That's Billy Bragg & The Blokes doing one of Woodie Guthrie's songs for children, "1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 " from a new CD, "Daddy-O Daddy, Rare Family Songs of Woody Guthrie." Six of the numbers on this recording have never been heard before; they were sketched out in Guthrie's notebooks and left unrecorded when he died of Huntington's Disease in 1967. But they're here, with nine other songs for young people, in all their glory in versions by Guthrie's friends and admirers -- like Taj Mahal, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Syd Straw, Cissy Houston, and Kim Wilson. One of these new songs answers that age old question, where do babies come from? Woody's answer -- "The New Baby Train." Another is joyful song sung by a child who's finally slept through the night without an accident called "Dry Bed."
"Kidhood," Woody Guthrie writes, "is my place I go to grab more power to do my job with....you can go down in my book as a genius if you only find your way to grow on up into some new room of kidhood."
That's, of course, the genius of Woodie Guthrie, the presiding spirit of this beautiful collection, who we hear in a moving reading of the lyrics to one of these songs, "Howdy Little Newlycome," which he did record on the little tape recorder that he kept on the kitchen table.
Copyright © 2001 by Recess
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Wednesday, 04-Sep-2002 22:25:04 EDT