Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment with 'Songs of the Suffragettes'
In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which barred the denial of voting rights based on sex, Smithsonian Folkways is proud to offer a free stream of Songs of the Suffragettes. Recorded by Elizabeth Knight in 1958, the album features a variety of compositions from the Suffrage Movement, many of which paired lyrics about voting rights with familiar tunes of the era. Rather than reinterpret the compositions for contemporary audiences, this is an album that attempts to perform suffragist sheet music as it was literally performed during the movement. As a 're-enactment' of sorts, it tries to preserve these sounds in an era of recording technology (1950s) that did not exist to the same degree, nor have as wide a distribution, as during the suffrage struggle itself.
As we honor those who fought for the 19th Amendment in its centennial year, we also recall the many women who continued to fight for voting rights long after it was passed (e.g. Folkways artist Fannie Lou Hamer). For more information, visit the Smithsonian’s American Women’s History Initiative website and follow #19SuffrageStories on social media.