To celebrate, we're revisiting some of our (and, we hope, your) favorite songs from past concerts. Here's a partial list:
"Old Time Religion" was sung at our very first concert. There are serious versions if this song and ... not so serious versions. A genre of parody called "Filk" songs has its origins in the Science Fiction and Fantasy fan community and writes new lyrics to songs. Old Time Religion has many, MANY alternate lyrics, most of which can be found here.
Our first three concerts all featured songs by Cat Stevens: "Morning Has Broken," "Peace Train" and "Moonshadow."
Our performance of "Seven Bridges Road" in the spring of 2011 was a highlight for many of our singers. I think we love the power of creating the a capella chords that begin and end the song. In one of the first blog posts I wrote for Newton Family Singers, I traced the evolution of "Seven Bridges Road" from Steve Young's solo singer-songwriter version to the popular version by the Eagles. And of course, when tracing evolution, we often find a Monkee involved.
Somehow "Dead Skunk" was included in our 2011 Sun Moon Stars program ('cause it stinks to "high heaven"?). It's a fun song and Chris has written a new arrangement that shows off how our children have learned to sing in harmony.
In 2012, we did a concert of Pete Seeger songs. Seeger's influence is so broad that it really was a sing-a-long and we included lyrics in the program. I had made an alternate program for Seeger, though, using quotes I thought were relevant about particular songs. This page has quotes from Pete Seeger about the songs he wrote or popularized like "If I Had a Hammer," "Old Time Religion" and "Wimoweh." Here's a page about the Seeger Family Tree -- the range and influence is quite broad.
In the fall of 2012, we did a concert of Carole King and Joni Mitchell songs. One highlight was the Carole King song "Beautiful." A Broadway show based on the life and music of Carole King was staged in 2014; the producers used this song as the title, Beautiful.
One of the joys of every concert this when Andy Rogovin writes an original composition for us to sing. Pete and Woody, a tribute to Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie, is one of his best. The lyrics really capture what many less love about folk music: the timeless themes and the emotional power of the songs. The arrangement by Chris Eastburn includes allusions to a few songs Seeger wrote or popularized, how many can you name?