Historical Issue Analysis and Decision-Making: Temperance
The collection offers a number of songs reflecting the social concern over the potential dangers of alcohol. These songs are generally either militant or sentimental in tone. While songs such as The Temperance Army demonstrate the movement as a religious cause, others such as The Drunkard's Daughter reflect the social problems caused by the use and abuse of alcohol from its first verse:
"Out on the street with naked feet, I saw the drunkard's daughter. Her tattered shawl was thin and small. She little knew; for no one taught---her. . . ."
"I'll sober up, and shake the cup, Drink nothing but coffee and Tay; I'll sock my head and go to bed. I'm all broke up to-day."
Students can examine how such concerns led to social change and foreshadowed the era of Prohibition. Additional searches on temperance, drunkard, and poor offer more details of alcohol as a social problem. Students can determine the value of temperance (and, subsequently, prohibition) and use these materials as a resource for an expository essay or discussion.