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.

May - June 2017

This session we asked the RPA Ensemble to pick the Songs of the Session, and they picked some real winners! For those who don't know, the RPA Ensemble is a Guitar 4Ever class that's been together so long they came up with their own name back in 2014. RPA stands for Ron Powell Appreciation, which is an inside joke. Ask a member to explain or browse the posters on the wall in room B4. They meet religiously every Thursday night in Room E130 under the spirited direction of Steve Dawson.

"Wayfaring Stranger"

Here's a number that's been in the Old Town School songbook (on page 123 of the current version) for most of our 60 years. It's a beautiful melody in the gospel tradition. Rolie polie folkie Burl Ives had a hit with it back in 1959. Most folks remember it by versions from Emmy Lou Harris or bluegrass pioneer, Bill Monroe. Here in the 21st century people have been introduced to it by Jack White's dark reading from the movie Cold Mountain. More recently Ed Sheeran has lent his remarkable pipes to another version incorporating vocal loops. Do yourself a favor and check out renderings through the ages.

Chart for "Wayfaring Stranger"

Choose from many "Wayfaring Strangers" here.

"Lawyers, Guns and Money"

Released in 1978, this is one of the many classic compositions by the multi-talented Warren Zevon.

Among his other hits are "Poor Poor Pitiful Me," "Werewolves of London," "Mohammed's Radio," "Carmelita," "Excitable Boy," and loads more. Born in Chicago in 1947, Zevon grew up in Los Angeles and moved to NYC at the age of 16 to become a folk singer. Enjoy Every Sandwich is a tribute album to Zevon who passed away in 2003 from cancer at age 56. His amusing song is a simple 3 chord banger calling out three ubiquitous items here in 2017.

Chart for "Lawyers, Guns and Money"

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