The question "What do you want to be when you grow up?" is one frequently asked of children, which may be some justification for the theme of this third volume in Folkways Records' series called Songs to Grow On. Previous volumes may have been actual children's collections, but this one is subtitled "American Work Songs," and each selection (following Woody Guthrie's introductory statement, "This Land Is Your Land") presents a musical description of an occupation, starting with Sam Eskin's "Lumberman's Alphabet" and continuing through Bill Bonyun's "Down the Hatch" (fishing); Harry "Haywire Mac" McClintock's "Jerry, Go and Oil That Car"; Pete Seeger's "The Young Man Who Wouldn't Hoe Corn"; Guthrie's "Talking Columbia" (about irrigation); Cisco Houston's "Old Blue" (hunting) and "Dark as the Dungeon" (mining); and Leadbelly's "Old Man" (described as a "levee" song) and "Haul Away Joe" (sailing). Whether or not these songs will suggest adult professions to children, they represent a good cross section of the concern of folk music with honest, blue-collar work as performed by some of the top folksingers in the Folkways catalog.
Share this page