"Besides innumerable good old tunes running in our heads, [there's] a sense of having actually lived in the years [covered by] this book." — The International Musician Music has always played an important part in American life — from the hymns sung in colonial days, to partisan songs that supported independence, and war songs that boosted morale. Immigration, westward movement and industrialization all helped contribute to America's musical archives. This outstanding collection of 100 all-time favorite songs offers an unbeatable combination: the music and lyrics of well-known tunes in easy-to-sing keys, together with equally entertaining background information on each song. Assembled by noted composer, arranger and musical director Theodore Raph, this impressive volume spans 300 years — from the haunting strains of Greensleeves to songs that reached new peaks of popularity in the 1950s (He's Got the Whole World in His Hand). Perfect for party sing-alongs or for one's own enjoyment, these appealing songs all made past his parades. Yankee Doodle was "on the charts" during the Revolutionary War; Clementine and Sweet Betsy from Pike were widely hummed, sung, whistled and played in the mid-19th century. She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain and Wabash Cannonball heralded the era of transcontinental railroad construction; and regional songs such as My Old Kentucky Home, On the Banks of the Wabash, and Home on the Range became nationwide favorites. Easy-to-play piano accompaniments, guitar chords and complete lyrics make these familiar melodies ideal ice-breakers on picnics, boating excursions, camping trips and a host of other group activities. Because they're in the public domain, these tunes are also desirable for professional and commercial use. Singers, pianists, students, teachers — songsters at all levels of expertise — will be delighted with these musical moments from bygone eras.