Champions of American Song

Over the course of the 20th century, our classical singers were enthusiastic advocates for songs by American composers. In this program, we hear the music they brought to far-flung audiences through recitals, phonograph records, and radio broadcasts.

Related Educational Resources

Song Listing

Song listings with composer / poet, performers, CD label, and CD number:

Pirate Song

Henry F. Gilbert

Robert Louis Stevenson

Record#: transfer from 78 RPM (David Bispham, baritone; pianist unknown)

Long Ago (op. 56, no. 1)

Edward MacDowell

Edward MacDowell

Record#: Marston 52001-2 (Alma Gluck, soprano; Rosario Bourdon, piano)

Song Collection: Four Songs, Op. 56

Dearest (op. 24)

Sidney Homer

William Ernest Henley

Record#: Pearl Gemm CD9950 (Louise Homer, contralto; Victor Orchestra, conductor unknown)

The Monk and His Cat (op. 29, no. 8)

Samuel Barber

W. H. Auden


Record#: RCA Victor Gold Seal 09026-61983-2 (Leontyne Price, soprano; Samuel Barber, piano)

Song Collection: Hermit Songs, Op. 29

The Home Road

John Alden Carpenter

John Alden Carpenter

Record#: Delos DE5503 (Ernestine Schmann-Heink, contralto; Katherine Hoffman, piano)

Go Down, Moses

Henry T. Burleigh


Record#: NW 247 (LP) (Roland Hayes, tenor; Lawrence Brown, piano)

Will o' the Wisp

Charles Gilbert Spross

Torrence Benjamin

Record#: VAIA 1168 (Marian Anderson, contralto; Franz Rupp, piano)

On the Road to Mandalay

Oley Speaks

Rudyard Kipling

Record#: DELOS DE5500 (Lawrence Tibbett, baritone; Stewart Wille, piano)

Gentle Annie

Stephen Foster

Stephen Foster

Record#: MET 210CD (Robert Merrill, baritone; Leila Edwards, piano)

At Dawning

Charles Wakefield Cadman

Nelle Richmond Eberhart

Record#: EMI 2 15598 2 (Paul Robeson, bass-baritone; orchestra conducted by Walter Goehr)

The Bluebird of Happiness

Sandor Harmati

Edward Heyman

Record#: RCA Victor Gold Seal 09026-68531-2 (Jan Peerce, tenor; RCA Victor Orchestra, Sylvan Levin, conductor)


Oscar Rasbach

Joyce Kilmer

Record#: JASCD 474 (Nelson Eddy, baritone; Columbia Concert Orchestra, Leon Arnaud conductor)

Nancy Hanks

Katherine Kennicott Davis

Rosemary Benét

Record#: VAIA 1005-2; CD 2, track 17 (Eleanor Steber, soprano; Edwin Biltcliffe, piano)

Zion's Walls

Aaron Copland

Record#: Sony Classical SM2K 89326/89327 (William Warfield, baritone; Aaron Copland, piano)

Song Collection: Old American Songs, Set 2

Let It Be Forgotten

George Crumb

Sara Teasdale

Record#: Bridge 9253 (Jan DeGaetani, mezzo-soprano; Gilbert Kalish, piano)

Song Collection: Three Early Songs