cover image Hear the Wind Blow: American Folk Songs

Hear the Wind Blow: American Folk Songs

Scott Russell Sanders. Bradbury Press, $14.95 (202pp) ISBN 978-0-02-778140-3

Sanders infuses his versions of 20 folk songs with the spirit of each: dramatic, sad, exciting or earthily humorous. These are classics widely known, but the stories of their origins, in the words of a very good writer, add deeper dimensions. The entries run chronologically from ""When I First Came to This Land,'' about the ups and downs of colonial immigrants, to ``Sweet Betsy From Pike,'' extolling the starchy woman off to seek gold in California in a later era. In between are such gems as ``Yankee Doodle,'' the tune snatched from the mocking British by the ragtag rebels who made it their fighting symbol, and other tales commemorating the pioneers, railroaders, Indians, cowboys and outlaws of the Old West, etc. Goembel's skillful drawings animate the lyrics and stories that are part of our American heritage. (12up)