Funny Songs: Then & Now
A concert and educational presentation of original humorous songs, funny folk songs and old nonsense fiddle tunes. Peter Lehndorff and Sue Hill will sing and play songs that made us laugh growing up; nonsense fiddle tunes that amused our ancestors; and Peter’s humorous songs about everyday life. This program was originally developed for public libraries but we could present it at traditional folk venues also.
Songs might include nonsense tunes as old as “Old Joe Clark”, “Angeline the Baker” and “Buffalo Gals”. Or songs by Woody Guthrie, The Weavers, Pete Seeger, and Tom Paxton. Peter and Sue grew up listening to Allen Sherman sing about Camp Grenada and The Smother’s Brothers songs about life; Tom Lehrer sang about the end of the world and Arlo Guthrie joked about war. Peter started writing funny songs when he was in high school. (He was sent to the principal’s office for joking too often.)
We will encourage people to sing along if they aren’t laughing too hard. We can also show video clips of some historic performers like Louis Jordan, Fats Waller, and Spike Jones; Performers we grew up with on the Ed Sullivan Show and some of the ones like John Prine, Loudon Wainwright, and Randy Newman, still making us laugh.
Peter Lehndorff is an award-winning songwriter and a guitarist whose songs have been heard on NPR, CarTalk, and college radio stations. Susan Hill is a prize-winning old-time fiddler for community dances, historic reenactments and a ukulele instructor at senior centers. They accompany themselves on guitars, banjo, mandolin, fiddles and ukuleles (but not all at the same time).
From a Librarian: “…I had lots of comments on how wonderful you both were. One patron, in particular, liked the mix of songs you chose to share. We will certainly keep you in mind for future programs. Also, it tends to be difficult to get people out of the house in January for programs, so it’s a testament to you both that patrons wanted to come out in the dark and cold to see you perform.”
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