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.

June - August 2017

It's Summer Session at Old Town School and as always we try to link our Songs of the Session with the Kids Arts Camp. The theme this year is Colors so the songs picked are as follows:

"Old Blue"

First, we have "Old Blue" from the Songbook on page 89. It's a ditty about a hunting dog that goes way back to the minstrel era. Jim Jackson's version on the Anthology of American Folk Music had an impact on many artists including Joan Baez, Willie Nelson, and the Byrds. We enjoy Furry Lewis' version where he makes his "guitar sound like a banjo." Another variation shows up in the film version of August Wilson's play Fences. Our hope is you come up with a version that you can call your own.

Chart for "Old Blue"


"Colours," a song popularized by Donovan in the '60s, is our non-Songbook selection this summer. It was loosely based on an Appalachian ballad called "Black Is The Color." That original song has been covered by Nina Simone, Pete Seeger, John Jacob Niles, and countless others. Donovan in his efforts to emulate Bob Dylan transformed the original into his own version, which achieved some commercial success and become a folk standard after a re-recorded rendering was included on Donovan's Greatest Hits. Stop by our Resource Center and you'll find it in one of our older songbook editions.

Chart for "Colours"

The Old Town School of Folk Music, Inc.
4544 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago IL 60625  •  773.728.6000