Real World Harper Songs

I’m guessing your first question is, “What is a Harper Song?” In Anne McAffrey’s fictional series, Dragonriders of Pern, Harpers are the teachers, judges, and advisers of the people.  Much of their education is in the form of Harper ballads or teaching ballads which are used to teach the common folk about their duty to the dragonriders and about the menace of Thread.

A while ago, I began searching YouTube to find examples of songs that could be used as teaching aids in the real world.  I began with such historic ballads as Sink the Bismark and Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. I found many sources ranging from the comical yet educational Animaniacs and Schoolhouse Rock tunes from the 1970’s to  many historical ballads sung by Johnny Horton and Fess Parker.  Very recently I happened upon a British based collection from Horrible Histories.

A history teacher in Hawaii has also joined the fray, creating historical music videos of varying quality based on popular songs in the best harper tradition.  I’ve collected many of these tunes in a playlist in no particular order on youtube. Real World Harper Songs.

 

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