The title of this book, The Glorious American Songbook,
just about sums it up. This is a “glorious” book containing
such old favorites as I’ve Been Working on the Railroad,
Polly Wolly Doodle and Skip To My Lou, alongside the
patriotic God Bless America, You’re a Grand Old Flag and
America. There are 23 songs ranging from the colonial era –
Yankee Doodle and The Star Spangled Banner – through the mid-twentieth century –
Happy Trails (1951). One to two pages
are devoted to each song with accompanying melodies and era
appropriate artwork by some of America’s great artists
including Frederic Remington, Winslow Homer and Norman
Rockwell. The beautifully laid-out illustrations range from
impressionistic paintings to art-deco style prints.
The book is a tribute to America, reminiscent of simpler,
happy times. Unfortunately, only a few songs are transcribed
in their entirety, many show only a few select stanzas.
Similarly, one to three bars of music are included with each
song. This book is meant to be a sampler of American music,
not a complete collection.
This would be a lovely book for parents and grandparents to
share with younger family members. As the compiler of the
book Cooper Edens writes in the preface, “The songs in this
book paint a portrait of the people who made America great."
The format of the book, in hardcover with thick paper and
incredible artwork makes this the perfect coffee table book.