Pete Seeger
Hard Travelin': The Asch Recordings, Vol. 3


Each country has their own folk music, but the genre usually refers to American and British music that has been passed through the generations by oral tradition. It's simple, acoustic-based music that spins everyday events and common people into mythic status. Many traditional folksongs have no known author, they have simply evolved over the years. Most of the earliest recorded folk music was of this nature, but with Woody Guthrie, topical folk began making its way to record. Still, many artists, including the Weavers and Pete Seeger, chose to mix traditional songs with newer material, either written by the artists themselves or other contemporary musicians. Initially, Bob Dylan functioned in that style, but by his second album, =The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan,= he began relying entirely on original material, thereby ushering the modern era of folk, where most performers sang their own (usually personally and introspective) material, and only occasionally throwing in covers.

Folk Song Highlights

Title/Composer Performer Stream
Streets of London Ralph McTell
We Shall Overcome Pete Seeger
(Good Night) Irene Lead Belly
Tom Dooley The Kingston Trio
This Land Is Your Land Woody Guthrie
Alice's Restaurant Massacree Arlo Guthrie
City of New Orleans Steve Goodman
Who Knows Where the Time Goes? Fairport Convention
Freight Train Elizabeth Cotten
Both Sides Now Judy Collins
If I Had a Hammer (The Hammer Song) Peter, Paul and Mary
I Ain't Marching Anymore Phil Ochs
Midnight Special Lead Belly
He's Got the Whole World in His Hands Odetta
Black Mountain Rag Doc Watson
Diamonds & Rust Joan Baez
Needle of Death Bert Jansch
Where Have All the Flowers Gone? The Kingston Trio
Green, Green The New Christy Minstrels
Puff (The Magic Dragon) Peter, Paul and Mary
The Universal Soldier Buffy Sainte-Marie
Guantanamera Pete Seeger
So Long (It's Been Good to Know Yuh) The Weavers
One Meatball Josh White
Four Strong Winds
Chad Mitchell
Poor Boy John Fahey
Greenback Dollar The Kingston Trio
Blowin' in the Wind Peter, Paul and Mary
Jack O'Diamonds Odetta
Love Is Just a Four-Letter Word Joan Baez
John Henry Woody Guthrie
Grandfather's Clock Doc Watson
500 Miles Peter, Paul and Mary
Pretty Boy Floyd Woody Guthrie
Midnight Special Odetta
Violets of Dawn Eric Andersen
Leaving on a Jet Plane Peter, Paul and Mary
Waist Deep in the Big Muddy Pete Seeger
Rock Island Line Lead Belly
Alberta Lead Belly
Take This Hammer Odetta
Rambling Hobo Doc Watson
Thirsty Boots Eric Andersen
Amazing Grace Judy Collins
Oh, Babe, It Ain't No Lie Elizabeth Cotten
It'll Take a Long Time Sandy Denny
I Hear America Singing Bob Gibson
You Never Even Call Me by My Name Steve Goodman
The Motorcycle Song Arlo Guthrie
So Long (It's Been Good to Know Yuh) Woody Guthrie

Folk subgenres and styles [+]