Songs of the Session

In an effort to recreate and honor a tradition that was begun back in 1957, when Frank Hamilton would teach the same song to different levels of players, we proudly present The Songs of The Session.

Each session two songs are chosen, one from the songbook and one from the general repertoire. All classes are encouraged to learn these tunes and apply the skills they are working on at their individual levels.

Our first session completely online in no way prevents us from celebrating our history in song. This sessions' songs come from two sources.

May – June 2020

"Hand Me Down My Walking Cane"

From our songbook on page 61 comes the old African-American minstrel classic "Hand Me Down My Walking Cane." It's a simple ditty usually played in G with a call and response element. It was suggested by Mary Peterson and her long running class on Thursdays at 5:30 PM, Extended Play. It was chosen in honor of Gene Swift a longtime member of the class who passed away in April. Gene loved coming to class and always encouraged his fellow students to play the "good ol' songs. He is dearly missed.

Chart for "Hand Me Down My Walking Cane"


"How Can I Keep from Singing"

Our other song this session is "How Can I Keep from Singing". This is an old hymn that was adapted by the folk icon of folk icons, Pete Seeger whose birthday we always celebrate in early May. Our master harmonica teacher Joe Filisko picked this song and is arranging a performance with his classes in the near future! Big shot out to Joe who several months ago barely knew what a computers was and now he's teaching a full schedule of classes online with students chiming in from all over the globe. Way to go Joe! Here's a remarkable version recently put out from the New York City Virtual Choir and Orchestra.

Chart for "How Can I Keep from Singing"