Fifth Annual

National Carry A Tune Week

October 2 - 8, 2005



This is a Free Web Survey sponsored each year by The Tune Lovers Society.

For the list of tunes for Carry A Tune Week 2006, go here.

See the list of American composers and songwriters chosen for the

Tunemaker Hall of Fame

National Carry A Tune Week

In 2005, for the first time, there were more than 50 tunes chosen.

One songwriter had the most songs on the list:  Johnny Mercer = 3

Two other songwriters had 2 tunes apiece:  Bob Dylan and Duke Ellington.

The tune choices covered a time span of over two hundred years. The oldest tune chosen was "Crucifixion," music by William Billings from 1786. The newest tune chosen was "She Sits At Her Loom," a 1996 song by Aubrey Atwater.

One of the tunes has been chosen for those who have suffered losses from Hurricane Katrina: "They Who Seek The Throne Of Grace" - based on a piano piece by Gottschalk, who was born in New Orleans.  

The participants who sent in their choices for Tune Week came from seven states:   Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Florida, Texas, Utah and California. For those who participated... a tuneful thanks to you!

-- Roger Hall,  Tune Lovers Society

The Carry A Tune Week survey is broken down as follows:

Tune Categories:  

Patriotic Music = 4

Folk Music = 10

Religious Music = 6

Popular Music = 19

Classical Music = 6

Film Music (Themes or Songs) = 13

Tune Dates:  

18th & 19th century  =  11

20th century = 47

Total Tunes for 2005 = 58


Total Tunes for 2001 - 2004 = 104

To see tune picks for 2001 - 2004, go here:

National Carry A Tune Week

Patriotic Music:

"Land of Our Hearts" (music by George Whitefield Chadwick/ words by John H. Ingram, 1917) - A very inspiring uplifting patriotic song which used in a cantata for chorus and piano or orchestra. The finale of this cantata can be heard on the CDR: "Early American Song: From the Pilgrims to Patriotism."  Since Chadwick was head of the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston,  I chose "Land of Our Hearts" and conducted it in a concert celebrating the 350th anniversary of the City of Boston in 1980.-- Roger from Massachusetts
[Note: George Whitefield Chadwick has been named to the
Tunemaker Hall of Fame list in 2005]

"Spirit of Freedom" (composed by Kent Cooper) -  This is the opening march on an old RCA Victor LP by the Cities Service Band of America. It was among the first hi-fi albums my family bought in 1956 and I still have it. Paul Lavalle led the band in a radio program that we listened to every week -- Jim from Massachusetts

"The Stars and Stripes Forever" (composed by John Philip Sousa, 1896) - This should be our national march. -- Steve from Texas
[Note: John Philip Sousa has been named to the Tunemaker Hall of Fame list in 2005]  

"This Land is Your Land" (words & music by Woody Guthrie, 1940/ published by Ludlow Music, 1956) -- Mark from Massachusetts
[Note: Woody Guthrie has been named to the
Tunemaker Hall of Fame list in 2005]

Folk Music:

"The Blackest Crow" (traditional folk song) - One of my favorite trad American songs -- Aubrey from Rhode Island

"Blowin' in the Wind" (words & music by Bob Dylan, 1963) -- Mark

"The Devil and the Farmer's Wife" (traditional folk song) -- Aubrey

"Frankie and Johnny" - Originally there was the folk song, or songs, "Frankie and Albert" whose variations have been documented by Sandberg, Lomax and others.  Based upon the story Ren Shields, Frank and Bert Leighton produced a many versed song which they titled "Frankie and Johnny".  It was copyright 1912 and published by Tell Taylor Music of New York and Chicago with the subtitle "or You'll Miss Me in the Days to Come." -- Larry from New Jersey

"I Can't Help But Wonder Where I'm Bound" (words & music by Tom Paxton) - One of Paxton's best-known songs among the hundred he must have written by now. I admire Paxton for his songs and performances, and also for his 50-year devotion to the troubadour tradition in America -- Jim

"If I Had a Hammer" (words & music by Lee Hays and Pete Seeger, 1958) -- Mark

"Keep Me From Blowing Away" (Paul Craft, 1970s) - This thoughtful song is both a plea and a lament. The first recording I know of is on the bluegrass album, "The Seldom Scene...Act Two" (1973, Rebel LP), but Linda Ronstadt made it famous with her hit album, "Heart Like a Wheel" (1974, Capitol).  Both the composer, Paul Craft, and The Seldom Scene's lead singer, John Starling, played guitar on Ronstadt's recording. -- Jim

"She Sits At Her Loom" (words & music by Aubrey Atwater, 1996) -- A song from our "The Blackest Crow" CD --Aubrey

"The Times They Are A-Changin'" (words & music by Bob Dylan, 1963) -- Mark

"When I Go to West Virginia (Coal Mine Owner's Daughter)  - I wrote this song in 1996, based on the traditional tune, "Sally Ann."-- Aubrey Atwater

Popular Music:

"Are You Making Any Money?" (music & lyrics by Herman Hupfeld, 1933) - I especially like this Depression era song and how the clever words seem to be just as relevant today. -- Gail from Massachusetts

"At Seventeen"(music & lyrics by Janis Ian, 1975) -- Mark

"Back in the Saddle Again" (music & lyrics by Ray Whitley and Gene Autry, 1940) -- Judy from Utah

"Blue Skies" (music & lyrics by Irving Berlin, 1927) -- Diane
[Note: Irving Berlin was named to the
Tunemaker Hall of Fame list in 2003]

"Boogie Blues" (music & lyrics by Gene Krupa and Ray Biondi, 1945) - A popular number for the Gene Krupa Orchestra. To the G.I.'s it was known as "Oooh, Hot Dawg!" since it was first recorded for and distributed on V-Disc. The V-Disc session took place in late 1945 on the Hotel Astor Roof. One month later the commercial release, renamed "Boogie Blues" was recorded at Columbia's New York studios.  Anita O'Day was the vocalist on both. -- Larry

"Buttons and Bows" (music & lyrics by Jay Livingston & Ray Evans,sung by Gene Autry,1948). -- Judy

"Call of the Canyon" (music & lyrics by Billy Hill, 1940) - This is Billy Hill's last hit song from the same year he died.  The versions I like best were recorded by Frank Sinatra with Tommy Dorsey, and by Jimmy Wakely, one of the best country & western singers of the 1940s and '50s.  To read about Billy Hill, go here. -- Roger

"Don't Fence Me In" (music & lyrics by Cole Porter, 1944), as sung by Roy Rogers. -- Judy

"High Noon (Do Not Forsake Me)" (music: Dimitri Tiomkin/ lyrics: Ned Washington, 1952) -- Judy

"I'm Looking Over A Four-Leaf Clover" (music:  Harry Woods/ lyrics: Mort Dixon, 1927) - I remember this fun song from the hit recording by Art Mooney in 1948 which reached No. 1.  It's a perfect song for a kid to sing. -- Gail

"Jingle, Jangle, Jingle" (music: Joseph J. Lilley/ lyrics: Frank Loesser, 1942),sung by Gene Autry. -- Judy

"K-K-K-Katy" (music & lyrics by Geoffrey O'Hara, 1918) - I remember my father singing this song to me a lot when I was child. -- Gail

"Last Night When We Were Young" (music: Harold Arlen/ lyrics: E.Y. Harburg, 1936) -- On this centennial year of Harold Arlen's birth, I choose what Arlen said was his favorite song and it's my favorite of his songs too.  The lyrics by the great Yip Harburg are as poignant as Arlen's melancholy melody.  Lawrence Tibbett made an early recording but I don't think he brought out enough of the moodiness of this song.  Harold Arlen made a very good recording of the song and Frank Sinatra made perhaps the best recording of the song for his brilliant "September of My Years" album in 1965. --Roger
[Note: Harold Arlen has been named to the
Tunemaker Hall of Fame list in 2005]

"Manana" (words & music by Peggy Lee and Dave Barbour, 1948) - One of the first songs I remember in my childhood from a hit record by Peggy Lee. -- Gail

"Mexicali Rose"(music: Jack B. Tenney/ lyrics: Helen Stone, 1923) - As sung by Gene Autry. -- Judy

"Mood Indigo" (words & music by Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington, Albany "Barney" Bigard, and Irving Mills, 1931) -- Steve from Massachusetts

[Note: Duke Ellington was named to the Tunemaker Hall of Fame list in 2003]

"Satin Doll" (music:  Billy Strayhorn and Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington/ lyrics: Johnny Mercer, 1958) - I've been playing in our local college jazz band as part of my faculty duties and this tune has stuck in my mind the past few weeks.  It's just the mood du jour. -- Steve from Texas

"They Were You" (music: Harvey Schmidt /lyrics: Tom Jones) from THE FANTASTICKS (1960) - A beautiful love song, not so overused as "Try to Remember" -- Diane

"Tumbling Tumbleweeds" - The song Bob Nolan wrote, which became the great western standard, was neither a cowboy nor a western song. "Tumbling Leaves," written on a rainy day when he could not work his job as a cabby, was a song of despair and resolve. When the song became familiar to radio listeners and live audiences they somehow confused "Tumbling Leaves" with "Tumbleweeds" and would often ask for the Tumbleweed song. Bob changed the words but the introduction which included references to dreary days, weariness, and a heart with no need for consolation remained when it was first published.  Shortly after the song was transferred to Sam Fox Publishing.  They threw out the original introduction and replaced it with the very familiar "I'm a lonesome cowboy...etc." Thus a Depression era song of hope and desperation evolved into a classic western song. -- Larry

Classical Music:

"Cakewalk" (music by Hershey Kay, 1951/ adapted from 19th century piano music of Louis Moreau Gottschalk) - This American composer [Gottschalk] was born in New Orleans and had the misfortune to die in South America. Among his piano compositions used in the Kay work are "The Banjo" and "Bamboula, Negro Dance."-- Larry
[Note: Louis Moreau Gottschalk has been named to the Tunemaker Hall of Fame list in 2005]

"Crucifixion" (music by William Billings, 1786) -- one of the tunes used in a choral work compiled and edited by Leonard Van Camp and titled: The Passion and Resurrection of Our Lord - Music by William Billings. I believe this is one of the most expressive Billings tunes.  I conducted the Van Camp work for a special Easter season concert in 1980 and it is available on CDR. -- Roger
[Note: William Billings was named to the Tunemaker Hall of Fame list in 2003]

"A Night Song" (music by Charles Ives, 1895) -- Steve from Massachusetts
[Note: Charles Ives was named to the Tunemaker Hall of Fame list in 2004]

"The Silver Horn" (words & music by Henry Clay Work, 1883) -- Steve from Massachusetts

"Summertime" (music: George Gershwin/ lyrics: DuBose Heyward) from the opera PORGY AND BESS (1935) -- Steve from Massachusetts
[Note: George Gershwin has been named to the
Tunemaker Hall of Fame list in 2003]

"Variations on AMERICA" (orchestrated by William Schuman,  1963 /based on an organ piece by Charles Ives, 1891) - I like the rhythms and discordance used in this piece based on the familiar "My Country 'Tis of Thee" tune. -- Gail

Film Music (Themes or Songs):

"Days of Wine and Roses" from THE DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES (1962)(music: Henry Mancini/ lyrics: Johnny Mercer) - This hauntingly sad song was another Oscar winner for the Mancini-Mercer collaboration.  They had received an Oscar the previous year for "Moon River."  It's the first time that the same two songwriters received back-to-back Oscars for Best Song. -- Roger
[Note: Henry Mancini was named to the
Tunemaker Hall of Fame list in 2004]

"Empty Saddles" from RHYTHM ON THE RANGE (1936)(music: Billy Hill / words: J. Keirn Brennan) - This moving song was sung in the 1936 film musical by Bing Crosby and he sings it with great emotional conviction.  The song was recorded by many western singers, including The Sons of the Pioneers, which is another favorite version of mine.--Roger

"Flying Theme" - from E.T.: THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL (1982) - This is my favorite John Williams theme. It pushes all your emotional buttons in the film and makes you believe anything is possible. We needed to hear that when I was a kid, and everytime I hear that theme I am reminded of the possibilities of life. -- Steve from Texas

"Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" from MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS (1944)(words & music by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane) - If there was ever a more perfect blending of voice and music, I've yet to hear it.  The simplicity of this arrangement with Judy Garland carrying the melody while the MGM orchestra plays a unique ascending, descending motif under the lyrics creates a deceptively simple but amazingly effective and emotional experience. And seeing Garland sing this to Margaret O'Brien...well, it grabs my heart every time. -- Craig from California

"Main Title" from THE SUNDOWNERS (music score by Dimitri Tiomkin, 1960) - A jaunty score that proves once again that Tiomkin was a maestro deluxe and could create about anything in the film scoring realm.  If I'm feelin' gloomy, I slap this one into the player and my day is instantly brighter -- Craig

"Main Title" from TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (1961) (music by Elmer Bernstein) - This is surely one of the most sensitive and serene openings of any movie score and it's on my Top Ten List of movie scores in my book, A Guide to Film Music.  This was Bernstein's favorite score and it's mine as well.  Last year was an incredible loss with the deaths of three film music giants: Elmer Bernstein, Jerry Goldsmith and David Raksin.  Though they are gone their film music lives on.--Roger (TLS)  
[Note: Elmer Bernstein has been named to the Tunemaker Hall of Fame list in 2005]

"Mare Nostrum" from VICTORY AT SEA (music by Richard Rodgers, orchestrated by Robert Russell Bennett) - A brilliant, moving cue from a brilliant score that holds up ober 26 half hour episodes of this legendary TV series.   This cue accompanies footage of wonded men being carried from the battle by their buddies, cared for by medics and loaded onto ships for return stateside. Rodgers created heartrending but uplifting music that moves me to tears each time I experience this sue. The overall sweep and grandeur of VICTORY AT SEA's music is among the best ever written for film, TV or otherwise. -- Craig
[Note: Richard Rodgers was named to the
Tunemaker Hall of Fame list in 2003]

"Orchids in the Moonlight" (music: Vincent Youmans / lyrics: Edward Eliscu and Gus Kahn) from FLYING DOWN TO RIO (1933) -- Steve from Massachusetts

"Prelude" from THE DAY THE EARTH STILL (1951)(music score by Bernard Herrmann) - This chilling main title theme was the first one I heard that made me aware of the importance of music to set the proper mood.  After the recent death of Robert Wise, who directed it, I watched this film again.  On the DVD commentary Wise made several references to the value of Herrmann's music in the success of this sci-fi film classic.  When I was a youngster, I first saw this film while on vacation in Washington, D.C. where the film is set.  After watching it, I wondered if there really was such intelligent life in outer space. After more than 50 years, this film and score still holds my attention. -- Roger
[Note: Bernard Herrmann has been named to the
Tunemaker Hall of Fame list in 2005]

"Prelude" from KING OF KINGS (1961) (music by Miklos Rozsa) - As a Christian, I know of no other theme that so exemplifies my faith and my resolve to persevere through any hardship, sadness, or obstacle in life.  From the first time I heard it, I found it to truly be the most uplifting piece of music I have ever heard. -- Pat from Ohio
[Note: Miklos Rozsa has been named to the Tunemaker Hall of Fame list in 2005]

"Something's Gotta Give" (1955) - Another outstanding Johnny Mercer song for which he wrote the music as well as the lyrics.  It's unusual rhythm and slow pace give extra attention to the wise lyrics.  As I recall, Mercer wrote this song for Fred Astaire to sing to Leslie Caron in the film, DADDY LONG LEGS -- Jim

"When I Fall in Love" from ONE MINUTE TO ZERO (1952) (music: Victor Young /lyrics: Edward Heyman ) -- Diane

"You Were Meant For Me" from THE BROADWAY MELODY (1929) and SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (1952) (music: Nacio Herb brown/ lyrics: Arthur Freed) - Of all the great songs in SINGIN' IN THE RAIN, this number sticks in my mind...this is the smoothest, sleekest, most overlooked of all the numbers in this classic flick.  Gene Kelly is mesmerizing and Conrad Salinger's arrangement and Bob Franklyn's orchestration are perfect. -- Craig

See the Carry A Tune Week picks for



These are other American tune lists:

Remembering 1956

100 Essential Songs (1861-1961)

The NPR 100

Songs of the Century




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