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The Real American Folk Song

This song is by Ella Fitzgerald and appears on the box set The Complete Ella Fitzgerald Song Books (1956) and on the box set Ella Fitzgerald Sings The George And Ira Gershwin Song Book (1959).

Near Barcelona, the peasant crooned
The old traditional Spanish tunes
The Neapolitan street song sighs
You think of Italian skys

Each nation has a creative vein
Originating a native strain
With folk songs plaintive and others gay
In their own peculiar way

American folk songs, I feel
Have a much stronger appeal

The real American folksong is a rag
A mental jag
A rhythmic tonic for the chronic blues

The critics called it a "joke song" but now
They've changed their tune, and they like it, somehow

For it's inoculated with a syncopated sort of meter, sweeter
Than a classic strain, boy you can't remain, still or quiet, for it's a riot

The real American folksong
Is like a fountain of youth
You taste, and it elates you, and then, invigorates you
The real American folksong, the masses coaxed on, is a rag

The real American folksong is a rag
A mental jag
A rhythmic tonic for the chronic blues

The critics called it a "joke song" but now
They've changed their tune, and they like it, somehow

For it's inoculated with a syncopated sort of meter, sweeter
Than a classic strain, boy you can't remain, still or quiet, for it's a riot

The real American folksong
Is like a fountain of youth
You taste, and it elates you, and then, invigorates you
The real American folksong, is a rag