Cover image for Ella Jenkins and a union of friends pulling together
Ella Jenkins and a union of friends pulling together
Jenkins, Ella.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Washington, DC : Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, 1999.
Physical Description:
1 audio disc (48 min.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
General Note:
Compact disc.
Miss Sue just joined the union (song) (0:42) -- Family reunion ; Skip to my Lou (recitation and song) (3:30) -- Mabel, Mabel, Mabel (recitation) (2:10) -- Union train (recitation) ; Train's a comin' (harmonica solo) (0:49) -- Hallelujah, we are traveling (song) (2:12) -- Keep your hands on the plow (harmonica solo) (0:57) -- The farmer feeds us all (the farmer is the man) (song) (3:47) -- Let my people go (harmonica solo) (1:25) -- Going down that road feeling bad (song) (3:55) -- In unity there is strength ; Stickin' to the union (union maid) (song) (1:13) -- What's your trade? (recitation) (0:47) -- Hammer, hammer, hammer (song) (2:02) -- A singer of folk songs (recitation) (1:03) -- If I had a hammer (song) / Pete Seeger (2:02) -- Union meeting (recitation) (0:53) -- Speak right up (song) (2:12) -- The picket line (recitation) (0:22) -- Step by step (song) (1:59) -- Making music together (recitation) (1:11) -- One meat ball (song) / Josh White, Jr. (3:53) -- The more we work together (song) (1:21) -- The union team (cheer) (1:01) -- Which side are you on? (song) (2:29) -- Sticking to the union (union maid) (harmonica solo) (0:54) -- Solidarity forever (song) (2:19) -- Circle of friends (recitation) (0:12) -- Sticking to the union (union maid) (song).
Reading Level:
Suitable for children ages 4-12 and their parents.
Format :
Music CD


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
#240 Juvenile Compact Disc Audio Visual

On Order



Although many of the songs here promote the benefit of labor unions, overall this album's designed to promote the concept of the "union" in general--cooperation in work, working together in support of a cause, pulling together in the name of friendship. Also, as the title of the album indicates, it's not solely an Ella Jenkins record. She does sing, narrate, and play harmonica, but there are also lead vocals by Pete Seeger (on "If I Had a Hammer," actually taken from a Pete Seeger album with no Ella Jenkins connection), Bucky Halker, Mary Ringstad, Josh White, Jr. (doing the protest song his father made famous, "One Meat Ball"), and others. The labor union is a concept that is not always easy to convey to young people, and also a concept that in general (and often unfairly) has taken some hard knocks in American society in the late twentieth century. For the most part, this disc illustrates the virtues of unions, labor and otherwise, in a respectful and suitably understated manner. The repertoire is pretty straightforward in selection and delivery, but if you're looking for something a little different, there's "Let My People Go," performed by Jenkins as a harmonica instrumental. ~ Richie Unterberger