When I was an undergrad at UCLA my Civil War professor, Joan Waugh, would open each class with martial music of the day…blaring from every speaker as the students filed into the room and took their seats. I thought it was a great way to introduce the history – it got us in the mood, so to speak.
Anyway…I have continued that legacy with my own students, and it has become one of the staple features of my Civil War history course. I have had students send me music that they have found on their own and some have brought in different versions of the music they heard in class – we once had an impromptu sing-a-long break out to close the week.
So far – the class favorite has been Eating Goober Peas, a folk song probably originating the southern states that was popular with Confederate soldiers…I would imagine that some Yankees joined in the chorus from time to time – or at least sampled the southern delicacy.
So – let’s all join in with this remarkable version – a duet featuring Burl Ives and Johnny Cash.