Come for to Sing - An illustrated Book of Folksongs by Eric von Schmidt and Robert Freedman. 1963 first edition.


Illustrated by Eric von Schmidt. Piano arrangements by Robert Freedman. First edition, 1963. Riverside Press, Cambridge, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston.

An exuberant collection of twenty American folk songs, including Cotton Eye Joe, The Car Song, Hush Little Baby, Froggie Went Courting, Go Tell Aunt Rhody, Hambone, and Candy Man.

Front flap:

"Here are some American favorites gathered from the plains and mountains, the cities and the high seas. They are presented just as they are sung by some of our most creative interpreters of folk songs, including Eric von Schmidt who made the selection and has also produced the jaunty and colorful illustrations..."

"The musical arrangements by Robert Freedman can be handled by children who are learning to play the piano as well as parents who have forgotten how, but for all their simplicity they catch the mood of the original with verve and sparkle. The music also includes guitar chords with suggested fingerings. ..."

(Pathways of Sound in Cambridge MA recorded these songs as they were sung for the book.)

Eric von Schmidt (1931 – 2007) was a pivotal figure in the American folk music scene, particularly during its resurgence in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and an accomplished painter. His father, Harold von Schmidt, was a renowned Western painter. After serving in the army and winning a Fulbright scholarship to study art in Florence, Eric settled in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he became a central character in the coffeehouse scene, sharing his extensive repertoire of traditional music and influencing many artists, including Bob Dylan. Von Schmidt is also known for his book "Baby, Let Me Follow You Down: The Illustrated Story of the Cambridge Folk Years," co-authored with Jim Rooney, which chronicles the rich history of the Cambridge folk music scene.
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Condition: Near Fine/Fair. Dust jacket: On the front, small faint dampstain in the top right and four closed tears in top left, lower left, and lower right; on the back, small closed tears in upper and lower left with chipping along the upper and lower edges, and pencil mark in lower right; rubbing and dampstain along the spine with open tears at the head and tail; front flap clipped by dealer, leaving US pricing. 1960s goldenrod yellow cloth covers with green and cream decoration. Pages are clean, undamaged, and complete.

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