Songs of the Session

In an effort to recreate and honor a tradition that was begun back in 1957, when Frank Hamilton would teach the same song to different levels of players, we proudly present The Songs of The Session.

Each session two songs are chosen, one from the songbook and one from the general repertoire. All classes are encouraged to learn these tunes and apply the skills they are working on at their individual levels.

As we start the second decade of the century, our songs of this session exhibit the diversity that is so much a part of the Old Town School experience. These songs are rich in tradition and there is simply no reason why they can't be approached by any of the instruments we teach here at The Old Town School.

March - April 2014

"Old Time Religion"

From the Old Town School Songbook, "Old Time Religion" page 91. A song first attributed to the African-American gospel tradition and published in 1873. It has sustained through many generations of religious and secular music. Covered by Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Mahalia Jackson, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Jim Reeves, the Band, and countless others. Some folks may recognize it from the HBO series Carnivale. We suggest that you come up with a few verses of your own on this one. Just in time for Lent, Passover, etc.

Chart for "Old Time Regligion"


Our non-songbook selection this session continues our celebration of the music & life of Pete Seeger. "Guantanamera" is a song from a poem by Cuban poet José Martí that Seeger adapted, with the intention that it be used by the peace movement at the time of the Cuban missile crisis. He urged that people sing the song as a symbol of unity between the American and Cuban peoples and called for it to be sung in Spanish to "hasten the day [that] the USA... is some sort of bilingual country." It was made popular by a group called the Sandpipers in the mid '60s. It chorus has been sung all over the world.

Chart for "Guantanamera"

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