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Homework answers / question archive / Week 1: Frameworks Readings and Media Watch: The Evolution of American Protest Music (7 mins) https://www

Week 1: Frameworks Readings and Media Watch: The Evolution of American Protest Music (7 mins) https://www


Week 1: Frameworks

Readings and Media

Watch: The Evolution of American Protest Music (7 mins)

Read: Dunaway-music-politics-intro

( In the file below)

Optional: Listen: The Power of Music in Protest (2020, MPR radio)

Optional: Read: How to Figure Out a Song’s Meaning

Optional: Read: How to Analyze Lyrics and Write Better Ones


Music listening/viewing:

Watch: Pete Seeger - If I Had A Hammer (1956) LEGENDADO

Watch: Harlem Gospel Choir - Amazing Grace (EXCLUSIVE)

Watch: "Happy Days are Here Again!" (Ben Selvin and the Crooners, 1930)

Watch: Johnny Paycheck - Take This Job And Shove It (Audio)


1)Discussion questions:

Respond Briefly to each of the following:

1. How do you define music? How do you define politics?  

2. How do you define a social movement? What is social solidarity?   

3. What role does music play in your life?

What might be other ways that music functions for individuals and social groups?

4. What social and/or political issue(s) is (are) most important to you right now? Why? Are there songs that relate to this? If so, name at least one.

5. What music do you listen to (i.e., songs, artists, genres)? Does it have political messages?  If so, do those messages relate to larger social movements?



Respond to each of the following prompts. Word count should be at least 750 words total. Include a works cited page. You must incorporate/cite the Dunaway reading. Submissions that do not cite it will receive a ZERO, but may be resubmitted for a capped grade of up to 70%.

  1. Dunaway reading: How does he define ‘political music’? Do you agree? Why, or why not? What are the 3 characteristics of political songs as artefacts?
  2. What are some presidential campaign songs in American history? Name at least 2 from the early 20th century. Going beyond the reading, doing individual research, identify at least one popular song that was used during a 21st century U.S. presidential campaign. How was it used? What was the artist’s reaction to its use in this way?   
  3. Choose a contemporary popular song that you believe is political in some way. What type(s) of song do you think it is (according to Dunaway’s types, see page 286)? What function(s) does the song serve (according to Dunaway’s model, see page 286-7)? Cite excerpts of the song’s lyrics to support your answers. Discuss the song in terms of: mood, genre, instrumentation, voice/speaker, poetics (metaphors, slang, double meanings, etc.), imagery, historical context, & themes.    

3)Extra Credit:

 What is the history of the song ‘Amazing Grace’? Who wrote it? When? Why? Give 3 examples of the ways in which this song has been adopted, adapted, and used since its original creation. How do the ‘cover’ versions retain the original meaning of the song, and how do they extend it? Cite at least 2 secondary sources. 700 word minimum. 

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Music and Politics in the United States DAVID KING DUNAWAY

THE INSTINCT TO VOICE POLITICAL SENTIMENTS through music is by no means new or uniquely American. As far back as the Hsia Dynasty- 2000 B.C.- Chinese emperors sent officers of the court to record the songs of masons building the Great Wall as a rudimentary opinion poll.1 In Europe's Middle Ages, anti-clerical feelings found expression in the songs of wandering goliards. In seventeenth-century England, the egalitarian Diggers composed anthems of class consciousness, and the song 'Lillibur- lero' helped topple James II from his throne.2 In I703, Scottish nationalist, Andrew Fletcher, wrote: 'If a man were permitted to make all the ballads, he need not care who should make the laws of a nation'.3

Through oral tradition, songs of political dissent have entered and changed American culture, much as 'Little Jack Horner' became a children's nursery rhyme long after its barbed reference to Henry VIII's expropriation of church property was forgotten.4 In assessing the gaps to written records to study the American past, as Richard Dorson has pointed out, songs and oral tradition have a particular value: 'The historian accustomed to relying on published sources' can find little without oral sources.5 In his study Oral Tradition, Jan Vansina suggests that oral testimony, even when it challenges the status quo, serves a critical social function. A tradition of rebellion, such as the political song, 'provides its members with the concrete proof that they are no longer dependent upon another community.'6 As Alan Lomax found, characteristic patterns of American cultures are carried through its music.7

This is particularly true for traditions of popular dissent, whether Turkish shadow puppetry, messianic and shamanistic rites among Ama- zonian Indians, or funeral laments in Greece. Each culture generates its media of social protest. In North America, one of the most widespread forms for dissent has been the song of social protest. Groups as diverse as the Nootka Indians of British Columbia and the Chicanos living along the Mexican border have developed distinct musical forms of protest.

Folk Music Journal, Volume 5, Number 3, I987 ISSN 05 3 I-9684



Music and Politics in tbe United States 269

The history of political communication in American music predates the founding of the union of the English colonies. From West Africa, the British Isles, and Europe, colonists brought a rich musical tradition; and with that music came a social context. It is said that on their ships crossing to the new land, the Puritans - and the slaves - each sang of their troubles and hopes (Hamm, I983). While their songs reflected different societies, power relations, and musical scales, the function of song was for both groups similar: 'the ultimate social glue', as folklorist Bess Lomax Hawes commented.8

A Definition While political music often has roots in traditional song and balladry, the form is not easily categorized. It is not popular music (rarely are these creations current among the masses). It is not, per se, folk music (though folklorists and ethnomusicologists have debated this point). Nor is it art music, in the sense of a work consistently performed from its original written version. Yet music of all of these types has served for utterances of a political or dissident nature.

The field of political music includes everything from an electoral song of the I730S to a punk-rock protest of the I98os. Among the most common types are: campaign songs and the music of political protest, including labour, populist, suffragist, abolitionist, and egalitarian songs.

Music may be said to be political when its lyrics or melody evoke or reflect a political judgement by the listener. A political song offers resistance to an abstraction of the social order; a lament cannot be considered political unless it includes some spirit of opposition to the condition depicted. Neither is a work song political, for our purposes, unless there is more resistance than bitterness to the worker's complaint. Thus war songs, for example, would be included under this definition only as the songs criticize the military order under which the singers fight, or the social structure that created the war.

The politics of a piece of music depend upon its time, performer, and audience. Thus, the most comprehensive definition of political music incorporates a specific context: the function of a particular work in a particular setting at a particular place in time. Across history the politics of a piece of music may undergo radical transformation. A song too politically sensitive to be published in one era - such as 'If I Had a Hammer' (originally composed on the occasion of the 1949 trial of leaders




of the Communist Party) - can become the Muzak of another genera- tion.9 When the historical context of a song changes, so does its meaning.

Along with history, a second factor in context is performance. Under different circumstances, music means different things to different groups. 'Un Canadien Errant', a song of a Canadian driven from his home after a war, has far less political impact sung in a coffeehouse in California than performed before French Canadian separatists in Montreal. Even the same performer singing the same song before the same audience can produce dramatically different results, as someone invited to sing the country-and-western hit, 'Take This Job and Shove It' might discover when presenting it at both a union picnic and an annual company dinner.

Besides the historical reference and the performance context, the individual performer's style and tradition influence the politics of his or her music. Should a singer introduce a song with 'I learned this one from a friend, who used to sing it as a child', he will evoke a less political reception than if he begins: 'This next song was written forty years ago, during a bitter mining strike in Harlan County. . .'

By focusing on the effect, rather than the intent of the music, this definition avoids judgements on the overt politics of a specific piece of music. The question remains, however, whether a piece of political music can itself - as opposed to the larger political movement it serves -achieve a political end.

Previous Scholarship Research on American political music includes studies in fields as disparate as sociology, semiotics, and ethnomusicology. Prior to the I970s, political music had little sympathetic treatment in American scholarship. In I948, Thelma James wrote a scathing critique on the use of folk materials by political and social reformers. Five years later John Greenway, in his dissertation at the University of Pennsylvania, American Folksongs of Protest, proposed that American social-protest songs should be cate- gorized as folksongs; this thesis was widely disputed, most directly by Tristram Coffin in the pages of New York Folklore Quarterly.10

Scholarship of the I950S and I96os was dominated by the Cold War period's anti-Communist bias. Research by David Noebel of the Christian Anti-Communist Crusade and R. Serge Denisoff, author of Great Day Coming, focused on accusations of Stalinist influence in modern topical song movements." In concentrating exclusively on organizational ties and



Music and Politics in the United States 271

ideology, these studies ignored the musical and cultural work at the heart of pro-union groups like the Almanac Singers. A more productive approach would examine the songs themselves, the musical orientations of their leaders, their models - in short, the meaning and experience behind their music. A cultural movement cannot be understood by its politics alone.

Following the sociological assertions of communist manipulation of music by R. Serge Denisoff in the I96os, Richard Reuss produced the first comprehensive survey of recent American political music in a I971 Ph.D. dissertation (summarized in an article, 'American Folksongs and Left- Wing Politics: J935-J956').12 Reuss deftly picked his way through the alleys of contradictory memories and obscure clippings to conclude that American workers were largely uninterested in left-wing musical protest, particularly after the Second World War. Like his predecessors, however, his interest centred primarily on song texts as indicators of world view. Phillip Foner, in his prodigiously researched American Labor Songs of the Nineteenth Century, explores labour-protest songs. Archie Green, through his writings on labour music and on the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), influenced the work of both Denisoff and Reuss. Green's biographic-geographic approach to modern song transmission has effec- tively unearthed the music of occupational protest. 13

British studies which parallel the work of Greenway and Green include A. L. Lloyd's classic Folk Song in England. Lloyd's work was informed by his experience as both a performer and a collector; he contended that the political context of British traditional music evolved from the post-feudal, post-industrial crisis of urbanized capitalism. The work of Ian Watson and Simon Frith on music and working-class politics continues Lloyd's tradition. A more recent book which deals with the politics of popular and traditional music in the USA and Britain is One for the Money by David Harker, who discusses how industrial structures (of the music and mining industries) influence the lyrics which are created and sung.14 (One of the earliest comprehensive collections of political songs ever published was The Political Songs of England, printed in I 839; this was only a collection of texts, however, without commentary or context.)15

Following the popularity of folk and folk-styled songs in the I960os, a number of popular biographies of Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, and Phil Ochs appeared, alongside studies of the I96os' American protest song community, such as Oscar Brand's The Ballad Mongers, Jacques Vassal's Electric Children (originally published in France), Josh Dunson's Freedom




in the Air: Song Movements of the Sixties, and Jerome Rodnitzky's Minstrels of the Dawn. 16

Songs as Political Artefacts Songs (in context) reveal much about the culture which produces or circulates them. As Jerome Rodnitzky pointed out in 'Popular Music in American Studies': Music can also cut across the past and help erase boundaries of time . . . while heightening the differences between eras. Better than most mediums, songs can bring back a feel for the past. This is especially true for those American cultures that were relatively inarticulate.17

The song, that most populist of art forms, has traditionally been a vehicle used by those who do not leave a printed record. This is particularly true for protest songs, which have given voice to sentiments which have no other outlet, from slave songs sung under the whip of plantation foremen to the political allegories of the McCarthyist period of the 1950S. Songs provide this musical enfranchisement in ways important to the present research. As we briefly review American history in musical form, three characteristics merit attention.

Firstly, lyrics of songs inevitably express the world view of their authors and singers. This is particularly true for anonymous works, which often reflect a folk (traditional) or popular (mass) consciousness. Songs make up the unofficial culture of their time, though as documents they are generally ignored by scholars more comfortable with the printed word. Though researchers commonly examine traditional songs for their implied world view, protest songs such as the Seeger-Hays 'If I Had a Hammer'- which has passed into the American national repertoire - also bear history.

Secondly, tunes themselves act as historical indicators. Musical forms have their own identifiable history, which tells us the origins and world view of those who choose them as means of exhortation. A country singer like Kentucky's Jim Garland and a 'citybilly' like New Englander Pete Seeger both create protest songs out of traditional Appalachian tunes, but the songs they select and what they do with them musically (as well as textually) speak volumes about their reispective traditions and aims.18 In addition, the original function of the music adapted - dancing, entertain- ment, education - provides a further historical clue. A civil rights protest song based on gospel and one based on a Broadway show tune are likely to be received very differently among Black Americans - both were tried in



Music and Politics in the United States 2.73

the civil rights movement of the I96os, but the gospel-based compositions were far more widely sung.

Thirdly, songs reveal community dynamics and history, providing a cultural inventory of a group. In an ethnological context, music's primary effect, as Alan Lomax commented, 'is to give the listener a feeling of security for it symbolizes the place where he was born, his religious experience, his pleasure in community doings, his courtship, and his work - any or all of these personality-shaping experiences'.19 Lomax was referring to traditional song in a traditional community, but similar circumstances apply for most groups - singing in a nineteenth-century populist meeting or union supporters in a loft in Greenwich Village.

A History of Political Music in the United States Since the first Colonial broadsides were sold on the streets of Boston, people have resorted to songs to make their point: From the earliest periods of American history the oppressed people forming the broad base of the social and economic pyramid have been singing of their discontent. What they have said has not always been pleasant, but it has always been worth listening to, if only as the expression of a people whose pride and expectation of a better life have traditionally been considered attributes of the American nation.20

In New York in the early I700S, during a period when the labouring classes were disenfranchised, election day brought out class-conscious songs and verses:

Now the pleasant time approaches; Gentlemen do ride in coaches. But poor men they don't regard That to maintain them labour hard.21

In 1734, maverick writer and printer John Peter Zenger used political songs so successfully in an electoral campaign that the then-governor of New York, William Cosby, proclaimed a reward for the detection of the authors of the 'Scandalous Songs or Ballads' and conducted a public burning of the broadsides he collected. Songs circulated against the Stamp and Game Acts and the British presence in North America.22 With the American Revolution came a surge of nationalistic music not properly classified as political. By this time, however, the American labour movement began the first concerted use of protest songs. In I788, the artisan clubs of Philadelphia produced a prototype labour hymn: 'The Raising: A New Song for Federal Mechanics'.23




From its birth, the labour movement was rich in music, and with the first unions came the first union songs. As in later years, the early guild and union movements used music to resist the outlawing of labour organizing and to protest economic and social injustice. A scholar of this movement has summarized the themes of nineteenth-century labour song as: 'the organizations and struggles of working people, their hatred for the oppressors, their affirmation of the dignity and worth of labor, their determination to endure hardships together and to fight together for a better life'.24 Though these early songs rarely found their way into the songsters or hymnals such as the Pocket Hymn Book (a model for later political chapbooks), they circulated in print as broadsides and orally at processions and parades. The tunes for many of these parodies were popular songs or hymns, reflecting the exhortative tradition of Puritan and Methodist religious music.

Puritan hymns had a streak of earthliness reflecting dissatisfaction with the world before Judgement. Witness this verse, from a famous early American hymn, 'Amazing Grace':

Shall I be wafted to the skies On flowery beds of ease While others strive to win the prize And sail through bloody seas.25

John Wesley and the American Methodist movement laid a groundwork for using hymns for exhortation, particularly at camp meetings; it was no accident that later political song groups such as the IWW and the Almanac Singers built on this tradition and adopted hymns to political organizing.26

In the first labour newspapers, such as the Philadelphia Mechanics' Free Press, songs of class protest made a regular appearance. Though editors did not often publish melodies, they frequently had columns of songs and doggerel contributed by readers and union members. When hard times hit industrial and self-employed craftsmen, such as in the depression of i8i9-zz, songs became a convenient means of voicing discontent; and the labour press became a principal forum for sentiments which before had circulated only orally. Yet even in this new forum, much musical-political expression was excluded - particularly that of Afro- Americans in slavery, native Americans, recent immigrants, and those in occupations without unions or guilds.

In the period of Jacksonian democracy in the i8zos and I83Os, labour song grew alongside the development of workers' political parties. The



Music and Politics in the United States 7S

following lyrics, published in i8z9, predate the publication of the Communist Manifesto by a good twenty years:

The poor could live without the rich As every man may know But none that labour for their bread Could by the rich be spared ... A truth it is both clear and plain Which every one may know That always in the richest earth The rankest weeds do grow.27

Political songs of the Jacksonian era were not, however, limited to labour issues: among other topics were the limited term for officials, elected and otherwise, imprisonment for debt, indentured servitude, public health, and landlords.

With the widespread industrialization of New England in the early i 8oos came child labour and some of the most famous American factory protest ballads: 'The Factory Girl' was the title given to a half-dozen songs with wide circulation. Each wave of industrial and social change was reflected in the songs of the time: the great Depression of I 8 3 7, the utopian movements of the i 84os and I 8 5os. Music was part of political meetings and rallies, in much the same way religious revivalists encouraged singing at camp meetings. As Abolitionism grew in support in the north, it produced a large body of songs regularly sung at public meetings. The Hutchinsons, a singing family of entertainers, performed traditional tunes like 'Old Dan Tucker'. The Hutchinsons may have been the first professional song agitators in the USA.28

Abolitionist songs reflected the dissatisfaction with slavery which had characterized slave songs for the previous two centuries. Those coming from West Africa into servitude (and their descendants) brought their language and musical culture with them, which they passed along to their descendants. Living in isolation on the plantation, deliberately kept from literacy by their masters, blacks preserved many elements of their distinctive oral culture, at least during the nineteenth century. For Afro- Americans, more than for most other groups, political sentiments surfaced in folklore and folksongs, particularly in the music of black protest: the field holler (as a means of communication beyond the hearing of the field boss), the spiritual (with its veiled references to that 'Great Getting-Up Morning'), work songs (which allowed a degree of control over the pace of labour), and folksongs encoded with directions to the Underground




Railway (such as 'Follow the Drinking Gourd' - the Big Dipper, north). Likewise slaves made up ballads of outlaws, tricksters, and 'bad' slaves, like High John the Conqueror. This music fed political protests and more overt activities of defiance, such as sabotage, escape, and revolt by Afro- Americans.

Initially, musicologists failed to probe beneath the surface of Afro- American culture and the racial supremacist attitudes of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. As late as 19I4, a scholar wrote: 'Nowhere in these songs can we trace any suggestion of hatred or revenge, two qualities usually developed under slavery.'29 In i9z8, George Pullen Jackson maintained that Afro-American religious music had few native roots, being an imitation of white spirituals.30 Contemporary researchers, using much the same sources, find these conclusions simplistic and flawed. As historian Lawrence Levine suggested in Black Culture and Black Con- sciousness: Those who have argued that Negroes did not oppose slavery in any meaningful way are writing from a modern political context. What they really mean is that the slaves found no political means to oppose slavery. But slaves ... had other means of escape and opposition. [They] were able to perpetuate much of the centrality and functional importance that music had for their African ancestors.31 To the disenfranchised and the non-literate in a slave society, music was a principal means of expressing those sentiments which could only otherwise be uttered at the pain of death.

Throughout the nineteenth century, Afro-American spirituals echoed themes of release from bondage on earth. The symbolic content of this music ranged from the fairly explicit 'We Shall Be Free' to more coded justifications of biblical narratives, such as 'Didn't my Lord Deliver Daniel (And Why Not You or I)'. Times of crisis brought secular political songs about specific events, such as the songs of the slave revolt of Nat Turner in I 8 3 I .

About the time of the Civil War, the American trade union movement began to solidify its base in urban centres, and a specialized labour culture began to emerge, which included occupational songs protesting wages, working conditions, and on-the-job accidents: 'The Mechanics Song', 'The Printers Song', 'Fireman's Song'.32 This trend combined with the music of European immigrants to revitalize political song in the United States.

German immigrants to the USA (following the defeated revolution of I848) brought with them a new musical tradition: the Arbeiterlied or



Music and Politics in the United States 2-77

worker's song, a well-established feature of the German labour and socialist movements. These songs were apparently sung in German before sectarian audiences, however, and thus did not greatly influence either the more native American labour or Afro-American political songs. Other immigrant poets, such as the Yiddish socialist Morris Rosenfeld, contri- buted songs like 'The Teardrop Millionaire' to Arbeiter Zeitung, a Yiddish Socialist paper which printed protest songs:

My throat is not inspired to sing In parlors rich and grand, Nor can my voice be made to ring At any lord's command. I hear a worker moan in pain, And lo! the songs awake - And I am forced to sing again For my poor brothers' sake.33

The Depression songs of I873, like those of I8I9, I837, and i857 before them, evoked the distance between the American dream offered to new immigrants and workers and the actual condition of labour. The Knights of Labor, founded in I869, used music in so concerted a manner that no organization surpassed them until the Industrial Workers of the World.

Besides the music of slaves and labour, two other political movements generated political music in the nineteenth century: the suffragists, demanding the franchise for women, and the farmer-labour alliances. Widespread agitation for woman suffrage began soon after the Civil War, with a referendum in Kansas. Characteristic of songs of that era was 'Female Suffrage', composed in I86734 (see Example i). When Wyoming became the first state with woman suffrage, on its admittance to the union in I890, a body of songs developed to advocate suffrage as a means of increasing democracy and of keeping society pure by outnumbering immigrant and non-white voters. Suffrage songs continued to be sung and parodied - until the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in i9z0. The Temperance movement progressed hand-in-glove with the suffragists; the fiery songs of temperance advocates helped pass Prohibition into law, also in i9z0.

Contemporaneous to the suffragist activity after the Civil War was the movement (and music) of populism. As the army had cleared the frontier of native American settlements in the i 8oos, farming had spread through the Mid-Western and Western states. Unfortunately for the farmers,



Female Suffrage

You may wear your silks and sa-tin, go when and where you please,

n i n j i cj no i : NJ. Make em - broi-der-y and tat - tin', and live quite at your ease.

You may go to ball and con - cert, in gau - dy hat and coat.

, in^ rr \j Y In fact, my charm-ing crea - tures, do ev-'rything but vote.


a I Lr l:r-It I J You may vis - it ball and con-cert, in gau-dy hat and coat,

In in us, L- y- t v . In fact, my charming crea-tures, do ev-'ry-thing but vote.

You may wear your silks and satin go when and where you please, Make embroidery and tattin', and live quite at your ease. You may go to ball and concert, in gaudy hat and coat - In fact, my charming creatures, do ev'rything but vote.

[Chorus] You may visit ball and concert, in gaudy hat and coat, In fact, my charming creatures, do ev'rything but vote.

You may seek for health and riches, and marry at your will, But man must wear the breeches, and rule the household still; For nature so designed it, and so our fathers wrote, And clearly they defined it, that man, alone, should vote.




Music and Politics in the United States 2.79

You wish to be our equal, we prize you something more, And proudly look upon you than angels little lower. We would not have you equal but superior to us; A something we can idolize though fashioned out of dust.

But when from her position, a careless woman's hurled, She's the loathing of our manhood, the scorn of all the world; She loses her identity with all that's noble, then, And seeks the common level of the commonest of men.

I have given my opinion and I hold that it is true - What would strengthen politicians would tend to weaken you. It would bring you to its level in spite of all that's said, And political corruption would show its hydra-head.

Then mothers, wives and sisters, I beg you keep your place; And remain what nature made you - the help-meets of our race. Let no temptation lead you, nor any wily fox, To descend unto the level of the nation's ballot-box.

throughout the nineteenth century their working conditions were deter- mined by large landholders, banks, and railroads, themselves combined in enormous trusts. In the I83os and i84os, agrarian reform movements such as Dorr's Rebellion in Rhode Island and the Anti-Rent Wars in upstate New York had given birth to humorous and biting songs about landholders. Following the Civil War, with rail transport costs rising and mortgage foreclosures, farm tenancy increased dramatically; these developments provoked the Farmers' Alliance, founded in I877. This populist political movement parodied many popular tunes, such as 'Johnny Comes Marching Home' and 'John Brown's Body'. In the I89os, the Alliance movement merged with the Knights of Labor and published the popular political songsters The Alliance and Labor Songster and The Labor Reform Songster. The simple familiar tunes and direct exhortative lyrics were sung in many farmhouses and grange meetings.

In i892z, the Alliance-Knights of Labor coalition formed the Populist (or People's) Party, who used traditional tunes like 'Rosin the Bow' for campaign songs such as 'The Hayseed':

I once was a tool of oppression As green as I could be; And monopolies banded together To beat a poor hayseed like me ...




But now I've roused up a little Their greed and corruption I see And the ticket we vote next November Will be made up of Hayseeds like me.35

Campaign songs were nothing new to the American public; by the I89os, the form had reached a high point from its origins before the American Revolution. In the I 76os, campaign songs had already appeared (in penny broadsides and in the columns of colonial papers) on the struggles between American Whigs and Tories. By the I78os, songs like 'God Save Washington' (to the tune of 'God Save the King') helped elect the first president; others aided the campaign to ratify the Constitution. According to one study, American campaign songs had their most sweeping effect in the election of I840, where the supporters of W. H. Harrison assembled songbooks such as The Tippicanoe Songbook.36 The effect was not only victory but the emergence, for the next seventy-five years, of a stream of presidential odes, songs, waltzes, marches, and polkas for presidential candidates.

The music of the political campaign circulated initially in satires in political journals; in the eighteenth century, however, there is little evidence of how widely these songs were sung. By the mid-nineteenth century, the campaign songster (a collection of lyrics without printed music) had become standard equipment in electoral campaigns, aided by the many sheet music publishers who hoped to find a bonanza in a song about a popular candidate. Most of the melodies of these parodies were popular tunes or patriotic airs such as 'Anacreon in Heaven'.

Campaign music began to decline in importance after the First World War. While 'Keep Cool and Keep with Coolidge' inspired adherents, the candidates to use song most effectively were probably Franklin Roosevelt (whose 'Happy Days are Here Again' and 'We've Got Franklin D. Roosevelt Back Again' came to symbolize his era) and the ill-fated I948 left-wing presidential campaign of Henry Wallace. In the Wallace campaign, the best folk-topical songwriters of the time (including Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger) contributed music.37 After I948, media exposure and advertising gradually took precedence over campaign songs, a symbol of the decreased role of face-to-face campaigning. Songs such as 'Happy Landin' with Landon', 'We're Madly for Adlie', and 'Go With Goldwater' passed quickly into the realm of historical artefact.38

Towards the end of the nineteenth century, the most bitter and prominent strikes and labour battles produced memorable political songs,



Music and Politics in the United States z8i

such as the 'Coal Creek Rebellion' (i 892), where mine owners in Tennessee used convicts as forced labour in the mines. A number of these songs entered southern repertoires.39 The first national strike of the United Mineworkers in I897 gave rise to 'Miner's Lifeguard'. The Haymarket affair of I886, where Chicago workers met to campaign for a shorter workday and against police brutality, popularized songs promoting the eight-hour workday. The Homestead steel strike of i892 and the Pullman strike of I894, two watershed events in the development of American unionism, each produced a wealth of political music, some written to popular tunes such as 'After the Ball'.

Mines and mills were well represented in this upsurge of political music. Songs of the New England textile industry concerned the usual topics of labour protest: occupational safety, wages, and working hours. A classic political song, 'Bread and Roses', emerged from a strike in the textile mills of Lowell, Massachusetts in i 9iz. In one of the strikers' parades, a banner supposedly carried the words, 'We want bread and roses too'40 (see Example 2).

Miners also contributed important political music. The isolation ot working underground, and the feudal conditions under which many miners laboured, produced the most extensive collection of labour-protest songs of any American industry. Since miners traditionally lived in encampments near their workplace - which lacked outside diversions - they fashioned music and entertainment from their isolated surroundings. The alienation and straitened circumstances of mineworkers found expression in the only art form most understood and unselfconsciously practised, singing.41

Modern American Political Music In the twentieth century, political groups which have turned to music have, with a few exceptions, been of a radical cast. A variety of musical forms have been used, including everything from musical comedy to hillbilly country-and-western, from folksongs of social protest to avant-garde jazz and atonal compositions. Among the most dramatic political songs of this century were those of the Industrial Workers of the World.42

The IWW was formed in 1905 out of the remains of the Socialist Labor Party, the Western Federation of Miners, and other socialist groups. Its practice of combining singing and rabble-rousing speeches is said to have originated in Spokane in the i0oos, when an organizer decided to compete with the Salvation Army's street bands by parodying their hymns with




Bread and Roses

Original Key E

As we come march-ing, march - ing, in the beau-ty of the day,

A mil- lion darkened kitch - ens, a thou- sand mill lofts grey,

Are touched with all the ra -diance that a sud-den sun dis -clos-es,

-~~~~~~I I-l II -fl:XXrng 1 For the peo- ple hear us sing-ing, 'Bread and ro-ses, bread and ro - ses'.

As we come marching, marching, in the beauty of the day, A million darkened kitchens, a thousand mill lofts gray, Are touched with all the radiance that a sudden sun discloses, For the people hear us singing, 'Bread and Roses, Bread and Roses'.

As we come marching, marching, we battle too for men, For they are women's children, and we mother them again, Our lives shall not be sweated from birth until life closes, Hearts can starve as well as bodies: 'Give us Bread and give us Roses'.

As we come marching, marching, unnumbered women dead Go crying through our singing their ancient song of bread; Small art and love and beauty their drudging spirits knew Yes, it is bread we fight for, but we fight for roses, too.

As we come marching, marching, we bring the greater days; The rising of the women means the rising of us all. No more the drudge and idler, ten that toil where one reposes, But a sharing of life's glories, 'Bread and Roses, Bread and Roses'.



Music and Politics in the United States 283

lyrics pleading the IWW cause.43 Unlike the more conservative American Federation of Labor, the IWW opened its meetings with songs, and their songbook included the first printing of 'Solidarity Forever', 'The Preacher and the Slave (Pie in the Sky)', 'Hallelujah I'm a Bum', and 'The Red Flag'. Their tunes were largely taken from popular song hits of the 1909-I5 period, or from familiar gospel revival tunes.

The IWW called itself the 'Singingest Union of them all'. The IWW's use of music as a direct organizing arm inspired later song agitators by offering songs as a front-line device for building morale, recruiting new members, and garnering publicity. Their music also functioned as a continuing oral history: many of their major strikes, campaigns, and martyrs were recorded in song. Though a number of old-time IWW members carried on their militant tradition into the I98os, the organiza- tion split and lost much of its membership during the First World War, after taking a militant anti-war stance. The first American anti-war songs of this century were, ironically enough, their final testament.

The IWW's song making (and the populist-Socialist tradition from the nineteenth century) influenced a number of communist movements which fashioned music for their causes in the I930S and I940s. In the Composers Collective (I93 I-3 7), classically trained musicians collaborated on music for their ideal American workers, music which would serve on picket lines while simultaneously uplifting the supposedly poor musical taste of the proletariat. Composing in the era of Schoenberg, Webern, and Berg, these musicians were among the few to speculate that progressive music - not lyrics - could itself stir a revolutionary impulse. They composed a dark, twelve-tone political music mismatched to New York City's ethnic labourers who they expected to sing these creations. Individuals in the group later had more success using musical theatre for their political aims, including 'The Cradle Will Rock' (Marc Blitzstein) and 'The Ballad for Americans' (Earl Robinson).44

During America's Depression, grassroots efforts at labour organizing and education produced topical songs in the nineteenth-century labour song tradition. Commonwealth College, Brookwood Labor College, and the Highlander Folk School collected and popularized rural southern labour song, through songbooks. The early drives of the new Congress of Industrial Organizations stimulated union songs where the initials CIO were zipped into choruses, replacing the name of the American Federation of Labor or other groups, particularly in the needle trades and mining communities. Only rarely did these songs leave their local communities in




the I930S, the exception being those which emerged from the bitter mining strikes in Gastonia and Marion, North Carolina.

The Almanac Singers (I94I-44) were a dozen or so young musicians who lived and performed together in the early I940S to provide musical support to the Communist Party USA and to the Congress of Industrial Organizations. The Almanacs adapted folksongs (by which they meant Appalachian folksongs) to topical issues and sang them as widely as they could, though their most common audience was among eastern European immigrants in unions in New York City.45

People's Songs (I94 5-49) - conceived during the Second World War, before the implications of post-war anti-red campaigns could be foreseen - set out to spread labour and political protest songs through a national organization of radical songwriters and performers. The association, whose bulletin numbered at its highest z,ooo subscribers, employed a variety of forms (cabaret, jazz, ethnic, and folk music) for their political music.46

Following the dissolution of these groups, anthems for political change were created by mass political movements, a development aided by the instantaneous electronic journalism of radio and television. From 1954 to I965, civil rights campaigns in the South made a most effective use of music, beginning with the spirituals which had served slaves in their protests, songs such as 'We Are Soldiers in the Army'. In a second phase, this movement adapted traditional songs - and their melodies - in the same way union organizers had, in radical labour schools in the I930S. Perhaps the most famous example was 'I'll Overcome'.47 The musical- religious roots of songs such as this one were so deeply embedded in the culture of the black southern masses that they succeeded in a way previous political song campaigns did not. By I965, however, songs started to disappear from civil rights marches, as their novelty - and that of the non-violent tactics which this music dramatized - began to fade.

When black musicians forsook the folk-gospel styles of the civil rights period, many sought new musical forms for the issues of the day: soul music, for black nationalism and cultural pride (James Brown, 'Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud'), funk (rock), promoting economic redistribution and rejection of the culture of poverty (War, 'The World is a Ghetto'), and topical blues (John Lee Hooker, 'Viet-Nam Blues'). Black jazz musicians such as Archie Shepp and Charlie Mingus experimented with new tonalities which evoked a dissident socio-political message without need of lyrics.48 Contemporary black pop groups rhyme social



Music and Politics in the United States 2.85

analysis in 'rap' songs, and the overtly revolutionary lyrics of Jamaicans Bob Marley and Peter Tosh popularized another form of Afro-Caribbean- American political music, reggae (itself rooted in Ska and Calypso traditions).

Songs of the Nuclear Disarmament movement, sung by a few in the late 1950S, found new life in the I96os' rising dissatisfaction with American involvement in Vietnam. Though rarely broadcast, underground anti-war songs such as 'Feel Like I'm Fixing to Die' by Country Joe McDonald received wide popularity.49

Towards the end of this decade, insurgent groups increasingly relied on music for political expression. Feminist, environmentalist, even fantasist political groups generated their own music. In the 1970S, advocates of renewable energy sources turned a grassroots campaign against the spread of nuclear-generated power into the most musically fruitful one of the decade, including most contemporary musical styles: folk, rock, disco, country-and-western, new wave, and punk rock.

Scattered right-wing protest songs also emerged in the I950S and I960S: barbershop quartets advocating the Ku-Klux-Klan's doctrines of racial supremacy, songs reflecting a backlash to civil-rights and labour- organizing campaigns, and satires of social protesters in a country-and- western vein (such as Merle Haggard's 'Okie from Muskogie').50 Right- wing activists tried occasionally to imitate left-wing success with folk- protest song (Marty Robbins, campaigning for Governor George Wallace, sang right-wing tunes under the pseudonym, 'Johnny Freedom'). A leader of the Christian Anti-Communist Crusade hired a singer in the I96os to perform compositions such as 'Be Careful of Communist Lies', to the tune of 'Jimmie Cracked Corn'.51 These efforts found few audiences.

Why has political music of a conservative cast - outside of so-called Redneck Rock (right-wing country music) - had little popularity in America? First of all, the overall popularity of recognizably political songs, at least in the twentieth century, has never been widespread, which accounts for the dearth of such songs on the airwaves. In the case of right- wing songs, the public had fewer (and less sophisticated) songs to choose among; some, like 'We Belong to the Ku-Klux-Klan', were too literal to endure. The impoverished tend to be both more populist in political orientation and closer to rustic, tribal traditions, among which is making, rather than buying, music. And then musicians and song-writers as a group tend to be poor; songs of their experience inevitably reflect that perspective.




Types and Function of American Political Music Having briefly defined political music, we can now offer general patterns in its types and functions. While these typologies are based on research in Anglo-American and Afro-American music, they may prove applicable internationally. In terms of topic, the lyrics of political music fall into a number of basic types:

i. Protest and complaint, direct or indirect, against exploitation and oppression.

z. Aspiration towards a better life, a more just society. 3. Topical satire of governments, politicians, landlords, capitalists. 4. Political philosophical themes; political and ethical ideals. 5. Campaign songs of particular parties and movements. 6. Commemoration of popular struggles past and present. 7. Tributes to heroes and martyrs in the popular cause. 8. Expressions of international working-class solidarity. 9. Comment on industrial conditions and working life and the role of

trade unions. i i. Protest against racial and sexual stereotyping. i z. Appeals for renewable energy sources and environmental better-


These categories are descriptive, however, and reveal little of the mechanisms by which songs penetrate a culture and express sentiments which often cannot be uttered in words or print. Political music as a genre might benefit from a sociological-anthropological typology of the func- tions of the idiom. From this perspective, music attempts to:

I. Solicit or arouse support for a movement. z. Reinforce the value structure of individuals who support this

movement. 3. Create cohesion, solidarity and morale for members of this

movement. 4. Recruit individuals into a specific movement. 5. Evoke solutions to a social problem via action. 6. Describe a social problem, in emotional terms.


Paul Schauert

Paul Schauert


Music and Politics in the United States 287

7. Divide supporters from the world around them (an esoteric- exoteric function).

8. Counteract despair in social reformers, when hoped-for change does not materialize.53

These functions are by no means mutually exclusive; a singer could describe a social problem in one breath, evoke a solution in the next, and recruit supporters. These topics and functions of political music could be used in longer studies to evaluate cultural trends; the following examples suggest a method of applying these typologies.

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, early labour songs aired grievances, satirized corrupt officials and practices, commented on industrial conditions and unions, and served as campaign songs; by and large they functioned to arouse support, describe social problems, counteract despair, and evoke positive solutions. For Afro-Americans in slavery times, musical protest had to be couched in religiously coded terms. Overt descriptions of brutal working conditions and aspirations towards a better life existed within the plantation subculture; trickster tales and songs often served as tributes to heroes and martyrs. These songs functioned by recruiting members of antislavery campaigns and escapes and by dividing the slave community into 'ins' and 'outs' according to those who understood the codes of the singers. Thus a song about the elusive 'Grey Goose' ('The hounds couldn't catch him ... The knife couldn't cut him . . .' effectively divided listeners into those who under- stood this as a tale of a goose, and those who heard this as a symbol of resistance.

The IWW probably employed the greatest range of different types of protest songs; its classic Little Red Songbook included almost all of the topic and function categories mentioned. By the early I930S, when the Composers Collective attempted to write its dissonant protest songs, the variety and function of political music had shrunk severely. The Collec- tive's lyrics largely targeted working-class solidarity, with occasional satires and tributes to martyrs and heroes. Collective members postulated another, somewhat preposterous function for their music: uplifting musical taste among the masses. This goal went unachieved.

The Almanac Singers sang tributes to fallen comrades such as 'The Ballad of Harry Sims'; they satirized politicians, campaigned for the CIO, commented on working life and the power of labour, and aspired towards a better society in their music. The one category they did not employ was


Paul Schauert



calls to international working-class solidarity: this demanded an overt rhetoric which the folksy Almanacs could not fluidly adapt. Only in the case of a briefly sung Second World War song, 'Western Front', did they tackle this issue.

The ultimate failures of twentieth-century labour song groups such as People's Songs may have resulted from their reluctance to heed the changing functions of political music. Where, before the Second World War, labour songs recruited members and bolstered morale, after the war unions' situations had changed; the post-war era's emphasis on man- agement-labour collaboration nearly ended singing in the unions.

In the 195Os, left-wing musicians were forced into a defensive posture; here again the function of songs shifted according to the changing historical situation. The songs of sectarian groups could no longer recruit members or describe solutions in terms recognizable to the general public; there was, for all practical purposes, no movement into which to recruit people. Thus in the I95Os, political music reinforced the value structures of individuals in the (now shrinking) movement; the songs reminded the committed of their previous ideals and served as a call to resistance for radicals. Protest songs such as 'Talking Un-American Blues' divided the world in an esoteric fashion, keeping out the faint-of-heart and including the devout.

During the Civil Rights movement of the I96os, the texture and substance of songs shifted; marchers adapted more rock- and pop- oriented tunes as the function of music shifted from recruitment and cohesion to counteracting despair at how slowly change occurred. Subsequent political songsters of the I970S and I98os adopted approaches of greater subtlety, exploring the psychological effects of institutional racism and sex-role stereotyping, rather than attacking international economic and political systems outright.

Besides topic and function, a number of other elements of political music require further study, particularly the context of performance, and the evolution of the music's political significance within a community. The importance of studying performance context was discussed earlier. Obviously each performer brings a musical style, tradition, and repertoire which projects an intrinsic message to an audience. If a performer sings a protest song after telling jokes and singing love songs, the audience will receive it as entertainment; but if the performer does nothing but political music, interspersing his singing with autobiography and social commen- tary, he will produce a different effect. What effect does audience



Music and Politics in the United States 289

expectation have on performers of political music? What happens when groups in an audience have mixed reactions to a political message - with some desiring entertainment and escape, others in agreement with the musician's political intent, and a third group in entire disagreement?

Music's political signification (or code and sign system, in terms of semiotics) is both culture-specific and historical. How does a traditional or popular tune take on and retain political meaning in a community? Three paths are discernible. First, an old song takes on new meanings as historical circumstances change - such as the above-mentioned 'Little Jack Horner' from the times of Henry VIII, or 'We Are Soldiers in the Army', a hymn adopted 'as is' by bus boycotters in Montgomery, Alabama in the mid-I95os. Once a clear historic referent ceases to be shared by audience and performer, such music often re-enters tradition as folk music.

The second, and by far the most common, method is when a tune remains in its traditional or popular version, with new lyrics added. Musicologists refer to this as a 'parody', with no reference or implication of satire; the music of nineteenth-century American populists included many parodies of Appalachian or music-hall songs.

A third possibility - when the words of a song remain the same but the tune changes - rarely occurs. One explanation for this lies with music's connotive (rather than denotive) quality: outside of outright satire, music's political message is seldom explicit. Yet this third variety does appear, such as in the live recording of rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix at the Monterey Pop Festival in I967, where he bends the tune of 'Star-Spangled Banner' into an electric-psychedelic frenzy.54

These last categories suggest future study of political music through analysis of tune-text relationships. At issue in studying parodies, where the text changes but not the tune, are:

i. The parallels with earlier texts. z. The transmission and currency of the new text (who sings and

listens to it?). 3. The performance context of the new version (where and how is it


At issue in the study of a traditional or popular tune modified to fit a topical reference is:

i. The degree and type of variation with the traditional versions.




z. Why and where the change came about - whether from musicians, propagandists, a folk group, etc.

3. Whether the change is significant and enduring (such as in the case of 'We Shall Overcome', where the original version 'I'll Overcome', has been eclipsed by a variant).

From this discussion, it can be seen that considering only the textual changes in a piece of political music may lead to poor scholarship. First of all, songs are not poems; they live and travel in relation to their tunes. Secondly, the choice of tune (and its musical ancestry and context) may determine the transmission, reception, and endurance of the text's message.

Conclusion Ever since the blasts of Joshua's trumpets, political movements have turned to music in the service of their campaigns and causes. In the three- and-a-half centuries since settlers landed in America, music has served as a barometer of political sentiments, whether or not those listening reflected on what it told of their era. Politically oriented musicians have tried to collapse the distance separating singing and organizing, but music has often seemed chimerical when compared with bullets or votes. Music's effect on the political process is subtle and virtually impossible to measure, even in retrospect. The impact of a political song may often be quite separate in time and space from its original performance.

Political music most successfully evokes not the bitterness of repression but the glory of a world remade. Thus music's limitations in political organizing may actually be inherent. As the poet Stephen Spender pointed out, those writing revolutionary songs or poetry may be thwarted by the anti-materialist nature of their craft: 'Music is the most powerful of idealist drugs except religion'.55 Notes

1 Betty Wang, 'Folksongs as Regulators of Politics', in The Study of Folklore, edited by Alan Dundes (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, I965), p. 3I0.

2Thomas Percy, Bishop of Dromore, Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, 3 vols (London: forJ. Dodsley, 1765, 1767, 1775).

3 G. W. Y. Omond, Fletcher of Saltoun (Edinburgh: Oliphant, Anderson, and Ferrier, I 897).

4 Oscar Brand, The Ballad Mongers: The Rise of Modern Folk Song (New York: Funk and Wagnalls, i962), p. 23.

5Richard Dorson, American Folklore and the Historian (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, I971), p. 142.



Music and Politics in the United States 29I

6 Jan Vansina, Oral Tradition (Chicago: Aldine Publishing, 1965), p. 78. 7 Alan Lomax, Folk Song Style and Culture (Washington, DC: American Association for

the Advancement of Science, I968). 8 Interview with the author, 28 August I976; see also David Dunaway, 'Protest-Song in the

U.S.: A Select Bibliography', Folklore Forum, I0 (I977), 8-2S. 9 'If I Had a Hammer' was first performed at a testimonial dinner for the Foley Square

Twelve, on 3 June 1949, see David Dunaway, How Can I Keep from Singing (New York: McGraw Hill, I98 I), pp. 1 3 8-39. 10 ThelmaJames, 'Folklore and Propaganda',JournalofAmerican Folklore, 6i (I948), 3 I1;

John Greenway, American Folksongs of Protest (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1953); Tristram Coffin, 'Folksongs of Social Protest: A Musical Mirage', New York Folklore Quarterly, I4 (I958), 3-9. A recent essay on American 'protest music' is included in The New American Songster, edited by Charles Devling (Lanham, Maryland: University Press, 1983), pp. 3z8-72. 11 David Noebel, Rhythm, Riots and Revolution (Tulsa: Christian Crusade Publications,

I966); R. Serge Denisoff, Great Day Coming: Folk Music and the American Left (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1971), Sing a Song of Social Significance (Bowling Green, Ohio: Bowling Green University Press, 1972).

12 Richard Reuss, 'American Folklore and Left-Wing Politics' (unpublished Ph.D. disserta- tion, Indiana University, 1971); 'The Roots of American Left-Wing Interest in Folksong', Labor History, I 2 (I 97 I), 259-79; 'American Folksong and Left-Wing Politics: 193 5-19 5 6', Journal of the Folklore Institute, I z (I 9 7 5), 8 9-I I I.

13 Phillip Foner, American Labor Songs of the Nineteenth Century (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, I9 7); Archie Green, 'John Neuhaus: Wobbly Folklorist',JournalofAmerican Folklore, 73 (I960); I89-zI7; Only a Miner: Studies in Recorded Coal Miners' Songs (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 197z); 'A Discography of American Coal Miners', Songs', Labor History, z (I 9 6 I), I 0 I-1 5 .

14 A. L. Lloyd, Folk Song in England (London: Lawrence and Wishart, and New York: International Publishers, I967); Simon Frith, Sound Effects (New York: Pantheon, I98I); see also the work of Paul Willis, Profane Culture (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, I978), and 'Pop Music and Youth Culture Groups in Birmingham' (unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Birmingham, 197z); David Harker, One for the Money: Politics and Popular Song (London: Hutchinson, 1980); Ian Watson, Song and Democratic Culture in Britain (London: Croom Helm, 1983). 15 Thomas Wright, The Political Songs of England (London: Camden Society, 1839). This

work also includes Latin, Provensal, and Anglo-Norman texts. 16 Anthony Scaduto, Bob Dylan: An Intimate Biography (New York: Grosset and Dunlap,

197 1), Robert Shelton, No Direction Home (New York: Morrow, I986); Marc Elliot, Death of a Rebel (New York: Anchor, i179); Joe Klein, Woody Guthrie: A Life (New York: Alfred Knopf, I980); Jacques Vassal, Electric Children (New York: Toplinger Publications, 1976); Josh Dunson, Freedom in the Air: Song Movements of the Sixties (New York: International Publishers, i965); Jerome Rodnitzky, Minstrels of the Dawn (Chicago: Nelson-Hall, 1976).

17 Jerome Rodnitzky, 'Popular Music in American Studies', The History Teacher, 7 (1974), 503-04. "I Compare, for example, Seeger's adaptation of 'The Young Man Who Wouldn't Hoe Corn' to 'The Strange Death of John Doe', in the Almanac Singers, Songs for John Doe (io-inch 78 r.p.m., 102, Keynote, 1941), to Jim Garland's 'I Don't Want your Millions, Mister', based on the traditional tune 'Greenback Dollar' in the Almanac Singers, Talking Union and Other Union Songs (iz-inch L.P., FH5z85, Folkways, I955); see also Jim Garland's autobiography, Welcome the Traveler Home, edited by Julia Ardery (Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1983). 19 Alan Lomax, 'Folksong Style', American Anthropologist, 6i (I959), 11-12.




20 Greenway, Preface. 21 Foner, p. 2. 22 A typical collection, after the fact, is Charles Platt, Ballads of NewJersey in the Revolution (Morristown, New Jersey: Jerseyman Print, i896); Governor Cosby's action is cited in Foner, p. 3; musical opposition to British rule is discussed in Brand. 23 Quoted in Foner, p. 5. 24 Foner, p. xiii, Introduction. 25 From the singing of Pete Seeger, 6 March 1977. 26 R. Serge Denisoff, 'Religious Roots of the Song of Persuasion', Western Folklore, 29 (1970), 175-84. 27 Foner, p. 8. 28 The Hutchinson family has been written about by Philip Jordan, Singing Yankees (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1946), and by Carol Brink, Harps in the Wind (New York: Macmillan, 1947), and others; their songs were recorded by the Eastman Chorale, Homespun America (12-inch L.P., SVBX 5309, Vox, 1979). 29 William R. Howe, 'The Negro and his Songs', Southern Workman, 51 (1922), 382.

Quoted in Greenway, p. 68. 30 George Pullen Jackson, Spirituals from the Southern Uplands (Chapel Hill: University of

North Carolina, 1933), reprinted edition (New York: Dover, 1965), passim. 31 Lawrence Levine, Black Culture and Black Consciousness (New York: Oxford, 1977),

p. 5. Political implications of slave music are developed by Eugene Genovese, Roll, Jordan Roll: The World Slaves Made (New York: Pantheon, I974), pp. 580-83. 32 Foner, pp. 5 6-5 7. 33 'The Teardrop Millionaire' is quoted in Foner, pp. 287 and 319. 34 Irwin Silber, Songs America Voted By (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Stockpole Books,

1971), p. 229. The words are by R. A. Cohen, the music is by A.J. Phelps, and it was first published by P. L. Huyett and Son of Saint Joseph, Montana, in 1867. 35 'Hayseed Like Me', recorded by Pete Seeger, American Industrial Ballads (2z-inch L.P.,

FH 525 , Folkways, I965). 36 Silber, Songs America Voted By, pp. 3 3-45. 37 Dunaway, How Can I Keep from Singing, pp. 125-28. 38 Silber, Songs America Voted By, pp. 290 and 298. 39 Collector Ed Kahn associates 'Coal Creek March' with this incident, in his field recording,

Pete Steele, Banjo Tunes and Songs (Iz-inch L.P., FS 3838, Folkways, 1959), notes; see also Richard Reuss, Songs of American Labor: A Discography (Ann Arbor: Labor Studies Center, University of Michigan, I983). 40 Lift Every Voice: The Second People's Songbook, edited by Irwin Silber (New York:

People's Artists/Oak Publications, 1953), p. 3; 'James Oppenheim, inspired by the strike and the slogan, wrote this poem, which was later set to music by Martha Coleman.' 41 George Korson's work concentrated on this industry: Songs and Ballads of the Anthracite

Miner (New York: Grafton Press, I927); Minstrels of the Mine Patch (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 193 8); Coal Dust on the Fiddle (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1943). Companion works are Archie Green, Only a Miner, and 'A Discography of American Coal Miners' Songs'. 42 Green, 'John Newhaus', pp. 189-217. See also the classic 'Little Red Song Book', Songs of the Workers: To Fan the Flames of Discontent (Chicago: IWW, 1973), 34th edition; for the Western Federation of Miners Songs, Southwest Economy and Society, 5 (1979), I-I39. 43 Greenway, pp. 174-75. 44 David Dunaway, 'Unsung Songs of Protest: The Composers' Collective of NY', New York

Folklore, 5 (1978), I-i9. 45 Richard Reuss, 'American Folklore and Left-Wing Politics', pp. z 8-zo; for a conserva- tive appraisal of the Almanacs, see R. Serge Denisoff, 'The Almanac Singers: "Take It Easy,




but Take It"', Journal of American Folklore, 8 3 (1970), 21-3 . See also Dunaway, How Can I Keep from Singing, pp. 79-106. 46 Robbie Lieberman, 'People's Songs and the Politics of Culture' (unpublished Ph.D.

dissertation, University of Michigan, I984). 47 Bernice Johnson Reagon, 'Songs of the Civil Rights Movement, I955-1965' (unpub-

lished Ph.D. dissertation, Howard University, 1975), pp. 64-90; see also Robert Shelton, 'Singing for Freedom; Music of the Integration Movement', Sing Out!, 1 (1961), 4-I7. 48 For readings on the political dimensions of Afro-American Jazz, see Robert Backus, Fire

Music: A Political History of Jazz (Vanguard Books: 1976, no place of publication), and Frank Kofsky, Black Nationalism and the Revolution in Music (New York: Pathfinder Press, 1970). 49 H. B. Auslander, 'A Survey of Vietnam-related Protest Music', Journal of American Culture, 4 (1981), 108-13. 50 Marcello Triuzzi, 'The Ioo% American Songbag: Conservative Folksongs in America',

Western Folklore, z8 ( 969), 27-40; 'Folksongs on the Right', Sing Out!, 13 (1963), 5 -53; and Henrie Glassie, 'Take That Night Train to Selma', in Henry Glassie, Edward D. Ives, and John F. Szwed, Folksongs and their Makers, edited by Roy Browne (Bowling Green, Ohio: Bowling Green University Press, [1972]). 51 R. Serge Denisoff, Great Day Coming, pp. I47-48. 52 This typology is adapted and expanded from Mary Ashraf, Political Verse and Song (Berlin: Seven Seas Press, I975), pp. 24-25. 53 These categories are adapted from R. Serge Denisoff, 'Songs of Persuasion and their

Entrepreneurs', in Sing a Song of Social Significance, pp. 2-3. 54 Jimi Hendrix, 'Wild Thing', Historic Recordings from the Monterey Pop Festival ( 2-inch

L.P., MS 2029, Reprise, 1968). 55 Stephen Spender, 'Poetry and Revolution', in The Thirties and After (New York: Vintage, 1972), p. 32.

Bibliography Ashraf, Mary, Political Verse and Song (Berlin: Seven Seas Press, 1975). Brand, Oscar, The Ballad Mongers. Rise of the Modern Folk Song (New York: Funk and

Wagnalls, 1962). Denisoff, R. Serge, 'Religious Roots of the Song of Persuasion', Western Folklore, 29 (1970),

I75-84. , Sing a Song of Social Significance (Bowling Green, Ohio: Bowling Green University Press, 1972).

Dorson, Richard, American Folklore and the Historian (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1971).

Dunaway, David, 'Protest-Song in the U.S.: A Select Bibliography', Folklore Forum, io (1977), 8-25.

, How Can I Keep from Singing: Pete Seeger (New York: McGraw Hill, 1981, and London: Harrap, 1985).

Foner, Phillip, American Labor Songs of the Nineteenth Century (Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois Press, I975).

Green, Archie, 'A Discography of American Coal Miners' Songs', Labor History, 2 (I961), o10-15.

, 'John Newhaus: Wobbly Folklorist', Journal of American Folklore, 72 (I96o), 189- zI7.

, Only a Miner: Studies in Recorded Coal Miners' Songs (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1972).

Greenway, John, American Folksongs of Protest (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1953).

Music and Politics in the United States 293




Hamm, Charles, 1983, Music in the New World (New York: Norton, 1983). Jordan, Philip, Singing Yankees (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, I946). Lomax, Alan,'Folksong Style', American Anthropologist, 6i (g959), 1-13.

, Folksong Style and Culture (Washington DC: American Association for the Advance- ment of Science, I968).

Lull, James, 'On the Communicative Properties of Music', Communication Research, iz (1985), 363-72..

Reuss, Richard, American Folklore and Left-Wing Politics (Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois Press, forthcoming).

Triuzzi, Marcello, 'The Ioo% American Songbag: Conservative Folksongs', Western Folklore, z8 (I969), 27-40.

Wang, Betty, 'Folksongs as Regulators of Politics', in The Study of Folklore, edited by Alan Dundes (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 193 5).

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Edith Fowke Tunes Transcribed by Norman Cazden

232 pp/6 x 9/pa $12.95; cl $19.95

NC Press Publishers Limited 31 Portland Street, Toronto, Ontario

Canada M5V 2V9


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  • Article Contents
    • p. [268]
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  • Issue Table of Contents
    • Folk Music Journal, Vol. 5, No. 3 (1987), pp. 265-408
      • Front Matter [pp. 265-266]
      • Editorial [p. 267]
      • Music and Politics in the United States [pp. 268-294]
      • William Motherwell as Field Collector [pp. 295-316]
      • Stability and Change in a Sheffield Singing Tradition [pp. 317-358]
      • Note
        • New Evidence for the Abbots Bromley Hobby-Horse [pp. 359-360]
      • Correspondence
        • Singer, Song and Scholar, Edited by Ian Russell (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1986) [p. 361]
        • Database of Computer Readable Folk Music [pp. 361-362]
        • Christina Hole Memorial Appeal [p. 362]
      • Reviews
        • Books
          • Review: untitled [pp. 363-366]
          • Review: untitled [pp. 366-367]
          • Review: untitled [pp. 367-369]
          • Review: untitled [pp. 369-370]
          • Review: untitled [pp. 370-371]
          • Review: untitled [pp. 371-373]
          • Review: untitled [pp. 373-374]
          • Review: untitled [pp. 374-376]
          • Review: untitled [pp. 376-377]
          • Review: untitled [pp. 378-380]
          • Review: untitled [pp. 380-381]
          • Review: untitled [pp. 381-383]
          • Review: untitled [pp. 383-385]
          • Review: untitled [pp. 385-386]
          • Review: untitled [pp. 386-389]
          • Review: untitled [pp. 389-391]
          • Review: untitled [p. 391]
          • Review: untitled [pp. 391-392]
          • Review: untitled [pp. 392-393]
        • Periodical
          • Review: untitled [pp. 393-394]
        • Records and Cassettes
          • Review: untitled [pp. 395-398]
          • Review: untitled [pp. 398-401]
          • Review: untitled [pp. 401-403]
      • Obituaries
        • William Fisher Cassie 1905-1985 [p. 404]
        • Edward Nicol, M.B.E. 1907-1987 [pp. 405-407]
      • Back Matter [pp. 408-408]
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