Unit 6: Emergence of Modern United States, 1900-1929

United/Divided | War & Peace | Work | Home | Moving Along | Faith & Ideals


“The Alcoholic Blues”

Edward Laska and Albert von Tilzer, 1919


“The Woman's Doxology”

Mira H. Pitman, 1920


“The Argentines, the Portuguese, and the Greeks”

Arthur M. Swanstrom and Carey Morgan, 1920
A humorous song of envy and begrudging admiration for the new wave of immigrants

Lyrics | Recording

“(What Did I Do to Be So) Black and Blue”

Fats Waller, Andy Razaf, Harry Brooks, 1929
A jazz expression of what it was like to be African American in 1920s America

Lyric source | Recording

“El Corrido de Gregorio Cortez”

Anonymous, c. 1910
The most famous Texas Mexican outlaw ballad

Lyric source |  Recording

“The Japanese Sandman”

Raymond B. Egan, Richard A. Whiting, 1920


“So Long! Oo-Long (How Long You Gonna Be Gone?)"”

Bert Kalmar, Harry Ruby, 1920


“I'm an Indian”

Leo Edwards, Blanche Merrill, 1921


“All Coons Look Alike to Me”

Ernest Hogan, 1896


War and Peace


“Over There”

George M. Cohan, 1917
The song most associated with World War I

Lyric source | Recording | Recording online

“I Didn’t Raise my Boy to be a Soldier”

Al Piantadosi, Alfred Bryan, c. 1917
Anti-war song from a mother and father’s perspective

Lyric Source | Recording online




“Solidarity Forever”

Ralph Chaplin, 1915
A popular labor union song sung to the tune of “Battle Hymn of the Republic”

Lyric source | Recording

“Boll Weevil Song”

Huddie Ledbetter, c. 1930s
African American sharecroppers met the devastation of boll weevils with this humorous song

Lyrics | Recording




“Hello Ma Baby”

Ida Emerson, Joseph E. Howard, c. 1905
A popular Tin Pan Alley hit reveals how the telephone was becoming a part of everyday life

Lyric source | Recording | Recording online

“How You Gonna Keep Him Down on the Farm”

Walter Donaldson, Sam M. Lewis, Joe Young, c. 1920
A show tune illustrates rural to urban migration after World War I

Lyric source | Recording | Recording online

“Ain’t We Got Fun”

Words Gus Kahn & Raymond B. Egan, music Richard Whiting, 1921
Popular song celebrates social and economic changes in the home during the Roaring ‘20s

Lyric source | Recording | Recording online

“St. Louis Blues”

W.C. Handy, 1914


“Down in Poverty Row”

Gussie Davis, 1896


“Ching-a-Ling's Jazz Bazaar”

Ethel Bridges and Joseph H. Santley, 1920


“Chinatown, My Chinatown”

William Jerome and Jean Schwartz, 1910



Moving Along


“Henry’s Made a Lady out of Lizzie”

Walter O’Keefe, 1928
A Tin Pan Alley song sings the praises and pitfalls of the Model T, replaced by the Model A

Lyric source | Recording

“Lindbergh, The Eagle of the U.S.A.”

Howard Johnson and Al Sherman, 1927
Ten years after the Wright Brothers’ flight, airplanes became an object of romantic fantasy

Lyric source | Recording | Recording online

“He Lies in the American Land”

Andrew Kovaly, 1900
A Slovakian immigrant sings to the newly arrived family of a co-worker killed in the mill


“Cancion mixteca”

Jose Lopez Alvez, ca. 1910


Faith and Ideals


“Lift Every Voice and Sing”

James Weldon Johnson, J. Rosamond Johnson, 1900
The song that became known as the “Negro National Anthem”

Lyric source

"I'll Overcome Some Day"

Albert Tindley, 1901

Lyric source

“We’ll Understand it Better By and By”

Albert Tindley, 1905
A black gospel hymn that was readily adopted at white camp meeting revivals

Lyric source

“You’re a Grand Old Rag”

George M. Cohan, 1906
Patriotic show tune by the master “Yankee Doodle Dandy”

Lyric source

“Can the Circle Be Unbroken”

The Carter Family, 1927

Lyric source | Recording

More Units:

1. Worlds Meeting through 1760

2. New Nation, 1760-1820

3. Expansion & Reform, 1800-1860

4. Civil War & Reconstruction, 1860-1876

5. Development of Industrial

    U.S., 1870-1900

6. Emergence of Modern U.S., 1900-1929

7. Great Depression & WW II, 1930-1945

8. Post-War U.S, .1946-1973

9. Changing America, 1974 -2000

10. The New Millennium











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