalo.

    Low bridge, ev’rybody down!
    Low bridge, for we’re comin’ to a town!
    And you’ll always know your neighbor,
    you’ll always know your pal,
    If you’ve ever navigated on the erie Canal.
    (2 times)

  5. Goober Peas (2:08)

    This song became popular during the Civil War. At that time, the lyrics were credited to, “P. Nutt, Esq.” (obviously a pseudonym.) Children will enjoy singing along. “Goober” comes from the African “nguba” meaning peanut. Sung by John Cohen and the New Lost City Ramblers (Songs of the Civil War FH 5717 used by permission of Folkways Records)

    Sitting by the roadside on a summer’s day,
    Chatting with my messmates, passing time away,
    Lying in the shadow underneath the trees,
    Goodness how delicious, eating goober peas!

    Chorus:
    Peas, peas, peas, peas,
    Eating goober peas!
    Goodness how delicious,
    Eating goober peas!

    Just before the battle the gen’ral hears a row,
    He says, “The Yanks are coming, I hear their rifles now.”
    He turns around in wonder, and what do you think he sees?
    The Georgia Militia — eating goober peas!

    Chorus

    I think my song has lasted almost long enough,
    The subject’s interesting, but rhymes are mighty rough,
    I wish this war was over, when free from rags and fleas,
    We’d kiss our wives and sweethearts and gobble goober peas!

    Chorus

Side Two

  1. I’ve Been Workin’ on the Railroad (1:24)

    In the 1800’s, the people who helped to build the nation’s railroad enjoyed singing this song. On May 10, 1859, at Promontory Point, Utah, silver and gold spikes joined the tracks of the Central Pacific and union pacific Railroads to create the first coast-to-coast railway. Sung by robert Michael Jones and Richard Shulberg

    I’ve been workin’ on the railroad, all the livelong day,
    I’ve been workin’ on the railroad, just to pass the time away.
    Can’t you hear the whistle blowing? Rise up so early in the morn,
    Can’t you hear the captain shouting: “Dinah, blow your horn”?

    Dinah, won’t you blow; Dinah, won’t you blow,
    Dinah won’t you blow your horn, your horn?
    Dinah, won’t you blow; Dinah, won’t you blow,
    Dinah won’t you blow your horn?

    Someone’s in the kitchen with Dinah,
    Someone’s in the kitchen, I know.
    Someone’s in the kitchen with Dinah,
    Strummin’ on the old banjo.

    Fee-fie-fiddle-dee-i-o, Fee-fie-fiddle-dee-i-o,
    Fee-fie-fiddle-dee-i-o, Strummin’ on the old banjo.

  2. Buffalo Gals (0:48)

    This American favorite has many variants, but first appeared in 1844 as a minstrel tune. It makes the perfect accompaniment for a circle dance, or children might enjoy acting out the verses. Sung by Pete Seeger (American Favorite Ballads, Vol. II FA 2320 used by permission of Folkways Records)

    As I was walking down the street
    Down the street, down the street,
    A pretty little girl I chanced to meet
    And we danced by the light of the moon.

    Chorus:
    Buffalo gal won’t you come out tonight?
    Come out tonight? Come out tonight?
    Buffalo gal won’t you come out tonight?
    And dance by the light of the moon?

    I danced with a gal with a hole in her stocking
    And her heel kept a-knockin’ and her toes kept a-rockin’
    I danced with a gal with a hole in her stocking
    And we danced by the light of the moon.

    Chorus (2 times)

  3. Whoopie Ti Yi Yo (1:33)

    Cowboys in the 1880’s enjoyed singing this song. It describes a cattle drive beginning in Texas. There, the “dogies” (originally “motherless calves” but later an affectionate term for any calf) would be “cut out” (divided into groups), and marked for identification. The drive would then take them to grazing land in Wyoming, and later to Idaho to be sold. “Cholla” and “prickly pear” are kinds of cactus. Sung by Cisco Houston (This Land Is My Land FC 7027 used by permission of Folkways Records)

    As I was a-walkin’ one mornin’ for pleasure
    I spied a young cowboy a-ridin’ along.
    Well, his hat was shoved back, and his spurs was a-jinglin’,
    And as he was riding he was singing this song:

    Chorus:
    Whoopie ti yi yo git along little dogies
    It’s your misfortune and none of my own,
    Whoopie ti yi yo git along little dogies
    You know that Wyoming will be your new home.

    Early in the springtime we round up the dogies
    We cut ‘em out, brand ‘em and bob off their tails;
    Round up the horses, load up the chuck wagon,
    Then throw the dogies out on the north trail.

    Chorus

    Your mother was raised way down in Texas
    Where the jimson weed and cholla is grown
    But we’ll fill you up on those prickly pear briars
    Until you are ready for Idaho.

    Chorus

  4. The Mocking Bird (1:12)

    This traditional lullaby of the Appalachian regions has been sung by generations of American families. Your children may know it and will enjoy singing along. Sung by Adelaide Van Way (Songs to Grow On, Vol. II: School Days FC 7020 (FP 20) used by permission of Folkways Records)

    Hush, little baby, don’t say a word,
    Mama’s gonna buy you a mocking bird.

    If that mocking bird won’t sing,
    Mama’s gonna buy you a diamond ring.

    If that diamond ring turns brass,
    Mama’s gonna buy you a looking glass.

    If that looking glass gets broke,
    Mama’s gonna buy you a billy-goat.

    If that billy-goat won’t pull,
    Mama’s gonna buy you a cart and bull.

    If that cart and bull turn over,
    Mama’s gonna buy you a dog named Rover.

    If that dog named Rover won’t bark,
    Mama’s gonna buy you a horse and cart.

    If that horse and cart fall down,
    You’ll be the sweetest little girl in town.

  5. This Land is Your Land (2:10)

    Written by Woody Guthrie in 1956, this song has rapidly become one of America’s most popular national ballads. This is an original recording by Woody Guthrie. Sung by Woody Guthrie (This Land is Your Land FTS 31001 used by permission of Folkways Records)

    This land is your land, this land is my land,
    From California to the New York island,
    From the redwood forest, to the gulf stream waters,
    This land was made for you and me.

    As I went walking that ribbon of highway,
    I saw above me that endless skyway,
    I saw below me that golden valley,
    This land was made for you and me.

    Chorus:
    This land is your land, this land is my land,
    From California to the New York island,
    From the redwood forest, to the gulf stream waters,
    This land was made for you and me.

    I roamed and I rambled, and I followed my footsteps,
    To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts,
    All around me a voice was sounding,
    This land was made for you and me.

    Chorus

SCHOLASTIC RECORDS SCC 2745
50 West 44th St., New York, N.Y. 10036

Compiled by Judy Wathen
Manufactured in U.S.A.

4 Comments

  1. Posted September 20, 2010 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Thanks for publishing this. Nice job and nice image. This is one of those LPs I’ve seen but was never willing to buy. I will be using this on our site—got any other of these old Scholastic ones?

  2. Posted September 20, 2010 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Glad you enjoyed it, Jim! I do have quite a few more Scholastic 7” records, though they’re all children’s story records. I haven’t been planning on posting them, though, as I don’t want to risk the wrath of Scholastic’s lawyers. 😉

  3. Posted September 21, 2010 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    With all the Harry Potter money they’re sure to be after you! Be safe. Now—do you have a copy of “On The Ranch”? I tried to get that one, but waaaay too $$$$

  4. Regine Toma
    Posted October 5, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for the songs. Tonight I thought about the song we had to learn by heart when I attended school in Germany. It was in our Englisch book and I didn’t remember it fully. I was glad to find it posted, it is like meeting an old friend after many years.

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