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The Gerri Gribi Songbook
There are 19 songs available for download in the Gerri Gribi Songbook.
Due to the accounting nightmare of tracking and paying royalties for "cover tunes"
Your other favorites are available on my CDs, including WOMANSONG COLLECTION and HOME FOR CHRISTMAS.
In addition to iTunes Music store, you can find me at:
CD Baby - $.99 per download, or $8.99 for the entire collection (19 songs!!) You get MP3 files that will play on any device.
CD Baby pays the artist 75%, as compared to the other download sites which typically pay about 65%.
Hills of Kentucky Gerri Gribi, © 1982 BMI All Rights Reserved (Womansong Collection CD) Listen!
I wrote this my first winter in Wisconsin, when it seemed the snow would never melt and I was longing to go home!
The Hunting Song: Animals Love Vegetarians Gerri Gribi © 1984 BMI All Rights Reserved (Womansong Collection CD)
Deer Hunting Season...only a brave soul would spoof this annual ritual in which thousands of city-folk do battle with nature. I collected these "hunting tales" from men and women, and feel they are a valid part of contemporary urban folklore; seems like everyone has heard these same stories in one form or another!
Lament for a Soldier Gerri Gribi © 1980 BMI All Rights Reserved (Womansong Collection CD)
I once saw a poster which read: It will be a great day when we have all the money we need for education, and the military has to hold bake sales to build bombers. This song grew out of my friendship with a nuclear bomber pilot.
Prince Charming Doesn't Live Here Gerri Gribi © 1986 BMI All Rights Reserved (Womansong Collection CD)
I wrote this for the award-winning video documentary "Poverty Shock: Anywoman's Story" produced by Northeast Wisconsin Instructional Television (NEWIST) in Green Bay. The content of the video was guided by an advisory committee of women who had been on welfare, and had worked very hard to get off. In discussions with these women, one shattered myth which consistently arose was that of the "Prince Charming:," the person who would magically whisk them away and make their lives perfect. I am indebted to those women for their candor and spirit, which I hope I've captured here.
Share Your Gift Gerri Gribi, © 1994 BMI All Rights Reserved. (Home for Christmas Cassette/CD) Listen!
I wrote this song as a collective farewell from Preble Park Presbyterian Church choir to Pastor Anita Hendricks. It has taken on a life of its own and has been sung by choirs around the country for graduations, stewardship, and memorial services among other things. Sheet music for SATB is available
Sing Farewell Gerri Gribi, © 1986 BMI All Rights Reserved. (It's a Dog's Life Cassette)
I wrote this on my last night at the Augusta Heritage Workshop in Elkins, West Virginia and had the thrill of singing it together with over 100 fellow/sister musicians from around the country before it was even 24 hours old.
We Say No Gerri Gribi, © 1986 BMI All Rights Reserved. (Prince
Charming Doesn't Live Here Cassette)
I wrote this song in 1985 after a local woman was murdered by her consistently abusive husband, shortly before our annual "Take Back the Night" rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin. As neighbors reacted to the tragedy, I was struck by how many dismissed the violence with comments like "Well yeah, we knew he beat her up sometimes but we didn't think he'd kill her." Oops...I neglected to include this in the digital Gerri Gribi Songbook! To download, Right-Click or Control-Click on the song title until a dialog box appears, then choose something like "Save Target As" or "Download Link to Disk." Download We Say No
We Will Not Stop, We Will Not Go Away Gerri Gribi, © 1983 BMI All Rights Reserved (Womansong Collection CD)
These words echo a speech made by NOW president Judy Goldsmith in 1983, the day that the newly introduced Equal Rights Amendment was defeated in Congress. (The first Equal Rights Amendment was introduced in 1920, shortly after women gained suffrage.) She reminded her audience that it had taken 72 years for women to win the right to vote, and declared, "We will not stop, and we will not go away."
The Wings of a Song Gerri Gribi © 1996 BMI All rights reserved (Womansong Collection CD)
I wrote this song to comfort myself when my parents sold the family home and moved into an apartment, and dedicate it to anyone enduring their own Midlife Crisis! May it carry you home on the wings of a song.
The Best of Friends Gerri Gribi, © 1984 BMI All Rights Reserved. (The
Best of Friends Cassette)
I wrote this "children's song" to cope with the death of a friend, and have been heartened to hear it has helped others, too. "No matter where your friends may go, they're always part of you."
Blue and Pink Gerri Gribi, © 1988 BMI All Rights Reserved. (It's
a Dog's Life Cassette)
I wrote this for a documentary about gender stereotyping. It's a fun little song that makes the point "Let's forget all this stuff about blue and pink, I just want to be the best PERSON I can be."
The Crafty Maid's Policy
(Public Domain) (Womansong Collection CD)
This song, found in a London broadside dating back to 1860, is one of many in the "trickster" genre. Folklorist Robert Rodriguez first suggested to me that the song was probably a response to the type of ballad in which the carefree lords ride over the hill and "frolic" with a defenseless servant. Our Crafty Maid is far from defenseless, however; she outwits a potential assailant with a bawdy double entendre, and steals his horse in the bargain. I found this song in All Our Lives: A Women's Songbook.
The Cruel Youth (Public
Domain) (Womansong Collection CD)
Folk historian Alan Lomax estimates that over half of the ballads created by white singers in America were murder ballads. Like many modern books and movies, the victims are frequently young women, portrayed as defenseless, dim, and almost eager, victims. This ballad is unusual in that the woman single-handedly triumphs over her assailant, feels no remorse about having defended herself...and delivers a classic parting shot! This version of the song is found in The Liberated Woman's Songbook. It is the Americanized version of a British song, "The Outlandish Knight" which is Child Ballad #4.
Equinoxial and Phoebe (Public
Domain) (Womansong Collection CD)
People often wax nostalgic for the good-old days "before women had to work." I've yet to figure out when that time was! Women have always worked...their work has been undervalued and underpaid, but they have always worked. Songs such as the well-known "Housewife's Lament" serve as oral diaries, and detail the never-ending work day of the pioneer woman. I like this particular song because the "lament" takes a positive form; no doubt this song survived because it also provided a humorous lift, a pat on the back for the weary and overworked housewife. And it's always timely: on a 2005 episode of "Dr. Phil" a husband similarly swapped roles with his wife after complaining that she was "lazy and disorganized." With similar results!
Hushabye (All the Pretty Horses) (Public Domain) (Womansong Collection CD)
This lullaby has been in the oral tradition throughout the South ever since slavery. Sung by slave nurses tending white children, it protests their being forcibly separated from their own children, the "poor little lamby" of the second verse. It was a strong statement against a prevailing myth of that period...that blacks were content with their lot and better off than they'd been in Africa.
I Didn't Raise My Boy to be a Soldier
(Public Domain. 1915 Lyrics: Alfred Bryan.
Tune: Al Piantadosi) (Womansong Collection CD
This was one of the most popular songs of 1915, as Americans resisted involvement in a European war. The original sheet music calls it "a mother's plea for peace." It's appropriate for in April of 1915, for the first time ever, women of different nations met at a time of war to express opposition and consider ways of ending the conflict. The International Congress of Women, or the Hague Congress, was the offspring of the International Suffrage Alliance, and ultimately led to the formation of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom in 1919. (WILPF)
Oh Come Angel Band (Words: Jefferson Hascall 1860, Music: William Bradbury 1862. Public Domain) (It's a Dog's Life Cassette)
Oh Dear, What Can the Matter Be?
(L. May Wheeler, Public Domain) (Womansong Collection CD)
Like any civil rights movement, the Women's Suffrage Movement used music to rally the "troops." Wheeler set her words to a popular turn-of-the-century parlor tune; it satirizes some reasons commonly given for denying women the vote.
When I Was a Fair Maid
(Public Domain) (Womansong Collection CD)
There are many songs which tell us of women who served in the military disguised as men. "The Female Drummer," "The Handsome Cabin Boy," and "Cruel War" are but a few. I like this one because, even though we don't know who wrote this song, the boast in the second verse makes me think it just had to be a woman!