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 are in 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.

January - March 2017

We kick off the countdown to our 60th Anniversary with with a couple of songs addressing epistemic issues. Knowledge in the age of "fake news." Do we know? Do we have a clue? Does everybody know? That sort of thing.

"I Have No Clue"

From our songbook, we have "I Have No Clue" written by Jimmy Tomasello with the help of a teen guitar class a few years back. "I started playing this riff and said, 'Hey, let's write a song! What should we call it?'" The answered evolved into this little ditty that Michael Miles insisted on adding to the Old Town School Songbook for the 50th anniversary edition. It's dark, it's in minor key, and it's very similar harmonically to loads of pop songs.

Chart for "I Have No Clue"


"Everybody Knows"

"Everybody Knows" by the late Leonard Cohen sheds an ominous light on state of the world today though it was written about 30 years ago. Cohen's version has a capo setting at fret 3 but by all means find a key that works with your voice. Check out some fabulous covers by the likes of Rufus Wainwright, Concrete Blonde, Amanda Palmer, Nora Jones, and others.

Chart for "Everybody Knows"

Here's an interesting Brazilian take on the Cohen tune by local artist and holistic fitness empresario Marylee Bussard. We invite you always to come up with your own version of songs you learn.

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