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This Land is Your Land: Favorite American Folk Songs
This Land is Your Land: Favorite American Folk Songs
by Phil Rosenthal

This best-selling album and Parent's Choice Award Winner is a great introduction for your child to some of the most recognized classic folk songs. Phil Rosenthal is joined by his talented family members and guest musicians to create the upbeat tunes that will get your child moving and humming along. The instruments featured include guitar, mandolin, banjo, dobro, fiddle, trumpet, and percussion.

Age: 5 Year-olds | Title: This Land is Your Land: Favorite American Folk Songs  |  Artist: Phil Rosenthal  |  Label: American Melody

This best-selling album and Parent's Choice Award Winner is a great introduction for your child to some of the most recognized classic folk songs. Phil Rosenthal is joined by his talented family members and guest musicians to create the upbeat tunes that will get your child moving and humming along. The instruments featured include guitar, mandolin, banjo, dobro, fiddle, trumpet, and percussion.

This is an album that the whole family can enjoy, as parents and grandparents will remember singing these same songs when they were little. "On Top of Old Smokey" may be particularly fun for children to hear the original verses, as most of us are familiar with the children's version of "On top of spaghetti, all covered with cheese..." It also keeps a clear, steady beat in three-quarter time, which is a less common measure count for children's songs, but a great way to add variety. The rest of the album is in traditional 4/4 time. Taking the 'family' note very seriously, Rosenthal's adult daughter, Naomi, accompanies him with vocals on a few songs, such as "Corinna, Corinna" and "Goodnight, Irene." Rosenthal's son, Daniel, plays the trumpet in several songs, providing a unique sound to traditional folk music. Most of the songs tell a story, but also have repeating and rhyming choruses, which children catch on to quickly and will love to sing along to.

Each song features at least one instrument and, as typical for folk and bluegrass music, solos abound. Each solo provides a great opportunity for your child to learn to identify the unique sounds of each instrument and the different ranges and octaves they cover. "Liberty" and "The Arkansas Traveler" are all-instrumental, while the banjo is quite prominent in "Buffalo Gals" and "Home on the Range", the trumpet appears in "The Yellow Rose of Texas", and the mandolin is featured in "Long, Long Ago". I doubt there is a child out there who won't want to join in singing the fun of "The E-ri-e Canal" - even the whole Rosenthal family joins in on the chorus! Children may not relate to the lyrics in some of the love songs, but they will still love the beat and swaying to the music. A little history about each song is also provided, accompanying the lyrics, within the cover booklet. Did you know that "The Yellow Rose of Texas" was a popular marching song for Confederate troops during the Civil War? You can wow your child or grandchildren with these little tidbits about each song and use it as a launching point for teaching more on the subject.

My five-year-old friend, Nick, was introduced to this CD by his dad while driving around town one day. Nick cherishes this CD because it is one that his dad happily listens to also, so Nick feels it is 'big boy music'. Nick sings the songs with his dad and they sometimes (try to) swing dance at home which is loads of fun to watch.

--Audra

Phil Rosenthal is a well-known singer, songwriter, recording artist, and record producer. He sings, and plays guitar, banjo, and mandolin. Phil even still teaches private guitar lessons today for any level musician. He began his career as a professional musician in the 1970s in two local New England bluegrass bands. He joined The Seldom Scene in 1977 and performed in the United States, Europe and Japan. He even played at the Grand Old Opry and the White House. The Seldom Scene received a Grammy nomination for their album, Scene 20.
 
In 1986, Rosenthal left the band and founded the record label American Melody with his wife. American Melody is focused on producing bluegrass and folk music for families and children, and has won many awards from the Parents' Choice Foundation, and the American Library Association.

1) The E-ri-e Canal

2) Railroad Bill

3) Darling Nelly Gray

4) Old Folks at Home

5) Goodnight, Irene

6) The Arkansas Traveler

7) Shady Grove

8) On Top of Old Smoky

9) Buffalo Gals

10) Corinna, Corinna

11) Red River Valley

12) Worried Man Blues

13) The Yellow Rose of Texas

14) When Johnny Comes marching Home

15) This Land Is Your Land

16) Liberty

17) Home on the Range

18) Long, Long Ago

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