This book, with material collected and arranged by Kathleen Krull, gathers songs that are very familiar to people my age (early 50s), but not as familiar to those of younger generations.  And that is simply too bad.  These songs, for me, are the sound track of my elementary school days.  I was lucky enough to attend a public school that used the once ubiquitous Lomax music collections as part of the curriculum, and these titles continue to shape my musical taste to this day.  (It probably explains why those of us of a "certain age" felt totally drawn to Bruce Springsteen's "Seeger Sessions."

This book includes the lyrics and the music for 62 of those songs that many of us know.  Some of the songs are clearly older and more established (Yankee Doodle, Follow the Drinking Gourd, Erie Canal), others are more modern additions to the collective canon (City of New Orleans, Little Boxes).  While we may quibble with our own memories about which words we learned, this book provides a wonderful addition for our collective cultural memory.  If children aren't learning these songs in school now, they should be.  They help to build a bond that shapes our identity as Americans, regardless of how or why our ancestors came to these shores.

The book also includes a CD of 23 of the songs.  While the recordings aren't all that intriguing, they do provide a way to learn songs if you can't read music or if you don't already know the melodies.