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Life Flows On in Endless Song: Folk Songs and American History (Music in American Life) Paperback – July 29, 2009
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"Life Flows on in Endless Song is full of examples that enrich our understanding of the aggregate forces that have transformed America since the colonial era."--The Journal of American History
“The best, most up-to-date survey of this topic in print, this is a book for those interested in the intersection of music/song and historical events and figures. Recommended.”--Choice
Life Flows on in Endless Song explores American folk songs as a frame for the American experience. Robert V. Wells discusses how folk songs emerged from particular historical circumstances and evolved as they migrated from one region to another. Crafting a thematic map of four centuries of American history, Wells investigates how songs embody shifting attitudes toward the institution of the family, war and religion, work and the labor movement, transportation in America, and slavery and Jim Crow. He also considers modern folk heroes Leadbelly and Woody Guthrie. Featuring a selective discography of key recordings, this book offers an accessible model for using folk songs as a richly evocative reflection of the American past.