• John Henry

    Sung and played on guitar by Gabriel Brown. Long blues instrumental, with only one verse of the ballad sung. Recorded by Zora Neale Hurston, Eatonville, Florida, 1935. Alan Lomax, Zora Neale Hurston, and Mary Elizabeth Barnicle Expedition Collection. sound recording | 1 disc. | Alan Lomax, Zora Neale Hurston, and Mary Elizabeth Barnicle Expedition Collection. (Source). 1935. (Date). Sound Recording (Form).

    • Contributor: Brown, Gabriel - Hurston, Zora Neale - Lomax, Alan - Barnicle, Mary Elizabeth
    • Original Format: Audio Recordings
  • Georgia Skin

    Field Recordings. Interviews. Spoken Word. sound recording | 1 sound disc (2 minutes, 2 seconds) : analog ; 12 in. | A description of the card game "Georgia Skin"--"the most favorite gambling game among the workers of the South." Zora Neale Hurston, originally of Eatonville, Florida, was already a published novelist and folklorist when she took a job with the Federal Writers' Project in ...

    • Contributor: Hurston, Zora Neale - Halpert, Herbert - Kennedy, Stetson - [Kennedy, Stetson] - Hurston, Zora Neale Hurston
    • Original Format: Audio Recordings
    • Date: 1939-06-18
  • Halimuhfack

    Field Recordings. Songs. sound recording | 1 sound disc (2 minutes, 7 seconds) : analog ; 12 in. | A "jook" song, learned on the East coast of Florida. After the song, Zora Neale Hurston describes how she collects and learns songs (including those she has published). Zora Neale Hurston, originally of Eatonville, Florida, was already a published novelist and folklorist when she took ...

    • Contributor: Hurston, Zora Neale - Halpert, Herbert - Kennedy, Stetson - [Kennedy, Stetson]
    • Original Format: Audio Recordings
    • Date: 1939-06-18
  • Tilly, Lend Me Your Pigeon

    Field Recordings. Songs. sound recording | 1 sound disc ( 34 seconds) : analog ; 12 in. | A fragment of a story song from the Bahamas. Zora Neale Hurston, originally of Eatonville, Florida, was already a published novelist and folklorist when she took a job with the Federal Writers' Project in Florida. Performance Note: "Tilly, Lend Me Your Pigeon" (vocals) performed by Zora ...

    • Contributor: Hurston, Zora Neale - Halpert, Herbert - Kennedy, Stetson - [Kennedy, Stetson] - Hurston, Zora Hurston
    • Original Format: Audio Recordings
    • Date: 1939-06-18
  • Mule on the Mount

    Field Recordings. Songs. sound recording | 1 sound disc (4 minutes, 34 seconds) : analog ; 12 in. | The most widely-distributed work song in the United States, with a consistent tune but varying verses. Zora Neale Hurston originally learned "Mule on the Mount" from George Thomas in Eatonville, Florida. Sung here in track-lining rhythm, it is also sung in other work sites, such ...

    • Contributor: Hurston, Zora Neale - Halpert, Herbert - Kennedy, Stetson - [Kennedy, Stetson]
    • Original Format: Audio Recordings
    • Date: 1939-06-18
  • Uncle Bud

    Field Recordings. Songs. sound recording | 1 sound disc (3 minutes, 19 seconds) : analog ; 12 in. | A social song, for amusement, sung by men all over the South; a "jook song," it is not sung in front of respectable ladies. Zora Neale Hurston, originally of Eatonville, Florida, was already a published novelist and folklorist when she took a job with the ...

    • Contributor: Hurston, Zora Neale - Halpert, Herbert - Kennedy, Stetson - [Kennedy, Stetson]
    • Original Format: Audio Recordings
    • Date: 1939-06-18
  • Shove It Over

    Field Recordings. Songs. sound recording | 1 sound disc (2 minutes, 47 seconds) : analog ; 12 in. | A lining rhythm generally distributed throughout Florida, learned from Charlie Jones on a railroad construction camp near Lakeland, Florida, in 1933. Zora Neale Hurston, originally of Eatonville, Florida, was already a published novelist and folklorist when she took a job with the Federal Writers' Project ...

    • Contributor: Hurston, Zora Neale - Halpert, Herbert - Kennedy, Stetson - [Kennedy, Stetson]
    • Original Format: Audio Recordings
    • Date: 1939-06-18
  • Wake Up, Jacob

    Field Recordings. Songs. sound recording | 1 sound disc (1 minute, 34 seconds) : analog ; 12 in. | A holler sung by the shack-rouster, or man hired to wake up the workers in a big work camp. This one was heard at a sawmill in Polk County. Zora Neale Hurston, originally of Eatonville, Florida, was already a published novelist and folklorist when she ...

    • Contributor: Hurston, Zora Neale - Halpert, Herbert - Kennedy, Stetson - [Kennedy, Stetson]
    • Original Format: Audio Recordings
    • Date: 1939-06-18
  • Let's Shake It

    Field Recordings. Songs. sound recording | 1 sound disc (2 minutes, 53 seconds) : analog ; 12 in. | A Negro track-lining chant, learned at a railroad camp in [Callahan?] (North Florida) in 1935. Zora Neale Hurston, originally of Eatonville, Florida, was already a published novelist and folklorist when she took a job with the Federal Writers' Project in Florida. Performance Note: "Let's Shake ...

    • Contributor: Hurston, Zora Neale - Halpert, Herbert - Kennedy, Stetson - [Kennedy, Stetson]
    • Original Format: Audio Recordings
    • Date: 1939-06-18
  • Crow Dance

    Field Recordings. Songs. sound recording | 1 sound disc (1 minute, 23 seconds) : analog ; 12 in. | A song from the Bahama Islands, said by Dr. [Melville] Herskovits to have originated in West Africa, where the crow is sacred. Zora Neale Hurston, originally of Eatonville, Florida, was already a published novelist and folklorist when she took a job with the Federal Writers' ...

    • Contributor: Hurston, Zora Neale - Halpert, Herbert - Kennedy, Stetson - [Kennedy, Stetson]
    • Original Format: Audio Recordings
    • Date: 1939-06-18
  • Dat Old Black Gal

    Field Recordings. Songs. sound recording | 1 sound disc (1 minute, 25 seconds) : analog ; 12 in. | A railroad spiking song learned in Miami from Max Ford, the singing liner. Zora Neale Hurston, originally of Eatonville, Florida, was already a published novelist and folklorist when she took a job with the Federal Writers' Project in Florida. Performance Note: "Dat Old Black Gal" ...

    • Contributor: Hurston, Zora Neale - Halpert, Herbert - Kennedy, Stetson - [Kennedy, Stetson]
    • Original Format: Audio Recordings
    • Date: 1939-06-18
  • Let the Deal Go Down

    Field Recordings. Songs. sound recording | 1 sound disc (2 minutes, 28 seconds) : analog ; 12 in. | A gambling song to accompany the game "Georgia Skin," learned at a turpentine camp in Florida. Zora Neale Hurston, originally of Eatonville, Florida, was already a published novelist and folklorist when she took a job with the Federal Writers' Project in Florida. This recording begins ...

    • Contributor: Hurston, Zora Neale - Halpert, Herbert - Kennedy, Stetson - [Kennedy, Stetson]
    • Original Format: Audio Recordings
    • Date: 1939-06-18
  • Evalina

    Field Recordings. Songs. sound recording | 1 sound disc ( 58 seconds) : analog ; 12 in. | A group song, usually sung with drums. This song is sung in Florida as well as in the West Indies, because there are a great number of Bahamians in Florida. Dr. Carita Doggett Corse, state director of the Florida Federal Writers' Project, interviews Zora Neale Hurston, ...

    • Contributor: Hurston, Zora Neale - Halpert, Herbert - Kennedy, Stetson - Corse, Carita Doggett - [Kennedy, Stetson]
    • Original Format: Audio Recordings
    • Date: 1939-06-18
  • Gonna See My Long-Haired Babe

    Field Recordings. Songs. sound recording | 1 sound disc (4 minutes, 1 second) : analog ; 12 in. | A railroad work (spiking) song, learned from Max Ford, an old railroad employee on a construction gang near Miami ca. 1930. Zora Neale Hurston, originally of Eatonville, Florida, was already a published novelist and folklorist when she took a job with the Federal Writers' Project ...

    • Contributor: Hurston, Zora Neale - Halpert, Herbert - Kennedy, Stetson - [Kennedy, Stetson]
    • Original Format: Audio Recordings
    • Date: 1939-06-18
  • Oh, the Buford Boat Done Come

    Field Recordings. Instrumental Music. Songs. sound recording | 1 sound disc (1 minute, 6 seconds) : analog ; 12 in. | A dance song in the Charleston rhythm from the Geechee country in South Carolina, learned in Florida from a Geechee woman. "Geechee," or "Gullah," refers to a group of African Americans who settled on the sea islands of South Carolina and Georgia. Their ...

    • Contributor: Hurston, Zora Neale - Halpert, Herbert - Kennedy, Stetson - [Kennedy, Stetson]
    • Original Format: Audio Recordings
    • Date: 1939-06-18
  • Po' Gal

    Field Recordings. Songs. sound recording | 1 sound disc (3 minutes, 4 seconds) : analog ; 12 in. | A blues tune sung throughout the South. "The words are not rhymed; it's the typical Negro pattern, the same line repeated three times with a sort of flip line on the end; and the change is in the tune rather than in the words, for ...

    • Contributor: Hurston, Zora Neale - Halpert, Herbert - Kennedy, Stetson - [Kennedy, Stetson]
    • Original Format: Audio Recordings
    • Date: 1939-06-18
  • Mama Don't Want No Peas, No Rice

    Field Recordings. Songs. sound recording | 1 sound disc (3 minutes, 15 seconds) : analog ; 12 in. | A song from Nassau, the Bahama Islands, sung at jumping dances and fire dances. According to Zora Neale Hurston, "They're great songmakers, and their tunes are decidedly more African than the ones made by the Negroes in America. They make songs so rapidly, they say, ...

    • Contributor: Hurston, Zora Neale - Halpert, Herbert - Kennedy, Stetson - [Kennedy, Stetson]
    • Original Format: Audio Recordings
    • Date: 1939-06-18
  • Oh Mr. Brown

    Field Recordings. Songs. sound recording | 1 sound disc (1 minute, 5 seconds) : analog ; 12 in. | A Nassau song from the Bahamas, sung when jumping the fire dance. "The fire dance is some sort of African survival in the West Indies, and they beat the drums and sing these little songs." Zora Neale Hurston, here interviewed by Dr. Carita Doggett Corse ...

    • Contributor: Hurston, Zora Neale - Halpert, Herbert - Kennedy, Stetson - Corse, Carita Doggett - [Kennedy, Stetson] - Hurston, Zora Hurston - Halpert, Hurston
    • Original Format: Audio Recordings
    • Date: 1939-06-18
  • Uncle Bud

    Field Recordings. Songs. sound recording | 1 sound disc (1 minute, 46 seconds) : analog ; 12 in. | This is 'Uncle Bud' sung by James Brown and Rufus Bland.'" According to Zora Neale Hurston, who also performed a version of this song for a WPA fieldworker, this is a social song, for amusement, sung by men all over the South; it's a "jook ...

    • Contributor: Brown, James - Bland, Rufus - Corse, Carita Doggett - Cornwall, Robert - [Brown, James]
    • Original Format: Audio Recordings
    • Date: 1940-07-01
  • Stewboy

    Field Recordings. Songs. sound recording | 1 sound disc (2 minutes, 12 seconds) : analog ; 12 in. | This song combines "Stewball" with gambling verses. The last verse was not recorded (cf. Zora Neale Hurston's version, "Mule on the Mount"). The singer, a 30-year-old born in Georgia and reared in Florida, worked as a waterboy (aged 15-16) in middle Florida. Performance Note: "Stewboy" ...

    • Contributor: Hazelhurst, Harold B. - Halpert, Herbert - Kennedy, Stetson - [Kennedy, Stetson]
    • Original Format: Audio Recordings
    • Date: 1939-06-18
  • " John Henry"

    Whether or not the legend has an historical basis, the story of a man whose worth and identity are measured only by his strength, which is then challenged by the advent of steam power, is one that has endured for over a century. John Henry's complaint to the work "captain," "A man ain't nothing but a man," found in most versions of the ballad, ...

  • Bahamian American Song

    A relatively new style of music in the 1930s and 40s when these recordings were made was jazz, using the piano and brass instead of, or sometimes in addition to, traditional Bahamian instruments. For example, a traditional version of the Bahamian song "Hoist Up the John B Sail" is sung by Robert Butler accompanied by Theodore "Tea Roll" Rolle. Rolle, a jazz composer, singer, ...

  • Regional Song Sampler: The Southeast

    Return to Mapping the Songs of America

  • Songs of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl Migrants

    "I'm Going Down this Road Feeling Bad," is a traditional song that may date from an earlier period, but that expresses sentiments surely felt by displaced workers during the Great Depression. In this presentation there are versions sung by Warde Ford, who traveled to Wisconsin to California to find work with the CCC and by Dust Bowl migrants Ruth Huber and Lois Judd.

  • African American Song

    From rappers like André 3000 (1975–) and pop stars like Michael Jackson (1958–2009), to opera singers like Denyce Graves (1964–) and gospel artists like Yolanda Adams (1961–), African American vocal artists continue to shake up and shape the musical culture of the United States in profound ways.

  • Printable Timeline -- The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America

    1850 Songs of America Stephen Foster composes 'The Voice of Bygone Days', 'Molly, Do You Love Me?', and 'Ah! May the Red Rose Live Alway!' 'Go Down Moses,' a spiritual sung by the Tuskegee Institute Singers, 1914. Harriet Tubman reported using this song to identify herself to slaves that might want to escape and flee north with her by singing it in a neighboring ...

  • Printable Timeline -- The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America

    1900 Songs of America Amy Marcy Cheney Beach sets to music Three Browning Songs, including "Ah, Love, But a Day and "The Year's at the Spring." John Rosamond Johnson writes the anthem "Lift Every Voice and Sing" to lyrics by James Weldon Johnson. The King Family performs the traditional dance song "Cripple Creek" on string band instruments: banjo, mandolin, guitar, fiddle, and bass fiddle. ...

  • Children's Songs -- The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America

    Children's songs may include songs that adults sing or teach to children, songs children pass along to each other, and songs that children compose themselves. These distinctions are not always clear cut, however, as adults may teach children songs that they learned from other children in childhood, and children may pass along songs learned from adults to other children. Playlist Five recordings from Library ...