Top critical review
Includes several minstrel songs with no criticism or condemnation
Reviewed in the United States on June 30, 2020
This book includes several minstrel songs, as well as "Dixie" as a Patriotic song, which I found extremely disappointing - minstrel music and the theme song to the Confederacy should not be celebrated as "songs we love to play and sing!". Each song in the book includes a short history about the song, which was helpful to find out which ones were connected to minstrel history, but these histories use zero critical language of their highly problematic roots. The history of the song "Buffalo Gals" explains minstrel shows: "white performers painted their faces black and imitated African American dances, dialect, and songs. When the minstrel show moved to another town, the title was changed to the name of the new city." ZERO mention that minstrel shows are steeped in cruel, racist, stereotypes, "blackface", or any condemnation. Even a song in the children's section, "All the Pretty Little Horses" says the song's POV is from a "Southern African-American woman who is taking care of her master's children"... why not call her an enslaved woman? Why skirt around that language? I wish I would have known more about the contents of this book before purchasing, because this is NOT the "great" songbook for this family.