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 2018

"Wade in the Water"

Originally this spiritual song made reference to both the Old and New Testaments. During the Civil War and later, the song was used to let slaves, who were migrating to the North and freedom, know that they should get in the water to avoid being trailed by slave owners and their dogs! It surfaced again during the Civil Rights movement with the Staple Singers' version. Covered by many artists over the years including Odetta, Ramsey Lewis, Ella Jenkins, Bob Dylan, and Tony! Toni! Tone! Open to many harmonies sing it it with fervor.

Chart for "Wade in the Water"


"I Pity the Poor Immigrant"

In 1967, at the onset of psychedelia in pop music and the release of the Sgt. Pepper album, Bob Dylan went to Nashville and recorded the all acoustic album John Wesley Harding. The songs therein, were chock full of biblical references. We have chosen a deep cut from this album because of it's ironic relevance to our current world: "I Pity The Poor Immigrant." Dylan played this at historic Isle of Wight concert in 1969 with most of the Beatles in attendance. Seek out the numerous versions out there and come up with your own.

Chart for "I Pity the Poor Immigrant"