Now, with more than twenty-five years of intensive research and "in the field" collecting, Alan Lomax, the most
widely recognized authority on folk songs in the world, has assembled over 300 songs, including many
familiar favorites plus others that many will be hearing for the first time.
Besides being a collection of memorable songs, The Folk Songs Of North America
is also an authoritative and comprehensive history of folk songs in America. For Mr. Lomax
believe that folk song is closely related to fantasy and the life of the
unconscious and that, in folk songs, the American people have put forth their dreams
and their repressed desires, both good and evil. Thus, in tracing the origin and development of each of the songs,
Mr. Lomax presents not only a fresh interpretation of AMerican folk music, but, quoting liberally from folk
biographies, folk tales, and from other American documents, a peoples' history
of the United States. For in these folk songs and in folk comment, the people have set down in plain and delightful language
their own view of their American heritage.
Each of the more than 300 songs is ready to be sung and played—with arrangements that even a beginner can perform. Divided into four sections
—North, Southern Mountains and Backwoods, Negro South, and West — each song has either
a piano accompaniment or guitar chords. In addition, there are notes by Mr. Lomax on how the songs
should be sung, instructions on how to play American folk guitar and banjo, and
bibliographies of records and books.
Stunningly illustrated, The Folk Songs of North America is an invaluable book for both students and fans alike.
About the Authors
Alan Lomax was Assistant Archivist of the Library of Congress folk collection under his father,
John Lomax. In the Kentucky mountains, in jailhouses, on riverboats,
and around cowboy campfires, Mr. Lomax has recorded thousands of authentic songs. He was director of folk
music for Decca Records and editor of the World Library of Folk and Primitive Music
for Columbia Records.
Mr. Lomax has lectured extensively and has been associated with radio both in New York
and with the B.B.C. in London. A Guggenheim Fellow, he is the author of seven other
books on folk music.
Matyas Seiber has arranged all piano accompaniments with Don Banks, who did the Negro
songs employing primitive jazz and blues settings.
Peggy Seeger, well-known folk singer, guitarist, and banjo player, provided the chords for each song and assembled the Appendix, which
describes the various strums to be used.
Michael Leonard has carefully researched the many splendid drawings in this book.