American Songbag

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The American Songbag was an anthology of American folksongs published by the poet Carl Sandburg in 1927. It was enormously popular and went through many editions.[1]

According to the musicologist Judith Tick:

As a populist poet, Sandburg bestowed a powerful dignity on what the ’20s called the "American scene" in a book he called a "ragbag of stripes and streaks of color from nearly all ends of the earth ... rich with the diversity of the United States." Reviewed widely in journals ranging from the New Masses to Modern Music, the American Songbag influenced a number of musicians. Pete Seeger, who calls it a "landmark", saw it "almost as soon as it came out." The composer Elie Siegmeister took it to Paris with him in 1927, and he and his wife Hannah "were always singing these songs. That was home. That was where we belonged."[2]


  1. ^ Malone, Bill & al. Southern Music/American Music, p. 33. University Press of Kentucky (Lexington), 2003.
  2. ^ Tick, Judith. Ruth Crawford Seeger, A Composer's Search for American Music, p. 57. Oxford University Press (Oxford), 1997.

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