"Admirable . . . destined to become the standard of its period." "The New York Times Book Review"
From the turmoil and tragedy of America's Civil War came an outpouring of song that was clearly no longer European in inspiration, but distinctively American, born of a deeply shared experience. It has been estimated that over 10,000 songs were written about the Civil War. This book brings together 125 of the finest and most typical of these songs in one of the best edited, most comprehensive collections of Civil War songs ever published.
The songs are richly varied in subject and theme. Among them are stirring marching songs and patriotic hymns, sentimental ballads and comic ditties, boasting songs and drinking songs, fighting songs and loving songs. Of course, the rousing "Battle Hymn of the Republic," "Dixie," "When Johnny Comes Marching Home," and "Tramp, Tramp, Tramp" are here. But so, too, are the less familiar but no less memorable "Booth Killed Lincoln," "The Vacant Chair," "The Cumberland and the Merrimac," "All Quiet Along the Potomac" and "Many Thousand Gone."
The book is divided into nine groups of songs battle songs, sentimental songs, comic songs, songs about the Union, the Confederacy, Abraham Lincoln, and more. Each section contains a historical introduction, illustrations, a story and background information about each song, scores for each song arranged for easy piano, with guitar chords, and all the verses.
For enthusiasts, students, and historians of American popular music, American history and the American Civil War, here is a book that will provide endless hours of browsing, study, and enjoyment. Irwin Silber is a leading authority on America's folk song heritage, editor of "Sing Out," the folk-song magazine, and anthologies of a number of song collections.
"A wonderful distillation of Civil War music for the modern reader or musician . . . a fine job of selecting the best and most singable of Civil War songs . . . the historical notes are full and accurate." "Chicago Tribune""