Keith ∓ Rusty McNeil - 
            Moving West Songs with historical commentary

Song Samples (MP3 Format)

Shenandoah  (3.122 MB mp3 file) 

Square Dance  (742 KB mp3 file)

This volume includes forty-four of the songs Americans sang as their nation expanded westward across the continent during the period between the War of 1812 and the Civil War. Playing time: two hours.

"...entertaining interpretations of American history through folksong." --- American West

"...pleasant and informative renditions. The voices of these two singers blend well...the lyrics are clear." --- Choice


Buy/Listen To Individual Songs Online.

Disk 1            Disk 2


 

Part One:
Territorial Expansion and Abolition

As the United States expanded into the old Northwest Territory, Louisiana Territory and the Pacific Northwest, Americans built canals, cut forests, farmed the land, and trapped beaver. Their songs reflected their pride, fears and hopes, and described the dangers, the boredom, the discomforts and the loneliness of life on these new frontiers.
Songs were effective tools for African-Americans. Slaves spread the word of escape plans through "code" songs. Songs about the hardships of slavery helped recruit white support for abolition and the Underground Railroad.

 The Songs:

Old Rosin The Beau

Shenandoah  (3.122 MB mp3 file) 

To The West

Darling Nellie Gray

The Erie Canal

Steal Away

The Wisconsin Emigrant

The Abolitionist Hymn

The Shanty-Man's Life

Follow The Drinking Gourd

The Jam On Gerry's Rocks

Part Two:
Texas and the Mexican War

The lyric quality and rhythmic patterns of Mexican folk music reflect our Mexican heritage. Americans who settled in Texas sang of Texas Rangers and the struggle to make Texas a republic.
During the Mexican War, soldiers sang of American General Zachary Taylor and Mexican General Santa Anna, of the 2,000 mile march of the Mormon Battalion, and of brutal treatment at the hands of their own officers.

 The Songs:

Cielito Lindo (Norteņo)

Zachary Taylor

Cielito Lindo (Huasteca)

The Mormon Battalion Song

El Capotin

Buck Him And Gag Him

The Texas Rangers

The Leg I Left Behind Me

The Texas War Cry

Las Maņanitas

Will You Come To The Bower

Part Three:
Minstrel Shows and the California Gold Rush

Miners carried minstrel tunes to the gold camps in California and wrote parodies which created a vivid picture of life among the forty-niners.

 The Songs:

Old Dan Tucker

The Days Of Forty-Nine

Camptown Races

Square Dance  (742 KB mp3 file)

Hard Times Come Again No More

California Ball

Oh, California

Sweet Betsy From Pike

Crossing The Plains

California As It Is

Part Four
Immigrants from China, Ireland and Germany

The songs depict the prejudice against California's Chinese population in the 1850s and the suffering of the Irish, fleeing famine, as they migrated to a new, often hostile, home in America. The songs also reflect the defiance and spirit of the Germans who, after losing the fight for a free Germany, sought freedom in the United States.

 The Songs:

The Heathen Chinee

Lather n' Shave Em

John Chinaman

The Night That Paddy Murphy Died

John Chinaman's Appeal

The Bold Fenian Men

The Famine Song

Die Gedanken Sind Frei

No Irish Need Apply

O Tannenbaum

Who Threw The Overalls
In Mrs. Murphy's Chowder

Du, Du, Liegst Mir Im Herzen

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