William Rossiter

All the News That’s Fit to Sing: Scandals, Sensations and Slanders in Song

From the beginning of history, we have felt the need to pass the news along often by singing about it. We hear of a fire, a murder, an assassination, a mine disaster, a national or local tragedy or triumph, a living or dead hero and we often come up with the musical equivalent of a tabloid magazine – or, perhaps a blog. These aren’t the songs that made it to the hit parade or the top twenty; in fact, many of these songs showed up originally in the “poet’s corner” in rural newspapers, written to a currently popular tune.

Few of the songs are polished, and often they don’t “get it right,” but many of them are hilarious, and they have guts and directness that make up for what they lack in finesse. And they tell what really happened. No lie. Honest.

Songs are accompanied by guitar, banjo, autoharp and harmonica.