Resources for Folk Music (Day 28 of Homemade Music)

Welcome to 31 Days of Homemade Music! This month we are exploring how and why everyone can benefit from being an active participant in music making. To read more posts in this series, click here.

Over the past several days of this series, I have tried to introduce you to a variety of folk genres so that you can begin learning some of the songs yourself. Today, I will share with you several of my favorite folk song resources so you can continue learning on your own. (I’ve also tried to keep the resource list very inexpensive!)


Something to sing about!: The personal choices of America’s folk singers
A really awesome collection of folk singers’ favorite song choices all in one book, published 1968. Before each artist’s selection, a brief biography and information on the song is included. This book has a great variety, and a steal at $3 for a hardcover copy.

Folk Songs for Solo Singers Several volumes house many tastefully arranged folk songs for the beginning voice student. While these books are meant more for performance than for community singing, they are still a unique resource. They join together the worlds of the folk song devotee and the aspiring vocalist.

The Fireside Book Of children’s Songs– A fabulous collection of children’s songs, such I was trying to link to in yesterday’s post. These are the enduring types of children’s songs with great melodies and tasteful arrangements that are appealing to both child and adult. The hardcover edition has a yellow cover, and J is often asking to sing songs from “The Yellow Book.” There are also other “fireside book” collections, and if they are anything like the children’s collection, I will be looking to gather them up as well.

Music Through The Day Another collection of simple folk songs and children’s songs. We don’t use this one quite as much, but it’s still got a wide array of music to choose from. It’s nice to find slightly different versions of the same songs across different books.


The Story That Crow Told Me A collection of rare and colorful recordings from the early 20th century of children’s folk songs. Now, be warned that not all of these are kid’s songs that would be acceptable today- things used to be a little rougher around the edges, you know- but they are fabulous and old timey and lots of fun to listen to. There is a second volume as well, though we only have the first.

Try looking at some of the links from my previous posts and use Youtube or Pandora to hear more from some of the same artists. Try looking up some big names for starters- Burl Ives, Pete Seeger, Simon & Garfunkel, Joan Baez,  Smothers Brothers, or Woodie Guthry for starters. Try listening to multiple versions of the same song.

Look up some chords to a song or snag a book, learn the melodies, try some harmonies, and get singing/playing! There’s something wonderful about singing with the voices of many years past, isn’t there? 😉

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