Jamestown

by Teresa Jennings

This song is available as a single.

Most history students will learn of Captain John Smith and Pocahontas, of the early farming of tobacco, and of the first African slaves in this country. All of these things center around the colony of Jamestown, Virginia. In case you didn't know it, Jamestown was the first permanent English settlement in America. It was founded in 1607, so in 2007, it is celebrating its 400th anniversary! Because we know how valuable music that can be used across the curriculum is to you (and your music program), we have created a song about Jamestown. As always, we encourage you to let the classroom teachers know you have this resource available.

The song is set in a style reminiscent of early America. It's a story song with a repeating chorus. The lyrics give a very broad overview of the story of Jamestown, which will hopefully encourage further discussion.

In keeping with the era of the topic, the recording for this song was performed in an authentic way. We only used instruments that might have been used at the time, including two lutes, a solo violin, recorder, mandolin, tambourine, and hand drum. While there were certainly more instruments in existence, only simple ones like these might have made it to the New World in the early 1600s.

To further help with the study of Jamestown, we are also providing a reproducible student report for your use which you can find on our web site. Also on our web site, you will find rehearsal tracks for part 2 of the song, as well as the extracted recorder part. (Though this part is probably too difficult for most beginning players, it might be an excellent challenge piece for Recorder Karate, a recorder method available from Plank Road Publishing.) See below for our web address and more information about the downloads.

Note: Be sure to check out the multicultural feature for this issue which ties nicely into the subject of music around the time of the founding of Jamestown. It can be found on page 78.

Online extras - The free, downloadable items mentioned can be found under the "Graphics and Extras" for Volume 17, No. 4 at MusicK8.com

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.