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Song of America

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Song of America album cover
Disc 1 of 3
01
Lakota Dream Song
Artist: Earl Bullhead
3:08
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02
Once More Our God Vouchsafe To Shine
Artist: Julie Lee
3:07
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03
Let Us Break Bread Together
Artist: Blind Boys Of Alabama
3:49
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04
God Save The King
Artist: John Wesley Harding
3:49
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05
Young Ladies In Town
Artist: Elizabeth Foster
3:01
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06
The Old Woman Taught Wisdom
Artist: Malcolm Holcombe
6:30
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07
The Liberty Song
Artist: Ed Pettersen
4:59
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08
Yankee Doodle
Artist: Harper Simon
3:29
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09
Jefferson & Liberty
Artist: The Wilders
2:10
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10
Hail Columbia
Artist: Steven Kowalczyk-Santoro
2:56
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11
The Star Spangled Banner
Artist: Take 6
2:03
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12
Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child
Artist: Beth Nielsen Chapman
5:09
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13
Peg and Awl
Artist: Freedy Johnston
4:34
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14
Sweet Betsy From Pike
Artist: BR5-49
4:23
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15
Trail of Tears
Artist: Will & Jehnean
4:35
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16
Declaration Of Sentiments
Artist: Minton Sparks / Pat Flynn
4:34
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17
Go Down Moses
Artist: The Fisk Jubilee Singers
3:43
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18
Dixie's Land
Artist: Thad Cockrell, The Mavericks
6:13
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Disc 2 of 3
01
John Brown's Body
Artist: Marah
2:40
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02
Battle Hymn of the Republic
Artist: Joanna Smith
5:15
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03
Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye
Artist: Janis Ian
2:09
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04
Thousands Are Sailing To Amerikay
Artist: Tim O'Brien
4:24
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05
The Farmer Is The Man
Artist: Otis Gibbs
3:03
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06
Home On The Range
Artist: Joni Harms
4:30
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07
Stars & Stripes Forever
Artist: Jake Shimabukuro
2:28
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08
Sleep, My Child (Schlof Mayn Kind)
Artist: Neilson Hubbard, Judith Edelman
4:47
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09
Over There
Artist: Jen Chapin
2:31
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10
How Ya Gonna Keep 'Em Down On The Farm
Artist: Andrew Bird
5:04
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11
Lift Every Voice and Sing!
Artist: Karen Parks
5:11
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12
Happy Days Are Here Again
Artist: Danielson
3:05
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13
Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?
Artist: Andy Bey
6:30
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14
Seven Cent Cotton and Forty Cent Meat
Artist: Jim Lauderdale
2:11
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15
Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos)
Artist: Old Crow Medicine Show
4:56
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16
Rosie The Riveter
Artist: Suzy Bogguss
2:31
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17
Reuben James
Artist: Folk Family Robinson
4:04
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Disc 3 of 3
01
The Great Atomic Power
Artist: The Grascals, Elizabeth Cook
2:45
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02
Little Boxes
Artist: Devendra Banhart
4:08
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03
The Times They Are A Changin'
Artist: The Del McCoury Band
3:49
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04
Apache Tears
Artist: Scott Kempner
3:42
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05
Get Together
Artist: Kim Richey
4:01
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06
Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud
Artist: Charles Walker, The Dynamites
4:32
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07
Ohio
Artist: Ben Taylor
2:40
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08
What's Going On?
Artist: Anthony David
5:02
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09
I Am Woman
Artist: Martha Wainwright
3:27
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10
Youngstown
Artist: Matthew Ryan
4:14
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11
Wave
Artist: Chris Eckman, Gary Heffern
4:35
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12
The Message
Artist: Shortee Wop
6:34
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13
Streets of Philadelphia
Artist: Bettye Lavette
3:49
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14
Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning
Artist: The Wrights
5:30
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15
This Land Is Your Land
Artist: John Mellencamp
4:10
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Album Information
EDITOR'S PICK

Total Tracks: 50   Total Length: 200:29

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They Say All Music Guide

Any reasonable music fan would be forgiven for being wary of a collection of American folk music whose executive producer was former attorney general Janet Reno, but as it happens Reno knows more about such things than one might expect. At the very least Reno had the good judgment to suggest singer, songwriter and activist Ed Pettersen coordinate an album of songs that reflected different aspects of American history, from the colonial period to the present day. Pettersen’s long gestating project, Song of America, has finally surfaced as a hefty three-CD set, featuring 50 songs from as many artists, and the final product is frequently fascinating and ambitious stuff, music that demonstrates how art mirrors our history and how that art can carry its message in a broad range of interpretations. Pettersen, co-producers David Macias and Bob Olhsson, and their cast of singers and musicians are clearly mindful of the message and context of these songs, but they don’t insist on treating them with kid gloves; the discordant horns on John Wesley Harding’s “God Save the King” boldly reflects the chaos of the Revolution, Danielson’s interpretation of “Happy Days Are Here Again” is at once playful and aware of the dark shadows of the Depression, the Mavericks transform “Dixie’s Land” into a spectral anthem to a cause that would soon be lost, and “The Times They Are A Changin’” seems to speak to both past and present through the Del McCoury Band. Pettersen and company are also smart enough to realize that while the folk process has changed, it’s hardly stopped, and that the work of James Brown, Bruce Springsteen, Grandmaster Flash, and Marvin Gaye are all a part of the broad banner of our history, with their works interpreted with the same intelligence and thoughtfulness as the traditional numbers. The set closes with John Mellencamp singing Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land,” and in this context, Guthrie’s simple but eloquent song has rarely displayed a greater resonance, revealing how these tunes don’t merely reflect our lives and history, but are a living part of it. Song of America is hardly the first album that seeks to chart this nation’s progress through song, but few have done it with this degree of intelligence and imagination, and everyone involved deserved to be congratulated for creating something very special indeed. – Mark Deming

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