Friday Music: Precious Friends

I listen to a lot of kids’ music these days. So here’s one of my favorites, in two versions. First, the cover, from the wonderful Canadian trio, Sharon, Lois, and Bram. And below the lyrics.

Just when I thought
All was lost, you changed my mind.
You gave me hope, (not just the old soft soap)
You showed that we could learn to share in time.
(You and me and Rockefeller)
I’ll keep pluggin’ on,
Your face will shine through all our tears.
And when we sing another little victory song,
Precious friend, you will be there,
Singing in harmony,
Precious friend, you will be there.

But if you know this song, you know its origins: the great Pete Seeger. This is the version I found myself listening to late at night, just after the election last year, for a bit of consolation. Easy to sing along, hopeful without being saccharine, and a lot of fun to dance to. Enjoy!

Blog note: Maybe the only silver lining to Eva heading out into the great wide open for a few weeks, at least from my perspective (because hey, she’s on vacation!), is that I get to take over Friday Music posts for a little while. So get ready for some toddler-friendly music with an emphasis on banjo. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Friday Music: Matisyahu’s Reservoir

In honor of Passover, a song with allusions to the Exodus by Matisyahu, the American musician. Emphasis is on his voice and the lyrics.

You can read a review of the Akeda album, from which Reservoir is taken, here. (Akeda is Hebrew and refers to the binding of Isaac).

“Reservoir” (lyrics courtesy of A-Z Lyrics)

I just wanna talk to You now
This is for the One
You kept me alive
And so I thank You

Moses is on his way down town Continue reading “Friday Music: Matisyahu’s Reservoir”

Series Catch-Up!

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We’ve been working on a couple of series lately, and since we editors are slammed in our ordinary lives, it seems like a good day to collect both of those in one giant in-case-you-missed-it post. Enjoy!

Oral History:

The Music of Social Movements:

Resources for Black History Month…and All Year Long

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Allan Rohan Crite, School’s Out, 1936. Via Smithsonian Education.

Here are a few things that we’ve encountered lately that would be great additions to the classroom, whether during Black History Month or at any other time of the year.

The National Museum of African American History & Culture has an interactive online feature, Collection Stories,  curated by NMAAHC staff. Staff members choose an area of focus based on items in the museum’s collection. The resulting stories include images of the items, historical discussion, and thoughts from the curator on why these stories are so important to African American history and culture.

We especially enjoyed “Dress for the Occasion,” a story centered around the dress that Carlotta Walls wore when she integrated Little Rock Central High School in 1957 as one of the Little Rock Nine. Check it out get a glimpse of the school, her diploma, and the process behind choosing the dress that she wore for that first day of school.

From Smithsonian Education, we’d like to highlight two sets of lesson plans. Both include material appropriate for kindergarteners all the way through high school, available for download as zip files.

The Art and Life of William H. Johnson includes detailed information on how the curriculum meets Visual Art, History, and Language Arts standards. Younger students analyze color choices, subject matter, and older students conduct comparative analysis with works from other artists (including this post’s header image, by Allan Rohan Crite).

Finally, The Blues and Langston Hughes does just what you’d think: compares the poetry of Langston Hughes with blues rhythms, structures, and lyrics that most students are probably already familiar with, whether they know it or not. Younger students write their own simple poems; older students dig into the Smithsonian Folkways’ collection of blues recordings from The Great Migration.

And speaking of Smithsonian Folkways…we have one more recommendation after all. Check out Say It Loud for hours from their collection of African American Spoken Word recordings, whether from Langston Hughes himself, an interview with W.E.B. Du Bois, or a recording of Angela Davis.