Susie Jarrell's Folk Song Selection


Needham - In September 2019, I visited Susie Jarrell, in Nantucket, MA where she was turning 103 at the time.  She assembled this short list of essential folk songs, over that Fall, after pouring over the source song books of Alan Lomax, Mike Seeger, the Weavers, Joan Baez, and the like - those who popularized traditional folk music.  Our guidelines in looking for the right numbers were that they should be so well known, as to represent the folk tradition.  And that each song should unerringly express an emotion, message, or theme, in words perhaps, but more so, somehow, in the music itself.  There are enumerable versions of each of these songs.  I picked representative, effectively delivered, if not, great renditions.

Hush little baby    Lullabies and hymns are musical archetypes - so essential and yet available for contemporary renditions, e.g. Mockingbird.  We'll have more to say on this, and the other songs, too.   Thank you, Susie.

Billy Boy, Billy Boy

Down by the riverside

Hallelujah, I'm a bum

Go tell Aunt Rhody


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