Now, with more than 25 years of intensive research and 'in the field' collecting, Alan Lomax, the most widely recognized authority on folk songs in the world, has assembled over 300 songs, including many familiar favorites plus others that many will be hearing for the first time.
Besides being a collection of memorable songs, this book is also an authoritative and comprehensive history of folk songs in America. For Mr. Lomax believes that folk song is closely related to fantasy and the life of the unconscious and that, in folk songs, the American people have put forth their dreams and their repressed desires, both good and evil. Thus, in tracing the origin and development of each of the songs, Mr. Lomax presents not only a fresh interpretation of American folk music, but, quoting liberally from folk biographies, folk tales, and from other American documents, a peoples' history of the United States. For in these folk songs and in folk comment, the people have set down in plain and delightful language their own view of their American heritage.
Each of the more than 300 songs is ready to be sung and played... with arrangements that even a beginner can perform. Divided into four sections... North, Southern Mountains and Backwoods, Negro South, and West... each song has a piano accompaniment or guitar chords. In addition, there are notes by Mr. Lomax on how the songs should be sung, instructions on how to play American folk guitar and banjo, and bibliographies of records and books.