At first glance, it might seem that this collection of 16 brief folk songs by five folksingers -- Pete Seeger, Adelaide Van Wey, Cisco Houston, Charity Bailey, and Leadbelly -- doesn't justify either the title Songs to Grow On or the subtitle School Days. Relatively few of the songs are really children's songs, per se. Many are simply traditional folk songs, some with a distinctly nautical tone ("The Mail Boat," "Crawdad Song," "Cape Cod Chantey"). They are, however, songs full of references to animals, always a big feature of children's material, and often they are the kinds of songs one could imagine being sung by children in the schoolyard, perhaps to accompany games such as skipping rope. Still, Folkways seems to be assembling tracks to fit into a predetermined concept rather than presenting a recording specifically intended for children.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann
feat: Adelaide Van Wey