These are collected from some of our AO families:
"...we were berrying back in the woods to put up our yearly jam preserves and after an hour, a bit of boredom was setting in. So we started singing folk songs from last year– especially the "Nice Field of Turnips" while we pointed out what we were seeing. It was fun, it helped the time pass, and it was collaborative unlike headphones (I love my music so I'm not bashing on headphones but headphones while keeping watch out for our bear is not a wise plan).
I think that they were more common way back because there were lots of these types of jobs and no portable music players. And telling a story via song is easy and fun, and unlike listening to a storyteller, everyone can be in on it. But they're still fun and useful today. I'm grateful for the impetus to teach them to my family!" K.S.
"We've noticed since learning folk songs that they turn up in our culture more than you would think. It's always fun when one of the kids points them out." L.N.
A. L. says her family enjoys playing and singing them while cleaning house. Even the toddler joins in.
"...my crew was bored in the car so they busted out in a few [folk songs] from last year too. It was fun." C. H.
"We sang folk songs while digging a trench for a retaining wall footing this week in El Salvador this week. We were too dirty and little cell reception, so no looking up lyrics." H.W.
" A couple months ago, we were driving through the mountains a lot later than we had intended. Dark, slow, no cell service, no radio....so we sang every folk song we knew. Over and over. It was one of the highlights of the trip for me. I'll never skip another." and "I had to come share another folk song story. This week we are camping and over did ourselves on a hike. It was too hot. In order to rally our spirits to get to a place where my husband could go get the truck and come back for us girls....we sang I love to go a wondering, and parts of Go get the axe (we are still learning it). It was beautiful, and because my husband works from home and sings with us most mornings, he was singing along." C.H.
One of the things I try to share about folk songs is that they give us a sound track for life, and give children another emotional vocabulary. Here is a wonderful example of that in action:
Regarding a 5 y.o. child, his mother shared that he "went through something this past year that was very sad and hard for him. He brought it up one day recently, and I affirmed with him that it was likely one of the hardest experiences he's faced this far in his life. He was quiet for a moment and then without a word of explanation, began to sing to himself, "You've got to walk that lonesome valley..." He then gave me a hug and left the room full of peace." A. R.
Sing. Sing together, sing while working, playing, passing the time, driving in the car, sitting in the living room during a power outage, at a backyard BBQ, while berry picking, weed-pulling, car-washing, rocking the baby, washing the dishes, folding the clothes. Make it an easy and natural part of your lives. Your children deserve no less.