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


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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  • 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]

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


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.

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  • 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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