Songs to Learn

Are you interested in learning traditional folk songs, or in learning some of my original songs? On this website, the section Margaret’s Songs offers pdf lyrics and mp3 audio as aids to anyone wanting to learn this material. Traditional Songs provides links to the Mudcat Cafe and the great Digital Tradition song source. My recordings can also be a learning resource. And you will find YouTube videos, on this site and elsewhere, of me performing with my various bands.  Watch for new links!

Most of my musical career I have been a revivalist singer of traditional folk music.  “Revivalist,” because I learned the songs from books and recordings, and from other performers, rather than from my own family.  A singer of traditional music, because I  purely love the stories and the tunes.

My right to sing other people’s traditions is simply that of someone willing to be a song carrier, willing to bring the old stories and tunes anywhere they might be heard and remembered.  My exemplar in this was Illinois singer Art Thieme,  a remarkably transparent performer.  When I listened to Art, I responded to the song, not the singer.  (But when those songs play back in my memory, I still hear them in Art’s voice.)  I continue to sing and record unaccompanied and in simple arrangements, singing big traditional songs, little traditional songs, new songs by other performers, and own songs.  I hope that the folks who hear me will be moved to learn the songs and pass them on to other singers.  Folk music, in my opinion, must be shared to be appreciated.