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Here is a list of featured songs on Dan Crow’s Album, “Sing-A-Ling With Friends”
Pop Goes the Weasel – Originally written as a dance that was popular in England in the 1850’s. In the US it became an expression, much like saying “Just Like That” and was thus used in advertisements at that time. There is also a theory that suggests weasel refers to a weaver’s shuttle that makes a popping sound when in use. Oh, Susanna –Written by Stephen Foster in 1848, it is popularly associated with the California Gold Rush. It was influenced by Rose Of Alabama”(1846), a minstrel song of the time often performed by the original Christy Minstrels. The song was adopted during the Polka Fad of the 1850’s.
Yankee Doodle –A popular patriotic song and the state anthem of Connecticut. It was written before the American Revolutionary War and was based on the tune of a British nursery rhyme, Lucy Locket. The British lyrics were intended to mock the colonial “Yankees”. A “doodle” means a simpleton and “macaroni” a wig that was fashionable in the 1770’s.
I’ve Been Workin’ On The Railroad – An American folk song first published in 1894. Someone’s In The Kitchen With Dinah is actually an older song that was absorbed into the Railroad song and dates back to the 1830’s. The University Of Texas alma mater The Eyes Of Texas uses the same tune, and it is the largest university in America.
The Old Chisholm Trail – An American cowboy song of unknown origin. There are literally thousand of verses and it is sung by every cowpuncher from Canada to Mexico. The Trail was used to move herds of cattle from Texas to the railheads in Kansas from 1866-1874 and the song was, no doubt, sung on those “drives”.
The Crawdad Song – Is a Southern folk song. It was a tune written to accompany a “play party.” During the first hundred years of United States history, many communities allowed play parties as an acceptable form of social interaction.
This Old Man– This American folk song for children dates from the 1870’s. It was published in a school songbook in 1906 and later in 1948 by Pete Seeger. A “paddywack” was described as an angry person in the late nineteenth century.
Buffalo Gals – A traditional American minstrel song first published in 1844 and widely popular throughout the country. The lyrics were often changed to suit the audience as in “New York Gals” or “Boston Gals,” but the best-known version is about Buffalo, New York.
Mama Don’t ‘Low – Difficult to pin down the initial source for this song. It was considered a standard by 1934, because Gene Autry and Smiley Burnett performed it in a movie In Old Santa Fe. In fact, Smiley claimed to be the composer. However, the lyrics have been ever changing and many have registered it under their own name including the famed songsmith, Sammy Cahn. A version of the song was used by WH Handy when he ran for mayor in 1909, so it may even go back further. Best to consider it just another old-time folk song.
She’ll Be Coming Round The Mountain – Believed to have been written in the late 1800’s and based on the old spiritual titled When The Chariot Comes. During the nineteenth century it spread through Appalachia where the lyrics were changed to the current form. The song was later sung by railroad work gangs in the Midwest in the 1890’s.
Skip To My Lou – This is another early American “play-party” song. Since the fiddle and dancing were not accepted by the church in those days, young people would sing and clap this song without instruments. “Skip To My Lou” is a simple game of stealing partners so people could all get acquainted. “Lou” or “loo” is the Scottish word for love.
Polly Wolly Doodle – First published in a Harvard student songbook in 1880 and may have been written by Dan Emmett. It appears in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s manuscript, These Happy Golden Days.
Old Macdonald Had A Farm – Traditional song first published in 1917 in the form of a nursery rhyme. There is an Egyptian Arabic version, Geddo Ali or Grandpa Ali, an Italian version, Nella vecchia fattoria, a Danish version, Jens Hansen har en bondegard and so on. It has been recorded by everyone from Gid Tanner and His Skillet Lickers to Frank Sinatra.
The Wheel On The Bus –A classic children’s song. I wish I knew the origin. Years ago I can remember both Woody Guthrie and Burl Ives doing splendid versions of this song.
Talk Like A Pirate Day – International Talk Like A Pirate Day is a holiday created in 1995 by John Baur and Mark Summers from Albany, Oregon who proclaimed September 19 each year as the day when everyone in the world should talk like a pirate. Syndicated humorist, Dave Barry, wrote an article about it in 2002, because his wife’s birthday is on that day. So is mine, and I celebrate it in this song