Rise Up Singing Project by Matthew Vaughan
September 12, 2014 12:36 AM   Subscribe

Here are many videos of songs from the Rise Up Singing songbook, a song reference book described as a large collection of chords and lyrics to folk songs, topical songs, children's songs and rounds as well as some showtunes and country, rock and blues songs all meant to be sung aloud in groups. It's a pretty invaluable resource to songleaders, and useful for anyone who likes to sing with friends or strangers. Rise Up Singing is most useful when you already know the tune, which is where ALL THESE VIDEOS come in:

The makers of the songbook itself are a non-profit organization called Sing Out. They are still around today doing neat things like this:

We are in the process of digitizing the entire run of People’s Songs, including all “special issues” and annotations that Pete wrote for his bound copy, so that it can be viewed right here on this page (as PDF files). More issues will appear here as we have the time and manpower to create the files.
posted by aniola (15 comments total) 79 users marked this as a favorite
From the first issue of People's Songs:

posted by aniola at 12:41 AM on September 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

This post just inspired me to order me a new guitar from Amazon. I'd been playing my ex-girlfriend's guitar when we were living together and I've been instrumentless since moving out. That is no way to live. I love a lot of these songs, great project. Thanks for the post.
posted by Space Coyote at 1:02 AM on September 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh, man, y'all. Look at the words to "Listen Mister Bilbo." [PDF]

I've been longing for people to get together and sing like they used to. So the Community Sing initiative has me positively giddy.
posted by ob1quixote at 3:28 AM on September 12, 2014

I've been longing for people to get together and sing like they used to.

A dear friend hosts a monthly "Sing and Sup" party -- potluck, followed by songs, rounds, and selections from Rise Up Singing. ("For September we'll be sure to include the funniest, bawdiest songs we know in honor of Robin Williams and Joan Rivers," she says.) I have been shy about attending because I don't know many of these songs and can't sight read -- so aniola, thank you, as you've made it much, much easier for me to participate.
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:07 AM on September 12, 2014 [5 favorites]

I don't sing, but this is very cool. Thanks so much for posting it!
posted by zarq at 4:34 AM on September 12, 2014

Awesome, I bought Rise Up Singing about a year ago and realize I only know... maybe a quarter of the songs. This should help expand the repertoire a bit!
posted by backseatpilot at 5:08 AM on September 12, 2014

Apparently, the thing that us happening is that some groups are publishing their own songbooks in response to people not wanting some of these hoary old numbers.

Kids these says, forming drinking clubs with glee problems.
posted by clvrmnky at 5:38 AM on September 12, 2014

That DDT song was fine for when we had free speech but in 2014 it would have the Secret Service and Homeland Security knocking at your door.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 6:55 AM on September 12, 2014

I regularly sang Joe Hill's "The Rebel Girl" - which I finally learned all the words to from "Rise Up Singing" - to my daughter as a newborn. It worked well as a lullaby, and now I'm sorry we didn't make a video of it.
posted by ryanshepard at 7:21 AM on September 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

Rise Up Singing and the Bluegrass Songbook (aka "the red book") were the fuel for uncounted hours of drinking and picking when I was a graduate student in the 90's. Good memories.
posted by bgribble at 7:56 AM on September 12, 2014

Rise Up Singing was created by Quakers, Peter Blood and Annie Patterson. It is practically the liberal Quaker hymnal. They are working on a new book with 1200 additional songs, which they hope will be released next year.
posted by not that girl at 8:36 AM on September 12, 2014 [5 favorites]

Yes, I grew up as a Quaker and Rise Up Singing was treated as a hymnal book might. Meaning, our Meeting had a box full of copies that could be handed out during song-worthy gatherings (we enjoyed a potluck or two in our time).
posted by chowflap at 8:53 AM on September 12, 2014

I'm all agog over my new grandbaby, and, thanks to this ask.me , have been singing Summertime.

One of these mornings
You're going to rise up singing
Then you'll spread your wings
And you'll take to the sky.

posted by theora55 at 9:12 AM on September 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

This takes me back to many of the singing classes I took at Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music. It wasn't required, but it came in handy a lot.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:29 AM on September 12, 2014

I had the wonderful experience of going to a student-run 'folksing' in college, grabbing a copy of Rise Up Singing to borrow, and then leafing through it excitedly, realizing "holy shit, so many vaguely remembered songs from my childhood here!" (Hippie-leaning mom, grew up with lots of Pete Seeger, Peter Paul and Mary, John McCutcheon, Tom Chapin, etc). I have ambivalent feelings about my college experience generally, but singing out of Rise Up Singing was indisputably one of the best parts. "Rise Up Singing Guy"'s videos have been making the rounds in my friends circle for a while now; I love how unedited they are, how he offers commentary on the chords for every song and stops and starts so frequently, just like the actual folksings I've been to.

Some specific, more obscure lost childhood favorites re-discovered through Rise Up Singing:

Everything Possible.
The Great Storm is Over
The Activity Room (This recording appears to be one of only two on youtube.)
Cut the Cake
A Chat With Your Mother (The F Word Song)
posted by ActionPopulated at 5:40 PM on September 12, 2014

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