American Song is a historic collection containing 50,000 songs that users listen to over the Internet.
It will allow people to hear and feel the music from our past. Much more than a repository of well known classics like Yankee Doodle and The Star Spangled Banner, this new resource includes music that relates to almost every walk of American life, every ethnic group, and every time period. You’ll find songs by and about American Indians, miners, immigrants, slaves, children, pioneers, and cowboys. There are the songs of Civil Rights, political campaigns, Prohibition, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and anti-war protests. Hymns, funny songs, college songs, sea shanties, shape note songs, and about topics as diverse as New York and electricity.
What was the human impact of the industrial revolution? Listen to songs sung by coal miners (Eight Hour Day) to understand the long hours and strife that workers and their families endured. During the influx of immigrants to America in the early 1900s, the backlash toward specific immigrant groups was expressed in songs such as No Irish Need Apply. Propaganda during World War II took the form of songs to inspire patriotism, as in I’m Gonna Put My Name Down and If You Want to Do Your Part.
American Song will become the definitive source for American roots music and pre-1960 American popular music. It encompasses the great American musical genres including country, folk, bluegrass, Western, old time, American Indian, blues, gospel, and shape note singing—combined with powerful recordings by artists such as Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Peggy Seeger, Si Kahn, Lead Belly, Sleepy LaBeef, the New Lost City Ramblers, Otis Clay, Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater, Nanci Griffith, The Lilly Brothers, Merle Travis, and many others.
The music comes from Rounder Records, the Smithsonian Institution, Document Records, and other labels and sources. There will be fully searchable lyrics where available, beginning with the second release, along with links to Web resources, sheet music, and more.
LYRASIS members may subscribe at any time.