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Song Assignment

Due in class on 10/16/07
Length: About as long as a blog post: 300 words (1-2 paragraphs), or not more than 1 1/2 double-spaced pages

As I mentioned at the end of class on 10/9/07, I would like each of you to find a song from the 1920s (online is fine; see links below) and listen to it carefully. I'll be asking each of you about your song during our class on 10/16. I would like you to write a typed paragraph or two about this song (not more than about 300 words or 1 1/2 double-spaced pages) and bring that written work to class on Tuesday to turn in. You will receive credit for this assignment, but it will not receive a letter grade.

You should plan to address at least some of these questions:

1. Note the title of the song, the principal musician, when (if you can tell) it was recorded, and so on. Indicate the site where you found it, if you found it online, so that we might be able to listen to it in class.
2. What genre (jazz, blues, ragtime, popular, novelty, dance music, etc.) do you think this song belongs to? Is it a love song, a protest song, a lament, or something else?
3. What do the lyrics and music tell you? What is the song trying to convey thematically? What story is it telling? How does it fit into a 1920s context, or what does it reveal about 1920s culture? Does it make any allusions to 1920s themes or culture (like the Arrow Collar man or other icons)?
4. Why did you choose this song instead of another one? What did you find compelling or appealing about it?

You can write about this song for your blog assignment this week, if you like, and print out your blog post to turn in for this assignment. You can also write about something else (like _The Public Enemy_) for your blog post and just bring your written response to the song.

You can find some songs here: