HFVS Animals in American Folk Music Episode with Guest DJ, Andy Furgeson (Radio Show/Podcast)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Animals in American Folk Music Episode
with Guest DJ, Andy Furgeson

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This week’s guest DJ, Andy Furgeson, a.k.a. Red Yarn, hosts a Animals in American Folk Music Episode, exploring the theme of animals in American Folk Music.  Andy mixes old folksongs with newer adaptations and original songs in the folk tradition. A few critters from these folksongs even show up in the studio! – www.redyarnproductions.com

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
Feb 1st & 2nd, 2014
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured video: “Little Lap Dog Lullaby” by Laura Veirs from the album Tumble Bee. Stop action animation by Helen Woolston.


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PLAYLIST

  • Laura Veirs – “Little Lap Dog Lullaby” [Tumble Bee]
  • Jim Jackson – “Old Dog Blue” [Anthology of American Folk Music]
  • Elizabeth Mitchell – “John the Rabbit” [You Are My Flower]
  • Red Yarn – “Bob the Rabbit” [The Deep Woods]
  • Pete Seeger – “Mister Rabbit” [Birds, Beasts, Bugs & Fishes: Little & Big]
  • Peggy Seeger – “There Was An Old Frog” [The Long Harvest]
  • Bruce Springsteen – “Froggie Went A Courtin’” [We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions]
  • Field Recording of Prison Gang – “Grizzly Bear” [The Folk Box (Elektra/Folkways)]
  • Mo Phillips – “Bear Shirt” [Robot Rodeo]
  • Mike Seeger – “Peep Squirrel” [Animal Folk Songs For Children... and Other People!]
  • Red Yarn – “The Fox” [The Deep Woods]
  • Lead Belly – “Grey Goose” [Lead Belly Sings For Children]
  • Pointed Man Band – “Grandmother’s Invisible Duck [Swordfish Tango]
  • Ella Jenkins – “Did You Feed My Cow” [African American Folk Rhythms]
  • Caspar Babypants – “Bad Blue Jay” [Sing Along!]
  • Cat Doorman – “All the Birds” [Songbook]
  • The Everly Brothers – “Muskrat” [The Golden Hits of the Everly Brothers]
  • Red Yarn – “Rattlesnake” [The Deep Woods]
  • Blitzen Trapper – “Furr” [Furr]
  • Johnny & Jason – “Gotta Go” [Be Alive]

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Win Tickets to See Mavis Staples at The Calvin Theater

Mavis Staples
plus Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside
Calvin Theatre in Northampton, MA
Thursday, November 7th, 2013 8pm

Mavis Staples, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner, and National Heritage Fellowship Award recipient, comes to the Calvin Theater in Northampton, MA, on Nov 7th! Enter to win a pair of tickets for a parents’ night out!

Hilltown Families and Iron Horse Entertainment Group have partnered up to offer a chance to win free tickets to see adult venues in the Pioneer Valley for a PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT! You pay for the sitter, we’ll pay for the tickets!

For November we are pleased to offer a chance to win a pair of tickets to see Mavis Staples plus Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside at the Calvin Theater in Northampton, MA at 8pm on Thursday, Nov 7th, 2013.

Win tickets and take your spouse, partner or good friend for a night out. Deadline to enter to win is Monday, 11/4/13 by 11:59pm (EST).  Details below…

ABOUT MAVIS STAPLES

It has been more than sixty years since Mavis Staples began singing with her ground-breaking American gospel, soul, and R&B singing family group, the Staple Singers. She is a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner, and a National Heritage Fellowship Award recipient. One True Vine, the follow-up to 2010′s Grammy-winning album You Are Not Alone features new songs written specifically for Staples by returning producer Jeff Tweedy (Wilco).

Mavis has been described by Rolling Stone as having “an almost superhuman ability to implant the pure power of passion and emotion.” She just returned from a series of dates in Australia with Bonnie Raitt and dates in New Zealand with Wilco directly prior to her appearance at the White House for the filming of a PBS All-Star show dedicated to Memphis Soul this past spring. Mavis will be touring internationally in support of One True Vine including a stop in Western MA at the Calvin Theater! – mavisstaples.com

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Music Trekking: The History of La Bamba

Let’s Stomp and Shake to… La Bamba!

Who would think that a humble little folksong from the region of Vera Cruz, Mexico would grow up to be a best-loved song all over the world – and even get itself listed as # 345 in Rolling Stone’s Magazine’s List of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Such is the impressive history of a song called “La Bamba”.

Although La Bamba has been recorded by artists such as Harry Belafonte, Los Lobos and even by a Greek Musician named Tzimis Panousis, most people are familiar with the version recorded by Richie Valens in 1958. Surprisingly, although Valens was proud of his Mexican heritage, he spoke no Spanish and had to go to his aunt, Ernestine Reyes, to learn the lyrics of this song phonetically. Other musicians in the band helped add a rock and roll edge to the song and it became a chart-topping success. Years later, both Valens and the song were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for this contribution to popular culture.

But what is “La Bamba”? The name refers to a dance. Most foklorists guess that it comes from the Spanish verb “bambolear” which can be translated to “to shake” or “to stomp,” a perfect title for an active upbeat dance that sometimes got faster and faster as it went on. What about the words? That’s a bit tricky because there is no definitive set of lyrics since many of the verses were improvised. The tune and the chorus were well known in Mexico – especially in Vera Cruz. However, clever singers or deejays would add new verses in order to charm or amuse the crowd. They might sing about how silly your uncle looks in his flowered shirt of how beautiful a young lady appeared as she stepped into the room. Although there are lots of verses, the most popular ones can be heard in most modern versions of the song.

“Yo no soy marinero/I am not a sailor” is one or the verses everyone recognizes. In Spanish, the singer is telling everyone that he is not a sailor – he’s the captain, a verse that would make sense in that area of Mexico known for it’s fishing. Can you make up your own silly or funny verses to this song – of course! If you speak Spanish, add a line or two in that language. If you speak English or another language, try your hand at it as well! The melody is addictive and you may just create the next great version of this popular song.

In my version of La Bamba, I chose to stick with the verses I had heard most often. You can check it out here:


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Award-winning children’s performer, DARIA (Daria Marmaluk-Hajioannou) has created 7 cd’s that have won national honors. She has the most awesome job of traveling the world to sing for kids and peace. Her “world music for kids” website, www.dariamusic.com, was given a 2009 Parents Choice Award for its musical and cultural content.  She has also created a multicultural kids video site as well as My Favorite Multicultural Books.

Music Trekking: Down By the Ocean

Wild and Free

Are you lucky enough to go on vacation to the seashore this summer? If you have you’ve probably noticed some wonderful creatures that live in and around the seas like crabs, starfish, conch shells, jellyfish, or maybe even a dolphin jumping through the waves.

Have you ever thought about how important it is to keep the oceans clean so all these amazing creatures can be a part of our lives? That was exactly what I was thinking when I wrote this song – Wild And Free. My family and I had just traveled to Florida and visited a sanctuary for manatees. This unique place had an area where you could walk down a flight of stairs and observe inside the manatees swimming lagoon. You could see them up close and personal, face-to-hairy face! The staff at the sanctuary talked to us about dangers to manatees in the wild and what people could do to learn more about them and to protect them. I was inspired and I wrote this song. Because so many different people also fall in love with dolphins and whales – I gave them their own verses, too!

You might have noticed that the tune to this song is another song about an ocean – “My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean.” Because I’m a folksinger, I often like to recycle classic melodies from folksongs and add my own words. If you want to try your hand at writing songs, you can do the same thing. Take any tune you recognize, pick a subject for the song and make up your own verses. Write about your friends, your family, or maybe even a visit to the ocean.

Who knows what good things your songs might inspire!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Award-winning children’s performer, DARIA (Daria Marmaluk-Hajioannou) has created 7 cd’s that have won national honors. She has the most awesome job of traveling the world to sing for kids and peace. Her “world music for kids” website, www.dariamusic.com, was given a 2009 Parents Choice Award for its musical and cultural content.  She has also created a multicultural kids video site as well as My Favorite Multicultural Books.

HFVS Guest DJ, Steve Denyes from Hullabaloo Episode (Radio Show/Podcast)

Listen to Podcast:

STEVE DENYES FROM HULLABALOO
GUEST DJ EPISODE

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
June 16th & 17th, 2012

WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Steve from the band Hullabaloo plays his favorite traditional American folk songs about people, places, animals, trains and more. Hear Bruce Springsteen, Dan Zanes, Lisa Loeb, Elizabeth Mitchell and Hullabaloo sing the songs that have been passed down from generation to generation since our country was born.


Featured Video: “Out Standing” from Hullabaloo’s album, Raise a Ruckus.www.hullabalooband.com


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Steve’s Guest DJ Playlist

  • Bruce Springsteen – Old Dan Tucker [We Shall Overcome]
  • Spider John Koerner – The Young Man Who Wouldn’t Hoe Corn [Raised By Humans]
  • Hullabaloo – Old King Cole [Hey, Everybody!]
  • Lisa Loeb – Big Rock Candy Mountain [Catch the Moon]
  • Bruce Springsteen – Erie Canal [We Shall Overcome]
  • Dan Zanes & Friends – Loch Lomond [Catch That Train!]
  • Hullabaloo – Froggy Went a Courtin’ [Tall as a Tree]
  • David Holt – Mole in the Ground [I Got a Bullfrog]
  • Elizabeth Mitchell – Shoo Fly [You Are My Flower]
  • Hullabaloo – I’ve Been Working on the Railroad [Tall as a Tree]
  • Rafii – New River Train [More Singable Songs]
  • David Holt – When the Train Comes Along [I Got a Bullfrog]
  • Dan Zanes – We Shall Not Be Moved [House Party]
  • Bruce Springsteen – O Mary Don’t You Weep [We Shall Overcome]
  • Dan Zanes – Down By the Riverside [Night Time!]
  • Fox & Branch – Mama Don’t Allow [Mama Don’t Allow]
  • Hullabaloo – Raise a Ruckus [Raise a Ruckus]

HFVS Guest DJ, Joe & Justin of The Okee Dokee Brothers Episode (Radio Show/Podcast)

Listen to Podcast:

JOE & JUSTIN OF THE OKEE DOKEE BROTHERS
GUEST DJ EPISODE

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
June 9th & 10th, 2012

WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Childhood best friends, Joe and Justin, now known as The Okee Dokee Brothers from Minneapolis, Minnesota, are our Guest DJs this today, spinning some songs of their own childhood, songs in the Americana folk tradition and even some tunes off their brand new CD called Can You Canoe? about their real-life 30 day canoe trip down the Mississippi River.


Featured Video: The title track from the album Can You Canoe?  On June 1st, 2011, Joe and Justin began a canoe trip in Minneapolis, MN and continued down the river for the next 30 days until they reached the St. Louis Gateway Arch. During their month long journey on the Mississippi, they camped, canoed and composed the songs that make up the album Can You Canoe? – www.okeedokee.org


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The Okee Dokee Brothers Guest DJ Playlist

  • Woody Guthrie – “Howjadoo” [Nursery Days]
  • The Okee Dokee Brothers – “Can You Canoe?” [Can You Canoe?]
  • Paul Simon - “Graceland” [Graceland]
  • Cat Stevens - “The Wind” [Teaser and the Firecat]
  • Hank Williams - “Jambalaya (on the Bayou)” [Honky Tonkin']
  • The Little Willies - “Roly Poly” [The Little Willies]
  • The Okee Dokee Brothers - “Bullfrog Opera” [Can You Canoe?]
  • Justin Townes Earle - “The Good Life” [The Good Life]
  • Leadbelly - “Midnight Special” [Leadbelly Sings for Children]
  • Taj Mahal - “Fishin’ Blues” – [The Essential Taj Mahal]
  • Bill Monroe and his Bluegrass Boys - “Blue Moon of Kentucky” [Best of Bill Monroe]
  • The Okee Dokee Brothers - “Brother” [Can You Canoe?]
  • Trampled by Turtles - “Victory” [Palomino]
  • Bob Dylan - “Buckets of Rain” [Blood on the Tracks]
  • The Okee Dokee Brothers - “Rosita” [Can You Canoe?]
  • Gillian Welch - “I Want to Sing that Rock and Roll” [Time (The Revelator)]
  • Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (f. Allison Krauss) - “Catfish John” – [Will the Circle Be Unbroken Vol. 3]
  • The Okee Dokee Brothers - “Memphis Town” [Can You Canoe?]

Music Trekking: Here Come Our Mothers

Here’s To Our Mothers!

Although Mothers Day as we know it is not recognized all over the globe, there is not one single culture that doesn’t celebrate the roles of mothers, grandmothers and similar figures in their folklore, stories and songs. Do other cultures love their moms and like to sing about them? You bet they do!

This month I wanted to share a song and video from the Zulu tradition. It’s called “Here Come Our Mothers, Bringing Us Presents.” It’s a song I learned from the wonderful South African performing group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo. The lyrics are in English with a chorus in Zulu, so the song is really easy to understand and enjoy.

Are you wondering what’s going on in the song and why the mothers are bringing presents? If so, you’ll probably enjoy the story behind the song that explains what is happening.

It would appear that Zulu moms are very much like any other moms – they work very hard all year long. For most of these moms living in small villages, they plant and grow food. After they’ve harvested their crops and saved what they need, they take the rest to town. There they will trade for other supplies to last the rest of the year. And, with the little bit of money that’s left over they will buy something special for their children. Maybe it will be a delicious piece of fruit or a special sweet only made in the nearby town. In any event, the kids consider this a really exciting day.

While the moms have disappeared on their trip to the market, the young people are at home waiting. On that day, they try their best not to fight with their siblings or cousins. They try to listen to their elders and they may even do extra chores without being asked. All this is done in anticipation of their mom’s return. When the mothers can finally be seen coming over the hill, the kids burst out into song. In the song, which is sung a bit different every time, they imagine what goodies they might be able to enjoy once their moms are safely and happily back home again.

If you sing this song you can make it different each time. You can add the names of fruits or vegetables you might like to get from the local farmers market or grocery store. You might add the names of treats or sweets you like and pretend that you’ve spent a whole day waiting for your mom to surprise you with them. Wouldn’t it be fun if the song said “Here Come Our Mothers, Bringing Us Maple Candy,” or maybe shaved ice from the Tuesday Market?! Feel free to play with the lyrics. That’s what a folksong is all about!

How will you celebrate Mother’s Day this year? Does your family have a special tradition? Comment here so we can learn more about the wonderful things you do to celebrate the special moms in your life!

If you like this video and want to color some pictures from it, you can download the coloring pages here:


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Award-winning children’s performer, DARIA (Daria Marmaluk-Hajioannou) has created 7 cd’s that have won national honors. She has the most awesome job of traveling the world to sing for kids and peace. Her “world music for kids” website, www.dariamusic.com, was given a 2009 Parents Choice Award for its musical and cultural content.  She has also created a multicultural kids video site as well as My Favorite Multicultural Books.

Music Trekking: Andean Music for Spring

That Little Chicken! (Ese Pollito)

Is there anything more adorable than a baby chick? A perfect omen that Spring is on the way! This month I’m featuring a huayño – a type of traditional song from Peru.  The video to follow tells the story of someone who gets a chicken as a gift and it will not be quiet. Notice that in Spanish, the chicks seem to say “pio, pio, pio,” instead of what we might think of as “peep, peep, peep!” The lyrics are in and English as well so you can easily learn a few new words in another language just by singing along. Chicken is “pollo.” A little chick is a “pollito.” A “regalo” is a gift or something that has been given and the phrase “ese pollito” probably means that someone was pretty tired of “that chick!”

ESE POLLITO
Traditional – Peru
New English Lyrics By Daria Marmaluk-Hajioannou

Ese pollito que to me regalaste
Ese pollito que to me regalaste
Pio, pio, pio, pio siempre me dicen
Pio, pio, pio, pio en su corral…

This little chicken that you brought to my house
This little chicken that you brought to my house

Peep, peep, peep, peep – is all that she tells me
Peep, peep, peep, peep – all the day long!

Do you have a favorite baby animal song? Do you know any songs about animals in other languages? If you speak another language, can you tell us what chicks or rosters say when you describe their sound? It’s really fun to compare and check out the differences from place to place and culture to culture.
But, no matter where you live, I’m wishing you a beautiful new Spring and happy new beginnings.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Award-winning children’s performer, DARIA (Daria Marmaluk-Hajioannou) has created 7 cd’s that have won national honors. She has the most awesome job of traveling the world to sing for kids and peace. Her “world music for kids” website, www.dariamusic.com, was given a 2009 Parents Choice Award for its musical and cultural content.  She has also created a multicultural kids video site as well as My Favorite Multicultural Books.

Music Trekking: A History of Kumbayah

Come by Here: A Short History of Kumbayah

If you’ve ever gone to summer camp or sat around a campfire with a guitar, chances are good you’ve sung “Kumbayah.” It’s one of those wonderful – make it up as you go – folksongs. After the first verse of Kumbayah, you can sing that someone is crying, laughing, sleeping, etc. and add as many verses as you want. The song is different and unique each time it is sung. But have you ever wondered where it came from and what it means? Here’s a little bit of the background and history, plus two slightly different versions of this well-known song.

History of Kumbayah

Did someone compose this song? Is it from Africa? From America? It’s background is a bit cloudy, but this much is certain. A minister named Reverend Marvin V. Frey claimed to have authored the song in 1936 when he was inspired by the preaching of a woman evangelist. He published it as a songsheet with the title “Come By Here”. The original meaning was that the song was a prayer or invocation. The words ask God to come and be by our side as someone is smiling, or laughing or sad. The Rev. Frey claimed that the song changed names around 1946 when a missionary family returning from Africa traveled around the USA singing it with the altered lyrics, “Kum Ba Yah”. However, the song also appears as “kumbayah” sung by people who speak “Gullah” in the Georgia and South Carolina Seas Islands. So, it is hard to say what it’s exact origins are, but clearly the song has been well-loved, popularly sung and made it’s way around both the United States and the world, and has been changed as it traveled from country to country.

Here’s my video version of Kumbayah with a South African feel.

Here’s a version that is quite different but still very beautiful sung by the Soweto (South African) Gospel Choir for your listening pleasure:

So after checking out these two versions, are you ready for a campfire-style sing-along of the popular version of this song? Before you groan because you’ve heard this song so many times, remember that if you are singing it with your family or friends, you can make it fresh in lots of great ways. If you have children, you can play with the hand motions. If you’re doing a boring task, ask your kids for an activity and then sing new verses for each of them. If you’re stuck in the car for a long ride, try making up verses from something seen out of the window: “Someone’s driving in a blue Ford truck, Kumbayah.” “Someone’s walking their dog by the side of the road, Kumbayah. “ Believe it or not, it’s great first songwriting exercise and a fun way to play with words, sounds and music in the form of a game.

No matter how you chose to share this well-loved song, you’ll be inspiring some wonderful musical memories. What a great way to become part of the folk process!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Award-winning children’s performer, DARIA (Daria Marmaluk-Hajioannou) has created 7 cd’s that have won national honors. She has the most awesome job of traveling the world to sing for kids and peace. Her “world music for kids” website, www.dariamusic.com, was given a 2009 Parents Choice Award for its musical and cultural content.  She has also created a multicultural kids video site as well as My Favorite Multicultural Books.

A free copy of this month’s song can be downloaded on Daria’s Monthly Song Page.

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT GIVEAWAY: Tickets to Tom Paxton at The Colonial Theatre

Tom Paxton
The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA
Saturday, May 21st @ 8pm

Tom Paxton has become a voice of his generation, addressing issues of injustice and inhumanity, laying bare the absurdities of modern culture, and celebrating the tenderest bonds of family, friends, and community. Enter to win tickets to see Tom Paxton on Saturday, May 21st in the Berkshires!

Continuing our Parents’ Night Out promotions, Hilltown Families has a pair of tickets to giveaway to one very lucky couple to see acclaimed storyteller and legendary folk musician Tom Paxton at The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA on Saturday, May 21st at 8pm - a night out in the heart of the Berkshires!

Win a pair of tickets and take your spouse, partner or good friend for a night out. Deadline to enter to win: Wednesday, May 18th, 2011 at 7pm (EST). More details below.

ABOUT TOM PAXTON

Tom Paxton will appear in a solo acoustic concert at the Colonial on Saturday, May 21 at 8pm. This legend of the folk music scene will take the stage for a one-night only event.

Tom Paxton has become a voice of his generation, addressing issues of injustice and inhumanity, laying bare the absurdities of modern culture, and celebrating the tenderest bonds of family, friends, and community. In describing Tom Paxton’s influence on his fellow musicians, Pete Seeger has said: “Tom’s songs have a way of sneaking up on you. You find yourself humming them, whistling them, and singing a verse to a friend. Like the songs of Woody Guthrie, they’re becoming part of America.” Paxton has been an integral part of the songwriting and folk music community since the early 1960s, and continues to be a primary influence on today’s “New Folk” performers.

Paxton’s song books, critically acclaimed children’s books, award-winning children’s recordings, and a catalog of hundreds of songs, all serve to document Tom Paxton’s 45-year career. An internationally recognized and loved cultural figure, he has always chosen goodwill over commercial success. … This is the man who wrote and lives the words, “Peace will come, and let it begin with me.” He is one of the great songwriters of the last century and will be reckoned as one of the greats in this century, as well. – www.tompaxton.com

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win a pair of tickets Tom Paxton in concert, at The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA on Saturday, May 21st at 8pm is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!   To enter win simply:

  1. KINDLY CONSIDER SHARING THIS PAGE ON FACEBOOK BY SELECTING “LIKE” BELOW
  2. RECOMMEND A SONG FOR OUR COMMUNITY PLAYLIST and be sure to tell us your
  3. FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  4. LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  5. ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address)
  6. We’ll randomly draw two winners and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline to enter to win: Wednesday, May 18th, 2011 at 7pm (EST).  Read the rest of this entry »

Sunny Day: Elizabeth Mitchell’s Newest CD

Elizabeth Mitchell: Sunny Day

'Sunny Day' offers "handmade music" which invites listeners to join in. As Amanda Blake Soule, the author of "The Creative Family," notes in the 28-page full-color booklet enclosed with 'Sunny Day,' "These songs bring our attention to the magical, mysterious, fabulous and special simple moments of everyday living." They provide a soundtrack to brighten any day, "inspiring family connection and togetherness," as Sooule says.

Elizabeth Mitchell’s new CD, Sunny Day, came out earlier this month and at just the right time for my family.

With the air getting crisper and school back in session, kids will invariably pick up (and bring home) fall colds. It’s no fun for anyone. When both mommy and child are feeling under the weather the best thing for everyone is to relax and take it easy.

Yes, I realize this is easier said than done, but Elizabeth’s soothing voice and mellow tunes really helped my son to calm down, rest, and focus on getting better rather than on how awful he felt. And that helped mommy feel better, too!

Elizabeth sings many traditional folk songs from around the world, but combines them in her seamless style. Her voice and arrangements are soft and safe; you can’t help but feel comfortable and comforted while listening to her music. It’s perfect music for after-school-wind-down time, for snuggling, or for just feeling happy and at home.

To get a feel for Elizabeth’s style, try listening to her version of Mr. Rabbit or the Japanese song Ooki Na Kuri No Ki No Shita De (Under the Big Chestnut Tree), two of our favorite songs on the new album.

If you’re looking for something easy to listen to, something you can pop in the CD player when you’ve just about had it with all the noise and the distractions, you’ve found it. Relax. You’re entire family deserves it!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Amber BobnarAmber Bobnar

Amber lives with her husband and son in Watertown, MA. Originally hailing from Hawaii, Amber and her family moved to Watertown to be closer to the Perkins School for the Blind where her son attends preschool. She has a Master’s degree in English from Tufts University and spends most of her “free time” writing about being a parent of a disabled child on WonderBaby.org or about the family’s musical adventures around Boston on BostonChildrensMusic.com. But really most of her time is spent caring for and playing with her little boy. info@bostonchildrensmusic.com. (Originally posted at Boston Children’s Music.)



The Fox & Frog Episode: Hilltown Family Variety Show (Podcast/Radio Show)

LISTEN TO PODCAST

Folk Series: The Fox & Frog

Saturday from 9-10am
March 6th, 2010 (encore 03/13/10)
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured Video: The National Film Board of Canada presents
Mr. Frog Went A-Courting.
Animated by Evelyn Lambart.  Sung by Derek Lamb.

listen NOW | listen on WXOJ | archived podcasts request a song

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PLAYLIST

  • The Nields – “Oh, Mary, Don’t You Weep” [All Together Singing in the Kitchen ]
  • *Pete Seeger – “Turn! Turn! Turn!”
  • *The Byrds – “Turn! Turn! Turn!”
  • Yo-Yo Ma & Alison Krauss – “Simple Gifts” [Classic Yo-Yo ]
  • Little Mo’ McCoury – “The Fox” [Little Mo’ McCoury ]
  • Sarah Lee Guthrie & Family – “Fox and the Goose” [Go Waggaloo]
  • Station ID: Steve Weeks [www.steveweeksmusic.com]
  • Bill Harley – “Fox’s Sack” [Come On Out & Play]
  • Peter Piper, Forty-Niners Quartet with Orchestra – “Frog Went A-Courtin’” [Animal Song Parade ] LP Recording
  • Station Id: The Harmonica Pocket [www.harmonicapocket.com]
  • Enzo Garcia – “Frog Went A-Courtin’” [Field Trip with Enzo]
  • Uncle Rock – “Sneeky Snake” [The Big Picture]
  • Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem – “The Green Grass Grows All Around” [Ranky Tanky]

Oh, Mary, Don’t You Weep

“This song tells of the triumph of the Jewish people who were delivered from slavery under Pharaoh, the ruler of Egypt in biblical times.  African-American spirituals often refer to this history because both Jews and African-Americans were once slaves. As with other spirituals, this song helps to unite people in the cause of freedom.  “O, mary” recalls the history of those who have suffered great injustice – and also reminds us that it is our responsibily to make sure that, one day, all people who are enslaved or deprived of their rights must be freed from such oppression.” (The Peter Yarrow Songbook: Favorite Folk Songs)

Turn! Turn! Turn!

For thousands of years Ecclesiastes’ beautiful words have inspired and given solace to people all over the world.  Pete Seeger was so moved by these words that he set the poem to music in 1961 and added a refrain and a line of his own.  The Byrds made history with it in 1965.

Simple Gifts

“Almost two centuries after the Pilgrims founded Plymouth Colony in the name of religious freedom, a woman named Ann Lee traveled to America from England to extablish an unorthodox Christian sect commonly called the Shakers.  Like the Pilgrims, the Shakers were able to worship freely and without interference from the government.  Baed on an English folk tune, this hymn celebrates the Shaker commitment to a simple, nonmaterialistic way of life.” (From Sea to Shining Sea: A Treasury of American Folklore and Folk Songs)

The Fox

“Foxes used to be a great menace to farms, so they were sometimes hunted to stop them from killing small farm animals like ducks and geese.  But in this humorous song, we laugh at the farmers, John and Mrs. Flipper Flopper, and cheer for the fox instead.  Folk songs like this one teach us that we can see the same story from many points of view and that a sense of humor about ourselves can help make scary events – like the one in this song – a lot less frightening, and just another part of life.” (The Peter Yarrow Songbook: Favorite Folk Songs)

Frog Went A-Courtin’

“Nobody knows how or when this story really started.  We do know that it was written down in Scotland more than 400 years ago.  But it has always been the kind of story that was told and sund to children, instead of being read to them.  The grandfathers and grandmothers sang it to the mothers and fathers, adn the mothers and fathers sang it to their children, and finally it got to us.  Sometimes the grownups might forget some of the words, and the children would make up words they liked better, and put them in the song.  And so the ballad, or story, on down through all these hundreds of years, always changed a little bit as each new person tried to sing it.  Everyone oiked his way best. – When America was first discovered and the pople wcame from England and Scotland to live here, they bought this ballad along with them, and they kept on singing it to the children.  It spread all over the country with the poeple as they moved… The story of the “Frog and the Mouse” became a part of America, and belongs to all of us today.”

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