Music is part of everyone’s culture. The songs associated with each person’s culture are called folk songs. These traditional songs are part of everyday life and pass along from one generation to the next, one person to another. Folk songs take many forms, from children’s game songs such as “Duck, Duck, Goose” to story songs like the Mexican ballads known as corridos. When thinking about folk songs in your life, start with bedtime songs or songs you hear during special holidays. In a time of pandemic, perhaps you became more aware of the power of folk songs when you couldn’t sing “Happy Birthday” at your friends’ birthday parties or hear a grandparent sing “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” after a family meal. Follow these directions to tap into familiar folk songs and give them your own, unique spin by remixing them!
As an extension activity, visit the Songs of America digitized collection of the American Folklife Center.