songs from Myers Elementary in the early ’80s

I attended Myers Elementary School (suburban Philadelphia) from first grade through fourth grade – autumn 1981 through fall of 1985. I recall our music classes singing some tunes I would not expect to find in the, err, “syllabus,” for such a class. Robert Goltz and Jan Goltz taught the classes I was in. I compile the songs can I remember here:

“Pick a Bail of Cotton”: Video (1945) by Leadbelly:

Yes, a slave song (see bottom of this page). Skiffle musician Lonnie Donegan has a version here.


“Hill and Gully Rider” (version of “Banana Boat Song”?)
lyrics of Brothers Four version
– child plays it on the cello with backing violin:


“What do we do with a drunken sailor”

– Wikipedia entry.
– one rendition by the Chieftains:

version my Mike Settle:

There others I can recall, such as this one about an old car, and this one about, um, being crazy. Others I cannot find references to. Two of them have such nonsense lyrics that without documentation on a web page, I’m embarrassed to reveal what my memories hold.  Eric S. remembered one of these – so my memory is proven correct in this case.  I found referenced to versions of it here and here.  A reference to the another song with nonsense lyrics is here.

These are camp songs and children’s songs – what you’d expect mostly white upper-middle class suburban kids to sing in elementary school music classes.

That is, I wouldn’t expect songs about slaves and lower-class laborers, drunken sailors – especially without historical context. Ahh, the days before political correctness!

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1 Comment

Filed under arts, entertainment, sports

One response to “songs from Myers Elementary in the early ’80s

  1. Jan Goltz

    Hey Brian – What a blast from the past. 🙂 I remember exactly what songs you mean, so you can feel free to e-mail me if you want details. Hope you’re well and happy!

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