Music to Our Ears and Eyes: The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America February 10, 2014 – Posted in: Exhibits, Libraries – Tags: ,

LOC songs of america 1Robert Winslow Gordon, first head of the Archive of American Folk-Song, at the Library of Congress, with part of the cylinder collection and recording machinery, about 1930.

“Know the songs of a country and you will know its history for the true feeling of a people speaks through what they sing.”

– Preface to The Songs of Henry Clay Work (1884)

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The latest stellar online exhibit from The Library of Congress, Songs of America, celebrates:

American history as documented in the work of some of our country’s greatest composers, poets, scholars, and performers. From popular and traditional songs, to poetic art songs and sacred music, the relationship of song to historical events from the nation’s founding to the present is highlighted through more than 80,000 online items

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That’s right, 80,000 items!

Sheet music, audio recordings, videos, interviews, and more. Work songs, religious songs, protest songs, ceremonial songs, songs of life and songs of death, Mexican songs, African American songs. And all supplemented by biographies, interactive maps, a timeline, scholarly essays and articles.

From the Star Spangled Banner to Lincoln’s Funeral March to Traditional Chinese Zheng Music  and everything in between Songs of America is an astonishing repository of the rich musical depth of the United States.

Just how amazing is this collection? There are 55 items related soley to the song Amazing Grace with versions from the likes of Johnny Cash, Elvis, Willie Nelson, The Byrds and Sam Cook.

LOC songs of americaIn our own dear homes again! By John Ross Dix

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Hard times come again no more.  Stephen Collins Foster, Firth, Pond & Co., New York, 1854

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Kissing by Billy Carter. Willis Woodward & Co., New York, 1882
LOC songs of america 7Woody Guthrie

The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America | Library of Congress.

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