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Sing Out!
Vol. 1, No. 10
March, 1951

Peoples Artists Makes Record

By Howard Fast

Hootenanny Records' new release of "Song of My Hands" and "Spring Song," is a record anyone should be proud to have. But beyond that, it means a great deal to me because here for the first time we have The Song of My Hands on a record.

I think it was two years ago that I first heard this song, and at that time Ernie Lieberman sang it. Without any question he will become associated with the song. And that immortality, which it is bound to gain as one of the great songs of the American working class, will be in part due to his efforts.

This it is a great song and destined to be sung by millions, I have no doubt. There is no way in which one can define or analyze good quality. You hear a song and you know that it has it. That is how I felt about The Song of My Hands. It brought me back to that time so many years ago when I first heard Joe Hill -- and I think that here we have a song which will do something of what Joe Hill did.

Of course it will take time; but that is only to be expected. I don't have too much faith in the kind of a song that bubbles up to the top of the thermometer a week after it has been published. The Song of My Hands is just not that kind of a song. It will find its way home more slowly but ever so much more surely, and I am quite certain that some day in the future this original recording by Peoples Artists will become a museum item of great value and great historic interest.

Above all, the song must be sung and sung again. I wonder why I hear so few people's artists sing it. Perhaps now that the recording exists, that will be changed and more and more will sing this very fine and moving song.

Just a word about Spring Song, which need not take second place to anything. Here too is an exceedingly important and moving song which can be of great value to us today. It is perhaps not the peace song -- there will be many, many peace songs before we get to that point. But it is nevertheless a song of good quality and great political importance, and I am glad that it was put on the other side of the record.