We’ll Take a Cup of Kindness Yet: History of “Auld Lang Syne”

“Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne? For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne, we’ll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne.” This is the classic song sung on New Year’s Eve after the ball drops in Times Square each year, and all aroundContinue reading “We’ll Take a Cup of Kindness Yet: History of “Auld Lang Syne””

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year: Time for Scary Ghost Stories

“There’ll be parties for hosting, marshmallows for toasting, and caroling out in the snow There’ll be scary ghost stories, and tales of the glories of, Christmases long, long ago.” A Christmas classic, this 1963 song by Andy Williams describes Christmas traditions, including some we no longer practice. What do scary ghost stories have to doContinue reading “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year: Time for Scary Ghost Stories”

“Baby, It’s Cold Outside:” Context & Controversy

Last holiday season controversy erupted over a radio station’s decision to ban “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” And this year, John Legend & Kelly Clarkson’s new version has stirred up opinions on the song once again. What is the controversy all about? And what’s the context for the original song’s lyrics? Read more below about theContinue reading ““Baby, It’s Cold Outside:” Context & Controversy”

“So This is Christmas:” A Holiday Song as Protest

“So this is Christmas and what have you done? Another year over, a new one just begun… A very merry Christmas and a happy new year, let’s hope it’s a good one without any fear.” “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” (1971) is a Christmas song by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, but it is alsoContinue reading ““So This is Christmas:” A Holiday Song as Protest”

The Monster Mash: 3 Interesting Facts About the Halloween Classic

Monster Mash. It was a graveyard smash. Monster Mash was released in 1962. Written by Bobby Pickett and Leonard Capizzi and recorded by Pickett and “the Crypt-Kickers.,” the single hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart from October 20-27, 1962 and has been a Halloween favorite ever since. The song features Pickett doing an […]

“I Put a Spell on You:” From Radio Ban to Disney Movie Favorite

The origins of a popular song that has become a Halloween Disney movie favorite? A drunken recording session, a blues singer with an amazing voice, a breakup, and a spooky production. A song many know because of its numerous cover versions, “I Put a Spell on You” is now included on Halloween playlists, owing partlyContinue reading ““I Put a Spell on You:” From Radio Ban to Disney Movie Favorite”

#PlayLikeAGirl: 5 Pioneering Female Drummers

The US National Archives’ #19forthe19th Instagram Challenge is highlighting women’s history for 19 weeks in celebration of the centennial of the 19th amendment which gave women the right to vote. This week’s theme? #PlayLikeAGirl I decided to take a look at pioneering female musicians who play instruments specifically female drummers, who continue to remain aContinue reading “#PlayLikeAGirl: 5 Pioneering Female Drummers”

History in Song: The 1992 Los Angeles Riots

On this day in 1992 the Los Angeles riots broke out in response to two specific incidents in the city and general mounting racial tensions. Just over a year prior an African American man, Rodney King, was beaten and tasered by police during a traffic stop/chase resulting in the officers involved being charged with excessiveContinue reading “History in Song: The 1992 Los Angeles Riots”

#MusicMonday: The Campaign for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday in 3 Songs

Having grown up in an era when Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was already established as a national holiday, it can seem as if the holiday was a no-brainer, a day to celebrate this important man’s contributions to civil rights, equality, and our nation. However, the holiday was, and still is by some, debated andContinue reading “#MusicMonday: The Campaign for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday in 3 Songs”

"Born in the USA" and 4 other songs you didn't know were about the Vietnam War

Ok, so you may know that a few of these are about the Vietnam War (1955-1975), but some are a bit more obscure or surprising. The Vietnam War is one of the least understood, most contested and divisive wars in American history. The war was so hotly opposed by the American public that returning veteransContinue reading “"Born in the USA" and 4 other songs you didn't know were about the Vietnam War”