Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thanksgiving Folk Music

As a member of the folklore family, folk music is music that has been transmitted orally and, unlike classical music, was often created by unknown composers. However, there are some folk songs as you will see in the case of Thanksgiving folk songs whose lyrics and music were carefully recorded.

Notice though, that some of the songs were originally hymns and in some cases they were adaptations with no credit given to the 'originator.

Around the 1950's folk music came to define popular music that is based upon traditional folk music. Only now it's heard in concerts, recordings and live broadcasts.

Think Woody Guthrie or Peter, Paul and Mary and you've got the idea.

Anyway, we never sang these songs in our home at Thanksgiving, even though it was my mother's favorite holiday. The first-born American from Rhodes immigrants, she loved all things America!

But in school, we'd gather together on Thursday afternoon in the multi-purpose room to belt out some of the more common Thanksgiving folk songs. I loved them, even though I couldn't (and still can't) carry a tune.

If you are interested in singing Thanksgiving songs with friends and family this Thanksgiving, here's a partial list of songs to consider:

==Turkey in the Straw. Lyrics and music composer(s) unknown.

== Come, Ye Thankful People Come. Sir George J. Elvey (1816-1893), organist at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle wrote the music to the well-loved Thanksgiving hymn about 1844. The lyrics are by Henry Alford (1810-1871).
== To Gramma's House (to the melody of Farmer in the Dell), lyrics unknown.
== Grandma Stuffed the Turkey by Ronald J. Euliano in 1997.
== We Gather Together. 17th century Dutch settlers brought the Prayer of Thanksgiving to the United States where it acquired music based upon a Netherlands folk hymn.

Here are few resources for lyrics and more:
Top Turkey Tunes for Tots
Songs for Teaching

Happy Singing!

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