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 approach the middle of 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.

October - December 2014

"Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho"

Found on page 77 of the Old Town School Songbook, "Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho" is a well known African American spiritual. It tells the Old Testament story of the Israelites battle against Canaan. The song was copyrighted in 1865 by Jay Roberts and alludes to the fight for freedom against slavery. Recorded originally in the 1920s, this tune has been covered by Mahalia Jackson, Paul Robeson, the Weavers, and even Elvis Presley. The tune is simple to play with only a few chords but it lends itself to all sorts of arrangements and harmonies. Tear the walls down yourself when you sing and play it with others.

Chart for "Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho"

"The Last DJ" by Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers

The entire album attacks the greediness of the music industry. The song's inspiration comes from LA freeform rock disc jockey Jim Ladd. Petty's tunes are favorites among guitar students and this one is a blast to play. Tom has said about songwriting, "...there's an exception to every rule. It's hard to talk about it generally, because each song is so different. I think my best songs are the ones where you can find different levels of meaning in them. Those are the ones I find the most intriguing... I don't have a method that always works. The process is so random, and yet it keeps happening."

Chart for "The Last DJ"

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